Saturday, 25 February 2017

RECOMMENDED: BRUM BANDS UNITE

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Brum Bands Unite is a St. George's Day celebration in support of the Justice For The 21 (J4T21) campaign headed up by Julie Hambleton. The evening commences at 7:00PM on Sunday 23rd April at the iconic Birmingham Town Hall with an attractive bill including elobf featured Brum artistes Morganisation (Dave Scott Morgan - who co-wrote the song "21 Today" with Phil Hatton in support of J4T21)Quill (Joy Strachan-Brain) and Steve Gibbons plus ViX & her MsChiefs (Fuzzbox) and Chris Tye.

Yours Truly KJS will be there for what promises to be a great night of Brummie entertainment. Tickets are priced at just £12 each and can be purchased via this link thus:

www.thsh.co.uk/event/brum-bands-unite-celebrating-st-georges-day

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends Brum Bands Unite to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELOJeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes. See ya there?

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 25-Feb-2017

Friday, 24 February 2017

REVIEW: PRECIPITATION [Tuesday Speaking]

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! You would think that a concept album replete with the twin themes of rain and regret and full of songs clearly influenced by ELO, The Beatles, Lennon, Macca and Bowie would be a sure fire recipe for success ... and you'd be right! Dublin based Tuesday Speaking - the musical vehicle of John Walsh - have remastered and restored a set of songs recorded originally between 1995-2002, added some new arrangements plus a recently recorded "Intro" and "Outro" in order to create new album "Precipitation" (Castle Records CASCD1003), the follow-up to the impressive "2016", released last year.

From the first play and having subsequently listened to this album constantly in the last week, Yours Truly KJS has come to the conclusion that "Precipitation" is a remarkable record. It manages to combine all the elements that thrill the fans of ELO/Jeff Lynne ("Photograph", "Big City Lights", "You Wanted More") and The Beatles ("Please Please Be My Girl") - with a nod to John Lennon ("Don't Forget (To Stand Out Of The Rain", "Take It In Your Stride"), Paul McCartney ("Love Again") and David Bowie ("Rain's Been Falling (Down On Me)" is what a Lynne and Bowie duet might sound like) in particular - whilst displaying the creativity and songwriting talent of the aforementioned Mr. John Walsh. There are moments of sonic genius here with the fantastic "Take It In Your Stride" (a wonderful take on Lennon's "Starting Over"), "Big City Lights" and "You Wanted More" (the most ELOesque of the songs on view) with "Please Please Be My Girl" unashamedly a tribute to the glory of The Fab Four in their early years.

I love the way that this record is underpinned by the sound of rain and thunder throughout and the way that the Floydish "Intro"/"Outro" (or "Prologue"/"Epilogue") with the sublime guitar work of Adam Walsh encloses either end of "Precipitation", ensuring the feel of a concept album - much like ELO's "Eldorado" and "Time" masterpieces. It is quite apt that "Precipitation" is released Friday 24th February 2017 on the occasion of the 51st birthday of John Walsh! He should therefore be celebrating both his birthday and the release of an excellent album today. (10/10)
You can find out more about Tuesday Speaking and/or buy "Precipitation" via these links thus:


elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "Precipitation" by Tuesday Speaking to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO, Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, The Move, The Idle Race, 'Brum Beat', The Beatles, Pugwash and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 24-Feb-2017

Thursday, 23 February 2017

RECOMMENDED: ELOQUENCE

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! You can thank a gentleman by the name of Drew Ridley from Nuneaton for this elobf article! It was Drew who alerted Yours Truly KJS to the solo ELO tribute act ELOquence a.k.a. Birmingham singer/musician Guy Young.

Guy was born in Sutton Coldfield (not too far from Shard End) in 1966 and, like myself, he's been a fan of ELO since the age of 10. When Jeff Lynne returned to the fore in 2012, he noted that there didn't appear to be an established ELO tribute act based in the Midlands and decided to create his own last year. ELOquence performs songs from the entire career of Jeff Lynne including (of course) ELO, The Traveling Wilburys, Roy Orbison and George Harrison. elobeatlesforever (elobf) will hopefully get to see, hear and review ELOquence during 2017! In the meantime, you can find out more about ELOquence via their official web sites thus:

www.eloquence-tribute.co.uk

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends ELOquence to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELOJeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Traveling WilburysThe Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 23-Feb-2017

Saturday, 18 February 2017

VINYL STORY: THE ELO PICTURE DISCS

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Back in January, Yours Truly KJS wrote an article for elobeatlesforever (elobf) on the subject of ELO's 10" singles, specifically those issued to promote the singles "Xanadu" (with Olivia Newton-John) and "All Over The World" from the "Xanadu" OST during Summer 1980. In addition, earlier this week, the answer to the quiz that came with ELO's first and only UK 7" picture disc "Secret Messages" (WA3720) in 1983 was also revealed in this elobf article hence the idea for this article on the subject of the trio of ELO/Jeff Lynne picture discs issued in the UK - not forgetting that ultra-rare double-sided 33⅓ RPM US promotional 10" picture disc of "Xanadu" (MC10384).
1981: Following the success of "Time" lead single "Hold On Tight" b/w "When Time Stood Still" (JET7011) reaching #4, the disappointment of "Twilight" b/w "Julie Don't Live Here" (JET7015) stalling at a relatively lowly #30 led to Jet/CBS issuing what was ELO's second and final double 'AA' sided single "Ticket To The Moon" c/w "Here Is The News" (JET7018) - their first being "Confusion" c/w "Last Train To London" (JET166) in 1979. ELO's one and only 12" picture disc (JETP12018) was issued to bolster sales of the third single taken from "Time", depicting the ELO spaceship zooming away from what looked like a version of the Star Wars 'Death Star', making it a highly desirable collectors item for fans whilst propelling the single to a more respectable #24.
1983: When "Secret Messages" lead single "Rock 'n' Roll Is King" b/w "After All" (A3500) peaked at #13, thus failing to make the UK Top 10, Jet/CBS issued ELO's first and only UK 7" picture disc in support of second single "Secret Messages" b/w "Buildings Have Eyes" (A3720) hoping that the relative success of the "Ticket To The Moon" c/w "Here Is The News" 12" picture disc some eighteen months earlier would be repeated. Although it was another hit with loyal fans and offered the rare opportunity to win a "Secret Messages" gold disc, the single itself fell somewhat short of the Top 40, managing only #48.
1984: In the ensuing three years hiatus between "Secret Messages" (JETLX527) and "Balance Of Power" (EPC26467), ELO fans were perhaps surprised to see a Jeff Lynne solo single (ELO in all but name to many) released. Taken from the "Electric Dreams" OST, "Video!" b/w "Sooner Or Later" (Virgin VSY695) also saw release as a 7" picture disc with elements of "Video!" later revealed to include snippets of "Beatles Forever", the song that would have been a pivotal part of the originally intended 2LP release of "Secret Messages"(JETDP402). "Video!" peaked at a modest #87. It was only the second ever Jeff Lynne solo single, following "Doin' That Crazy Thing" b/w "Goin' Down To Rio" (UP36281) in 1977.
The ultra-rare "Xanadu" US 10" picture disc: Just 31 copies pressed before it was withdrawn ...
If nothing else, the artwork and imagery of ELO - those wonderful album sleeves that we all know and love - absolutely lends itself to release in picture disc format . This is one area where ELO's record labels have missed great opportunity down the years, specifically in the marketing and promoting of the many ELO remasters, reissues, compilations and recent new material. What price - in these days of vinyl resurgence - of an "Out Of The Blue" or "Eldorado" or "Alone In The Universe" (or any other ELO album) as a 12" picture disc?

See also: PICTURE THIS: ELO'S JET PICTURE DISCS

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 18-Feb-2017

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

SECRET MESSAGES: MORE SUCCESSFUL THAN YOU THINK

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! ELO's 1983 long player "Secret Messages" (JETLX527/JETDP402) and the unreleased track "Beatles Forever" remain both the starting inspiration for and a major component of elobeatlesforever (elobf) here in Yours Truly 2017.

 Yet some ELO fans see "Secret Messages" as a poor relation when compared to its more illustrious and commercially successful predecessors. Excluding the boxed set "Three Light Years" (JETBX1), ELO album releases in the UK from 1976 to 1981 peaked at #6 ("A New World Record"), #4 ("Out Of The Blue"), #1 ("Discovery"), #7 ("ELO's Greatest Hits"), #2 ("Xanadu") and #1 ("Time") respectively whereas as "Secret Messages" attained what is often seen as a disappointing #4.
Regular visitors to elobf will know from not a few previous articles that "Secret Messages" actually performed rather better during its fifteen (15) week chart run between 26th June and 8th October 1983 than is commonly accepted. The reason for that conclusion is that if you look at the Official Album Chart for the week following the release of  "Secret Messages", you will see that ahead of Electric Light Orchestra were three classic albums in "Synchronicity" (The Police), "Thriller" (Michael Jackson) and "Let's Dance" (David Bowie) - the 11th, 1st and 4th best selling albums of 1983.

Whereas we will never know how the originally intended "Secret Messages" double album would have fared, the familiar 1LP format will always be one of my fave ELO albums. Yours Truly KJS and elobeatlesforever (elobf) will continue to campaign for the full release of "Secret Messages" in its full 2LP, 18 track glory, including, of course, "Beatles Forever" ...

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 15-Feb-2017

Sunday, 12 February 2017

RECOMMENDED: PUGWASH NEW ALBUM KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Yours Truly KJS is eternally grateful that my good friend Mark Burrows heartily recommended that I have a listen to Irish melodic rock quartet Pugwash and their album "The Olympus Sound" back in 2011. Since then elobeatlesforever (elobf) have been pleased and proud to feature Pugwash (who are Thomas Walsh, Tosh Flood, Joe Fitzgerald and Shaun McGee) regularly.

Pugwash have have just launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the release of what will be their seventh studio album later this year to follow up the much acclaimed "Play This Intimately (As If Among Friends)" in 2015 and their excellent career overview "A Rose In A Garden Of Weeds" in 2014. The goal of this new campaign is to raise €25,000 by Wednesday 29th March. The monies will fund three (3) weeks of recording in Los Angeles during April, mastering at the iconic Abbey Road Studios thereafter as well as artwork development for the album.
Pugwash releases recommended and reviewed by elobf to date ...
The good news is that, at the time of writing, over 30% of the goal has already been pledged with forty five [45] days still to go! Full details of this exciting project are detailed within the Pugwash Kickstarter campaign page via this link thus:


elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends the Pugwash New Album Kickstarter campaign to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO, Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, The Move, The Idle Race, 'Brum Beat', The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 12-Feb-2017

WE SHOUT RAVING NOTES: ELO's PICTURE DISC MYSTERY

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Early September 1983 saw "Secret Messages" b/w "Buildings Have Eyes" (Jet/CBS A3720) released as the second single from ELO's album of the same name. Lead single "Rock 'n' Roll Is King" b/w "After All" (A3500) had peaked at #13 with the "Secret Messages" album (JETLX527) attaining a respectable #4 earlier in the summer, being kept from being ELO's third #1 album by the formidable trio of "Synchronicity" (The Police), "Thriller" (Michael Jackson) and "Let's Dance" (David Bowie).
Whereas "Rock 'n' Roll Is King" was also released as a limited edition 12" single (TA3500) with "Time After Time" a bonus track alongside "After All" - which was only to be found on the cassette edition of "Secret Messages" (JETCX527) at the time - the release of the "Secret Messages" single (described as a 'special version') also led to the issue of ELO's first and only UK 7" picture disc (WA3720) as part of the Jet/CBS promotion effort. Fans and collectors who bought the picture disc were given the opportunity to enter a competition to win a "personal gold LP disc" and several other items thus:

The competition poser was that there were four clues on the picture disc that would identify a line from a certain ELO song. The answer to the aforementioned question managed to stump Yours Truly KJS for many years and, I'm sure, many ELO fans and collectors too! elobeatlesforever (elobf) is therefore pleased to finally reveal the answer to this long running ELO riddle.

The four (valid) clues were the backwards/mirrored text: "GO TO JETLX 527" and the depiction of four diamonds on side A, as well as the backwards/mirrored text: "WE SHOUT RAVING NOTES" and the picture of a jester on side B (in the same location as the diamonds on side A).
"Secret Messages" was only kept from being #1 by The Police, Michael Jackson and David Bowie ...
"GO TO JETLX 527" refers to the UK catalogue number for the "Secret Messages" album. The four diamonds (obviously) refer to the track "Four Little Diamonds". Now here's the clever bit: If you rearrange the letters that make up "WE SHOUT RAVING NOTES" with the word "JESTER", you (eventually) come up with a chorus line from "Four Little Diamonds" which is: "There's just no answer to give" -  and that's the answer!
The winning line includes the words "No Answer" - the US title for ELO's debut long player - perhaps a coincidence or just another secret message? Red herrings such as the omission of the letters ELO on side B and my mistaking the jester image for a joker led this writer off on a wild goose chase on a number of occasions!

Sadly, the "Secret Messages" single eventually stalled at #48 in the UK Singles Chart joining "The Way Life's Meant To Be" b/w "Wishing" (JET7021) - the fourth single taken from 1981's "Time" LP - in failing to reach the Top 40 and thus heralding the "Twilight" of ELO's stellar British singles chart career.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 12-Feb-2017