Saturday, 28 November 2009

RECOMMENDED: ROY WOOD @ THE ROBIN 18/12/09

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Yours Truly KJS will be [once again] off to see and hear the legendary founder of The Move, the Electric Light Orchestra [ELO] and Wizzard - the one and only Roy Wood [and his Rock & Roll Band] for their annual Christmas bash at The Robin 2 in Bilston, near Wolverhampton on Friday 18th December 2009 thus:

www.therobin.co.uk/whats_on/giginfo.asp?gigid=1878

I've had the good fortune to meet Roy on a few occasions. The last timewas at Kelly Groucutt's 50th birthday party at The Press Wine Bar in Wolverhampton back in 1995. He's not only a fantastically underrated singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, he's also a genuine nice guy too [who likes his curries I might add] and very approachable. It's certain to be a great night!

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends Roy Wood and his Rock & Roll Band to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO, Jeff Lynne, Wizzard, The Move, The Idle Race, 'Brum Beat', The Beatles and related artistes. See you there?

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 28-Nov-2009

RECOMMENDED: CASTING CROWNS

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! I'm sure that most of you who know me; know that I love the music of the Electric Light Orchestra [ELO]. But you may not know that I also follow and love the music of not a few Christian contemporary artistes. Specifically Michael W. SmithCrystal LewisMercy Me and the excellent Newsboys. One of those other fave bands that I have a lot of time for are Casting Crowns. Their new album "Until The Whole World Hears" landed in the post earlier this week and, as usual, it is a great offering. Great lyrics, nice guitar work and an impressive overall package. Yours Truly KJS has bought most of their releases to date - without realizing it! I'm not always an ELOnorak you see ...

Until the Whole World Hears [2009]   Peace On Earth [2008]
Lifesong Live [2006]   Lifesong [2005]

Some of their songs/performances have more than touched a nerve and ministered to me. The first song that got my attention was "Voice Of Truth". My suggestion: Check 'em out!
Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 28-Nov-2009

Sunday, 22 November 2009

THREE LIVE FAVES

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! After having had the pleasure of seeing The Orchestra [former members of ELO & ELO Part II] thrice this year as well as The ELO Experience and The Electric Live Orchestra [two good ELO tribute bands], it crossed my mind to detail my three [3] highlights across all the ELOesque set lists that Yours Truly KJS has had the pleasure to listen to in 2009 [at the "Time" of writing, of course] and they are all first-timers for me [as far as I can remember]:

"Four Little Diamonds" [The Orchestra @ The Robin 2, Bilston, 13th October 2009]

"Nightrider" [Electric Live Orchestra @ The River Rooms, Stourbridge, 25th July 2009]

"Don't Walk Away" [The ELO Experience @ The Robin 2, Bilston, 20th November 2009]

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] universe ... KJS ... 22-Nov-2009

Friday, 20 November 2009

TONIGHT IN THE CITY: THE ELO EXPERIENCE

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Tonight Yours Truly KJS is venturing out with my ELO gig buddy Chris 'So Fine' Evans to go see and hear The ELO Experience at The Robin 2 in Bilston, near Wolverhampton.

They're not, of course, the real deal but they are a great tribute band. Ironically, they have also lost their bass guitarist this last year too. I am also very conscious of my lack of articles this month so please do not be alarmed ... there is more to come!

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends The ELO Experience to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO, Jeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.
Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 20-Nov-2009

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

THE ORCHESTRA: TIME FOR CHANGE?

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Yours Truly KJS was chatting with my good friend Christian Evans earlier today about not a few items of ELO interest. The first was the fact that we will have [2] ELO tribute bands The ELO Experience [The Robin 2, Bilston on Friday 20th November] and The Electric Live Orchestra [The River Rooms, Stourbridge on Saturday 21st November] appearing here in the West Midlands later this month.
But more importantly, we were discussing the bizarre attendances during the latest tour by The Orchestra [former members of ELO & ELO Part II]. Some venues were packed and others not. It appears that the name The Orchestra is not as promotable and marketable as ELOELO Part II or even OrKestra. There is massive ignorance out there in the general public; within the music industry and even within the venues themselves as to who The Orchestra really are. Some think that they ARE an orchestra or some evidently view then as just another ELO tribute act [and there are a few of those around], hence the apathy in the promotion of gigs that they themselves are hosting.
I wonder, is it time for a re-branding of The Orchestra to a name that will get the attention of concert promoters and concert goers alike - without being sued by Mr. Lynne who has no issue [so it seems] with ELO tribute acts doing the rounds and utilizing the ELO "name" or versions thereof?
I can think of few alternative names but can visitors to ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] come up with any suggestions too? Maybe we could have a bit of a poll? One thing is for sure. Jeff Lynne and Bev Bevan have stitched up all the combinations between them of E, L and O legally. So maybe it is time for a change?
Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 04-Nov-2009

Monday, 2 November 2009

RARE ELO PART II FOOTAGE [1991]

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Here is some great footage of Electric Light Orchestra Part Two promoting their two [2] singles from their self- titled first album back in 1991 on German TV, "Honest Men" and "1000 Eyes". This is great footage - a real blast from the past -  and I loved those album covers!


Yours Truly KJS [ELO purists et al] all have a lot to thank ELO Part II and The Orchestra [former members of ELO & ELO Part II] for, as mentioned in this recent article thus: 


Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 02-Nov-2009

Friday, 30 October 2009

UNDER LONDON SKIES AND BEYOND

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! We are now back from our tour of southern England this last week. The Sinclair clan have travelled down to Amesbury in Wiltshire in order to visit Stonehenge and Salisbury before going onto Bournemouth and Verwood in Hampshire. Following on from that, we've also spent the last three [3] days in downtown London with our good friends Ian and Joanna Gordon [and their kids Joshua, Lydia and Ianna] in Wembley.

Rebekah and James have been to Wembley stadium, the Houses of Parliament, the Natural History Museum, the London Eye, Trafalgar Square and Covent Garden. And I literally brushed shoulders with Kevin Rowland of Dexy's Midnight Runners fame [another Wolves FC fan I might add!] when I was down in the tube station, but not at midnight! All the "Time", we've had the pleasure of the sublime music of the Electric Light Orchestra [ELO] to keep us company.

We've been blessed with travelling mercies, great fellowship and fantastic weather. The only downside is that I'm now nearly 42! If I wasn't feelingpast my sell-by date before, I'm feeling it now! I've a plethora of pieces to write for ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF], so please be patient with Yours Truly KJS as we go into November!
Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 30-Oct-2009

Thursday, 22 October 2009

THE ORCHESTRA [FORMER MEMBERS OF ELO & ELO PART II]

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! A number of folks have asked me about my thoughts on the recent gig by The Orchestra [former members of ELO & ELO Part II] at The Robin 2, the new 2CD compilation "Anthology" and the current UK tour. Today I'm bearing my soul regarding the current UK tour.
Yours Truly KJS believes that there is a kind of snobbery abounding in ELO circles regarding ELO Part II and The Orchestra. An example of this is the abandonment of said bands by Face The Music [FTM] to effectively be a Sony BMG news outlet when in the 1990's it did a marvellous job in supporting the ELO Part II bandwagon [and the work of related artistes].
Let's make one thing clear. You are extremely unlikely to ever see a Jeff Lynne-led ELO vehicle [a la "Zoom"] perform ELO's music live - especially in the UK and Europe. There are also long odds on [a] any new Jeff Lynne album breaching the Top 30 album charts or [b] a tour promoting a new Jeff Lynne album or [c] any substantial rendition of the ELO back catalogue.
My point is that despite there being one or three decent ELO tribute bands about, the most likely chance of getting to see the music of ELO performed live in a professional and genuine manner is at a gig by The Orchestra. They DO sound good and they DO sound like the real deal.
If it weren't for either ELO Part II or The Orchestra, I doubt that we would have retained anything like the interest and momentum that ELO still have [including all those re-mastered packages and rolling compilations] a full 23 years after ELO's last studio album. Bev BevanKelly GroucuttMik KaminskiLouis ClarkEric TroyerPhil BatesPete HaycockNeil LockwoodGordon TownsendParthenon Huxley and Glen Burtnik - in and of themselves have kept the light shining in their world traversing tours. They are either under-reported in the press or misreported generally as ELO. But they keep doing it with the light on.
All we have seen from Jeff Lynne in the meantime is "Zoom", a solo album in 2001 in all but name and perhaps better titled "Armchair Theatre Part II". Yes, Jeff owns the name and wrote 99% of the original music but that means, whether you or he likes it or not, that any Orchestra gig is really a tribute to his musical prowess and talent anyway.
I've read and heard a few negative statements about the post-ELO bands. But bearing in mind that there is more of a chance that Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson will appear together in Las Vegas next week with Lord Lucan in a new musical - than us ever seeing ELO [as we knew it up to 1986] c/w Jeff Lynne again, The Orchestra are doing us all a service and, if we are really truly ELO fans, then we should support them. Period.
There are, however, other reasons for the relatively low crowds on the current tour. There is nothing wrong with the band, their performances or set list. The problems are [a] the abject apathy of ELO fans, [b] the choice of venues, [c] the number of venues, [d] the extent of promotion, [e] the effects of the [so-called] 'credit crunch', [f] a second UK tour in the same calendar year and [g] the loss of Kelly Groucutt and the perception of the band in his wake. In other words there are a lot of factors. I fear that this could be the final tour. I hope I'm wrong. It's time for folks to get behind this band and for the band themselves to celebrate their own songwriting legacy too.
On a personal note, I can tell you that I wouldn't have continued with my current ELO enthusiasm for the last twenty plus years if it weren't for ELO Part Two. If Christian 'Waterfall' Evans hadn't have been wearing an ELO Part II tour sweatshirt from the 1991 MSO tour in a certain pub in Wolverhampton back in 1992, we would not have met and become such good gig buddies. I would not be the person I am now with the acquaintances that I've met with like minded musical interests. Life turns on such events. Nearly every person that knows me [from school days to nowadays] still say: "I thought of you" either when they hear an ELO song on the radio or TV.
Yes, I am an ELOnorak. We all have such a lot to be thankful for. The only way that I can express that gratitude is to support The Orchestra via ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF], by word of mouth, when/if they are on tour or if/when they release another album.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 22-Oct-2009

Sunday, 18 October 2009

THE ORCHESTRA: MANCHESTER DATE + ANTHOLOGY

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! The gig by The Orchestra [former members of ELO & ELO Part II] at The Robin 2 was truly excellent, so much so that there is a very great possibility that Yours Truly KJS will be "Goin' Down The Road" to see them again at the Manchester Apollo on Wednesday 4th November 2009 too.
While I'm on the subject, you could do no worse than get a hold of the new ELO Part II/Orchestra 2CD set "Anthology". It's a cracking overview of ELO post-Jeff Lynne.
Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 18-Oct-2009

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

ELDORADO vs. ZOOM

 Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Only six [6] days now to the big gig at The Robin 2 in Bilston near Wolverhampton [the 'centre of the universe'] on Tuesday 13th October 2009 when The Orchestra [former members of ELO & ELO Part II] return to their Midlands musical roots!

Today I took a rare day off work and whilst meandering about in downtown Wolverhampton, Yours truly KJS suddenly heard the familiar [but rarely played] tones of the ELO album track "Poorboy [The Greenwood]" blasting out over the tannoy. Ten [10] minutes later it was "Mr. Blue Sky". Nice to know somebody out there has taste!

It reminded me of something that I meant to write last week. I listened to both the "Eldorado" and "Zoom" ELO albums in the car whilst driving to and from work and I've come to the conclusion that there really is no comparison between these two [2] recordings.

One is a classic concept album from 1974 brilliantly conceived by Jeff Lynne and performed by one of the two [2] classic ELO line-ups and the other, although still a good offering, is essentially a Jeff Lynne solo album from 2001 or, as I've described it to Christian 'Kuiama' Evans on not a few occasions, is it "Armchair Theatre Part II"? I do hope that I haven't started another controversy with that statement ...

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 07-Oct-2009

Thursday, 1 October 2009

FRIENDS REUNITED

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Here is some rare footage for you to marvel at from 1990 featuring, in part, Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood on stage together during Mike Sheridan's 50th birthday celebrations:

A DVD can be purchased featuring the above celebrations via this link thus:

www.mikesheridan.org.uk/merch.htm

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 01-Oct-2009

NEW ELO PART II & ORCHESTRA COMPILATION

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! On sale during the upcoming Autumn "Greatest Hits" tour by The Orchestra [former members of ELO & ELO Part II] will be a long overdue 2CD compilation featuring ELO Part II and The Orchestra.

It's not clear as to whether the album will be available just at gigs and/or via the internet but it does look like a decent overview of ELO's post-Jeff Lynne career. There are tracks from all four [4] ELO Part II albums as well as The Orchestra's "No Rewind" plus other more recent live recordings and Kelly Groucutt's last studio recordings with The Orchestra for a Russian TV show.
And there's another good reason to go see The Orchestra live in '09: a new set list! Yours Truly KJS also wonders whether we will ever hear the likes of "Honest Men" live again ...

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 01-Oct-2009

Saturday, 19 September 2009

THE GIG PICTURE

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! The October/November tour of The Orchestra [former members of ELO & ELO Part II] is getting closer so Yours Truly KJS, naturally, has been doing a spot of promotion with family, friends and work colleagues.
Why? Because this band ain't no tribute act. They represent the only opportunity, at the time of writing, to really to go see and hear the best expositors of the ELO sound. This week we lost Patrick Swayze and not so long ago it was Michael Jackson and before that Kelly Groucutt. Hence, you never know what you've got until it's gone. And don't count on any Jeff Lynne led ELO tour either in the foreseeable future. Dates for those Orchestra gigs can be found here:

theorchestra.net/gigs.html

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends The Orchestra [former members of ELO & ELO Part II] to those enlightened folks who also like ELO, Jeff LynneRoy Wood'Brum Beat'The Idle RaceThe MoveThe Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related ] Universe ... KJS ... 19-Sep-2009

Friday, 18 September 2009

RECOMMENDED: JANE WILKINSON'S AUTUMN 2009 NEWSLETTER

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Did you know that Jane Wilkinson issues a quarterly ELO Newsletter? Jane runs her very own Orchestra web site at: www.elo.rockfans.co.uk and the site is also officially mandated by The Orchestra [former members of ELO & ELO Part II]. Click on this link to have a look at Jane's latest newsletter thus:
Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 18-Sep-2009

MIK KAMINSKI INTERVIEW HIGHLIGHTS ORCHESTRA TOUR

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Jane Wilkinson has forwarded me details of an interview with Mik Kaminski [amongst others - it starts in the 48th minute so fast forwarding may be a good idea!] on BBC Radio Merseyside on Saturday 12th September 2009. The interview is part of the promotion effort for the upcoming Autumn Tour by The Orchestra [former members of ELO & ELO Part II] thus:
Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 18-Sep-2009

BEFORE WE GO: IN MEMORY OF 9/11

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! ELOBF gig buddy Christian 'Jumping Biz' Evans has alerted Yours Truly KJS to this moving YouTube video montage which recalls the events of 9/11 alongside the sublime vocals of the late, great Kelly Groucutt singing the superb song "Before We Go" by The Orchestra [former members of ELO & ELO Part II] - from their 2001 album "No Rewind" thus:
May we never forget the tragedy of those events and the souls of those who lost their lives on that day and the days that followed.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 18-Sep-2009

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

RECOMMENDED: THE ORCHESTRA AUTUMN 2009 UK TOUR

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Can you believe it? It's already September and we are just over a month away from the 2009 Autumn Tour of The Orchestra [former members of ELO & ELO Part II]. Another golden opportunity to hear live the music of ELO by the very best purveyors and performers of their music in the world today. I shall be ~ God willing ~ at their Robin 2 gig on Tuesday 13th October 2009.
Will you be there? Why not invite your family and friends? Don't get left "Standin' In The Rain" while we are all meeting "Mr. Blue Sky"! Don't "Face The Music" when you could make a real "Discovery"! "Xanadu" the right thing! [I could go on ...]

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS... 02-Sep-2009

Saturday, 22 August 2009

RECOMMENDED: BEV'S BIG BASH @ 27/10/09

 Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! My good friend Christian "Is It Alright?" Evans has sent me some details of a charity gig being put together by Bev Bevan in Birmingham, England on Tuesday 27th October 2009 thus:
This concert will feature Bev's band [called a "supergroup" in the article] plus "a range of special guests". Tickets are priced at just £5.00 each in advance and £7.00 each on the door and you can buy them directly via The Jam House web site, should you so wish.

October promises to be a bumper month. We have The Orchestra's Autumn Tour taking place, calling in locally at The Robin 2 in Bilston on Tuesday 13th October 2009.

One thing that the death of Kelly Groucutt and the whole Michael Jackson thing has reminded me is that "you never know what you've got until it's gone". If I were you; I'd take the golden opportunity to see and hear the music of ELO live this Autumn.
Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 22-Aug-2009

Monday, 17 August 2009

NEW PROJECT: ELO MUSICAL

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Whilst driving home from work tonight and listening to the 1981 classic ELO album "Time", Yours Truly KJS finally got to making a decision. After some prompting by friends and work colleagues alike and [supposedly] possessing an encyclopedic mind on certain subjects, including ELO [allegedly], I've decided to try "Something Else". You may remember a previous article that I wrote in 2009 on the subject of my considering the creation of an ELO themed musical here thus:
My 'new' project is to try and put together that musical based upon the songs and and lyrics of Jeff Lynne and ELO. I'm thinking that there is more than enough subject matter and genres covered by and in the ELO back catalogue to create something familiar and entertaining but with a hopeful message [that ain't secret!] - so watch this space. Any suggestions and/or advice would be greatly appreciated folks. This may take some "Time" ...

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 17-Aug-2009

Friday, 14 August 2009

RECOMMENDED: SMOOTH RADIO

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! While I'm doing this and that, Yours Truly KJS does enjoy tuning in to and listening to Smooth Radio thus:

www.smoothradio.com

Smooth Radio play some great music, plenty of soul and quite often you'll hear the ELOquent music of the Electric Light Orchestra too. Tonight it was "Telephone Line" and last night it was "Livin' Thing". So, whether you're behind the wheel or are otherwise occupied, why not tune in? Smooth Radio is also available digitally on Sky Channel #128 and/or Freeview Channel #718.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 14-Aug-2009

Monday, 10 August 2009

CHART CHAT: MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE?

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Are ELO & Jeff Lynne mutually exclusive? Can one exist without the other? The reason that Yours Truly KJS says this is because it's very interesting to consider that "Armchair Theatre" peaked at #24 in the UK Album Chart in August 1990, "Electric Light Orchestra Part Two" peaked at #34 in June 1991 and "Zoom" peaked at #34 in the UK charts in June 2001 thus:
It's interesting that ELO without Jeff Lynne or Jeff Lynne without ELO have had anything more than moderate [album] chart success? Even with all the good, positive press about Regina Spektor's part JL-produced album "Far", it has only managed [so far] #30 in the UK charts with a five [5] week chart run. Yours Truly KJS wonders where a second Jeff Lynne 'solo' album' might chart. ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] suspects a Top 20 place for a week or two. But an ELO album with Bev Bevan and Richard Tandy et al on board [sadly without Kelly Groucutt]? I suspect a little better.

In the opinion of this writer, The Orchestra [former members of ELO & ELO Part II] and ELO tribute bands in general should be commended for keeping the ELO sound live to newer, more expansive audiences whilst Jeff remains in his L.A. "Ivory Tower", so to speak. At the time of writing, maybe ELO without Jeff Lynne and Jeff Lynne without ELO are - in charting terms - rolling over without Beethoven. Here's hoping that Jeff picks up his ELO baton again soon and has another go at it!

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 10-Aug-2009

Sunday, 2 August 2009

BEATLES FOREVER [2]

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Yours Truly KJS came across an excellent interview the other day between Alan Heath of The ELO Network and Dave Scott-Morgan which included the subject of "Beatles Forever".

theelonetwork.com/dave-morgan-reel-two-info-review.html

It's interesting to note that there was a sizeable chunk of the interview on the subject of a certain song and that, here and now, almost a decade later here in 2009, there is still an enormous amount of interest in not only "Beatles Forever" but also a full re-release of the originally intended "Secret Messages" double album on CD and maybe even on 2LP vinyl. Keep lobbying folks ... you never know what's around the corner!

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 02-Aug-2009

Thursday, 30 July 2009

CAUGHT LIVE: ELECTRIC LIVE ORCHESTRA

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Last Saturday night [25th July 2009], Yours Truly KJS ventured down to The River Rooms in sunny Stourbridge to check out The Electric Live Orchestra alongside ELO buddy Christian Evans and his brother Dwyer.

And what a gig it was as this excellent four piece delivered an impressive set from "10538 Overture" thru' to "Rock 'n' Roll Is King". The highlight of the night for me personally was their performance of "Nightrider" from, of course, ELO's classic 1975 album "Face The Music". It was a loud event and my ears are still ringing as I write this brief review!

The Electric Live Orchestra performed: "Standin' In The Rain" - "Tightrope" - "Mr. Blue Sky" - "Strange Magic" - "Sweet Talkin' Woman" - "Twilight" - "Shine A Little Love" - "Wild West Hero" - "Telephone Line" - "10538 Overture" - "Showdown" - "Ma Ma Ma Belle" - "Can’t Get It Out Of My Head" - "Last Train To London" - "Evil Woman" - "Confusion" - "Rock 'n' Roll Is King" - "All Over The World" - "Nightrider" - "Turn To Stone" - "Livin' Thing" - "Xanadu" - "Don’t Bring Me Down" - "Rockaria!" - "The Diary Of Horace Wimp" - "Roll Over Beethoven"

ELO tribute bands are a good thing, in my opinion. They fill in the gaps between tours by The Orchestra [former members of ELO & ELO Part II] and often do justice to the ELO sound and back catalogue. They keep the ELO sound live in many varied and widespread venues. Here are three [3] links to the web sites of The Electric Live Orchestra, the other top-notch ELO tribute act The ELO Experience [both of whom I have seen and heard at least twice] and one that I know of but have not seen yet - The Explosive Light Orchestra:


ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends The Electric Live Orchestra 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 ... 30-July-2009

BACK TO BASICS

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! The original mandate of ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] was to campaign for the full release of ELO's 2LP "Secret Messages" including the 'lost gem' that is "Beatles Forever". There should be more than enough ELO [and Beatles] fans around [including any 'completists' out there] who might feel led to lend their support. Yours Truly KJS does not wish to lose sight of that initial goal,  despite all the events of 2009 and the ever expanding subject matter of ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF]. I also want to thank personally all the souls who have visited and continue to visit ELOBF. Thank you all!

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 30-July-2009

LIGHT FANTASTIC ELO MEGA-MIX

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Christian "Poker" Evans kindly alerted ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recently to a free downloadable ELO "Multimix", with a duration of over seventy [70] minutes! You can find it via this link thus:

This is one of the best mixes of ELO songs that Yours Truly KJS has come across and it captures perfectly the varying styles and phases of Birmingham's finest. We've come a long way since the infamous "ELO Megamix" [10:08] "remixed by Dakeyne of Disco Mix Club" back in Yours Truly 1986, which was to be found as a bonus track on the 'B' side of the UK 12" single of "Getting To The Point" [Epic #TA7317]. Enjoy!

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 30-July-2009

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

KELLY vs. KELLY

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... it's great to see you once again! Hot on the heels of my review of the book "An Evening Without Kelly Groucutt", here is my brief review of the US re-release of Kelly Groucutt's self-titled 1982 solo album "Kelly" on Renaissance Records [US] [#RMED-0258]. Back in Yours Truly 1982; this somewhat under-rated LP was released in Europe by RCA Records [RCALP3063; PL31610] and later [1983] in the USA by Riva Records [#RVL7502]. Two singles were released in the UK being: "Am I A Dreamer" [UK #RCA182] and "Oh, Little Darling" [UK #RCA245].

The UK version of "Kelly" [that I bought at the time] featured these ten [10] tracks: Am I A Dreamer - Oh, Little Darling - Dear Mama - *Black Hearted Woman - Midnight Train - *Can't Stand The Morning - Anything Goes With Me - Old Rock & Roller - Don’t Wanna Hear That Song Again - Anything Goes With Me - Sea Of Dreams [*unique to UK release]

The US version of "Kelly" featured these ten [10] tracks: Am I A Dreamer - Oh, Little Darling - Dear Mama - **You Don’t Need To Hold Me Tight - Midnight Train - Don’t Wanna Hear That Song Again - Anything Goes With Me - Old Rock & Roller - **You’ve Been Telling Lies - Sea Of Dreams [**unique to US release]

Later, in 2001, Kelly released a remastered, fourteen [14] track CD version in the UK on L'il Jenny Records [#LJ9284] which included all the tracks on both the UK and US versions together with two [2] bonus tracks: "I'll Cry For You Tonight" and "Am I A Dreamer" [Remix featuring Mik Kaminski]. The 2009 US version is identical to the 2001 UK edition but with a slightly different track sequencing and the second version of "Am I A Dreamer" subtitled [New Version].

On a personal note, I loved this album. It was not only a great stocking filler between the "Time" and "Secret Messages" albums but it had an ELOesque charm of its own whilst demonstrating the wide-ranging talents of Mick 'Kelly' Groucutt [with a little help from his friends]. My personal favourites will always be: "Am I A Dreamer""Dear Mama""Can't Stand The Morning" and "Sea Of Dreams". The 2001 UK version was re-pressed by Kelly prior to the Spring 2009 UK tour of The Orchestra [former members of ELO & ELO Part II] and his untimely death and is now available again at gigs and from: www.kellygroucutt.co.uk. The 2009 US version is available from amazon.co.uk; amazon.com and Renaissance Records directly thus:


Enjoy the book, enjoy the music, enjoy the life work of one Kelly Groucutt. Both are valuable additions to the collections of any ELO fan. ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends "Kelly" by Kelly Groucutt to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO, Jeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 28-July-2009

Monday, 27 July 2009

BLURB BULLETIN


Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! #50: Jane Wilkinson has kindly sent me a copy of her new book "An Evening Without Kelly Groucutt" published via Blurb! It's a photographic record of the event held at The Robin 2 in Bilston, near Wolverhampton on Monday 11th May 2009 celebrating the Main Man: Kelly Groucutt - his music, his musical influences and acquaintances. This 38-page book has a series of high quality pictures of the entire roster of artistes, together with the song[s] that they performed, who appeared on the bill in this order:

Keith Slater ~ Groucutt & Haynes ~ Gary & Darren Groucutt ~ Session 60 ~ Chris Tew ~ The Groucutt Family Band ~ Will Green ~ Mondo Carne ~ Chris Groucutt, Robin Groucutt & Mik [Kaminski] ~ Danny King & The Old Sills Band ~ Chris Groucutt ~ The Everlys Experience ~ Danny Cannon & The Vibras ~ The Electric Light 'Orkidstra' ~ Phil Bates & Mik Kaminski ~ The Orchestra [former members of ELO & ELO Part II]

In the opinion of Yours Truly KJS, this book is a wonderful memento of not only a great musical night but also a tremendous souvenir of the life and times of one of the greatest bass guitarists and rock musicians that ever graced this planet. Jane Wilkinson's photography beautifully captures the mood and atmosphere of the night. This fantastic book can be purchased in hard &/or soft cover, from Blurb! via this link thus:

 www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/807326

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends "An Evening Without Kelly Groucutt" by Jane Wilkinson to those enlightened folks who also like ELO, Jeff LynneRoy Wood'Brum Beat'The Idle RaceThe MoveThe Beatles and related artistes.

 Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 27-July-2009

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

COMING SOON


Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Just in case you thought that ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] have been just a little too quiet lately, I wanted to let you know that Yours Truly KJS is preparing two [2] new ELOBF articles for publication soon that will focus on the late, great Kelly Groucutt.

First up will be my analysis of the recent US re-release of Kelly Groucutt's eponymously entitled album "Kelly" versus the original 1982 issue and that will be followed by a review of Jane Wilkinson's fantastic new photographic book entitled "An Evening Without Kelly Groucutt", which looks back at that emotional night back in May at The Robin 2.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 14-July-2009

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

CHART CHAT: FAR FALLING FAST

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... it's great to see you once again! I remember the days when new singles and albums had reasonable length chart runs; particularly if they debuted in the Top 40 in the first week of release. Partly because of the Michael Jackson effect and partly because of downloads, air plays statistics et al, records don't seem to hang around as long these days. When ELO's "Out Of The Blue" remaster was released in the UK, it went in at #18 - only to stay in the Top 100 albums for four [4] weeks.

It's a bit different in the USA and more like the old days. For example, Regina Spektor's new album "Far" entered the US Billboard chart at #3 and has stayed there. But here in the UK, it came in at #30 last week and has already dropped down to #74 in its second week. The musical taste and habits of the record buying public here in the UK have changed a lot more than our American cousins, for sure.

It's still harder to 'make it' in the USA than here in Europe as a general rule. I think ELO were not really credited with their worldwide success - especially in the USA. I'm told that, pound for pound, they were bigger than ABBA [worldwide] at their peak!

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] universe ... KJS ... 08-July-2009

Sunday, 5 July 2009

BEV BEVAN IN TRIBUTE TO MICHAEL JACKSON




Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! An interesting tribute to Michael Jackson was to be found last week in Bev Bevan's article for his Sunday Mercury blog back on Friday 26th June 2009. Here's the text of Bev's poignant memorial thus:

"I recall the day I met Michael Jackson backstage in America. He came to see ELO when we played in Los Angeles back in 1978. He was ushered backstage and came to shake hands with us all. He seemed cheerful but rather shy, and there wasn't any conversation between us. But I was told that he liked our music, and that was quite a compliment. The news of his death came as a great shock, even though he had looked frail in recent times. I was a huge fan of his music during the late 1970's and 1980's. He was brilliant then. I went to see him in concert at Wembley Stadium - I think it was on the 'Bad' tour - and it was one of the best shows I had ever seen. As a live performer he was fantastic. He was the best dancer on the planet, too. It's best that we all remember him that way than for all the personal problems he faced." ~ Bev Bevan

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 05-July-2009

Saturday, 4 July 2009

REGINA SPEKTOR @ GLASTONBURY 2009




Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Please click on the link here to see thirty [30] minutes of Regina Spektor's impressive set at Glastonbury 2009 thus:

It includes a number of songs from her new album "Far" - of which five [5] trax in total were, of course, produced by Jeff Lynne. Enjoy the show!

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] universe ... KJS ... 04-July-2009

RECOMMENDED: ELECTRIC LIVE ORCHESTRA + MORE

The Electric Live Orchestra ...
Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... it's great to see you once again! Yours Truly KJS has seen a few tribute bands down the years. The Australian Pink Floyd were really good and so were the Abba tribute act that I once saw in Fuerteventura, amongst others. I've also seen a couple of ELO tribute acts too and they are The ELO Experience and The Electric Live Orchestra. Both - in my humble opinion - produce an excellent tribute to the musical genre that is ELO. You are certainly guaranteed a good, rousing night out if you ever venture out to see either of them. Now, on that very subject, please be advised that the Electric Live Orchestra will be performing at The River Rooms in Stourbridge on Saturday 25th July 2009 thus:
Don't forget that later in the year, The ELO Experience will be appearing at The Robin 2 in Bilston, near Wolverhampton on Friday 20th November 2009 thus:
Finally, please be reminded that, as part of their Autumn 2009 "Greatest Hits" Tour, The Orchestra [former members of ELO & ELO Part II] will also be landing at The Robin 2 on Tuesday 13th October 2009 thus:
There you have it. Three [3] bands, all with the music of ELO in common! Midlands fans of ELO in are being spoiled in an ELOtastic kinda way this year! See you there?
Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 04-July-2009

Monday, 29 June 2009

RECOMMENDED: KELLY [Kelly Groucutt]

"Kelly" ~ US sleeve ...
Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... it's great to see you once again! Thanx to my good friend Jane Wilkinson, Yours Truly KJS has discovered that Kelly Groucutt's self-titled 1982 album "Kelly", originally released on RCA Records here in Europe [#RCALP3063] - and also in the US - between his contributions to the ELO albums "Time" [1981] and "Secret Messages" [1983] - will be re-issued in CD format by Renaissance Records [US] on Tuesday 30th June 2009.
"Kelly" ~ European sleeve ...
I'm not sure whether it will be the same as the 2001 re-release here in the UK on L'il Jenny Records [#LJ9284]. I always felt that there was something amiss with that release. Some of the trax sounded like they had been mastered from vinyl rather than the original recording tapes [that's not a criticism - just my own personal observation]. If you are interested in purchasing this CD, you can order it from amazon.com, amazon.co.uk or direct from Renaissance Records [US] via these links thus:
This album has always impressed me since I bought it back in 1982. "Am I A Dreamer?" [later released on Rainbow Records in 1986 in the UK under the pseudonym Player], "Dear Mama", "Can't Stand The Morning" and "Sea Of Dreams" are all great songs by this much underrated bassist, vocalist, guitarist, musician and songwriter. This release is sure to be a worthy addition to any ELO and related record collection, if not only for the alternative sleeve and rarity factor.

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends "Kelly" by Kelly Groucutt to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO & Jeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

ntil next "Time" in the ELO [and related] universe ... KJS ... 29-June-2009

Saturday, 27 June 2009

REVIEW: FAR [Regina Spektor]

Hello ... Hello my old friends ... it's great to see you once again! I've now played my copy of the new Regina Spektor album "Far" a couple of times now. Although I suspect that its chart impact is going to be severely dented in that the record-buying public are buying out the Michael Jackson back catalogue. "Far" by Regina Spektor is one of those releases that grow on you. I have to say I quite like it. Of the fifteen [15] tracks on the CD, five [5] are produced by Jeff Lynne. But this record is "Far" from being a "Full Moon Fever", a "Mystery Girl" or a "Cloud Nine".

Of course, the Jeff Lynne produced tracks are self-evident. And they sound great. This Russian Jewess has put out out a quirky album and it reminds me of Kate BushTori Amos and Suzanne Vega all rolled into one! The odd thing about "Far" is that the two songs that I have latched onto and really like are "Laughing With" and "Human Of The Year" - and neither are produced by Jeff Lynne! Here are some lyrical excerpts from those songs:

"Laughing With"
"No one laughs at God in a hospital
No one laughs at God in a war
No one’s laughing at God
When they’re starving or freezing or so very poor
No one laughs at God
When the doctor calls after some routine tests
No one’s laughing at God
When it’s gotten real late
And their kid’s not back from the party yet
No one laughs at God
When their airplane start to uncontrollably shake
No one’s laughing at God
When they see the one they love, hand in hand with someone else
And they hope that they’re mistaken
No one laughs at God
When the cops knock on their door
And they say we got some bad news, sir
No one’s laughing at God
When there’s a famine or fire or flood"

"Human Of The Year"
"Human, human of the year, you are.
Human, human of the year, you are.
Why are you so scared?
You stand there shaking in the pew.
The icons are whispering to you,
they're just old men,like on the benches in the park,
except their balding spots are glistening with gold.
Human, human of the year, you are.
Human, human of the year, you are.
Ahh ah ah.
You have won.
Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Hallelujah"

Yours Truly KJS needs to listen to this album a few more times but I think the lyrics and music of Regina Spektor are as good as, if not better, than some of those 'major' mainstream artistes. There is definitely a spiritual nature to some of her songs. Not surprising given that she is Jewish and has such a long heritage and cultural footprint. So, take a chance and listen to something 'different' ... you'll go "Far"! [8/10]

PRODUCED BY JEFF LYNNE: FAR [Regina Spektor]
REGINA SPEKTOR @ GLASTONBURY 2009

Trax: [1] "The Calculation" [3:11] ~ [2] "Eet" [3:52] ~ [3] "Blue Lips" [produced by Jeff Lynne] [3:34]  [4] "Folding Chair" [produced by Jeff Lynne] [3:35] ~ [5] "Machine" [3:55] ~ [6] "Laughing With" [3:17] ~ [7] "Human Of The Year" [4:07] ~ [8] "Two Birds" [3:18] ~ [9] "Dance Anthem Of The 80's" [3:43] ~ [10] "Genius Next Door" [produced by Jeff Lynne] [5:06] ~ [11] "Wallet" [produced by Jeff Lynne] [2:28] ~ [12] "One More Time With Feeling" [3:59] ~ [13] "Man Of A Thousand Faces" [3:11] ~ [14]"Time Is All Around" [3:06][Bonus] ~ [15] "The Sword And The Pen" [produced by Jeff Lynne] [3:48][Bonus]

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends "Far" by Regina Spektor to those enlightened folks who also enjoy the music of ELO & Jeff LynneRoy Wood'Brum Beat'The Idle RaceThe MoveThe Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] universe ... KJS ... 27-June-2009