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

Friday, 26 June 2009

REMEMBERING MICHAEL JACKSON

Jeff Lynne, Bev Bevan and Michael Jackson circa 1979 ...
Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! The death of Michael Jackson a.k.a. 'The King of Pop" is indeed a shocking and sad moment. A man who never grew up but spent his adult life trying to re-discover his lost childhood. A man who lived in a kind of bubble. A great dancer and singer/songwriter. I still remember cramming into a friends front room in the summer of '84 to watch the "Thriller" video and how it was made.

There is only one [1] thing that I would like to say - or rather re-state - with regard to this occurrence. And that is - as with some of the sad losses I have experienced in my life and in particular this year - we never seem to appreciate what we have until it's gone. Whether that is a person or a 'thing' or a special time. Life is short and eternity is forever. Yours Truly KJS is still having a little trouble believing that Kelly Groucutt has gone and so too my Uncle Charlie, this year alone.

Death is a fact of life. We never appreciate what we have most times until it leaves our lives. The events yesterday in Los Angeles have underlined this truth to me. It is my soundtrack for 2009.

Util next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 26-June-2009

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

THE PERFECT BREAK: THE ORCHESTRA IN JERSEY!

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends, it's great to see you once again! How do you fancy [a] a short break and [b] a great opportunity to see The Orchestra [former members of ELO & ELO Part II] performing ELO's Greatest Hits live? Well; a little bird has told me that they have two [2] gigs scheduled in Jersey early next month and, it seems to me to be a great opportunity to kill two birds with one stone:
These two [2] concerts are on Sunday 5th July 2009 and Monday 6th July 2009 at the Jersey Opera House in the Channel Islands. Ticket prices are £20.00 or £25.00 each. This is an excellent opportunity for our friends in France and the United Kingdom to "Come Together" [quoting that classic Beatles song!] and revel in the music of ELO!

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] universe ... KJS ... 23-June-2009

Saturday, 20 June 2009

NEW BOOK RELEASE: KELLY GROUCUTT TRIBUTE

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Jane Wilkinson has kindly emailed me to invite interested folks to the release of her new book via Blurb. It's a wonderful photographic record of the emotional event held on Monday 11th May 2009 at The Robin 2 in Bilston near Wolverhampton and is entitled "An Evening Without Kelly Groucutt".

Hence, if you are interested in Jane's new book - a fantastic overview of a great night - you can take a sneak peek at "An Evening Without Kelly Groucutt" and/or place an order via this link thus:
ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends "An Evening Without Kelly Groucutt" by Jane Wilkinson 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-June-2009

REVIEW: 60's SESSIONS [Session 60]

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends! It's great to see you once again! One of the things that Kelly Groucutt is rightly famed for is being a tremendous, professional [bass] guitarist. But I guess a lot of us never really appreciated what a great all-round musician and fantastic vocalist he was too.
The old saying: "You never know what you've got until it's gone" often turns out to be more accurate than we realize. Better that we "hold on tight" and appreciate the many blessings we have in this life. Kelly Groucutt was a much under-rated singer; songwriter and all-round musician than many folks give him credit; and he was not a vain publicity seeker as many modern 'stars' are.
This morning, Yours Truly KJS received a copy of the Session 60 CD featured in this article on  Tuesday 2nd June 2009 thus:
As I am writing this blog [and as I have been all morning], the talented voice of Kelly Groucutt is being broadcast around my home. Not ELO or OrKestra classics this time but some great interpretations of classic 1960's iconic songs. You can see the track listing in the picture above of the outside of the sleeve. There are some cool sleeve notes within the CD booklet and a surprise that you will discover if you step out and purchase the CD. There is more than one link to the ELO universe mentioned in the sleeve notes too. There are actually fourteen [14] trax but thirteen [13] are listed. The 'hidden' track is Kelly singing a great song with just a guitar accompanying him.
Session 60 [L-R]: Chris Tew, Tim Bellamy [Drums], Kelly Groucutt and  Bob Blair ...
It is right to mention the other guys in Session 60: They were Tim Bellamy [Percussion], Bob Blair [Bass] and Chris Tew [Keyboards]. This CD is likely to become a rarity as Session 60 have now disbanded as Chris has informed me that Session 60 are no mor, his words being "... it wouldn't be the same!". Kelly G does indeed contribute on all the tracks and this CD is my recommended pick to add to your Kelly/ELO related record collections! The details of the cost and how to obtain the CD can be found in the aforementioned article. [9/10]

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends "60's Sessions" by Session 60 to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO & Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, The Move, The Idle Race, The Beatles, 'Brum Beat' and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 20-June-2009

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

YOURS TRULY ISRAEL 2009

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Some nice footage of the recent twin gigs in Israel by The Orchestra [former members of ELO & ELO Part II] performing ELO's Greatest Hits live have just surfaced on YouTube thus:

You can also check out my ELO BEATLES FOREVER [ELOBF] @ YouTube, which also has the aforementioned clip on it as a 'favourite'. Also, you may also notice related Israel clips are also available for viewing as you watch the initial footage. Enjoy the show folks!

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

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

VIDEO VAULT: THE GREAT ELO MYSTERY

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! I was neither old enough or lucky enough to ever see an ELO concert with Jeff Lynne in the line-up. So when I picked up a copy down in Weston-Super-Mare of a copy of The Daily Mirror one day back in April 1991 and saw an advert for not only a new ELO single ~ "Honest Men" ~ and album but also a UK tour together with the Moscow Symphony Orchestra [MSO], I was thrilled.

I do remember going to the gig at the NEC in Birmingham on Tuesday 28th May 1991 and being totally enthralled with hearing ELO's [old and new] music live and for the first time ever and with the full backing of an eighty [80] piece orchestra too. Yours Truly KJS also remembers watching highlight of the concert on ITV that year and also buying this video of concert highlights released by Telstar Video Entertainment [#TVE1037]:
Well overdue a DVD release: ELO Part II live with The Moscow Symphony Orchestra [1991] ...
There are not that many official ELO/ELO Part II concerts video &/or DVD releases about. To my knowledge; besides the above ELO2/MSO release; there is the "Fusion" video [Pickwick; #PTR2152], multiple re-packages of the "Out Of The Blue" 1978 'spaceship' charity concert [the one introduced by Tony Curtis], the "Discovery" promotional film, the ELO Part II "Access All Areas" rockumentary [1997] and, of course, the "Zoom Tour Live" DVD [2001].
The best-selling "Zoom Tour Live"DVD [2001] ...
I have never understood why we have never seen a definitive ELO music video collection released by Sony or that fantastic concert with the Moscow Symphony Orchestra released on DVD [Telstar went bust and I don't know who currently holds the rights to that recording]. It seems to this writer that the ELO video and/or DVD back catalogue is threadbare compared to their other media releases. They must hold the record for the most audio compilations released - beating even The Beatles and Elvis! Besides looking forward to seeing a full '"Secret Messages" release in its originally intended format ~ including "Beatles Forever" [of course!] ~ I like to think that it would be worth lobbying Sony for a video hits release and also investigating what happened to the ownership of the Telstar/ELO II concert video.

"Do Ya" agree with me? Do you have anything to add to this discussion? Or am I a seventies refugee anorak on the wrong side of 40? Answers on a postcard? Most probably ...
Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] universe ... KJS ... 16-June-2009

Thursday, 11 June 2009

ALL MUSIC AND LYRICS BY JEFF LYNNE

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! There are two [2] pieces of Jeff Lynne's ELO lyrical prose that have always made my hair stand on end whenever Yours Truly KJS has heard them. For some reason, these words from 1974's "Eldorado Overture" and 1981's "Prologue" really resonated with me as young person [and they still do]:
Eldorado Overture
The dreamer, the unworken fool,
In dreams, no pain will kiss the brow,
The love of ages fills the head,
The days that linger there in prey of emptiness,
Of burned out dreams,
The minutes calling through the years,
The universal dreamer rises up above his earthly burden,
Journey to the dead of night,
High on a hill in Eldorado ...

Prologue
Just on the border of your waking mind,
There lies ... another time,
Where darkness & light are one,
And as you tread the halls of sanity,
You feel so glad to be,
Unable to go beyond,
I have a message,
From another time ...
A lot a people rightly laud the musical genius of Jeff Lynne. But I have to admit that as a boy and a young man, dare I say it - a teenager, I was always inspired and a huge fan of the lyrics employed by Jeff Lynne in not a few of his ELO song compositions. There was something that caught my imagination with ELO's two amazing concept albums "Eldorado" and "Time" - especially these two opening tracks. I wonder, was it the same for you?
Until next time in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 11-June-2009

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

PRODUCED BY JEFF LYNNE: FAR [Regina Spektor]

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Yours Truly KJS is pretty sure that regular visitors to ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] will be aware by now that the new Regina Spektor album "Far" will be released on Monday 22nd June 2009 via Sire  Records.

"Far" will feature four [4] songs produced by Jeff Lynne - plus an extra bonus track if you go for the Special Digipak EditionThe five [5] tracks found on "Far" of special interest to fans of ELO & Jeff Lynne will be: "Blue Lips", "Folding Chair", "Genius Next Door""Wallet" and "The Sword & The Pen" [Bonus]
Regina Spektor also talked about "Far" and working with Jeff Lynne during this recent interview for Rolling Stone Magazine thus:
RS: It’s amazing that you got Jeff Lynne. Your manager said it was the last Tom Petty record that got you hooked on Jeff Lynne?
Regina: Yeah, I love Highway Companion. I just remembered his name from the CD jacket. “Oh, that guy’s got to be really good, that sounds awesome.” Everyone’s like, “Yeah, he’s also done some other things…” He’s really amazing, really kind, and it was awesome working with him. I loved the whole atmosphere that he made because it was at his home, and he’s just so talented, it’s crazy. Everything in that house is sort of magical, because he is who he is. So I would pick up an instrument and he’d say, “Oh yeah, George Harrison gave that to me. Step away from the banjo, lady.” But it’s really cool, and he has his own way of seeing sounds, I guess, or hearing things. He’s such an amazing writer and musician as well as a producer. I think he came to production just because he wanted his music to sound a certain way. So in that way, it’s very unique, because he’s a musician first.
RS: I’m sure there’s random people coming through to visit him?
Regina: Well, we were kind of serious in our work, so we did have this really amazing friend of his help me a lot on the record, whose name is Mark Mann. He’s a film score composer, and he does a lot of things with Danny Elfman and stuff like that, but he had these really cool orchestra samples and all kinds of really amazing things to play with, and it was really fun listening to him and watching him orchestrate. I’ve been so hands-on with things that it’s really fun for me to just let go a little bit, and kind of allow people to be who they are and show me things as opposed to being like, “It’s my music!” I think that was cool. It’s exciting, because he had a box arrive, and it would be a case of beer from Paul McCartney, who makes his own beer, or something. Fun things like that. For me, it’s the art that’s the most fun. People are nice, but watching something be made, that’s really cool.

REVIEW: FAR [Regina Spektor]

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 ... 10-June-2009

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

RECOMMENDED: 60's SESSIONS [Session 60]

Session 60 [L-R]: Chris Tew, Tim Bellamy [Drums], Kelly Groucutt and Bob Blair ...
Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! One of the most memorable and warmest of contributions during An Evening Without Kelly Groucutt was that of Chris Tew, an original member of Kelly and Mik's band OrKestra who also played with him in Session 60. Kelly recorded one of his final [and best] tracks in "Sleepless Night" at Chris' studio in 2007 and it was premiered on that emotional May evening to rapturous applause.
Yours Truly KJS has discovered, courtesy of Jane Wilkinson's Orchestra Summer Newsletter, that it is now possible to purchase the Session 60 CD album "60's Sessions" [featuring vocals by Kelly Groucutt] for just £12.00 [including P+P] directly from Chris thus: Chris Tew, 18 College Close, Brinklow, Rugby, Warwickshire, CV23 0NTCheques should be made payable to Chris TewYou can also email Chris directly for further information at info@christew.co.uk

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends "60's Sessions" by Session 60 to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO & Jeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle RaceThe Beatles'Brum Beat' and related artistes.

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