Monday, 31 December 2012

YOURS TRULY 2012: A YEAR IN REVIEW

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! What a year 2012 has been for ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF]. This is the 186th ELOBF blog of 2012 and first of all I would like to thank each and every visitor for taking the time to check out my writings and musings. 2012 was a year of many varied activities. Interviews, Reviews, Recommendations and [of course] gigs!

Undoubtedly the major theme of 2012 was the release of the first new Joe Walsh and Jeff Lynne solo albums for over two [2] decades in "Analog Man"; "Long Wave" and "Mr. Blue Sky: The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra"- with ELOBF being amongst the first outlets to announce details of the track listings [and artwork] for those Jeff Lynne releases. But there were plenty of other happenings in the: ELOBF universe in 2012 too.

The year 2012 also saw over 50,000 visitors to ELOBF - sending to total number of hits past the 100,000 mark to over 125,000 at the time of writing. I've been absolutely astonished at the growth of ELOBF this year. 2012 also saw the conclusion of the Mike Edwards case as well as the news that The Orchestra [former members of ELO & ELO Part II] were returning to the UK for live dates in 2013 after a four year break. ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] has also continued to work with Hamilton Radio and has also continued to endorse independent local, national and international artistes as I see fit. Here is a brief summary of my activity with: ELOBF in 2012, for our perusal:

INTERVIEWS:
Pete Haycock [Climax Blues Band; ELO Part II]; Spencer Hannabuss [The 286]; Dave Collison [The Trembling Wilburys]; Bev Bevan [The Move; ELO; ELO Part II]; David Myhr; Gary Frenay [The Flashcubes]; Thomas Walsh [Pugwash]

REVIEWS:
"Beauty In Chaos" [Fay & Latta]; "All The Good Friends" [Red Shoes]; "Splash" [Kracked Earth]; "Across The Divide" [Dave Scott-Morgan]; "Return To Paradise" [Fragile X]; "Long Wave"; "Mr. Blue Sky: The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra" and: "Mr. Blue Sky: The Story Of Jeff Lynne & ELO" [Jeff Lynne]; BGO II [Bubble Gum Orchestra]; "The Lost Broadcasts" and: "Live At The Fillmore 1969" [The Move]; "On The Green Seventy Seen" [Cult of Wedge]; "Analog Man" [Joe Walsh]; "Sportin' Wood" [The Flashcubes]; "Soundshine" [David Myhr]; "One Tree Less" [Judie Tzuke]; The Debra Dee Exhibition of Roy Wood Art.

RECOMMENDED:
Made In Brum; Red Shoes; Steve Gibbons Band; Desperado; Brewood Music Festival; Duckworth Lewis Method; Vegas With Randolph; Vinnie Zummo; Apology None; Ivory Tower Project; The Flashcubes; Bates McBain; River City Portrait

CAUGHT LIVE:
The ELO Experience; Band On The Runn; Paul Parker & All The Right Friends; The Cohen Brothers; Bates McBain; "Brewood Music Festival"; The Abbey Road Experience; Desperado; Judie Tzuke; Pugwash

Many thanx go to my concert cohort: Chris 'July 2nd 1644' Evans. I've also enjoyed meeting up with folks like: Paul Richardson; Pete Dicks; Peter March; Debbie Richardson; Geoff Cook; Martin Kinch; Tony Kelsey; Jeff Cooper; Tilly Bates; Craig Whale; Adam Willetts; Ian Hammond; Ken Latta; Deb Chabotte and Jim Hoban amongst not a few others!

So, as you can see, it has been a great year and 2013 looks like being busy too. More interviews, more Reviews and even more gigs! Once again I truly thank you for your support and wish you a Happy, Peaceful, Prosperous and ELO-tastic New Year!

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 31-Dec-2012

Friday, 28 December 2012

NOW AVAILABLE: ACROSS THE DIVIDE [Morgan]

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! A nice arrival in the post-Christmas postbag this morning was the Digipak CD release of the excellent new album "Across The Divide" by Morgan a.k.a. Dave Scott-Morgan [#GDR2012] - which was originally released via download in November.

RECOMMENDED: ACROSS THE DIVIDE [Dave Scott-Morgan]
REVIEW: ACROSS THE DIVIDE [Dave Scott-Morgan]

You may recall that Yours Truly KJS and ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommended and reviewed "Across The Divide" - which also features fellow former ELO member Martin Smith as well as Tony Kelsey - earlier this year. You can read those two [2] articles by clicking on the above links. You may also see that the guitar in the artwork has the word "JET" written upon it and that's definitely "Something" to ask Dave about during a future ELOBF interview me thinx! You can buy "Across The Divide" either in digital format [for $9.99] and/or CD format [for £8.99] via the official Dave Scott-Morgan web site thus:


ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends "Across The Divide" by Morgan 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-Dec-2012

Sunday, 23 December 2012

LONG WAVE & MR. BLUE SKY TO BE RELEASED IN COLOURED VINYL

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Quite by accident, whilst trawling eBay for some ELO and related rarities tonight, Yours Truly KJS has discovered that Frontiers Records appear to be releasing those twin Jeff Lynne releases "Long Wave" and "Mr. Blue Sky: The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra" on white and blue vinyl respectively on Monday January 28th 2013 thus:


But beware, there will only be 1,000 of each LP in coloured vinyl with MBS also being released as a special double album [2LP] on this occasion. This is definitely one for the ELO fan and record collector to get excited about whilst placing their pre-orders. "Long Wave" is priced at £18 [plus £4.00 P+P] and "Mr. Blue Sky" at £20.00 [plus £4.00 P+P] with the above eBay vendor

Both albums are listed by Plastic Head at the price of £16.99 and £18.50 each for "Long Wave" and "Mr. Blue Sky" respectively thus:

Both albums are also listed by amazon.com for pre-ordering thus:

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] is sure that these interesting 'new' releases will also be available for pre-order with the likes of amazon.co.uk et al soon.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 23-Dec-2012

Saturday, 22 December 2012

INTERVIEW: PETE HAYCOCK

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! This interview for: ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] with one the world’s greatest exponents of both the Slide and Rhythm guitar: Pete Haycock - founding member of both the: Climax Blues Band and the: Electric Light Orchestra Part Two - owes much to Deb Chabotte and the: Pete Haycock Appreciation Society hence I am truly thankful for their assistance in putting this interview together.

KJS: First things first, Pete. Who were the musical heroes that inspired your early career steps?
PH: My first influences were The Shadows, then a little later, Blues artists like Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley, Otis Rush, Jimmy Reed and B.B. King.
KJS: How and where did you meet up with Derek Holt, Colin Cooper and the gentlemen who founded firstly The Climax Chicago Blues Band, later to be the Climax Blues Band [CBB]? 
PH: At the age of 14, I already had my own Blues based band called 'Mason Dixon Line'. We were supporting groups like the Graham Bond Organisation and other well known groups, when they came to my home town of Stafford. Colin Cooper, who was considerably older than myself, eventually approached me to join his 'Gospel Truth' soul band. Eventually, this band came to nothing so I suggested we played the Blues again - using my original drummer from 'Mason Dixon Line' - George Newsome - and Arthur Wood from 'Gospel Truth'. This band eventually became the 'Climax Chicago Blues Band'.
KJS: You were with the CBB for seventeen [17] years through many albums and changes in personnel. The band was a fixture on the live circuit on both sides of the Atlantic and enjoyed notable chart success particularly in the latter. But what were your personal highlights of those years with the CBB? 
PH: My highlights were [a] playing Carnegie Hall in New York as second on the bill to Albert King, with T-Bone Walker opening the show and [b] having a real 'hit' with "Couldn't Get It Right", a song that I wrote 80% of ... despite the equal split of the publishing income eventually with all the other band members.
KJS: You left the CBB back in ’85 ... What projects did you work on in the intervening years before you joined ELO Part II in 1990?
PH: After leaving the CBB, I recorded solo albums and the 'follow-up' to the last Climax Blues Band album entitled: 'Pete Haycock's Climax'; I also began work on: "Guitar & Son", an instrumental album for Miles Copeland's 'No Speak' label, and toured Australia and the Far East with my own 'Pete Haycock's Climax Band'. Parallel to this, I was working with composers like Hans Zimmer for "Thelma & Louise" and other movie projects.
KJS: How was Pete Haycock persuaded to join Bev Bevan in re-launching ELO as Part Two? What appealed to you about the project at that time?
PH: Bev Bevan called me personally and said he remembered playing with Climax Blues Band as ELO support in the 70's. I said I would be interested in joining his new band, but only if I did not have to 'replace' Jeff Lynne. He agreed and my job became lead guitarist,  with Eric [Troyer] and Neil [Lockwood] doing most of the lead vocals.
KJS: Personally, I really rate the songs you co-wrote with Bev for the debut ELO Part Two album: “Once Upon A Time”, “Heartbreaker” and particularly “Easy Street” [not forgetting “Love For Sale”]. Did you adapt your song writing style for Part Two or was it the same as with the Climax Blue Band? 
PH: Of course, I had to bear in mind that I was now writing for a new ELO project but I adapted my style as a composer only so far as to accommodate Bev's lyrics. The demos for these songs were made in my own home studio [including myself playing synthesized strings, which were largely just copied by Lou Clark eventually for a real orchestra to play].
KJS: How did you find it playing all those Jeff Lynne penned songs live?
PH: I was more impressed by Jeff's writing the more that I played those songs. He was a true innovator despite the comparisons with Lennon and McCartney.
KJS: And what was it like performing with the 80-piece Moscow Symphony Orchestra backing you? Was that indeed your personal highlight while you were with the band or was there something else?
PH: I would say that it was a highlight indeed!
KJS: I saw you perform with ELO Part II a few times, at the NEC [twice] and the London Hammersmith Odeon. You, Eric and Neil seemed to blend effortlessly with Kelly, Lou, Mik, Hugh and Bev. What are your abiding memories of the much-missed Kelly Groucutt and the other band members?
PH: I enjoyed my time with those guys very much indeed. As for Kelly, he was a lovely, down to earth lad, albeit sadly with a slight chip on his shoulder due to his being used somewhat badly by the band earlier. He was a fellow "Black Country" Midlands bloke - just like me - and we were good friends, almost from 'day one'. I can't really believe that he has gone. Bless him!
KJS: I have to ask this question too. How did you find Don Arden to deal with back in the day?
PH: Don Arden was an old fashioned, arrogant old slob in my humble opinion. His attempts at behaving like a 'Godfather' were laughable. His bad treatment of many people including myself, but also several important business contacts who had invested much time and money in the bands future, led to heartbreak and business disappointment. This came to a head when Don started to demand silly money for the band to play very important promotional TV shows in Europe. I know of at least one company who eventually were bankrupted thanks to his greed and stupidity. I would estimate that he alone caused the failure of ELO Part II.
KJS: You left Part Two in 1992. Please tell me how you came to begin a successful career in score writing for film soundtracks?
PH: I had already been working on Film and TV music. I had played on film scores for Stewart Copeland and Hans Zimmer during the period when Bev and I were first working together on ELO Part II.
KJS: Will you be bringing ‘Pete Haycock’s True Blues Live’ back to UK shores soon?
PH: I doubt it. The band no longer exists as such. Let us see.
KJS: How can your long time admirers in the ELO fan base find out what you are up to now and in future days?
PH: Maybe check with www.petehaycock.com?
KJS: Now finally, here is the question that I always ask next when interviewing for ELO Beatles Forever. What are your personal favourite ELO and Beatles tracks, and why? 
PH: What a silly question! "Telephone Line" is a nice production and has a fine, soulful lyric. As for The Beatles, there are way too many highlights to choose one song.
KJS: I would like to take this opportunity to thank you Pete for taking part in this interview for ELO Beatles Forever.
PH: Thank you, Keith!

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends Pete Haycock - his projects and collaborations - to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELOJeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 22-Dec-2012

Thursday, 20 December 2012

REVIEW: BEAUTY IN CHAOS [Fay & Latta]


Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Back in May 2011, Yours Truly KJS reviewed "The View From Here", the excellent debut album by Fay & Latta for ELOBF. This talented acoustic duo, who are based in West Yorkshire, have just released their second album entitled "Beauty In Chaos" and it is of special interest to avid ELO fans as it also features virtuoso violinist Mik Kaminski [ELO/Violinski/OrKestra/ELO Part II/BBBV and The Orchestra] on five [5] of the tracks.

In some ways "Beauty In Chaos" carries on where "The View From Here" left off - but that is half of the story. The addition of the sublime strings of Mik Kaminski brings a new edge to the five tracks "Sweet Surrender", "Don't Block Me Out", "Hold On", "Inside Out" and the title track "Beauty In Chaos" with which he assists Anneka Fay [formerly Latta] on Vocals/Piano/Whistles and Tom Fay [Acoustic/Electric Guitars]. Yet, having listened not a few times to this classy and atmospheric release for the last few days, one cannot fail to be impressed by the whole set of  predominantly acoustic songs supplanted by keyboards and, of course, a certain Blue Violin - but captained by the beautiful, clear voice of Anneka [which reminds me very much of Bailey Tzuke] and those thoughtful, pensive lyrics written by the duo.

My personal favourites at the time of writing are "Sweet Surrender", the soaring, moody instrumental "The Little Things That Count", the beautiful "Because Of You" and the grateful "Lucky One" - not forgetting the enigmatic title track and ELOesque "Hold On". [9/10]
This is a really nice thirteen [13] song package which is more than well worth the £6 [plus P+P] outlay. Speaking of which, you can now order "Beauty In Chaos" and /or "The View From Here" from the Fay & Latta official web site thus:


ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends "Beauty In Chaos" by Fay & Latta to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELOJeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes. Go see 'em live - especially if you happen to live in the vicinity of Yorkshire!

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 20-Dec-2012

Sunday, 16 December 2012

UK ALBUM CHART UPDATE [9]


Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! The UK Top 100 Album Chart this week saw "Long Wave" by Jeff Lynne once again drop out of said Top 100 [from #99].


On the other hand, Roy Wood and Wizzard have re-entered the UK Top 30 Singles Chart this week at #29 [up from #31] with their classic seasonal hit "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday":
Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 16-Dec-2012

Saturday, 15 December 2012

RECOMMENDED: EDMUND & LEO [Maxi Dunn]

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! One of the artistes who has been featured and recommended by Yours Truly KJS and ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] is Liverpudlian songstress Maxi Dunn. Maxi has just announced that her much anticipated third studio album: "Edmund & Leo" is now available for pre-order at just £9 via her official web site. The album is co-produced by Maxine and fellow ELOBF recommendee Pete Hackett [Cult of Wedge] and, based on the evidence of lead single "Dragonfly", it will be well worth waiting for!

The official release date is at the end of February 2013 but, hopefully, pre-ordered copies could be in your hands before the official release. Maxi's first two albums "Welcome To Soonville" and "The Neglected Gambit" are also available throughout December at the specially discounted price of just £5 each. You may recall that both albums were reviewed in December 2011 by ELOBF thus:

REVIEW: WELCOME TO SOONVILLE/THE NEGLECTED GAMBIT [Maxi Dunn]

In the meantime, why not have a listen to "Dragonfly" and check out the fantastic music at the Maxi Dunn official web site and/or at the Maxi Dunn YouTube channel?

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends "Edmund & Leo" by Maxi Dunn 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 ... 15-Dec-2012

JEFF LYNNE DOCUMENTARY DIGITAL RELEASE CONFIRMED

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] is pleased to confirm that the much anticipated digital release of the acclaimed documentary "Mr. Blue Sky: The Story of Jeff Lynne & ELO" via iTunes will be in but a few days on Tuesday 18th December thus:


There is no official news yet of when the documentary will be released in DVD and/or Blu-Ray format but Yours Truly KJS understands that a physical release is planned.

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends "Mr. Blue Sky: The Story of Jeff Lynne & ELO" to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELOJeff LynneThe MoveRoy WoodThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 15-Dec-2012

Monday, 10 December 2012

PRE-ORDERS SOON FOR JEFF LYNNE DVD?

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Perhaps not unsurprisingly, according to this belated review of "Mr. Blue Sky: The Story of Jeff Lynne and ELO" in The Economist back on 27th November, the acclaimed rockumentary "... will be available for pre-order from iTunes in December 2012 and on DVD in 2013." [end quote]

There seems to be a good working relationship developing between Jeff, his manager Craig Fruin and iTunes as we are again seeing iTunes taking pre-orders in 2012 in advance of a 2013 formal [digital?] release coupled with the four [4] bonus tracks found on their Deluxe edition of the "Mr. Blue Sky" album. Doubtless, full release [and pre-order details] will be published soon ...

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 10-Dec-2012

Sunday, 9 December 2012

UK ALBUM CHART UPDATE [8]


Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! The latest UK Top 100 Album Chart this week sees "Long Wave" by Jeff Lynne slipping down to #99 [from #90] following what is now an impressive two [2] month or nine [9] week chart run.

It is also nice to see Roy Wood and Wizzard re-enter the UK Top 40 Singles Chart at #31 [up from #58] this week with their classic seasonal hit "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday" thus:
Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 09-Dec-2012

Friday, 7 December 2012

SEEKING OUT THE SECOND ELO EP

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! The above listing of ELO collectibles as printed on page #78 of the latest ELO-themed issue of RECORD COLLECTOR magazine makes for some interesting reading. Besides my fascination with "Beatles Forever", I must admit that I have never laid eyes on the [withdrawn] second ELO EP [Jet #ELO2] from the less successful boxed set "Four Light Years" back in 1981 or, from the same period, the rumoured [mythical?] picture sleeve for "The Way Life's Meant To Be" [Jet #JET7021].

Now, returning to the subject in hand, the ultra-rare four [4] track 7" single EP included the tracks "Mr. Blue Sky", "Across The Border", "Telephone Line" and "Don't Bring Me Down". According to the above listing, there are both plain and picture sleeved versions out there somewhere. Yours Truly KJS has to admit that I would love it if a visitor to ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] were to forward a photograph of either or both editions - just to satisfy my curiosity!
The sleeve originally intended for the second ELO EP?
ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends RECORD COLLECTOR magazine 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 ... 07-Dec-2012

Thursday, 6 December 2012

RECORD COLLECTOR #410: COVER STORY: TOM PETTY & JEFF LYNNE

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! The fantastic latest ELO themed edition [#409] of RECORD COLLECTOR magazine has just been published here in the UK with not only extensive, consecutive interviews with both Jeff Lynne and Bev Bevan [pages #70 thru' #82] but also a nice review of: THE MOVE: THE LOST BROADCASTS [page #104].

But hidden away right at the end of the Jeff Lynne article entitled "BLUE SKY THINKING" on page #78 is a teaser for the next issue [see above], which is due for release on Thursday 3rd January 2013. Issue #410 will feature Tom Petty, Jeff [again!] and The Traveling Wilburys and looks like a 'must buy' for the New Year thus:

"In the next issue, out on 3 January: RC talks to Tom Petty, who reveals the inside secrets of Jeff's work as a producer, both for himself and the Wilburys"

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends and endorses RECORD COLLECTOR 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 ... 06-Dec-2012

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

RECORD COLLECTOR #409: COVER STORY: JEFF LYNNE & BEV BEVAN

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! I know what I shall be doing this weekend because I shall be flicking through and reading the December 2012 Christmas edition [#409] of Record Collector magazine  - which is out on Thursday 6th December - with not only a lead article on Jeff Lynne and ELO to study, but also a nice feature with Bev Bevan on the subject of ELO, The Move and Black Sabbath too.

This must be the first time that they have literally been on the same page - or  'together' in the same magazine - for a very long time! Here is an overview of this ELO themed issue:

COVER STORY: ELO: Out Of The Blue: Jeff Lynne on his sudden return; drummer Bev Bevan sticks around for a chat

Record Collector is issued on a monthly basis and is priced at just £4.00 and can also be subscribed to for one [1] year at the discounted annual rate of £46.00 thus:

 recordcollectormag.com/subscription-info

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends Record Collector 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 ... 05-Dec-2012

Sunday, 2 December 2012

UK ALBUM CHART UPDATE [7]


Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! The latest Official UK Top 100 Album Chart this week has indeed seen [as hoped for last week] the return of "Long Wave" by Jeff Lynne at #90 [up from #105 last week]. This may well be due to the extensive airplay this last week of "At Last" and "Mercy Mercy" on not a few UK radio stations. This is all the more remarkable due to the high volume of Christmas themed releases and compilation albums entering the chart at this time of year.


Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 02-Dec-2012