Jeff Lynne, one of rock’s most iconic figures, is returning to make some new waves and shed a little electric light.
The creative force of Electric Light Orchestra and the singularly accomplished singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer will release two albums on October 9 via Frontiers Records: the solo disc Long Wave, a heartfelt and vivid tribute to some of the very songs that originally inspired him, and Mr. Blue Sky – The Very Best of The Electric Light Orchestra.
For the latter album, the British artist has artfully revisited and re-recorded at his home studio in Los Angeles–the greatest hits of Electric Light Orchestra, actually improving on some of the most classic and beloved recordings ever.
The release of Long Wave and Mr. Blue Sky – The Very Best of The Electric Light Orchestra mark the 40th anniversary of ELO. Lynne’s legacy will further be celebrated with releases in 2013 including ELO Live! plus expanded reissues of the ELO’s 2001 album Zoom and Lynne’s first solo album in 1990, Armchair Theater. For up to date info on all things Jeff Lynne and ELO, go here: www.elo.biz.
Long Wave powerfully celebrates the music of a time when Lynne’s lifelong passion for music began, evoking an era back when old standards were just giving way to rock & roll. He somehow makes pre-rock standards like “Bewitched, Bothered And Bewildered,” “Smile” and “Love Is A Many Splendored Many Thing”–along with a few of his favorite gems from the Sixties such as the first single “Mercy, Mercy,” “Let It Rock” and “So Sad”–his own with these loving versions. Lynne’s deeply felt and musically brilliant one-man-band takes add up to an inspired love letter to music itself–and an exquisite reflection of the way songs grace and change our lives.
“I call this new album Long Wave because all of the songs I sing on it are the ones heard on long wave radio when I was a kid growing up in Birmingham, England,” Lynne explains. “These songs take me back to that feeling of freedom in those days and summon up the feeling of first hearing those powerful waves of music coming in on my old crystal set. My dad also had the radio on all the time, so some of these songs have been stuck in my head for 50 years. You can only imagine how great it felt to finally get them out of my head after all these years.”
Mr. Blue Sky – The Very Best of The Electric Light Orchestra is a powerful testament to Lynne’s enduring artistry and his singular desire to get things right once and for all. Featuring such classics as “Evil Woman, “Don’t Bring Me Down,” “Livin’ Thing” and “Mr, Blue Sky,” the result is, in effect, a kind of showdown between Jeff Lynne today and his extremely illustrious past, and thanks to improved technology and recording artistry, Lynne somehow comes out on top again. It’s a fresh chance to hear these extraordinary songs sounding sharper and clearer than the old versions.
“There was a big reason I wanted to re-record these ELO songs,” says Lynne. “When I listen to the old versions they don’t sound the way I thought they did when I first wrote and recorded them. I wanted to use the experience I’ve gained producing records ever since and have a completely new try at them. I’m not saying the old versions aren’t good; I like them very much. We were doing our best, but experience and technology also play a big a big part, and these new ones sound much more solid and tight.”
The album includes a never-before-heard bonus track, “The Point of No Return,” and a very special version of “10538 Overture” that’s a nod to ELO’s 40th anniversary.
The songs that Jeff Lynne wrote and sang–and the recordings that he so expertly arranged and produced for ELO–have endured beautifully and are perhaps even more beloved today than they were back in the Seventies and Eighties. By any standard whatsoever, ELO is one of the most remarkable success stories in rock history. Consider just the facts: ELO has sold over 50 million records worldwide, and continues to be a remarkably popular catalog. Between 1972 and 1986, Lynne wrote and produced 26 Top Forty hits in the United Kingdom, and 20 Top Forty hits in the United States, including 20 Top Twenty smashes in the UK and 15 Top Twenty smashes in the U.S. Even more remarkably, the ELO catalog continues to have tremendous impact, as demonstrated powerfully when the compilation All Over The World: The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra was released in 2005 and became a Top Ten album in a number of international markets including England.
Outside of the success of ELO, Lynne has led a remarkable career that has found him taking the lessons learned leading ELO and using them to help produce and collaborate with many of the greatest musical artists of all time, including a number of LYNNE’s all-time heroes including Roy Orbison, Del Shannon, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and remarkably, even the Beatles themselves, as well as contemporaries like Tom Petty and Joe Walsh, whose new album Analog Man Lynne recently helped produce. Together with Harrison, Orbison, Petty and Bob Dylan, LYNNE was, of course, a member of the Grammy award-winning Traveling Wilburys–a super group like no other.
Here are the track listings for Long Wave and Mr. Blue Sky – The Very Best of The Electric Light Orchestra:
2. If I Loved You
3. So Sad
4. Mercy, Mercy
5. Running Scared
6. Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered
8. At Last
9. Love Is A Many Splendored Thing
10. Let It Rock
11. Beyond The Sea
Mr. Blue Sky – The Very Best of The Electric Light Orchestra
1. Mr. Blue Sky
2. Evil Woman
3. Strange Magic
4. Don’t Bring Me Down
5. Turn To Stone
7. Telephone Line
8. Livin’ Thing
9. Do Ya
10. Can’t Get It Out Of My Head
11. 10538 Overture
12. The Point of No Return