Friday, July 29, 2005


What a way to start a Friday: reading good news (Hat tip: Bryan Crain).  Rolling is reporting that Jeff Lynne is producing the new Tom Petty (solo) album due out later this year or early next.  Of all of the incredible people Jeff has collaborated with over the years, his Tom Petty collaborations have yielded some of his strongest material.  To me, it's always been a perfect blending of two great musical minds and I always hoped they would work together again.

Tom is enjoying a rather successful concert tour and playing one of his new songs, "Turn This Car Around."  I missed the tour when it came to the Philly area, but a friend and co-worker who did go, loved it.


Someone on the Showdown list spotted a new DJ mix with ELO on the net.  While these mixes generally meet with mixed results, (by mixed, I'm thinking about the appalling mashing of ELO and the Scissor Sisters tracks) this one is actually pretty good. It crossed Pink's Get Thie Party Started with ELO's Don't Bring Me Down.   Here's the link... use IE to download... AOL Media player only lets you listen.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


The news page has some pre-order links for the remastered and expanded edition of  Message From The Country and a new Harvest Sampler CD.  Face The Music Online may be offering both discs together as one deal.  Stay tuned.


FTM is revealing that ELO's Zoom from 2001 may be re-released as an expanded edition.  I haven't been able to find one in any (new) CD shop recently, nor is it available in the Sony Online Music Store along with every other ELO album.  Apparently, Epic Records handed over ownership of Zoom back to Jeff Lynne.

Remember, Jeff said in his interviews for Zoom that finished 18 songs.  We've seen 14 so far.

Monday, July 25, 2005


While browsing a CD store in Mexico, I saw Mexico's own pressing of All Over The World: The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra.  Mexico generally has USA imports in their stores, but this was an exception. If you're building an All Over The World collection, here a link from

It features the same 20 track listing from the UK version with some slightly different markings.


While on holiday in Mexico I was reading the Showdown List and saw the frustration and anger is showing on various topics.  I added this last gripe about "Future ELO" on the Showdown List:

Subject: Radio 2 Doc - STOP MOANING!

Just to clarify (at least my) current frustration, I understand it's important to be patient.  Really I do.  And part of my anger may even be directed (dare I say) at Jeff.  From what I've read or heard, my impression is he doesn't like releasing news about anything concerning his music or projects until it's absolutely necessary.  Could that explain why any suggestion of ELO releases is re-written on the FTM site?

But after, say, 4 years of patience, The All Over The World CD (and subsequent Radio 2 doc) was presented as the beginning of ELO releases throughout 2005-2006, whatever that meant.  I don't know about you, but I was ecstatic at whatever it is/was.

I have a great deal of respect for Rob and Lynn and Ken and everyone else we don't know behind the scenes.   Their jobs certainly can't be a breeze.  By that same token, though, I don't believe anyone is beyond a little constructive criticism… however well received it is.

We just have to keep playing nice in the sandbox.  ;-)

As much as the words "coming soon" drive me crazy, my only real criticism of Rob here is his preview of the Radio 2 doc.  You can't tease what's new for ELO in 2005 when the answer is "I'm not sure yet."  When you couple that all suggestion of future ELO releases being erased from the FTM opening pages, news and bio sections, how else are we (as fans) supposed to interpret that?

That knee-jerk-worse-case-scenario reaction that we all know so well kicks in, so the fans reaction should not be surprising at all.  It's much different when you're on the receiving end of ELO news and you don't have the inside info on that what's happening now. 

So, after all this, I'll go back to be hopeful again.  It helps when you're on holiday in Mexico.  ;-)

Thursday, July 14, 2005


Was the BBC documentary a good overview of ELO?  For argument sake, let's say yes.  It was fine.

But why another Greatest Hits CD now?  Why raise the band's public profile again now if there's nothing in it for the fans?  The attention span of the record buying public is maybe a few weeks at best.  The public will file the CD away with all the others once they've gotten their ELO fill.  So unless there's an on-going campaign with further ELO releases for everyone to enjoy, what's the point to All Over The World? Why would the general public care enough to buy ELO comps over and over again?  To the general public, the comp CDs out there now have done just fine.  Again, precious time and energy seems wasted.  Meanwhile, the fans who have always got enjoyment out of those songs for so many years, and hope rare or unreleased tracks or a new album get released, are left with essentially nothing.  The real people who make the real investment into the band are stranded again. 

Oh, right.  But, the general public is all that matters.

Does Jeff owe us anything?  No and that's not the point.  The point is we had clear and almost concise implications that ELO releases of some kind were eminent.  That meant there was a plan in place.  Did that mean remasters?  Did that mean a new album?  I don't know.  I just can't imagine it could have been another greatest hits compilation. (or could it?) 

 I think at the very least having a remastered catalog (especially for a band whose sound provokes such a love/hate relationship) is basic record company obligation. They don't have to press a half million of each remaster.   But now, there doesn't seem to be a plan anymore and that's what the fans are disappointed at.  Sorry, that's the way it appears when you read there's a plan and then all of a sudden, you can't read about the plan anymore.  And since worst case scenario has happened over and over again in the past, nobody can expect fans to just say "Oh well" this time.

To the dilemma of whether we should hear about "plans"... I love to hear about plans and I hope it continues.  But this time, it was all in the presentation of AOTW.  It sounded like a done deal.

Pick up an ICE magazine or surf and read the list of catalog re-issues coming out.  The more you read, the more you'll be baffled at how ELO is (and always was) kicked to the curb.

Friday, July 8, 2005


Hate to be a negative Nancy again.  I'm told that after an ELO article was teased in Record Collector Magazine's July issue, the August issue has nothing on the band at all.  Another sign that things must have derailed rather recently.


I'd like to echo the sentiments of many of us in the USA who are watching the events in London unfold.  Our hearts go out to all of you and hopefully at worst, you are only mildly inconvenienced by those as*holes, not tragically affected.  Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

Thursday, July 7, 2005


The Sony Music Store is taking pre-orders for the USA version of All Over The World.  For now, it's listed with the same track list as the UK and scheduled to be released August 2.

Wednesday, July 6, 2005


Having slept on it... and reading various reactions on the Showdown list, I'm holding my position on being extremely disappointed with the new BBC documentary about ELO.

#1- Mr. Blue Sky - The Jeff Lynne Story from 2001 (again BBC Radio 2) was far and away a superior show.  Jeff showed much more of his personality and at times gave me a good chuckle especially when he talked about how an ELO member's hydrallic lift failed and left with the member's head was sticking out of the floor during a live show.  Or Tom Petty talking about getting Roy Orbison to join the Wilburys.

#2 - We were given the distinct impression that we'd hear "some good news" concerning Jeff.  Yes, plans change and maybe things aren't ready yet.  That could be a factor of why the show was pushed back from June 25.  But the impression I'm getting (as well as others) is one of outward frustration.  Given Jeff's cryptic answer to "what's next" and the virtual re-writing of a few key FTM pages that erase any mention of ELO remasters and other 2005-2006 planned releases, you can't expect a fan to be optimistic.  We only have future ELO surprises, which has historically meant nothing.

This isn't all meant to harshly criticize the people behind the scenes because their job can't be easy.  The few things that have materialized in the last 5 years have been fine items for the most part.  It's exciting to hear about what's actually going on behind the scenes, but this time it raised expectations too high.  In return, fans helped send a compilation CD they didn't need into the charts and sit through a completely overhyped radio documentary.

Tuesday, July 5, 2005


Well, all of that excitement has built up for weeks following the release and chart success of the All Over The World comp CD.  Many of us were waiting with bated breath for the end of Face The Music - The ELO Story to get some kind of update on what Jeff's up to now.

Turns out, the program's end could not have been any more anti-climatic.  Despite what sounded like tons of news pending, Jeff's answer to ELO in 2005 was "I'm not sure yet."  No talk of Greatest Hits Live, no talk of whatever became of his plans to launch a record label and new official web site, no talk of remasters, no talk of producing others, no talk of anything (besides the story behind the name ELO) that was informally teased on the Showdown List and certainly no talk of a new album or tour. Nothing. 

In fact, the only pleasant surprise was hearing "Hello My Old Friend."   I honestly thought there'd be some shred of news coming from this program.

Unless there's news of a release an actual fan would enjoy, it sounds like all of us who have hung in there for this long are back at Square 1... again.  What a complete and utter disappointment.

You'll notice that even the slightest suggestion of planned ELO releases or remasters has been taken off of Face The Music Online.  That is not a good sign at all.