Well, 2005 turned out to be a dud for ELO and related fans. Other than 20 re-packaged songs, one honest to goodness remaster, and a decent Harvest Records sampler, it's been pretty quiet. OK, it's nice that ELO songs appeared in numerous TV commercials in the past year and now a UK Tour is on with a band whose name could only have been conceived by lawyers. But at least, ELOPTFM will keep the torch going.
Now we look ahead to 2006, which is the 35th Anniversary of ELO's first LP release, and hopefully that will be reason enough to jumpstart the long overdue sound restoration of ELO's CD catalog. Projects like these tend to get released because of an occasion, not because they're "done." An enormous chunk of the 70's and 80's biggest bands have remastered catalogs now. And for a band that was all about the sound, you'd think this would be completely obvious. Instead, 8 of the bands' 14 original LPs are still left in the dust... and one is even unavailable. Yes, Zoom will turn 5 this year.
And remember, some people were willing to fork over more than $6,000 for a Secret Messages double album acetate (which by the way wasn't even the whole album)... clearly illustrating how popular a restored 18 track original Secret Messages line-up CD would be for fans. What if it was released as a limited fan-club edition? I wonder who won that auction anyway...
iTunes is currently offering 4 ELO videos to buy and download... great news. But if we can buy videos from the later years easily, plus with Discovery videos in wide circulation, and earlier videos previously available on a Telstar VHS collection, why isn't a DVD release of ELO videos on the table? But hey, if I can buy and download videos even for a two-inch screen, I'll take my little 2-inch victories where I can get them.
Without question, though, the biggest 2006 excitement for me (so far) will be the new Tom Petty album, Highway Companion, in which one of its songs is already in a position to win a Grammy even before the album comes out.
There are seemingly so many projects waiting in line for a green light, I'm keeping my fingers crossed something will. I don't know about you, but I've taken a break from ELO listening for the most part (current CD playing being the exception) but if and when the ELO remasters get unleashed, it will rejuve my excitement for this music again... it's been 5 years since the last ignition.
So, what's on your 2006 wish list?