I got an interesting e-mail telling me to check out the Rolling Stone review of the Traveling Wilburys Collection. Rob Sheffield gave it two stars and started tearing into Jeff Lynne's production.
Mind you, I don't know Rob Sheffield from Adam, but I suspect he's an old school rock 'n' roll kind of guy. Clearly, he'll never let Jeff Lynne off the hook for using synthesizers in ELO. He didn't quite grasp that the Wilbury records were made much more organically than he's led himself to believe.
What can I say?? Some people hear a keyboard sound on a rock record and that's all they hear. Others, on the other hand, hear the keyboard/synthesizer or whatever as one element among many others in a song. Call me crazy, but...
But, "...Lynne got work because he was a nice bloke with zero ego..."?? Mind you, I don't know Jeff Lynne from Adam, but I strongly suspect that in 1988, after just having a Top 20 record with ELO, and a successful collaboration with George Harrison (a #1 hit single included), his ego was anything but zero. He may want to re-research his legends.
So, Mr. Sheffield is, of course, entitled to his opinions, however misguided and boneheaded they are. It's just a shame such an unfair assessment of the Wilburys set is in a such a high-profile place.
But as far as the rest of us are concerned, we can take comfort in knowing that Rob Sheffield is clearly in the minority on this one.