Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Two items from The Move coming up in March.

First, in the UK, The Very Best of The Move is out March 2 from Salvo.  Amazon and have pre-orders already.  FTM will likely follow. Like the new box set, its content is translabel, Harvest included... but in a slipcase? reads the track list as:

  1. Flowers In The Rain
  2. Blackberry Way
  3. I Can Hear The Gras Grow
  4. Night Of Fear
  5. California Man
  6. Fire Brigade
  7. Omnibus
  8. Beautiful Daughter
  9. When Alice Comes Back To The Farm
  10. Curly
  11. Tonight
  12. Don't Throw Stones At Me
  13. (Here We Go Round) The Lemon Tree
  14. It'll Be Me (Live At The Marquee)
  15. Do Ya
  16. Cherry Blossom Clinic
  17. Disturbance
  18. Hello Susie (Abridged)
  19. Wild Tiger Woman
  20. Piece Of My Heart (Live At The Marquee)
  21. Wave The Flag And Stop The Train
  22. Chinatown
  23. Useless Information
  24. Brontosaurus
  25. Move

Secondly, Musictap is reporting on its January 28 post that Shout! Factory is putting out a Very Best of The Move on March 17.  No further info or track list for this one yet and no word on whether it's related to the Salvo relelase at all.

Monday, January 19, 2009


Sadly, it's been a while since we could hear anything other than a pin drop in the ELO and related world.  But there's two small items floating about (outside of the recent re-make of Mr. Blue Sky turning up yet again, this time in Paul Blart: Mall Cop)...

ELO's videos are now available in higher quality (larger files) versions from the iTunes store, but in the ass-backwards tradition of the digital age so far, Here Is The News is not one of them yet.  Go figure.  Look for the items that say iTunes Plus.

And secondly, Out of the Blue is coming out on BluSpec this week in Japan, and we got our first peek as to what it looks like.

Back to hearing crickets chirp.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


I'm trying to form an opinion on the new Blu-Spec format.  Discovery is the first ELO CD to undergo this treatment with Out of the Blue to follow later this month.

I really want to learn what constitutes the "best sound" possible.  But then the argument over analog's warmness over digital's clarity ensues and I'm not sure what to think.  I tend to prefer digital's clarity especially if we're talking remastered CDs.

So here we are with Discovery.  I tried side by side comparisons two ways: 1) over the stereo speakers using a Blu Ray player coax connection vs. the CD player analog connection and 2) over the iPod using uncompressed AIFF files.

On the loudpeakers, the original remastered CD sounded louder and a bit harsher (but OK) compared to the Blu-spec.  The high end seems reined in a bit on Blu Spec and one can assume when that happens you can hear the finer details in between.

On the iPod, the only major difference I can detect (using Little Town Flirt as an example) was a fuller bottom.  Again, the highest parts are solidly there but more controlled. It all didn't seem that much more "stable" but in the end, I would give the Blu-spec a slight edge.  

I suspect since it's the same master used for both discs, the difference won't be that much for most people.  As much as I'd like to spend thousands of dollars in upscale audio equipment, I can't.  But I'd still be eager to learn what makes something sound great.  How can you tell if you have a good ear and how can you train it to be better?

So, long story short: the more picky you are about the sound of the music you listen to, the more a Blu-spec CD may a fit for you.  Otherwise, the remastered CD will suit the non-picky just fine.

Friday, January 2, 2009


I hope everyone had a terrific new year.

Time, though, for the annual look at some of the projects/releases/whatever that is currently waiting in the wings/rumored/wished/etc.  And the list seems to have gotten replenished since some of the items on past lists (most notably the Move and Traveling Wilburys remasters) came to fruition in 2007-2008.

  • A documentary on George Harrison.  Martin Scorsese is reportedly still compiling this but I can't imagine this won't involve Jeff Lynne on some level.
  • Traveling Wilburys. A book from Genesis Publications is apparently not off the table yet.  If you want one, I recommend saving your pennies now.  Books from Genesis Publications are very expensive. 
  • has been promoted on ELO CD releases as early as April 2003 and as late as March 2007.  There has been only a generic greeting page since its first mention almost 5 years ago.  But this is apparently still going to happen.
  • Would somebody please give Rossif Sutherland a record contract??!  For those who don't know, Jeff Lynne produced and played on These Words and two other yet to be revealed tracks.
  • Joe Walsh revealed to a newspaper that he has been recording with Jeff Lynne.  Whether the fruits of that labor will be seen this year or not is any one's guess.
  • Jeff Lynne's last album of his own material will be 8 years old this year.
  • Armchair Theatre remastered and expanded.  Jeff Lynne's solo album from 1990 is awaiting a release date.  As is ELO's Greatest Hits Live.  So says FTM.  Next year will mark Armchair Theatre's 20th Anniversary, so they will at least have an occasion.
  • Into The Mysterious.  This 2CD set of solo/former ELO members and related tracks sounded already released or at least imminent from Sanctuary Records when it was mentioned on Clog Dance: The Very Best of Violinski in 2007.   Barely a word on it since then.
  • Electric Light Orchestra.  Well, 2008 marked the 25th anniversary of Secret Messages and it went pretty much unnoticed.  Why should this remaster be revisited, revised and re-released? (and is this the 40th time I've written about this?) In simple terms, Out of the Blue may be ELO's magnum opus with the masses.  But Secret Messages is a way more interesting record, ripe with mythology, mystery, fun facts about its recording, a rather daring group of songs and apparently alternate session material/mixes out the wazoo.  There is still one completely unreleased title that has been the topic of ELO conversations among hardcore fans for over two decades.  Three songs from the original 2LP planned release (which turned up on Afterglow in 1990) need the remastered treatment. And scores of fans, many of whom I've talked to over the years, flat out prefer Secret Messages over Out of The Blue.  Will any of this matter in the end?  Probably not.  But for me, a well thought-out 2CD set of the original (2LP) Secret Messages album and engaging session material/mixes is at the top of my wish list.
  • Secret Messages is the tip of the iceberg, though.  Long Beach, Xanadu, Zoom, Discovery, Eldorado and Time could all stand to be upgraded.
  • An ELO singles box has been in the pipeline recently with FTM revealing the possibility it could spread out over three box sets.

Given that Sony/BMG seems more worried about wasting their energy with the same stuff over and over again, I predict there will be a 2CD release in 2009 that combines the All Over The World and Ticket To The Moon best-ofs.  Don't laugh... I'm not putting it past them.

So, the ELO pipeline seems to be more of a pipe dream for now, though, especially given the current financial squeeze of many record companies and, not the least of which, fans.  But here's hoping...