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...

1 comment:

swarlock said...

With the project Sony has racked up over the years I can only imagine that
half of the fandom will only go with whatever is cheapest for them to purchase.

These Best Ofs and what have you is what's killing The ELO Machine I tell you.

Some of us have yet to get past the past I say. I'm not getting any younger awaiting on the suits' decisions.