Wednesday, December 31, 2008

AND THEY'RE RUNNING OUT OF MONEY BECAUSE...

Pitcure if you will, a meeting at Sony BMG Special Marketing. 

"Someone, anyone, come up with a new way other than bundling them up in twos or threes to sell something that's already out there."

"How 'bout we take five albums and bundle them together."

"Brilliant!"

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Saturday, December 27, 2008

MORE PAPER SLEEVE EDITIONS

It appears that a good chunk of Tom Petty's back catalog will be re-issued on SHM-CDs (Super High Material CDs) and in Mini-LP paper sleeves end of February 2009 in Japan only.  The Jeff Lynne-produced Full Moon Fever and Into The Great Wide Open will be among the titles.  This is the first re-issue of any kind for Into The Great Wide Open.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND BEST WISHES...

Before I take off for my own personal holiday tour/travel, I just wanted to take this opportunity to wish you and your families and very safe and Happy Holidays and best wishes for a happy and healthy 2009.  Here's hoping it's a productive one in the ELO/related world.

Oh, and if you know anyone who's looking for an A/V timeline editor, I'm on Facebook, LinkedIn and willing to re-locate.  :-)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

ELO NEW SAMPLER FOLO-UP

I got a chance to scan over this new EMI Publishing sampler from ELO.  Er, maybe an ELO Sampler from EMI Music Publishing is a better way to put it.  Bottom line: nothing new.  The ELO tracks are pullovers from Afterglow and Lily Allen's cover of Mr. Blue Sky is mp3 quality.  The Evil Woman remix isn't bad, though.

Is it a fake?  I mean, there's not much to the CD and frankly, I could design a better cover using my feet, so I suppose it's possible.  But I've seen similar samplers by other artists sold by reputable dealers.  I just don't think it's worth 50 quid.  Right, eil??!

ABOUT "I'LL GET YOU BACK"

Julianna Raye's I'll Get You Back from 1993 is one of several songs that gets an in-depth analysis in Daniel Levitin's new book The World In Six Songs. Included in that is a rather brief, but glowing mention of the song's producer, Jeff Lynne.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

NEW ELO SAMPLER



I've been meaning to post about other ELO and related promos over the last few years, but this one looks to be quite unique.  An EMI Publishing CDR sampler of ELO's music has surfaced in the US with an usual track list.  It starts with (the long forgotten and neglected gem) Building Have Eyes and finishes with Lily Allen's cover of Mr. Blue Sky and remix cover of Evil Woman.

I'd be interested to see if Buildings Have Eyes is of "remastered" quality and not a pull from Afterglow.  If I can nail one down, I'll post an update.

  1. Buildings Have Eyes
  2. Turn To Stone
  3. When Time Stood Still
  4. It's Over
  5. Do Ya
  6. Strange Magic
  7. Twilight
  8. Destination Unknown
  9. Hold On Tight
  10. Ma Ma Ma Belle
  11. Livin' Thing
  12. Shangri-La
  13. Don't Bring Me Down
  14. Easy Money
  15. Calling America
  16. Rock'n'Roll Is King
  17. Can't Get It Out Of My head
  18. Mr. Blue Sky - Lily Allen
  19. Evil Woman (Salad Fingers Mix) - The Hamptons

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

DAVID FRICKE IS MOVED



I'm trying to remember if Rolling Stone magazine ever said anything about the Move in all these years.  They've hardly ever mentioned ELO.  Anyway, here's a pretty strong Move recommendation from Rolling Stone's David Fricke. He makes the case for owning the new box set.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

ROY ORBISON ON RADIO 2

Saturday will mark 20 years since Roy Orbison's passing. BBC Radio 2 is commemorating it with a four part special on Roy. You can hear the series online for a limited time.

Hat tip: Euan

Friday, November 21, 2008

BETTER NOT FORGET IT ON YOUR SHOPPING LIST...

The Traveling Wilburys Official Website has just launched a redesign and while the content seems to have been shifted around a bit, the biggest addition appears to be a Traveling Wilburys shop with all sorts of items including Wilburys T-shirts, coffee mugs, glasses keychains and even a throw blanket.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

THE RETURN OF JULIANNA RAYE


She turned out to be one of my favorite voices long after her Jeff Lynne-era: Julianna Raye.  Her web site has been transformed and her new CD titled Dominoes is almost ready to release.  It is a bossa nova collection produced by Ethan Johns, who produced her last disc Restless Night.

Something Peculiar (her first album and her only produced by Jeff Lynne) is, of course, a drastically different album than Restless Night.   But, I was surprised more ELO/related fans didn't follow Restless Night because it was a bit too dark and not pop.   I thoroughly enjoyed it, though.

See, there was a time in popular music when singing as if you had a fingernail ripped off was considered good.  I found wailing into the microphone like that absolutely ridiculous and still do.  Whenever you long for a unique voice who approaches their singing with style and substance, Julianna Raye completely fits the bill.

The thing is both Jeff Lynne and Ethan Johns captured all these little nuances in her voice and brought them out on record.  Plus, her writing is absolutely amazing and rather underrated.

Dominoes sounds like an enjoyable follow-up.  You can read more and hear clips of the album here.  

BLU-SPEC SPECIAL ON ELO











ELO
's Discovery & Out Of The Blue remasters are about to be re-issued on Blu-spec CDs. As I understand it from reading this, there are fundamental jitters and vibrations when standard CDs are made. These new discs eliminate that. Doesn't say anything about the music having a higher resolution, though.

In any event, Discovery is set for a December 24 release and Out Of The Blue is expected on January 21, 2009. These will be Japan-only releases so far.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I suspect Blu-spec CDs are almost the same thing as SHM-CDs (Super High Material CDs) only made by a different company.

Tom Petty's Full Moon Fever is being released on SHM-CD in early December. But, if it's not remastered by the artist, I would think the improvement would be miniscule for most people. It's the same CD sound only less jittery??

We'll see.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

JEFF, THE MILLION-AIR

Jeff Lynne, as ELO's songwriter, was recently awarded two certificates from Broadcast Music, Inc.  One certifies that Turn To Stone has been played on the radio one million times, or a Million Airs, if you will.  The other certifies that Don't Bring Me Down has received two million airs.

How 'bout that!    (Hat tip: ELO Discovery)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

REVIEW: MOVE ANTHOLOGY 1966-1972

Behold the centerpiece of what's actually been a pretty decent restoration series for the Move.

As usual, when news of this box set broke, I filled my head with expectations about what could and should be on it. Then, I caught the track list weeks ago and it took a bit of the wind out of my sails. The Jeff Lynne years are treated as a "by the way..." era rather than half of the band's recorded LP career.

That leaves us with a new sense of what the bottom line is for this release: the box set is centered on Roy Wood's work with a rather nice tribute to Carl Wayne.

Bravo on the package: hardbound DVD sized fold-out. Poster, eh. Cards, ok. The liner notes/credits book: great! Well thought-out and amazingly desgined.

Now, to the content. Disc 1 is rock solid. Starting with the primitive gems, you coast through the early-period Move beautifully including a less refined version of Night of Fear. For me, the acoustic version; rough mix of Flowers In The Rain was the winner of disc 1.

Now to disc 2 when I start hitting a wall. I understand the value of these live recordings, but wouldn't having a separate Something Else from the Move release with bonus EP tracks be a better option instead of taking up more than an entire CD of a career anthology? The live material is enjoyable, but...

Disc 3 starts with two tracks we basically just heard from Disc 2 with some differences, then finally continues its journey through the Move catalog with a few more alternatives and rarities all marked with a red asterisk.

Then to disc 4 where the asterisks for all intents and purposes disappear. We get the nickel tour through the second half of the Move's recorded career. I mean, the set doesn't even touch Shazam until half way through disc 3. The Jeff Lynne era didn't stand a chance.

Overall, in terms of sound quality, I think they accomplished what they set out to do: restore the Move's recordings to top shelf quality so everyone can enjoy them again. In that sense, mission accomplished.

But then, there's some of the decisions I thought were a bit odd.

None of the discs run an hour. I thought the "... more than three hours of Move magnificence" was a typo. It's not.

I'm sorry, but I just can't get excited over shorter/edited/abridged versions of stuff we already have. Wouldn't edit versions work better for best-of's made for the masses?? If they like what they hear, they can pursue the full-length stuff. And wouldn't it give the dedicated fans more motivation to buy another "singles" collection?

A shortened Do Ya was favored over a shortened Feel Too Good?

One track from Message From The Country? One?!?

Never mind the lack of Jeff Lynne compositions here, there's not a single rarity or alternate from the Jeff Lynne era... period. Not one. Not a single new thing to hear.

That doesn't make this a bad box set as much as it makes it a really lopsided one.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

UJLRP 1997-2008

After plenty of consideration and very generous offers from readers, I've come to conclusion that I'm going to let the Unofficial Jeff Lynne Reference Page expire after Friday without rehosting it.  However, I believe this blog could pick up the slack.  Over the next several weeks, I plan to reuse much of the information that was written on the UJLRP into fresh posts here.  Then, I'll keep the continuous collection of links stored on this page.

It will take time, though.  Since there's still not much in the immediate pipeline from what we can tell, this will make for a good opportunity to refresh the content.  After the review for the Move box set, the evergreen posts will start appearing.

As for the Move box set, I'm told there are production/print problems that are keeping FTM and possibly other places from shipping them.  So, we're keeping an eye out for that.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

FACE THE MUSIC ONLINE


Looks like the new incarnation of Face The Music Online is almost ready to go.  The Move box set in now less than 2 weeks away.

DROLE DE VENTE AUX ENCHERES

Still very much a sought-after collectible, the 1991 CD single of the Jeff Lynne-produced Drole De Vie from Et Moi & Moi just had bids on eBay that topped $225.

RUNNIN' DOWN A DOCUMENTARY


Peter Bogdanovich's documentary about Tom Petty will go into a wider DVD release on October 28.  Runnin' Down A Dream will contain bonus concert footage (some vintage) not on the original DVD/CD set. Plenty of Jeff Lynne and Wilburys content in the documentary portion. 

Thursday, October 9, 2008

FULL MOON IN JAPAN



There's apparently a new edition of Tom Petty's Full Moon Fever coming to Japan on December 3.  It's another SHM-CD which is also compatible with standard CD players.  I have yet to buy an SHM-CD (Super High Material) but it pledges to have better sound.  These are apparently not to be confused with a standard remastered CD which this is not.

Anyone ever buy a SHM-CD and if so, what do you think?

Welcome

Thanks to all of you who offered help and advice during this transition.  I'm really excited with the blog now.  Anyone can leave comments now, which is a change from AOL who didn't allow anyone without an AOL login to comment.

There are plenty of Blogger.com features to go through, so this can only get better.

Now, if we only had a boatload of news to go with it... :-)

Thanks again and welcome aboard!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

BIG CHANGES AFOOT

Just a short time ago, I was notified by (the ever deteriorating) AOL that its FTP/website/blog spaces, including this one, will be discontinued on October 31, 2008.

While there are plans to move the blog spaces to another service, the web spaces will not.  That means as of October 31, 2008, the Unofficial Jeff Lynne Reference Page will be shut down for good. 

I do of course have mixed emotions about this news.  The site was created in 1997 as a simple resource guide and a lot of work has gone into it over the years.  However, it takes a little more time than I can afford to maintain it.  The site and this blog is really just a hobby, but a hobby I get a great deal of pleasure out of.  It's all of you who help me to enjoy it.  You guys send me kind thoughts, engaging e-mails, and even news tips frequently and I greatly appreciate you all. 

I do plan to maintain this blog after October.  It's quite easy and fun and I still plan to share e-mails back and forth.  That part will not change.

So, in the coming weeks, I hope to have a new URL for the blog and things will return to normal... spelling, grammar and punctuation errors and all.  Hopefully AOL will step up and provide us with a blog service where all of you can contribute, not just AOL subscribers.  It's the least they can do.  (Funny thing is I'm still paying for AOL, hence my "mood" above.)

In any event, I just wanted to pass this news along to all of you.  As soon as I get more information about where the blog is going, I will pass it on right away.  I also welcome suggestions from you on places where I can host the blog, for free preferably. bflat33@aol.com

 

BUT SERIOUSLY, FOLKS...

Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh just gave an interview to a reporter from the Star-Tribune in Minneapolis/St. Paul.  He reveals he and Jeff Lynne have recently recorded together, but didn't elaborate much about it.  I really like the possibilities, though...

OH, PRETTY BOX SET

Roy Orbison was long overdue for a career box set and thankfully, this one has done the man justice. 

I have to admit, I didn't have or appreciate Roy's work until I learned of his involvement with Jeff and the Wilburys.  The early stuff is just a hair out of era for me personally, but I get it.  Go to 3:12 on You Got It and listen to way he delivers that "baby...", and you'll get it too... if you don't already.

Roy's new box set, The Soul of Rock and Roll, out today, contains most all of his released output with Jeff Lynne at the producing helm.  Outside of that is a collection about as comprehensive as it gets.  And for $30 (got mine at Best Buy,) it's a great value for your money.  107 songs spread out over 4 CDs.

There is a quote from Jeff and Tom Petty among many others plus a factoid I never knew until today: The Traveling Wilburys were Roy's pallbearers at his funeral.

I would have done one thing differently.  I would have pushed the new remix of Not Alone Any More.  It's an excellent remix and should have at least a little more exposure.  That's really just a wish.  Overall, this is a first-rate release.

Friday, September 12, 2008

MORE ON THE MOVE BOX

Amazon is revealing a little more of the upcoming Move box set.  I'm still trying to visualize how this will be packaged.  From this image, it looks a little unconventional.  FTM will probably have a full-on spread about this shortly, but we're still more than 6 weeks away from release day.

 

 

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

MORE RE-ISSUES

  

A standard re-issue of the new Traveling Wilburys Volume One and Volume 3 CDs from Rhino will be released in Japan on September 24.  You'd think someone at a record company with a little foresight would think to re-issue these as mini-LP paper sleeve editions, but alas, these are apparently standard CDs.

 

While on the topic of half-assed re-issues, ELO's Out of the Blue was indeed re-issued earlier this year.  Turns out, it's the remastered CD with the bonus tracks, new standard booklet, but the old ZGK 35530 back insert.  All that can be yours for a measly $6.  You'll know it's the budget version when you pick the CD up and one side of the tray insert is blank.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

MOVE ANTHOLOGY 1966-1972

 

The long awaited Move Anthology 4 CD box set will apparently be out on September 29 in the UK.  The track list according to Play.com:

Disc 1: 1966 - 1967

  1. You're The One I Need
  2. I Can't Hear You No More
  3. Is It True
  4. Respectable
  5. Night Of Fear (Alternate Version)
  6. Disturbance (Undubbed Alternate Version)
  7. I Can Hear The Grass Grow (Full-Length Version)
  8. Move
  9. Wave The Flag And Stop The Train
  10. (Here We Go Round) The Lemon Tree (Stereo)
  11. Flowers & Lemon Tea (Tony Visconti Talks To The Players)
  12. Flowers In The Rain
  13. Cherry Blossom Clinic (Enhanced Stereo)
  14. Vote For Me (Mono)
  15. Fire Brigade (Early Piano Version; Rough Mix)
  16. Useless Information
  17. Yellow Rainbow (Enhanced Stereo)
  18. Kilroy Was Here (Enhanced Stereo)
  19. Fire Brigade
  20. The Girl Outside (Alternate Take)
  21. Mist On A Monday Morning (Enhanced Stereo)
  22. Flowers In The Rain (Acoustic Version; Rough Mix)
  23. Simple Simon (Take 6 Backing Track; Rough Mix)

 Disc 2: Live At The Marquee 1968

  1. Move Bolero (Live)
  2. It'll Be Me(Live)
  3. Too Much In Love (Live)
  4. Flowers In The Rain (Live)
  5. Fire Brigade (Live)
  6. Stephanie Knows Who (Live)
  7. Something Else (Live)
  8. So You Want To Be A Rock'n'Roll Star (Live)
  9. The Price Of Love (Live)
  10. Piece Of My Heart (Live) *
  11. (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher And Higher (Live)
  12. Sunshine Help Me (Live)

 Disc 3: 1968 - 1969

  1. Somethin Else (EP Version)
  2. Sunshine Help Me (EP Version)
  3. Wild Tiger Woman (UK Single Edit)
  4. Omnibus (Enhanced Stereo)
  5. Blackberry Way
  6. A Certain Something (Piano Version; Rough Mix)
  7. Curly
  8. Second Class (She's Too Good For Me) (Part 1)
  9. Second Class (She's Too Good For Me) (Part 2)
  10. Beautiful Daughter (Reduced Mix)
  11. This Time Tomorrow
  12. Hello Susie (Abridged)
  13. Dont Make My Baby Blue
  14. The Last Thing On My Mind
  15. Open My Eyes (Live At Fillmore West 1969)

 Disc 4: 1969 - 1972

  1. I Can Hear The Grass Grow (Fillmore West 1969)
  2. Brontosaurus (US Promo Edit)
  3. When Alice Comes Back To The Farm
  4. Turkish Tram Conductor Blues (Take 5; Rough Mix)
  5. Feel Too Good
  6. Lightnin' Never Strikes Twice
  7. Ella James
  8. Tonight (US Edited Version)
  9. Do Ya (Edited Version)
  10. Chinatown
  11. California Man
  12. The Duke Of Edinburgh's Lettuce

I have to admit, I'm not terribly excited by this track list yet.

PLAYLIST

It appears the ELO Playlist CD is already out.

Indeed, this is a re-packaged Essential Electric Light Orchestra collection from 2003.  The one difference, there's an enhanced section on the CD that leads you to additional photos (including one of the newer shots of Jeff used in the Yamaha magazine article about him), credits and most notibly, 2 new wallpapers.  I had a hell of time trying to access the wallpaper, but here are direct links to them:

http://feature.legacyrecordings.com/playlist/ELO/playlist_elo_1024x768.jpg

http://feature.legacyrecordings.com/playlist/ELO/playlist_elo_1680x1050.jpg

http://feature.legacyrecordings.com/playlist/ELO/playlist_elo2_1680x1050.jpg

http://feature.legacyrecordings.com/playlist/ELO/playlist_elo2_1024x768.jpg

By the way, if you think the Essential madness is over, Michael Jackson, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, Judas Preist, Journey and several others are getting Essential 3.0 releases.  They contain a third music CD of more hits and fan favorites.  Funny.

Two other observations:  1) There are no post-1974 group photos in the enhanced section... and 2) There's an ELO Part II CD in the discography.

A SKATELY PLEASURE-DOME DECREE

 

While taking this week off, I thought I'd take in a show.  Actually, I meant to see Xanadu on Broadway a while ago, I just had major fears about what I was going to see when I got there.  I'm not really a Broadway musicals fanatic, but after 2 Tony award nominations, I figured it was worth trying.

But it was hard to get to that point.  Xanadu (the film) got some of the most horrifying reviews ever.  I mean, what's not to love about a creative muse who pops out of a mural with her 8 sisters and persuades 2 men (a character played Gene Kelly one of them) to open a roller disco?

Frankly, the new Broadway cast CD and performances on TV didn't help me.  I just didn't see it translating well.

That was then.

Flash forward to last night, I get my Playbill and my glow stick, then finally settle into my seat. Surprise #1, the Helen Hayes Theatre was a packed house.

The house lights dim, then I brace myself for the worst. The male lead, Cheyenne Jackson, sets up the first number. The music strikes up, the mural "comes to life" and the festivities begin. As soon as you realize that two of the muses were now guys, all bets were off.

Xanadu on Broadway was excellent.

It's now a jacked-up, and high-camp comedy only loosely based on the film.  The talent was amazing, every one of them. And for the record, I caught it with Whoopie Goldberg... a huge bonus.

The jokes were far from stale.  Like I said, two of the muses are now guys: the muse of comedy and the muse of dance.  However, if that idea bothers you, stay as far away from this show as you can.

Otherwise, prepare to have a great time in a very Mama Mia-esque kinda way.

Rob Caiger, by the way, is interviewed about Jeff in Xanadu: The Book!  Seriously!  which is sold at the Helen Hayes Theatre.  While Rob's interview is quite good, it should be an interview with Jeff.  And given the Tony nominations and the good will, fun and humor this show is creating, Jeff may want to consider embracing this production very publicly.  I'm not confident it's his kind of humor, but the show won over so many.

I'm almost shocked how much fun it was.

I'm now officially thankful Xanadu was an awful movie.

Here's their webiste, and for discount tickets (highly recommended, the show is not cheap) go to broadwayoffers.com and enter XUDVD85.  For a larger premium, there are seats on the stage.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

ROY ORBISON BOX

On top of what appears to be a complete overhaul of his website, there's a career-spanning box set from Roy Orbison on the docket for Tuesday September 30 from Legacy.

While there's nothing new studio-wise (unreleased) from his later years (Jeff Lynne-produced to be more to the point,) all 5 of Roy's released recordings with Jeff at the helm have made the cut as well as the Wilburys Not Alone Any More. 

For the record, the only other Lynne-related track is a mash-up/remix of an old original and a newer version of Ooby Dooby.  That did not make the cut.

Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty will be among a slew of artists who will contributing comments to the liner notes.

Friday, July 18, 2008

NOW, IT'S A PLAYLIST

Hope you're all having a great summer.  News in the ELO world has been sparce, so the blog is getting a vacation break.  Barring any major developments, the blog will pick up again in the coming weeks.

I did see a note on the latest Musictap.net entry that ELO will be one of the artists who will get a Playlist: The Very Best Of... CD on September 2 from Sony BMG.

There's allegedly an All Over The World: The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra CD (likely no different than the already existing UK version) in eco-friendly packing coming on Tuesday July 22.  We'll see about that. 

I wonder, though, if record companies push to recycle CD jewel cases, would we even need eco-friendly packaging? There's not much left to CDs after the jewel case, is there?

Anyway, have a great rest of the summer, everyone!

Friday, June 27, 2008

10 BEST COMEBACK ALBUMS

I feel it's my duty to bring little news tidbits to this blog even if the news is 2 months old.  Thing is: I don't recall seeing this before.

Rolling Stone compiled the 10 Best Comeback Albums Ever.  George Harrison's Cloud Nine is #8.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

WELL, AT LEAST GENE KELLY ON ROLLER SKATES LOOKS CLEARER NOW...

Xanadu: Magical Music Edition is in stores beginning today and as promised the sound and picture quality has been substantially improved.  So, all of that glitz and camp is more pronounced than ever before.

The bonus soundtrack CD is the current USA edition on MCA, so they didn't throw the fans a bone there.

The Going Back To Xanadu feature is admittedly a bit fun.  A few observations from that: ELO is mentioned just once, the whole bit about the lengths they went through for the customes was interesting, (in addition to the director, producers and other major crew members,) they interviewed several of the dancers and two muses, 2 of the Tubes turned up, Michael Beck wasn't even mentioned by name, Olivia apparently declined to be interviewed, and holy shit, Thaaattt's Gene Kelly's widow?!!?!

 

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

MORE FROM ROSSIF

Rossif Sutherland added three more songs to the player on his MySpace page, and although they're worth a listen, my hunch is none of those three involve Jeff Lynne. Makes one wonder if he's any closer to releasing his CD.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

OT: LONG LIVE LIFE

Just as I hoped, the new Coldplay record is out of control.  For those of you who like Jeff's productions for the quality recordings they are, you might appreciate Cemeteries Of London (with a few seconds from the end of Life In Techicolor), Lost! and Yes.

Lost! was released in acoustic form (titled Lost? with a question mark) weeks before the album's release and it, without question, was a brilliant move.  I learned and love the song in its acoustic form.  When you get to the album version weeks later, you know it enough to sing along, only thing is: it blows the doors off your expectations.

What's also interesting is Reign of Love, Chinese Sleep Chant and The Escapist are presented more as interludes or segues instead of outright album tracks. Interesting idea. (Was Secret Messages the last time Jeff Lynne interluded between two songs??! Not sure I'd count Opening/Heaven Only Knows)

Between the free download of the first single, an exclusive b-side on vinyl, Lost?, the title track on iTunes and iTunes commercial, plus the full album on vinyl with full length CD inside of it, the marketing of this record is genius.

I recommend the lyrics to follow along.

The CD is already out in the UK, Tuesday for the States.

Monday, June 9, 2008

HEADS (AND SKATES) UP...

It's starting to look more and more like National Xanadu Month.

Cast members from Xanadu On Broadway will be performing on American TV starting this Thursday June 12 @ 9 am Eastern Time with All Over The World on Regis and Kelly...

Then, on Friday June 13 during the 8 am hour, they perform Magic, Don't Walk Away and Xanadu on the CBS Early show...

And this coming Saturday June 14 (Suspended in Time) during CBS Saturday Morning at 8 am.

And don't forget, the remastered DVD of the original movie with bonus soundtrack CD is in stores two weeks from tomorrow. (Hat Tip: Euan)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

END OF THE LINE

         

The Traveling Wilburys two albums are back in stores today as individual titles.  Both Volume One and Volume 3 CDs have Traveling Wilburys Collection-style cardboard slipcases and inside, you'll find the CDs and inserts designed almost exactly the same as their originals except for some different markings and updated credits. No change in audio content from last year's releases.

In addition, both titles are available on iTunes.  But, in another par-for-the-course instance, someone filed them under Traveling Wilburys, whereas the rest of the Wilbury items are found under The Traveling Wilburys.  Ho-hum.

OT: COLDPLAY and EMI

After reading articles and posts from several people about the state of affairs at EMI (the company who gave us ELOs First Light Series among others), this New York Times article paints a pretty clear picture of how bad it is.  EMI was sold to a private equity group which is now in serious financal trouble because of that transaction.  What can save them?  Possibly Coldplay.

For the record, Coldplay is usually where I turn these days during my mental health breaks from ELO and related tunes.  The timing is perfect, their new album is just about here and there's seemingly nothing big in the pipeline from Bungalow Palace.

The stakes are high for EMI and they need Coldplay's album (Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends) to be a huge sales success.  Marketing-wise, they've pulled out all the stops.  On top of free concerts and high-profile appearances, there's (well, was) a single download for free, one week only, a 7" single (free with magazine) with exclusive b-side, a CD single with an acoustic mix of an album track, and for good measure, the title track exclusively on iTunes. Four songs unleashed already and I'm outright begging for more.  Brilliant marketing.

I really hope it works for all of them.  If any current band can pull it off, it's Coldplay.  And for my part, this is the most stoked I've been about an album in years.

XANADU: WEST END VERSION

In a turn of events I'm sure many didn't see coming, not only is Xanadu on Broadway becoming a national tour, and heading to Chicago, now there are plans to open in London according to Playbill.

It will be in a yet to be determined venue in London's West End in spring 2009. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

NEW GREATEST HITS BREAKDOWN

 

The new Tom Petty Greatest Hits CD is out today and yes, the tracks are remastered and a vast improvement over the last package.  It does underscore the need, though, to perhaps have his albums remastered... especially Full Moon Fever.  The version of FMF you can buy in the store today is the same faint version that was made available on its original release... in 1989. 

Can you imagine a remaster of that and Into The Great Wide Open done like the Wilburys remasters??

Sunday, May 18, 2008

MR. JET BLUE SKY

Jeff lands another commercial campaign.  Mr Blue Sky (actually Jeff's most recent remake of it) is the centerpiece for JetBlue's Happy Jetting.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

TOO MUCH, EVEN FOR ME...

 

You know the Discovery box (see picture) that holds 9 of ELO's Sony Paper Sleeve Collection CDs.  A box alone just sold for $102.51 at auction on eBay.  Just the box.  They are official, if not approved, collectors items made from a company called Disc Union for many groups' paper sleeve series, but wow.

There are other empty boxes for sale (not just ELO) I'm having considerable trouble finding for under $50.  Again, wow.

ANOTHER GROUP SAYS GROOOSSSSS

For those of you who like cover versions, here's a press release about The Northern Kings.  The Finland-based group will have a new album in UK on 16 June called Reborn.  Among the album's 13 cover versions is ELO's Don't Bring Me Down

Hat Tip: Will Taylor at Noble PR

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

THE WILBURYS RETURN STRIKES GOLD

     

From Rhino:

THE WILBURYS RETURN STRIKES GOLD The Traveling Wilburys Collection Is Certified Gold as Rhino Releases Remastered and Expanded Versions of Volume 1 and Volume 3 Individually

Available June 3 from Rhino Records

May 05 2008

LOS ANGELES --

After being out-of-print for more than a decade, Rhino reintroduced The Traveling Wilburys' music last year with The Traveling Wilburys Collection. The set, which features previously unreleased bonus tracks, has been certified gold. The legendary super-group of musical "brothers" stays in the spotlight as Rhino releases expanded and remastered versions of the band's historic, Grammy-winning 1988 debut and 1990 follow-up as individual albums.

With a lineup featuring esteemed artists Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, and Tom Petty, the Traveling Wilburys were a one-of-a-kind musical phenomenon. The remastering of the music featured on VOLUME 1 and VOLUME 3 was supervised by Lynne.

The all-star configuration came about by chance when the members convened at a Southern California studio in 1988 to record a B-side for a single by Harrison. Recalling the group's origins, Harrison was often quoted as saying: "And so everybody was there and I thought, I'm not gonna just sing it myself, I've got Roy Orbison standing there. I'm gonna write a bit for Roy to sing. And then, as it progressed, thenI started doing the vocals and I just thought I might as well push it a bit and get Tom and Bob to sing the bridge." The experience recording "Handle With Care" was so much fun they decided to release it under the Wilburys moniker and continue the collaboration with an album's worth of songs.

Their camaraderie is heard in every groove on Rhino's remastered reissue of their now-historic, VOLUME 1. The album achieved wide critical acclaim, and most critics agreed that the music was so extraordinary because of the modest ambitions of the band, which translated to a fresh and relaxing sound. Rolling Stone instantly hailed it as one of the Top 100 Albums of all time. The album also saw commercial success: it reached #3 on the Album charts, garnered double-platinum status, and earned the group a Grammy for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group. The remastered version includes the bonus tracks "Maxine" and "Like A Ship."

The Wilburys followed it up in 1990 with the group's second full-length, VOLUME 3. The disc was recorded without Orbison, who passed away in '88, but the songs are still full of the spirit that made their musical "brotherhood" the stuff of legend. With Harrison and Lynne producing again, both "She's My Baby" and "Wilbury Twist" became radio hits as the album reached #11 in the U.S. and achieved platinum success. The remastered version includes the bonus tracks "Nobody's Child" and "Runaway."

VOLUME 1
Track Listing

1. "Handle With Care"
2. "Dirty World"
3. "Rattled"
4. "Last Night"
5. "Not Alone Any More"
6. "Congratulations"
7. "Heading For The Light"
8. "Margarita"
9. "Tweeter And The Monkey Man"
10. "End Of The Line"
Bonus Tracks
11. "Maxine"
12. "Like A Ship"

VOLUME 3
Track Listing

1. "She's My Baby"
2. "Inside Out"
3. "If You Belonged To Me"
4. "The Devil's Been Busy"
5. "7 Deadly Sins"
6. "Poor House"
7. "Where Were You Last Night?"
8. "Cool Dry Place"
9. "New Blue Moon"
10. "You Took My Breath Away"
11. "Wilbury Twist"
Bonus Tracks
12. "Nobody's Child"
13. "Runaway"

TOM PETTY GREATEST HITS

Anyone who bought the new Mudcutch CD probably noticed the small insert that came with it.  Turns out, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers Greatest Hits is being altered and re-issued on May 20.  The collection has new album art and apparently replaces Something In The Air with Stop Draggin' My Heart Around with Stevie Nicks

The tracks (including 5 produced by Jeff Lynne titles) are remastered.  To date, Full Moon Fever or Into The Great Wide Open have yet to get a badly needed remastering job.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

DAVE EDMUNDS PAPER SLEEVE COLLECTION

The new Dave Edmunds Mini-LP collection is out now including two of his albums with some help from Jeff LynneInformation (from 1983) and Riff Raff (from 1984 and a rarity on CD) have joined a growing list of paper sleeve collection CDs.

The remastering has me a bit perplexed, though.  Remember, both CDs were remastered and re-issued on BGO in 2002 with excellent results.  These new CDs however are much louder and powerful (and sweetened for lack a better descriptor.)  While I think some people will prefer the sound of these, I'm beginning to see why "flatter" is a bit better in this case.  The new CDs just blast through the headphones (a good thing) but I'm detecting parts where the fine little details are getting crushed and buried.

I have yet to give them a spin on the main stereo, though.  We'll see how they fare there.

Outside of that, the paper sleeves are beautifuly made.  However, the two Edmunds CDs I got contained only the album cover with CD and black and white lyric booklet inside.  That's it.  ELO, as you may or may not know, made out much better than that.

And no matter how good the remastering, I still, to this day, can't make out the first 6 syllables of Breaking Out.

TOM PETTY GOES SHM-CD

Another Japanese release of note in the coming weeks.  Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers Greatest Hits CD is being re-released on the SHM-CD format which is compatible with standard CD players. 

The format promises better sound through the use of a polycarbonate plastic disc.  But, if they're not using a better, newly prepared master, it's hard to figure out how much better the sounds on this disc will be.  Anyone who knows about this process and/or format, please weigh in.

Anyway, the disc (with 5 produced by Jeff Lynne cuts) is out May 28.

CONCERT FOR GEORGE

For the record, the Concert For George is now available digitally on most of the main online music outlets, and at least in the case of iTunes, the "album" includes the Sam Brown and Jools Holland's rendition of A Horse To Water that didn't make the original CD.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

LOOKING AREA FLY ON

Well, indications are that it may take a while for any bonus material for the new Fly/Salvo edition of Looking On to appear online.  Other than the USA edit of Brontosaurus, there's apparently not much left.  The Salvo Looking On website is teasing us with Falling Forever "if you pray hard enough..." which I personally translate into "fat chance."  But hope does indeed spring eternal.

I GUESS BY NOW YOU GOT THE GIST...

The April 23 post of Musictap.net claims Rhino has the Traveling Wilburys Volume One and Volume 3 CDs separately on the docket for June 3.  If this is true, I would not expect anything other than what's on the Traveling Wilburys Collection CDs.

Since the Traveling Wilburys Collection seemed to satisfy everyone who wanted to buy the Wilburys again, I would think it would be wise for Rhino to tack on the extended versions and other related bonus tracks (like, say, the remix of Not Alone Any More) to their respective CDs.  I would not count on it, though.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

IF YOU'RE NOT TOO BUSY...

Hey Jeff,

If you're reading this and you're not busy, the Dreamliners would like you to produce their next record.

They have a website and a MySpace page.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

THAT'S GOOD SHIT, MAN...

 

The last round of earlier Move CDs was roughly 10 years ago and perhaps they fit the bill back then, but the bar was raised considerably with Move, ELO and other related releases. The last time Looking On was released on CD, the liner notes encompassed the band's entire career, the pics were out-of-era and while the sound of the music was ok, the bonus tracks were also way out-of-era. All of those areas got a substantial upgrade with this 2008 Salvo/Fly edition of Looking On.

For starters, the historical record is set straight in several ways. The liner notes are mostly contained to how the album came to be and all of the fun and craziness of that particular time. That serves this package much better than a full career retro. The photos are (at last) limited to the Move circa 1970, some of those photos so bad they're good. And the bonus tracks finally fit the album. Wild Tiger Woman and Blackberry Way just didn't fit on the previous edition of Looking On. So, now that there's a nice tidy-up on the details, it's easier to put yourself in Brimingham and/or London in 1970.

Now for the remastering. The 1998 version of Looking On was, for the most part, clear sounding. The 2008 edition takes clarity, improves it and adds depth, power, and much more detail. The parts that were given muscle in the studio have muscle again. Personally, I picked out percussion parts (among others) that seemed to be buried (or distorted over) before. I suppose that's the point of remastering any album and this CD slightly exceeded my expectations.

I'm a fan of having unreleased session material as bonus tracks instead of songs that were loosely released around the time of the album. (At least Lightnin' Never Strikes Twice fits the album's sound.) There's plenty to gain from even subtle differences in the mix like the extended banter between Jeff and Roy during Turkish Tram Conductor Blues or hearing "We're clapping now aren't we?" during the count-in to Duke of Edinburgh's Lettuce. And oooooh, to have been a fly (there's a label pun in there somewhere) on the wall while track 13 was being recorded...

Another smash-bang job by the Move remastering team. Now, we go from Looking On to looking forward to the upcoming Move box set.

Monday, April 14, 2008

IT'S ALIIIIIIVE...

Prepare to lace up the skates up again.  Hot off the wheels of a Broadway hit, Xanadu (the original movie) is being re-modeled and re-released on DVD this June.  Expect a restored picture and new 5.1 surround sound on the DVD, plus a bonus CD of the complete soundtrack in all its campy glory.  US release day is June 24.

What, no blu-ray?

LOOKING ON RELEASE DAY

Looking On is indeed an enhanced CD with bonus online content.  However, the online part isn't uploaded yet and you're not able to acess the page.  I'll post some thoughts on the release once I get a chance to go through it.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

LOOKING UP LOOKING ON

 

Two immediate thoughts.

1. The sound clips suggest a HUGE improvement... and

2. Re: the bonus track Feel Too Good.  They were all clearly feeling too good.  Fantastic.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

APRIL IS GETTING EXPENSIVE

 

The April re-issues are beginning to pile up for collectors.

Tuesday is supposedly re-issue day for Ole ELO.  Later in the month, a budget version of ELO's Out of the Blue is due along with Japanese mini-LP editions of Dave Edmunds' Information and Riff Raff.  Now comes word from Amazon that All Over The World: The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra will be released on a gold disc edition on or around April 22.

Also, Face The Music Online should be going live this week with specific details and ordering info for the Move's Looking On.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

NEIL ASPINALL

This didn't get much play in the MSM today, but the Beatles' long time partner and EP of the incredible Beatles Anthology, Neil Aspinall passed away on Sunday at the age of 66.

Friday, March 21, 2008

A TRUE ELO EXPERIENCE

And you thought ELO Part2/The Orchestra was the only legal drama with ties to Electric Light Orchestra.  The ousted head of an ELO tribute band (and Jeff Lynne impressionist?) wants what he feels he's entitled to: 1,000 British Pounds.

OUT OF THE BLUE

 

ELO's Out of the Blue is being re-issued in the US as a budget release on April 29.  Another link here.  No details on this yet, but retail price (like the upcoming Ole ELO set) is a mere $6.99.  Could this be similar to the UK, where Out of the Blue was re-released with carbon neutral packaging?

Monday, March 17, 2008

MINI-LPs IN A DISCOVERY BOX

A new round of ELO Japanese Mini-LPs are just released and this tme the complete set of CDs (On The Third Day, Eldorado, Face The Music, A New World Record, Out Of The Blue, Discovery, Time, Secret Messages and Balance Of Power) are housed in a promo glossy, hard-bound slipcase box with Discovery artwork.

From what I can tell, there are no differences with the new pressings of the mini-LP CDs themselves.  Some mini-LPs are turning up on eBay with album artwork used as the disc design.  Use caution if you order one of these.  I've been discouraged from buying anything from the "Russian Federation" because they could be fakes, so I've held back.  If you do get one of these Mini-LP CDs with album art on the disc, write me (bflat33@aol.com) and tell me whether you believe they're official or not.

Back to the topic, the set with all 9 titles is expensive, roughly $200 or more.  But if you haven't tried the Mini-LPs from Japan yet, this might be a good starting point because the Discovery slip box is incredibly well made.  If you already own the first edition Mini-LPs, then you're just getting a nice box.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

LOOKING ON, THE TRACK LIST

 

Play.com is the first to show the track list for the 2008 edition of Looking On.  Clearly, the last hope for the unreleased Jeff Lynne song Falling Forever is the upcoming Move box set.

  1. Looking On
  2. Turkish Tram Conductor Blues
  3. What?
  4. When Alice Comes Back To The Farm
  5. Open Up Said The World At The Door
  6. Brontosaurus
  7. Feel Too Good
  8. Lightnin' Never Strikes Twice (Rare B-Side)
  9. Looking On Part 1 (Take 3; Rough Mix - Previously Unreleased Version)
  10. Looking On Part 2 (Take 12; Rough Mix - Previously Unreleased Version)
  11. Turkish Tram Conductor Blues (Take 5; Rough Mix - Previously Unreleased Version)
  12. Open Up Said The World At The Door (Take 4; Rough Mix - Previously Unreleased Version)
  13. Feel Too Good (Take 11 Extract; Rough Mix - Previously Unreleased Version)
  14. The Duke Of Edinburgh's Lettuce (Take 2; Rough Mix - Previously Unreleased Version)

NEW INFORMATION

The Japanese Mini-LP CDs have now extended to Dave Edmunds.  Five of his albums (two with some help from Jeff Lynne) have been re-remastered and will be available as Cardboard Mini-LP editions in Japan beginning April 23.

Information (1983) and Riff Raff (1984) feature seven produced by Jeff Lynne tracks in all and according to the description, have been remastered using JVC K2 24bit remastering.  It, however, doesn't list which record company is releasing it or which cover art they'll be replicating.  Both Information and Riff Raff have different artwork between the UK and US.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

LOOKING ON IS LOOKING UP...

Pre-order links for the 2008 edition of Looking On by the Move are beginning to appear.  One here and another here.  Others are sure to follow.

The CD has 14 tracks, seven of those tracks will be bonus material and (as with the previous 2 Move remasters from Salvo) expect additonal bonus material online.

Street date is listed as April 15, which is a Tuesday.  But this may be a UK import, so this will probably be released on an adjacent Monday.

Monday, February 25, 2008

MINI-LP BOX

There's early word that the new set of Sony Mini-LPs from ELO will be boxed together (all 9) in a hardbound box with Disvoery artwork... Stay tuned. They're due out in Japan March 14.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

JEFF LYNNE FEATURING...

I'm listening to this collection of Mark Ronson productions.  Ronson's stock as a record producer has skyrocketed with his win for Amy Winehouse's Rehab.  This collection, which I highly recommend, has him teamed up with several other artists as well as "solo" tracks.

It, of course, got me to thinking if a similar CD by Jeff Lynne would make for a viable release.  The Rossif Sutherland tracks (which have yet to be released) would be a good feature as well as other artists Jeff has worked or would like to work.  Then, for good measure, weave in some new solo Jeff Lynne tracks, maybe an instrumental... and boom!... new music from Jeff and perhaps some support for other artists' tracks he produces.  Many ELO fans never really jumped on board his productions outside of ELO, which is a bit of a shame.  Hard to believe, but Zoom is seven years old this spring.

I was just wondering if anyone in Jeff's camp ever considered such a thing.

Friday, February 15, 2008

ROUND TWO...

There's a second pressing of the Japanese Mini-LP CDs from ELO coming March 14.  They're available for pre-order, but no word on whether there will be any differences with them.  These second editions will be for On The Third Day through Balance Of Power sans Xanadu and Long Beach.

Also, on April 1, it appears Ole ELO may be re-issued by Sony.  Another pre-order link here.  At $6.99 retail, it looks like they're going all out on this one. 

For those not in the know, Ole ELO was a nice compilation album from 1976 with tracks from the group's first 5 albums.  Some LPs had all full length songs, other editions had a few edited versions. 

Oddly enough, this LP spawned some of the most cherished collectibles for ELO fans.  A version on gold vinyl and promo-only cover is rare but easy to find with some digging.  However, in honor of the USA's bi-centennial year in 1976, three other promo-only versions of Ole ELO were pressed: one on red vinyl, one on white vinyl and one on blue vinyl.  Those three are extremely rare and valuable.