Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Lynne’

As a young teen fan watching “Top Of The Pops”, getting into The Move was natural, It was rewarded with an intense admiration of albums such as “Shazam” and then later Roy Wood’s “Message From The Country”. Back then, affordable compilations covering the career of The Move were few and far between save for the rather good “Greatest Hits Vol. 1” released on budget label Pickwick (SHM952), partly in “electronically created stereo”.
The advent of the CD and the release of several anthologies and expanded album reissues has kept admirers of The Move pretty content over the last decade but, for me, there hasn’t been a single disc compilation that ticked all the boxes in covering their career from “Night Of Fear” up to “California Man”. That is until now. “Magnetic Waves Of Sound: The Best Of The Move” (ECLEC22554) is a remarkable release in that the 21 tracks on the CD are twinned with another 21 audio-visual treats on the accompanying DVD including the bands full infamous “Colour Me Pop” performance and a pristine promotional film for “I Can Hear The Grass Grow”. The folks at Esoteric Recordings (an imprint of Cherry Red Records) have done an admirable job in not only including every single issued by The Move on the CD, but also in selecting wisely album track nuggets such as “Kilroy Was Here”, “What?” and the classic “Cherry Blossom Clinic Revisited”. An observation (but not a criticism) is that I’d have loved to see “Beautiful Daughter” included within the CD too,
All the hits are there and then some. The attractiveness and value of “Magnetic Waves Of Sound: The Best Of The Move” has been rewarded with impressive pre-orders and, at the time of writing, an entry into the Official Album Chart Update at a healthy #54, The Move and their role in the sparking creativity of The Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) is a well known fact but this superb double disc collection gives both the avid fan and the casual music buyer a wonderful journey through the hit laden career of not only one of THE best bands of their time. This collection is also an appreciation of the stellar songwriting output of the one and only Roy Wood as well as those immovable contributions of Bev Bevan, Carl Wayne, Chris ‘Ace’ Kefford, Trevor Burton, Rick Price and, of course, Jeff Lynne.

Continuing its series of reissues dedicated to the Birmingham rockers The Move, Cherry Red’s Esoteric Recordings imprint has just issued a CD/DVD collection that chronicles the band’s many facets and iterations between 1966 and 1972.  Magnetic Waves of Sound: The Best of The Move, featuring 21 tracks on CD and a further 21 live performances and promotional films on DVD, is certainly not the group’s first anthology, but it’s doubtless among the finest.

Over the course of just four studio albums – all but one of which, 1971’s Message from the Country, has been reissued and expanded by Esoteric – the band made a dizzying number of transformations.  Pop-psychedelia, mod soul, hard riff-rock, country, cabaret, folk, and rockabilly were all part of The Move’s repertoire.  The band went through five line-ups, with singer/songwriter/guitarist Roy Wood and drummer/vocalist Bev Bevan the two constants; Wood and Bevan would, of course, go on to form the original Electric Light Orchestra with Jeff Lynne, the Idle Race leader who joined The Move in 1970.  Lead singer Carl Wayne’s 1966-1970 yielded the lion’s share of the group’s hits, while the seemingly rotating bass chair went from Chris “Ace” Kefford to Trevor Burton to Rick Price before the Wood/Lynne/Bevan triumvirate abandoned a permanent bass slot for The Move’s final incarnation.

All ten of the band’s U.K. charting singles are here, from 1966’s Tchaikovsky-quoting “Night of Fear” through 1972’s fifties retro-style “California Man,” as well as “Do Ya,” The Move’s only U.S. hit.  (It was famously re-recorded by Electric Light Orchestra for 1976’s A New World Record.)  A healthy selection of B-sides and album tracks are peppered throughout the set, as well.  All of the tracks showcase not only the band’s great stylistic diversity but the strength of Roy Wood’s melodic pop sensibility.  Though The Move could rock (the harsher sound of “Hello Susie” is still jarring in this chronological context), their singles were more often than not compact pop creations, including the controversial “Flowers in the Rain” (subject of a High Court lawsuit that forced Wood to forfeit all of his royalties, then and now, from the composition), the urgent “Fire Brigade,” shimmering “(Here We Go Round) The Lemon Tree” and baroque “Blackberry Way.”  Move records were reliably filled with lush harmonies and unusual, dramatic instrumentation, sometimes courtesy of then-assistant producer Tony Visconti. Indeed, The Move were progressive before the word had entered the rock lexicon.

The final tracks on the CD portion of Magnetic Waves of Sound, culled from the Message from the Country era, were recorded as Lynne, Wood, and Bevan created Electric Light Orchestra.  As such, they complement the debut of ELO (the band’s only album with Wood (though he played, uncredited, on a couple of tracks from ELO 2).  “Ella James” was selected as the first single from Message, though it was quickly withdrawn and replaced with the jauntier “Tonight,” which was more redolent of the “classic” Move sound. The brisk, breezy “China Town” has Wood and Lynne trading vocals, with the latter already bringing a Beatles influence into the band and Wood bringing his best George Harrison-esque slide lines.

The second disc of this set – The Move on the Air: TV Broadcasts 1967-1970 – is an essential part of this package but could easily stand on its own, with 21 clips on DVD.  Note that this disc is region-free/NTSC, playable everywhere.  Quality is variable, particularly because the original aspect ratios have been converted to widescreen, leading to some “stretching” of the image.   The images are otherwise sharp and detailed, and the audio equally fine.  The centerpiece is a ten-song set from The BBC’s Colour Me Pop (in color, naturally) recorded on January 4th, 1969 featuring not only hits like “I Can Hear the Grass Grow,” “Flowers in the Rain,” and “Blackberry Way” but also covers such as Tom Paxton’s “The Last Thing on My Mind,” Carole King and Gerry Goffin’s “Goin’ Back,” and the Louvin Brothers’ “Christian Life.”  Three songs from this set are lip-synched, while the remainder showcases the four-piece band after Chris “Ace” Kefford’s departure in its potent live prime.  Other strong, primal performances have been culled from broadcasts of Top of the Pops and Germany’s Beat Beat Beat and Beat Club.

Magnetic Waves of Sound is housed in a digipak containing both a fold-out poster and a 20-page booklet featuring a new essay by Mark Paytress as well as credits, a chart of the band line-ups, and discography.  Ben Wiseman has remastered, and sound quality is identical to the remasters, and comparable for the tracks new to this series.  The first eleven tracks on the CD are happily all presented in their original mono mixes.  This set is a fine addition to Esoteric’s stellar program dedicated to the underrated Brumbeat band.

CD

  1. Night of Fear (Deram DM 109-A, 1966) (*)
  2. I Can Hear the Grass Grow (Deram DM 117-A, 1967) (*)
  3. Wave the Flag and Stop the Train (Deram DM 117-B, 1967) (*)
  4. Kilroy Was Here (from Move, Regal Zonophone LRZ 1002, 1968) (*)
  5. (Here We Go Round) The Lemon Tree (from Move, Regal Zonophone LRZ 1002, 1968) (*)
  6. Walk Upon the Water (from Move, Regal Zonophone LRZ 1002, 1968) (*)
  7. Flowers in the Rain (Regal Zonophone RZ 3001-A, 1967) (*)
  8. Fire Brigade (Regal Zonophone RZ 3005-A, 1968) (*)
  9. Wild Tiger Woman (Regal Zonophone RZ 3012-A, 1968) (*)
  10. Blackberry Way (Regal Zonophone RZ 3015-A, 1968) (*)
  11. Curly (Regal Zonophone RZ 3021-A, 1969) (*)
  12. Hello Susie (from Shazam, Regal Zonophone SLRZ 1012, 1970)
  13. Cherry Blossom Clinic (Revisited) (from Shazam, Regal Zonophone SLRZ 1012, 1970)
  14. Brontosaurus (Regal Zonophone RZ 3026-A, 1970)
  15. When Alice Comes Back to the Farm (Fly Records BUG 2, 1970)
  16. What? (from Looking On, Fly Records FLY 1, 1970)
  17. Ella James (Harvest HAR 5036-A, 1971)
  18. Tonight (Harvest HAR 5038-A, 1971)
  19. China Town (Harvest HAR 5043-A, 1971)
  20. California Man (Harvest HAR 5050-A, 1972)
  21. Do Ya? (Harvest HAR 5086-A, 1972)

DVD

  1. I Can Hear the Grass Grow (Promotional Film)

HR TV Germany Beat Beat Beat – June 26, 1967

  1. Walk Upon the Water
  2. I Can Hear the Grass Grow
  3. Night of Fear

BBC Top of the Pops – February 15, 1968

  1. Fire Brigade

BBC Colour Me Pop – January 4, 1969

  1. I Can Hear the Grass Grow
  2. Beautiful Daughter
  3. Christian Life
  4. Flowers in the Rain
  5. The Last Thing on My Mind
  6. Wild Tiger Woman
  7. Goin’ Back
  8. Fire Brigade
  9. Something
  10. Blackberry Way

Radio Bremen TV Germany Beat Club – February 1968

  1. Fire Brigade
  2. Wild Tiger Woman
  3. Blackberry Way

Radio Bremen TV Germany Beat Club – August 1969

  1. Curly

Radio Bremen TV Germany Beat Club – April 1970

  1. Brontosaurus

Radio Bremen TV Germany Beat Club – December 1970

  1. When Alice Comes Back to the Farm

Image may contain: 4 people

Run Out Groove curated new collection of Idle Race’s best Liberty-era tracks.

The Idle Race were a British rock group from Birmingham in the late 1960s and early 1970s who garnered a cult following but never enjoyed mass commercial success. In addition to being the springboard for Jeff Lynne’s career, the band holds a place of significance in British pop-rock history as a link between The Move, Electric Light Orchestra, The Steve Gibbons Band and Mike Sheridan and The Nightriders. The band was initially formed in 1959 under the name of Billy King and The Nightriders; and consisted of core-members rhythm guitarist Dave Pritchard and drummer Roger Spencer, along with vocalist Billy King, bassist Brian Cope, and lead guitarist Al Johnson. In 1962, King departed and was replaced by Mike Tyler who changed his name to Sheridan and this change coincided with the band’s rise and gaining a record deal with EMI in 1964.

Around this time Cope was replaced by Greg Masters and Johnson by lead guitarist, Roy Wood. Wood who went on to find greater success in subsequent bands, had his first commercially released composition, Make Them Understand, with the Nightriders in 1965. By 1965 Wood then formed the Move and the band started touring by 1966. Johnny Mann was eventually replaced by Jeff Lynne—who at the time was an unknown guitar prodigy from Birmingham. They released one single in 1966 on Polydor—It’s Only The Dog / Your Friend featuring Lynne on lead guitar. Eager to showcase Lynne’s vocal and guitar skills as well as his growing cache of catchy Beatlesque songs and wishing to embrace the psychedelic movement of the time, the group changed its name, first to The Idyll Race and then The Idle Race. Roy Wood who had become a star as The Move became a successful chart act, helped arrange a partnership with producers Eddie Offord and Gerald Chevin for The Idle Race. In 1967, the band was the first major signing by the new British arm of Liberty Records. Only their first single (not issued in the UK) and their first album got released in the US on Liberty. The band was well received by the press for their melodies, whimsical lyrics and inventive production. They often appeared live in performance with such bands as The Spencer Davis Group, The Who, The Small Face, Pink Floyd, The Moody Blues, Status Quo, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Yes and Free. BBC disc jockeys such as John Peel and Kenny Everett were big champions of the group.

Despite critical respect and famous admirers such as The Beatles and Marc Bolan, The Idle Race failed to catch fire with the public. After suffering through bad luck that sabotaged their efforts in releasing singles Here We Go ‘Round The Lemon Tree, The Skeleton and the Roundabout, and The End Of The Road, the band splintered, leaving in their wake several of the quirkiest and most distinctive pop records of the psychedelic era.

Jeff Lynne will release the 14th Electric Light Orchestra album, From Out of Nowhere, on November 1st via Columbia Records. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee previewed the LP , the second billed under the moniker “Jeff Lynne’s ELO” following 2015’s Alone in the Universe — with the dreamy title track.

“From Out of Nowhere” conjures vintage ELO, minus the symphonic edge of the band’s layered keyboards and strings. “Let me go, let me fly to a place that I love,” Lynne croons over a jangling, descending guitar progression and steady, choppy drums. “Let me fly away and start anew.

ELO recently concluded their second North American tour since 1981, featuring Dhani Harrison as opener. Lynne, the band’s singer-songwriter, performed virtually every instrument on the new record — just as he did on Alone in the Universe. Accordingly he played “nearly every note of the music on guitars, bass, piano, drums, keyboards and vibes, as well as singing all of the lead and layered harmony vocals,” with engineer Steve Jay “[adding] some percussion.”

“From Out of Nowhere — that’s exactly where it came from,” Lynne said in a statement. “That’s the first one I wrote for this album, and it’s kind of like that.” He noted that he was aiming to spread optimism with both the song and album: “Everybody’s got to have a bit of hope.”

MOVE Shazam low

The first 2 of our 4 The Move titles are released now “Move” and “Shazam” both deluxe versions come with tons of unreleased, BBC extras material etc and have lovely packaging courtesy of Phil Smee. (who is a massive fan too) . There are also vanilla remastered versions available too.

Esoteric Recordings have done an amazing job on these reissues of the first two albums of The Move – lovely looking and sounding packages with stacks of quality bonus material. Reissues of the year so far? The Move occupy a funny place in rock history. With a string of inventive and relentlessly tuneful singles to their credit (not to mention consistently entertaining albums) they’re the sort of band that should be mentioned in the same breath as the Kinks and the Who, but ask your average punter under forty to name one of their songs and you’re unlikely to get anywhere  Add to that the Jeff Lynne connection, and you’ve got an instant recipe for footnote status.

These two new reissues from Esoteric Recordings provide further proof of just how unjust this situation is. What we have here are packed, deluxe editions of the band’s first two albums.  There have been plenty reissues of this material already, often haphazardly and carelessly assembled. Likely this is another reason for the Move’s legacy being somewhat lesser than it should be, but these two releases are lovingly curated gems that treat the source material and the fans with the respect that they deserve.

Each is available in a single disc ‘vanilla’ edition, containing the original albums with contemporary a & b sides as bonus tracks, or densely packed, nugget-laden deluxe editions which are a true collector’s dreams.

The self titled debut and its surrounding singles (“Night of Fear” and “Flowers in the Rain” etc.) are concise psychedelic pop gems that marry Beatlesque melodies and arrangements with often unhinged source material ala Syd Barrett. Just the ticket for those who find the Beatles too straight and wish that Syd was a little more tuneful, although you’re speaking to the wrong person if you’re looking for an impartial critic of either of those acts here. Recorded over the space of 14 months it’s no wonder that it feels almost like a hits collection. Three cover versions (of tunes originally by Eddie Cochran, James F. Hanley and Moby Grape) illustrate the band’s diverse influences, but it’s Roy Wood’s own compositions that really take this to the next level. Hugely catchy, with clever, often baroque arrangements (which demonstrate just how important Wood’s contribution to ELO would be in the future), these are classic examples of the two and a half minute pop song, peppered with just the right amount of psychedelia and English whimsy. And that thunderous bass really sets them apart from the pack.

There’s also a brace of pre-psychedelic tracks from 1966 when the band were a straight beat act, which are fascinating listens in their own right, while also demonstrating just how much the band’s distinctive sound developed over the following year.

The Move were a very successful singles band, especially early in their career. Five of the first six Move singles placed in the UK top 5, with ‘Blackberry Way’ reaching #1.

The early Move single that failed to chart was ‘Wild Tiger Woman’. Released in August 1968 it was heavier than most of the band’s material, influenced by Jimi Hendrix. It was banned from BBC Radio One due to the line “tied to the bed, she’s waiting to be fed”. The group later stated that they should have released the single’s b-side, ‘Omnibus’, as the a-side.

‘Omnibus’ is enjoyably quirky, and distinctly English. Omnibus was originally the word for a large horse-drawn carriage, and the word bus is a contraction of omnibus. ‘Omnibus’ is sophisticated, with unexpected melodic twists, while the closing guitar solo hints at Bach’s ‘Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring’. Like most of The Move’s material, ‘Omnibus’ was written by Roy Wood – along with The Move’s hits, he’s perhaps best known for the Wizzard’s seasonal glam song ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday’.

The combination of loud guitars, pop melody, and vocal harmonies are surprisingly similar to the records that Cheap Trick would make almost a decade later. Cheap Trick are clearly fans of The Move – they’ve released their own covers of ‘California Man’, ‘Brontosaurus’, and ‘Blackberry Way’.

“Shazam” is a totally different beast, but still obviously the work of the same band. And it’s every bit as good as its predecessor too.

Moving on from the short-form pop songs found on the Move (excepting the lovely “Beautiful Daughter”), this is the Move as a heavy proto-prog band, a shoe that fits surprisingly well. All of the things that made the first album so appealing are still evident here – the distinctive harmonies, the huge bass (now played by Trevor Burton) – but there’s less reliance on the studio, and more of a focus on band interplay, which is uniformly impressive. There are some pretty heavy moments here (the surprisingly bluesy “Don’t Make My Baby Blue”), but it never gets clumsy or heavy-handed, and there are reprieves peppered throughout in the form of exquisitely harmonised choruses, not to mention the classical middle section of “Cherry Blossom Clinic Revisited”. Wood only has one new original to offer, but the covers are so well assimilated you’d swear he’d written them too if the source material wasn’t so familiar.

MOVE low

The bonus tracks on the single disc edition show that Wood still had some classic single-worthy material in him too, including their sole UK number one, the Beatlesque “Blackberry Way” and the appealingly jaunty “Curly”. Also addended to the multi-disc version are a treasure trove of BBC recordings in very fine fidelity, which again demonstrate the Move’s mastery of a multitude of styles, as well as their ability to tackle some pretty intimidating source material and not lose their own sense of identity. Great things abound here, but the highlights for this listener are surprising stabs at popular murder ballad “Long Black Veil” and the Nazz’s “Open My Eyes”, as well as a great take on Dusty Springfield’s “Goin’ Back”, which flexes it’s muscles and makes the Byrds version sound like a bit of a pipsqueak .

It’s refreshing to see two such accomplished albums expanded so comprehensively, yet still in a fashion that accentuates their excellence, rather than diluting it down with unnecessary mixes and material best left on the cutting room floor. If these aren’t the best expanded editions released this year, I’ll be very surprised. I can’t wait to check out Esoteric’s treatment of the rest of the band’s catalogue now.

The second pair of Esoteric Recordings “The Move” reissues are released on 27th May, this will be “Looking on” and the full album version of Something Else from the Move . “Looking on” is a double and is only available as double deluxe version . Full track listings can be found on the Esoteric or Cherry Red Website . Hope you will be enjoying the new issues of Move and Shazam.

Jeff Lynne is taking ELO on the road for the first time in almost thirty years. Known as one of the most iconic forces in music history, Jeff Lynne’s new album will be the first new ELO music in 15 years. Entitled Alone In The Universe, the album is set for global release November 13th 2015. As with ELO’s previous chart-topping albums, Jeff Lynne continues to serve as ELO’s producer, songwriter, arranger, lead singer and guitarist.

Lynne was the creative genius behind ELO which sold more than 50 million albums worldwide, had more than 20 Top 40 Hits across the U.S. and the U.K. and received countless awards and accolades. At the time of ELO’s formation, Lynne had said the goal was to create modern rock and pop songs. A goal that remains true some 30 years later with the creation of new material.

A ten date UK run has been confirmed for April 2016. The tour is named after the new ELO album “Alone In The Universe” which is set for release on Friday 13th November. The full list of dates is as follows:

April 2016

5th – Liverpool Echo Arena
7th – Nottingham Arena

Music video by Jeff Lynne’s ELO performing “When I Was A Boy”. (C) 2015 Big Trilby Records, under exclusive license to Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment.

Jeff Lynne fans have a lot to be excited about. he annouced that Jeff Lynne’s ELO will release the first ELO album in over a decade.

The long player represents the first new music from the (one man?) band in over a decade and you can already listen to a typically Beatlesy song from the album.

The deluxe CD edition of Alone in the Universe adds two bonus tracks to the standard ten-track album – Faultline and Blue.

Called “Alone in the Universe”, the album will debut November. 13th via Columbia Records and is available for pre-order Friday. He also dropped the collection’s first single, “When I Was A Boy,”

ELO_alone

“Music is such a powerful force in our lives. A good song can make people feel much less alone in this universe,” Lynne said in a press release. “And trying to create one of those songs somehow makes me feel less alone too. My whole life—from being that kid with a dream in Birmingham right until today—proves how much music can do.”

Earlier this year Lynne performed “Evil Woman” and “Mr. Blue Sky” at the Grammys

elo-Jeff-Lynne-vocals

Birmingham Musician and ELO founder returned to the stage for his first full UK show as part of “The festival In A Day” at Hyde Park in central London, at 66 years old it was Lynne’s first time on stage in for nearly 30 years, accompanied by the BBC concert Orchestra and original ELO pianist Richard Tandy opened with the song “All Over The World” and then the hits came thick and fast “Livin Thing” ,Evil Woman” then “Showdown” Jeff Lynne’s voice was as good as ever on “Strange Magic” and especially “Can’t Get It Out Of My Head”A suprise version from the Travelling Wilburys album “Handle With Care” then the climatic ending with “Turn To Stone”, “Don’t Let It Bring You Down” and “Mr Blue Sky” it was eighty minutes of pure enjoyment and great musicianship the band seemed genuinely moved by the overwhelming crowd response Lynne is now living in Hollywood He prefers to produce and play in his home studio having many offers to perform Live. The highlight for me was 10538 Overture jeff looked so relaxed

Electric Light Orchestra band leader Jeff Lynne has announced he will be performing a full show with the band for the first time since the songs played in 2013 for the BBC Children in Need but this will be a full show as part of the BBC2 Live in Hyde Park event already also booked are BLONDIE and Chrissie HYNDE.