Wednesday, 1 August 2012
Jeff Lynne remakes the ELO classics
ELO mastermind Jeff Lynne is making a comeback with not just one but TWO albums in the same week.
He’ll release solo album Long Wave and ELO hits collection Mr Blue Sky on October 8.
The first is a set of covers, remembering the songs he grew up with in Birmingham.
It includes the likes of She, Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered, Smile and Love Is A Many Splendored Thing, all dressed up in his trademark polished pop production.
“What I love doing is overdubbing and making new sounds out of things that are sometimes quite ordinary on their own,” says Jeff, with trademark modesty.
“When you put them together, they make something new or something that sounds new. Just discovering things like that musically is a pleasure.”
Of rather more interest is Mr Blue Sky, on which Lynne has completely re-recorded the songs made famous by the Birmingham supergroup he led with drummer Bev Bevan.
According to his management, Lynne has “revisited and re-recorded, at his home studio in Los Angeles, the greatest hits of Electric Light Orchestra, actually improving on some of the most classic and beloved recordings ever.”
“There was a big reason I wanted to re-record these ELO songs,” says Lynne. “When I listen to the old versions they don’t sound the way I thought they did when I first wrote and recorded them.
“I wanted to use the experience I’ve gained producing records ever since and have a completely new try at them.
“I’m not saying the old versions aren’t good; I like them very much. We were doing our best, but experience and technology also play a big a big part, and these new ones sound much more solid and tight.”
The album includes a never-before-heard bonus track, The Point Of No Return, and a “very special version” of 10538 Overture that’s a nod to ELO’s 40th anniversary.
The setlist runs: Mr. Blue Sky, Evil Woman, Strange Magic, Don’t Bring Me Down, Turn To Stone, Showdown, Telephone Line, Livin’ Thing, Do Ya, Can’t Get It Out Of My Head, 10538 Overture and The Point Of No Return.
I’ll be interested to hear what they now sound like. Revisiting back catalogue isn’t always a good thing, even when you wrote some of the best-loved pop songs of a generation.