The Return of Mr. Blue Sky
Electric Light Orchestra fans have reason to rejoice this October as Jeff Lynne, the maestro behind the iconic 70s Classical Rockers biggest hits, has returned to the recording studio and will be releasing not one, but TWO new albums on 10/09/2012!
The creative force of ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA and the singularly accomplished singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer will release two albums onOctober 9 via Frontiers Records: the solo disc LONG WAVE, a heartfelt and vivid tribute to some of the very songs that originally inspired him, and MR. BLUE SKY–THE VERY BEST OF ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA. For the latter album, the British artist has artfully 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.
“It all comes down to what you truly love doing, and what I love doing is overdubbing and making new sounds out of things that are sometimes quite ordinary on their own, but when you put them together, they make something new or something that sounds new. Just discovering things like that musically is a pleasure.”, Lynne explained in his most recent press release.
The release of LONG WAVE and MR. BLUE SKY–THE VERY BEST OF ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA mark the 40th anniversary of ELO. Lynne’s legacy will further be celebrated with releases in 2013 including ELO Live! plus expanded reissues of the ELO’s 2001 album Zoom and Lynne’s first solo album from 1990, Armchair Theatre.
LONG WAVE powerfully celebrates the music of a time when Lynne’s lifelong passion for music began, evoking an era back when old standards were just giving way to rock & roll. He somehow makes pre-rock standards like “Bewitched, Bothered And Bewildered,” “Smile” and “Love Is A Many Splendored Thing”along with a few of his favorite gems from the Sixties such as the first single“Mercy, Mercy,” “Let It Rock” and “So Sad” his own with these loving versions. ’s deeply felt and musically brilliant one-man-band takes add up to an inspired love letter to music itself and an exquisite reflection of the way songs grace and change our lives.
While talking recently about his solo “covers” album Lynne said, “I call this new album Long Wave because all of the songs I sing on it are the ones heard on long wave radio when I was a kid growing up in Birmingham, England,” Lynne explains. “These songs take me back to that feeling of freedom in those days and summon up the feeling of first hearing those powerful waves of music coming in on my old crystal set. My dad also had the radio on all the time, so some of these songs have been stuck in my head for 50 years. You can only imagine how great it felt to finally get them out of my head after all these years.”
MR. BLUE SKY–THE VERY BEST OF ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA is a powerful testament to Lynne’s enduring artistry and his singular desire to get things right once and for all. Featuring such classics as “Evil Woman,” “Don’t Bring Me Down,” “Livin’ Thing” and “Mr. Blue Sky,” the result is, in effect, a kind of showdown between Jeff Lynne today and his extremely illustrious past, and thanks to improved technology and recording artistry, Lynne somehow comes out on top again. It’s a fresh chance to hear these extraordinary songs sounding sharper and clearer than the old versions. The album also 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.
“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.”
We’ve actually heard a few of Lynne’s new takes on his old classics and, no surprise, it’s a bit of a mixed bag, considering our ears have been finely tuned to the originals for over 3 decades. That being said, some of the tracks are brilliant revisions and, if you are a true old school fan of the band, this new release is a must for your collection.
As for the solo album LONG WAVE, it’s love at first listen for us. When it comes to a covers collection it’s all in the selection and Lynne has chosen some really excellent tunes for this album, thank God it’s digital because if it were vinyl we might have worn out the grooves by now.
Check out the first video and single from Jeff Lynne’s LONG WAVE, “Mercy, Mercy“, originally recorded by Southern soul singer Don Covay in 1964