E(lectric)L(ight)O(chestra) out of the blue
Still rather wrong-headedly regarded as a ‘guilty pleasure’ (thanks Sean Rowley), Jeff Lynne’s Electric Light Orchestra were quite simply a gigantic pop hit machine. Oft-derided as a mere Beatles copyist, Lynne’s genius was to take his earliest ambition of recreating the rush felt when first hearing ‘’I Am The Walrus’’ and achieve it, again and again.
The formula was simple (and in this he was far from being alone in the early 70s) – to weld pure rock melody with classical stringed grandeur. When the idiosyncratic fellow ex-Move member Roy Wood jumped ship, Lynne began his rise to chart domination. Over the space of five years and six albums Jeff refined the sound in his head.
By 1976’s New World Record (their finest moment) he’d achieved world status and was now the master technician of the four-minute chamber pop format. By 1977 he had only one way to go – bigger and grander. But, as his sleevenotes recall, holed-up in the Swiss Alps he found inspiration slow in coming.
Finally the muse returned, in spades. So much in fact that Out Of The Blue became a double album. Increased budgets fitting the band’s status meant that the sound was now as big as it could get (for the time). Multi-layered EVERYTHING pours out of the speakers, almost drowning you in lushness. Considering how good it sounds buffed-up for digital consumption, it’s amazing that these tracks sounded so amazing on tinny old AM radio. The album yielded four enormous hits.
Of these, ‘’Sweet Talkin’ Woman’’ remains Lynne’s most perfect hit. From its George Martin-homage string intro to the massed acoustic guitars, it’s a rollercoaster of sweetness. These days, of course, everyone hails ‘’Mr Blue Sky’’ as his magnum opus, yet its wild construction shows the first sign that Jeff was trying a little too hard.
The rest of the album remains a solid, if somewhat bloated romp through concept-lite AOR. Dotted with bubbling ‘modernity’ in the shape of Richard Tandy’s synths (‘’The Whale’’) and childhood reverie (‘’Birmingham Blues’’, ‘’Wild West Hero’’), all wrapped in a suitably sci fi sleeve. ELO would never repeat its successes, and to this day Out Of The Blue remains an essential purchase for anyone wishing to bask in their pop perfection.
after all those years, yes time flies:) this album still rocks!!
As always…..order from me, I beat the price
The Rolling Stones 1971-2005 (Box Set
Release date: 01-06-2006 (originally released in 1976)
2006 issue UK 9-track LP pressed on 180 GRAM VINYL, -Eagles’ 5th album [originally released in 1976] was the one that turned them into soft rock superstars and wasalso the 1st album since founder member Bernie Leadon quit and was replaced by guitarist Joe Walsh; including their 2 smash hit singles ‘Hotel California’ & ‘Life In The Fast Lane’, presente in gatefold sleeve plus printed inner bag.
01. Hotel California
02. New Kid In Town
03. Life In The Fast Lane
04. Wasted Time
05. Wasted Time (2)
06. Victim Of Love
07. Pretty Maids All In A Row
08. Try And Love Again
09. Last Resort
Hotel California showcases both the best and worst tendencies of Los Angeles-situated rock, but more strikingly its lyrics present a convincing and unflattering portrait of the milieu itself. Don Henley, handling five of the eight vocal tracks, expresses well the weary disgust of a victim (or observer) of the region’s luxurious excess.
Yet the record’s firm musical bases cannot be overlooked. Bernie Leadon departed and Joe Walsh arrived; the Eagles have abandoned most of their bluegrass and country & western claims in favor of a more overt rock stance. Walsh’s exact effect isn’t always obvious, but his record does have subtleties and edges that have sometimes eluded the group. The title cut, for example, incorporates a pinch of reggae so smoothly that it’s more felt than heard. “Life in the Fast Lane,” propelled by Walsh’s guitar and Glenn Frey’s clavinet, rocks like it really means it; “Victim of Love” works similarly, though at a slower tempo. Henley is superb on all three.
The frequent orchestration, however, doesn’t always fit. “Pretty Maids All in a Row” employs glistening, high-pitched string synthesizer to good effect, adding a reserved tension to the slowly paced arrangement; but the approach fails on “Wasted Time,” an overarranged wash embodying the worst of rock-cum-Hollywood sensibilities. What does work is the elegant fullness of “The Last Resort,” whose concluding words sum up Hotel California: “You call some place Paradise…kiss it goodbye.
as always , order from me, save, fast and I will beat the price!!
the eagles-Long Road out of Eden
Release date: 22-11-2007
2007 UK limited edition 20-track 2-LP set pressed on Heavyweight Vinyl, which sees Glenn, Joe, Timothy & Don return with the 1st Eagles studio album for 28 years, packed with the organic musicianship, insightful lyrics and soaring harmonies that helped make the band’s ‘Greatest Hits’ album the biggest seller ever and the band an ever-present touring force, includes the single ‘How Long’ plus the epic 10 minute title track, presented in a sealed textured gatefoldpicture sleeve with printed inner bags
01. No More Walks in the Wood
02. How Long
03. Busy Being Fabulous
04. What Do I Do With My Heart
05. Guilty of the Crime
06. I Donâ€™t Want to Hear Anymore
07. Waiting in the Weeds
08. No More Cloudy Days
09. Fast Company
10. Do Something
11. You Are Not Alone
12. Long Road out of Eden
13. I Dreamed There Was No War
15. Frail Grasp on the Big Picture
16. Last Good Time in Town
17. I Love to Watch a Woman Dance
18. Business as Usual
19. Center of the Universe
20. Itâ€™s Your World Now
Their first album of all new material in 28 years, the four standing members of The Eagles have a pretty good memory of what made them special in the first place. A 20-song effort, “Long Road Out of Eden” has a sufficient dose of sweeping harmonies, an overall uplifting spirit and a country-rock vibe that’s more peaceful easy feelings than anything Messrs. Henley or Frey have done as solo acts. A few heartier rockers, which have elements that show The Eagles are not strictly working off a 30-year-old blueprint, help break up the softness. Glenn Frey’s reading of Jack Tempchin and John Brannen’s “Somebody” delivers the goods most sharply in making connection between The Eagles when we last heard from them (1979) and today.
AS ALWAYS ORDER FROM ME THIS FANTASTIC ELPEE FROM THE EAGLES, A FAVORITE OF MINE, AND YOU KNOW, I BEAT THE PRICE