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Three Songs No Flash

The Jesus Of Uncool Is Risen: ELO Live, By Simon Price
Simon Price , September 16th, 2014 08:13

Simon Price has written some beautiful words about this year's significant musical live returns. But, he says, the unfairly derided ELO playing the BBC's Prom in Hyde Park was the one that'd get the tears flowing

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Of all the mythic heroes rock & roll has thrown up, the lead singer of the Electric Light Orchestra may, on the face of it, seem an unlikely candidate to adopt as a role model. Nevertheless, when I was a child and I imagined myself as a grown-up, Jeff Lynne was the grown-up I imagined being. In my mind's eye, I saw the curly perm (l already had the wavy hair, halfway there), well-kept beard, aviator sunglasses, denim flares, serenely laid back and blissfully benign countenance. A Christ in shades.

It didn't quite turn out that way. At the age of ten, I was utterly unaware that fashions would change, and had no clue that such a thing as Youth Culture would get its claws into me when the hormones kicked in. In 1978 - the year of 'Mr Blue Sky' - my listening habits chiefly involved Blondie, Boney M, Bee Gees, The Boomtown Rats (it was a very Letter B year), as well as ABBA and ELO. This was the last moment of innocence, before 1979, before Tubeway Army on Top Of The Pops and The Specials on the Top 40 countdown, before having my head turned by the New Wave. The last moment of not giving a flying fuck about COOL. I miss it terribly.

The Electric Light Orchestra were arguably the most uncool, even defiantly anti-cool, of the lot, and have been the slowest to be rehabilitated since, their name raising lip-curled sneers among musical cognoscenti, the punchline to bad jokes. This is why they, along with Wings, are forever associated with Alan Partridge, who claimed to have seen them at the Birmingham NEC in 1976 (a gig which, as any ELO nerd will tell you, never happened: the band played the Town Hall that year). It's why, if you express a liking for them, strangers will invariably assume you're plugging into the kitsch Guilty Pleasures mindset. (If you meet one who doesn't, you've got a friend for life.)

Not that it's prevented their legacy from leaking through into popular culture. They've been sampled by dozens upon dozens of acts, from Company Flow to the Pussycat Dolls, if you go looking. Every now and then, in my journalistic career, it's been possible to coax a contemporary band to admit to an ELO influence, The Flaming Lips and Super Furry Animals being two examples. But the band in whom I perceive the greatest amount of ELO DNA are outside the rock genre altogether: Daft Punk. ELO's Universalism and Utopianism, free from the 70s disease of autobiographical self-expression, is all over their landmark album Discovery (non-coincidentally, also an ELO album title; Bangalter and Homem-Christo even sample ELO on 'Face To Face'). Not to say that ELO dealt purely in cosmic positivity: many of their songs are desperately sad and deeply heartfelt. But, crucially, the 'heart' in 'heartfelt' was always primarily that of the listener, not the artist. Which is how all great pop should be.

Even at the time, being an ELO fan wasn't easy. My dad, and other serious music heads of his generation, dismissed ELO as mere Beatles copyists. Of course, The Beatles themselves took a more positive view: John Lennon called them "Sons of The Beatles", and the other three members would later collaborate with Lynne several times, even bringing him in to be George Martin's stunt double by completing production on the unreleased demos 'Free As A Bird' and 'Real Love'. The comparison was, of course, an undeniable one: ELO's early material fulfilled their stated intention to carry on where 'I Am The Walrus' left off. But it was also an irrelevant one, to a child growing up in the 70s. The Beatles belonged to a black-and-white world before I even existed. ELO belonged to the now, when I could buy 'Sweet Talkin' Woman' on thrilling grape-coloured vinyl.

Everything's been done before, if you search hard enough. See that "Jesus Of Uncool" Nick Lowe-based pun at the top? Rolling Stone's Chris Martin cover, 2008. See that "Man From U.N.C.O.O.L." call-back at the bottom? An unscreened Micky Flanagan TV pilot, 2012. It ain't what you do. It's the way that you do it. And the way ELO did it - ultra-melodic symphonic pomp-rock with sci-fi overtones - was jubilantly, irresistibly effervescent.

All of which explains why I approach Hyde Park, where BBC Radio 2 have lured Lynne out of semi-retirement to headline this year's Proms In The Park gig some 28 years since the last proper ELO show, with even more excitement than I have for any of this year's other notable live comebacks (sorry Kate, sorry Prince).

Already, I hear the distant moan of naysayers. Is this really ELO? For some, the prefix "Jeff Lynne's" before the official billing sets alarm bells ringing. There will always be "I prefer the early stuff" snobs who bang on about Roy Wood (even though he was only involved in one and a half albums). And it's easy to say, from the outside, that it would've been nice if Lynne had rebuilt bridges with 70s ELO alumni like bassist Kelly Groucutt before he died of a heart attack in 2009 and Mike Edwards before he was killed by a runaway hay bale in 2010. Or to cross your fingers for the involvement of Mik 'Violinski' Kaminski or cellist Hugh McDowell (both of whom, along with Groucutt, toured for many years in ELO continuation/tribute acts ELO Part II and The Orchestra), or drummer Bev Bevan (perhaps unlikely, after the legal wranglings caused by his launching of ELO Part II).

But ELO, apart from reluctant frontman Lynne, were never about the individual faces. Instead, they were represented by that neon flying saucer logo (based on the rainbow arc of a Wurlitzer jukebox). And, as it turns out, this incarnation does feature pianist Richard Tandy from the classic 70s line-ups, and the BBC Concert Orchestra do an extraordinary job of nailing the majesty of the original recordings. This is, in so many senses, as good as it's going to get, and it's good enough for me.

By showtime, There Ain't A Cloud In Sight has triumphed over It's Raining All Over The World, and even the landgrabs by the territorial picnickers, stalking their little squares of turf with checked blankets, can't kill the buzz. When Jeff Lynne - who couldn't look more like Jeff Lynne if he tried - steps out and strikes up 'All Over The World' (the only pop song ever to mention the Birmingham district of Shard End) and that logo appears, I completely lose my shit, and almost start crying. Suddenly, I am that kid who bought the blue vinyl 10 inch from Kelly's in Cardiff indoor market, all the troublesome, tricky, awkward, angsty stuff that music and life threw at me subsequently is erased, and I'm basking in the eternal sunshine of the spotless mind.

Misogyny-rock masterpiece 'Evil Woman' follows, with just a slight autocue malfunction pock-marking the perfection, and it's clear that anyone who was hoping for a clever-clever set of album tracks will be disappointed: Lynne is in Greatest Hits mode, and that's fine by me. “Ma-Ma-Ma Belle', whose original recording featured the guitar of Lynne's old mate Marc Bolan (who happened to be in the studio next door), proves that ELO could seriously ROCK, and the utterly sublime 'Showdown' shows their versatility: incorporating funk and soul into their sound (a couple of years, incidentally, ahead of Bowie).

Lynne, who seems like one of the world's loveliest men, appears genuinely humbled and amazed by the rapturous reception, all thumbs-aloft and "you're fantastic" and "you're marvellous". I don't know who's more emotional: him, or us.

The run of hits continues. There's 'Livin' Thing', now indelibly associated with the unfurling of Dirk Diggler's monster cock at the end of Boogie Nights. There's 'Strange Magic', one of ELO's lesser tunes, but still sumptuous and intoxicating in its way. And, at last, something for the Roy Wood fan club. "This is the first one we ever 'ad an 'it with...", he announces, still West-Midlands-as-anything despite decades in Hampstead and Hollywood, before '10538 Overture'. The escaped-prisoner epic (as ripped off by Paul Weller on 'The Changing Man') is a piece of mournful Brummie depression rock that's up there - or way down there - with anything Sabbath ever did. (Close your eyes and imagine Ozzy on vocals. It totally works.)

The concept album El Dorado is represented by the impossibly lovely 'Can't Get It Out Of My Head', the inner monologue of a bank worker who's haunted by a Siren-like apparition he's seen on the sea at night. 'Sweet Talkin' Woman' is perhaps the ultimate ELO song, super-dramatic pseudo-classical intro, killer call-and-response verses, hysteric falsetto chorus, and countless breakdowns and reprises custom-built for singalongs and overhead handclaps. The galloping 'Turn To Stone', in which Lynne earns a round of applause for carrying off the high-speed tongue-twisting bridge ("Yes, I'm turning to stone/Cos you ain't coming home/Why ain't you coming home/If I'm turning to stone/You've been gone for so long/And I can't carry on/Yes, I'm turning, I'm turning/I'm turning to stone..."), rewards ELO-nerds with an animation of the city skyline from the Jet label, then there's a brief break in the ELO hits-fest as Lynne pays tribute to George Harrison and Roy Orbison with 'Handle With Care' by The Travelin' Wilburys.

"Hello? How are you? Have you been alright? Through all those lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely nights?" See, Jeff cares. He understands. He knows. OK, it's just a song, and the sentimental impact of those words from 'Telephone Line', taken out of their lyrical context and interpreted as a question directed at us, after such a long absence, looks silly when I look at my notebook scribbles in the cold light of day. But WHAT a song. Martin Carr of The Boo Radleys once named ‘Telephone Line' as his favourite song of all time, and it was difficult to fault the call.

The slightly OCD tendencies which were revealed by BBC4's documentary on Lynne a couple of years ago, which found him attempting to correct the original ELO recordings, are exhibited by the night's only album track, 'Steppin' Out' (from Out Of The Blue). "This is a song I never got right", he explains. "It's better now..."

Then we're back to serious business. 'Don't Bring Me Down' is one of the most pulverising rock & roll records ever made, that earth-shattering robo-boogie beat accompanied on the backscreen by those booty-shaking burlesque figures from the video, and 20,000 people shout "Gruß!!!" in unison. (Note to jokers: it's the German word for 'greeting', and was never "Bruce!".) It's the song that gave ZZ Top an entire career (or at least, a second one), and The Dandy Warhols their basis for 'Not If You Were The Last Junkie On Earth'. When ELO are on this sort of majestic form, it's as if the mothership from Close Encounters Of The Third Kind has stopped teasing Dreyfuss, Truffaut & co that little five-note soundcheck, and blasted Devil Mountain into gravel with an intergalactic rock & roll spectacular. I never want it to end.

The only moment of full-bodied fromage is 'Rock And Roll Is King'. I'm just grateful that it isn't 'The Diary Of Horace Wimp'. Those songs, like the deliberate imperfections in a Persian carpet, exist to highlight the greatness of the rest of ELO's back catalogue. Lynne, perhaps coincidentally, stands on a Persian rug throughout tonight's show.

'Mr Blue Sky' must be the song in rock history which feels the most like a No.1 without having been a No.1. With its episodic structure and heavy classical overtones, you imagine it as a monolithic 70s chart-topper on a par with 'Bohemian Rhapsody', but - incredibly - it only reached No.6. No matter, it's as close to a signature tune as ELO have got, and it's the logical way to end the show.

It doesn't take many Partridge shouts of "Come back on, ELO, and carry on playing!" before they encore with their brash Ludwig Van Berry re-imagining of 'Roll Over Beethoven' (which, along with 'Rockaria!', set out ELO's rock-classical manifesto), then they're gone for real.

You're left dazed with that precious "yes, this really happened" sensation, and simultaneously feeling slightly selfish for figuring out which other songs you wish Lynne had played. Oh, since you ask: maybe one of the ELO-disco numbers like 'Shine A Little Love' or 'Last Train To London', or - even better - the latter's AA flipside 'Confusion', which has been crying out for a cover version by a Teenage Fanclub or a Silver Sun for the last 35 years. Perhaps it's one for the full ELO tour which Lynne, according to host Chris Evans, has been considering if this try-out show went well. And oh, it went well.

It's been, in the best possible way, Like Punk Never Happened. I want the rest of my record collection to leave me alone for a while. Give it a few days and I'll be ready to listen to Metal Box by PiL or something, but for now, if it doesn't have that multicoloured flying saucer on the front, I don't wanna know. The Man from U.N.C.O.O.L. has triumphed, and everything's alright forever. Hey you with the pretty face. Welcome to the human race.

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Sep 16, 2014 1:15pm

Great piece, Simon, thank you. I've been waiting in vain for a critical reappraisal of ELO for years, and I don't mind admitting that I, too, shed a tear watching the Hyde Park footage of Mr. Blue Sky on YouTube.

As far as I'm concerned, 10538 Overture is one of the greatest rock songs ever recorded. That guitar, that vocal. The kamikaze 'cellos! If they ever do one of those album tours, the album I'd most like to hear live would actually be Time...

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Nathan Stange
Sep 16, 2014 1:49pm


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A Clockwork Lozenge
Sep 16, 2014 1:51pm

Didn't Martin Carr say that 'Wichita Lineman' was the greatest song ever written, not 'Telephone Line'?

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Sep 16, 2014 2:11pm

Wot no "Ticket to the Moon"?

Seriously though, I was under the impression that rather than trying to "correct" the original ELO recordings, Lynne was re-recording everything so he could release it himself. The documentary coincided with a Xmas market-aimed "Greatest Hits" that consisted of entirely re-recorded versions of the tracks. He's now out of his "re-record" clause period with the label, and - sadly - this also cuts out the involvement and financial interest of anyone involved in the original recordings other than Lynne. This has happened with other artists recently as well - I think Def Leppard did effectively the same thing.

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Sep 16, 2014 2:12pm

In reply to scissorkicks:

I say "release it himself" when I actually mean "release it on another label, of his choosing".

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Sep 16, 2014 6:20pm

A delightful article.

ELO were my first encounter with musical snobbery. I was a new kid in town at junior high. I met a couple of kids and we shared our enthusiasm for Jimi Hendrix in the classroom. Then we went to the school library and I spotted a new copy of "Out of the Blue" in a vinyl stack by a library turntable.

"Oh! I want to hear this!" I told my new friends. But they weren't my friends anymore.

So I've experienced musical snobbery and, when I was a teenager hooked on Fred Frith records, indulged in it. But I have to ask: What purpose does it serve that isn't essentially shameful?

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Sep 16, 2014 9:50pm

I loved them when I was pre-teen too! A few years ago I was on a Virgin flight to San Francisco listening to a John Cale interview on the 'plane radio. He was discussing his influences & said ELO were the band he wanted the Velvet Underground to have developed into ... specifically the incorporation of strings / orchestration to the rock n roll format. He chose 'Kuiama' as an example of what he meant ... that's an early song from the Harvest period but post-Roy Wood. It always tickled me John Cale did a Partridge & more-or-less said: "ELO, the band the Velvet Underground could have been".
As I became 16 the Smiths came along & I could never then forgive Jeff Lymne for having said lyrics were comparatively unimportant to him, & I too lost the innocence of youth. Thanks for the article!

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Irony, my shirt
Sep 17, 2014 6:11am

This article mentions Alan Partridge, but it's written more in the style of American Psycho's Patrick Bateman.

Didn't Lou Reed once say that it was a pity that the Velvets didn't stay together because they would have progressed to make music like ELO, which he really liked? What a twat, makes me really glad they didn't.

I really miss the days you had to stop being friends with someone because of their dire music taste.

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Sep 17, 2014 6:13am

In reply to Irony, my shirt:

Ah... so it was Cale, not Reed. Thanks Ian.

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Sep 17, 2014 6:32am

Great article. Wow! My 1978 list was EXACTLY the same as yours, without exception. I think my older sister got 'out of the blue' for christmas. I was 8 or 9 and it was the first time I saw the album sleeve as a work of art. It was awesome. Did you get the pop-out spaceship that went on the plinth? The eternal sunshine of the spotless mind....indeed. Thank you.

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Chris Chadwick
Sep 17, 2014 9:51am

Very good piece Simon. I need to pause and remind myself I saw this gig.
Incidentally I must admit to almost shedding a tear watching Debbie Harry sing Atomic, but that's another story.

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Jeff Cooper
Sep 17, 2014 11:22am

Best review of the gig I've seen so far. I very much doubt it could be bettered.

And written by someone who knows what they're talking about. Bravo.


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Fadius G
Sep 17, 2014 2:59pm

This is the finest piece ever written on the quietus.

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Sep 17, 2014 5:24pm

Great and knowledgeable review! I grew up maybe a half a mile or so away from Jeff Lynne, was myself a gigging musician, sometimes on the same bill with 'The Idle Race' many years ago. Most Birmingham area musicians back then had Jeff ticked on their "that guy's gonna make it" list, his talent was obvious (along with the likes of Robert Plant and John Bonham etc) and sure enough... the boy done good.
It's a bit of a cliche, yet wholly true to say that writing a great pop song is every bit as difficult as anything can be in music. Jeff has written, played and sung a basket-full. Uncool he may have become, but good is good, and bad is bad. Jeff Lynne is and always was way better than just good.

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Sep 18, 2014 1:31pm

Bravo. Sometimes you just have to write what you feel, and I have felt the same as you apparently since the mid/late 70's with "A New World Record" the start of my ELO affair. While I never hid my love for ELO from the late 80's on, sometimes the best I could do was to call them "A guilty pleasure." Over the last year or so, I have felt much more vindicated, especially after this show, but as a guy from the States who can't share the Brummie angle, I'm cool with just giving a nod to Jeff and saying, "I knew it all along and thanks." Thanks for an awesome article.

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Lex de Wynter
Sep 18, 2014 3:03pm

What a great article. I remember when Out Of the Blue came out my best mate had some connection with a record distribution company and managed to bag a huge (well, huge to a ten year old) cardboard model of the mothership mounted on a plinth, which in an act of almost saintly beneficence, he lent to me.

As it rested on my window sill on its extended loan I'd lie staring up at it while playing the album over and over, filled with awe as I was transported by some benevolent musical alien race (with a slight trace of a Brummie accent) to a world of swirling space orchestras and beneficent galactic harmonies. It was a truly wonderful feeling.

Just as Simon writes, that was pretty much the last gasp of my innocent self, unencumbered by the need to fit in, be cool, be part of something. Kraftwerk followed, as did Tubeway Army and then the doors opened to all the usual suspects from the Specials to the Banshees to Japan and just like that, ELO was gone, the cardboard mothership returned to my (by now former) best friend and the real one to its own cosmos.

What I now realise is that it's not despite my love of and ongoing quest to keep discovering more music but because of it that I unashamedly, unequivocally, unabashedly adore ELO and always will! Thanks for a great piece, Simon and for vindicating all of us who don't listen to ELO as a guilty pleasure or (oh that infernal word!) ironically. Friend for life? Only if you've got the Three Light Years box set...

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Dave Smith
Sep 18, 2014 8:11pm

Simon, you are me and I am you! We should get together and lace daisies in each other's hair! Or something.

Thanks for writing EXACTLY what I was feeling.

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Jason Parkes
Sep 18, 2014 8:19pm

Great review - Out of the Blue and the Greatest Hits were one of the first albums from my parents' record collection I got into, so rather partial to a whole bunch of their songs. I caught this by chance on the red button when escaping Prince Harry's military/disabled piggybacking for PR with the Foo fighters etc. In the car driving to Gruff Rhys on Monday I told my co-gigger it was great (even on TV) & he didn't seem that convinced.....Still, fans of American Hustle dig them on the soundtrack and like 10CC and Steely Dan, the uncool is cool!

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Kim Daniels
Sep 19, 2014 10:38am

Great review only point that concerned me was I never even realised I was Uncool ! all these years thinking ELO were The Band ! well good job I don,t care what people think of me I just feel grateful my life has been filled with the ELO sound Rock On !!

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andrew ridley
Sep 20, 2014 10:13am

Wow fab review, i to love ELO, had been waiting since 76 to see them play live, Sunday night was just brilliant, i loved every song, just cant wait for the tour...we want more!!

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John Denton
Sep 21, 2014 11:04am

Absolutely brilliant review. Says everything that should have been said about the concert, ELO and more. Finally proper, music is cool. This generation. Take note. This is how it's done!

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Andy Leonard
Sep 24, 2014 2:56pm

Were you stood next to me? Your article could have been recorded from my emotional explanations to my wife!
At last - I am not alone.

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Sergio Garcia
Sep 24, 2014 2:58pm

Best of this concert reviews. Congratulations!

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Sergio Garcia
Sep 24, 2014 2:58pm

Best of this concert reviews. Congratulations!

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Sergio Garcia
Sep 24, 2014 3:00pm

Best of this concert reviews. Congratulations!

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Trey Callaway
Sep 24, 2014 3:44pm

Flew all the way from LA for that unforgettable night of Pop Greatness in Hyde Park. And I'm still on a musical high from it. Your review got it absolutely right. It was a concert full of "Strange Magic." And I will always be proudly uncool to say "I Was There."

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Fred Kokaska
Sep 24, 2014 5:02pm

Excellent review and summary. I too, idolized Jeff Lynne as a 12 year old.. and now at 50, I realize how large of an influence he has been. It may not be politically correct to say, but in my opinion, ELO was never really "a band". The musicians in the Hyde Park lineup are much more skilled than any previous ELO lineup. ELO was not "a band" - it was a platform for Jeff Lynne: His songwriting, his arrangements, and his voice. I saw ELO in 1980 (Time Tour) and while it was great to see my hero play my favorite songs, the sound was loud and sloppy. I suspect this is why Jeff hates touring so much. The Hyde Park format (session musicians, BBC Orchestra) is a much better surrounding for Jeff to work his magic.. I'm not sure it's practical to tour in this configuration, but that would be AWESOME, and I hope he does!

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Louise Zemach
Sep 25, 2014 6:49am

Excellent review. You hit the nail on the head in every sentence, at least for me. It seems I feel the same way you do about ELO, and you just articulated it perfectly!

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Sep 25, 2014 5:20pm

A wonderful article that summarizes ELO, Jeff Lynne and the concert completely with great knowledge. I am proud to say that I met Jeff Lynne in Australia in 1978 and have an autographed copy of the program from the Out of the Blue tour, and yes my car had ELO license plates!
I am so glad that people have the opportunity to see and hear Jeff's music, let the Light Shine On!

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Michael Rescigno
Sep 26, 2014 2:09am

Having seen ELO live many times in the 70's, I was fortunate enough to watch them grow. The first time I saw them was in a little club, the last time was at Madison Square Garden. This concert last week was awesome! However, as long as we're mentioning songs Jeff didn't play, I would have loved to hear "Do Ya". Do the tour Jeff, the time is right and the world wants it.

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Chris Crawford
Sep 27, 2014 8:59pm

So true. Such an underrated creative force—Jeff Lynne. I totally relate to the writer's experience on this. blissfully uncool.

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Oct 4, 2014 5:50pm

This review perfectly captures the spirit of the brilliantly performed concert which I watched on youtube. I'm on a Jeff Lynne kick right now. Hope he tours in the US. The Strathmore in Rockville, MD would be the perfect venue for ELO's sci fi-symphonic rock.

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Mike Coldwell
Oct 8, 2014 10:50pm

What a beautifully composed and heartfelt piece, perfectly capturing the joy of seeing a great band and a great artist take flight again. This concert has been on repeat in my house ever since!

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Bob Bunting
Oct 18, 2014 8:50pm

Hi Simon, what a brilliant review, even by your standards. I've only just seen it, having been prompted to look for reviews by seeing the recording of the concert shown on BBC4 last night. (I only caught the last half-hour live on the radio.)

Anyway as well as reviewing the concert, you've summed up very nicely everything about ELO and how they've often been unfairly dismissed since the late 70s. Thanks.

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Jim from Massachusetts
Oct 19, 2014 12:54am

Just watched this concert on YouTube. What a concert. I hope God, they have a world tour. Since high school I have lived these guys and I never saw them. Jeff Lynne still has the pipes. Incredible !

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Oct 22, 2014 8:45am

Should have done Shangri La... and it's Eldorado not El Dorado. Good write up though chap.

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Steve Davies
Oct 26, 2014 2:26am

That's me. Me. I was there and had the same feelings about the same songs. Just watching "Mr Blue Sky" again on youtube. Blimey it's good.

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Oct 28, 2014 8:16pm

ELO without BEV BEVAN and MIK KAMINSKI,do me a favour! After Jeff disbanded ELO in 1986 Bev carried on the legacy of the band playing the music live. As a fan of nearly forty years i saw the band several times in their prime.I for one will not watch Jeff without Bev performing behind him.

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Nov 5, 2014 12:11pm

I agree with most of the comments on here, your thoughts perfectly capture how I remember feeling in the late 70's. I was 11 in 1978 so I had to wait until my older brother went out to play his records but ELO, Styx and 10cc were always my favourites. Shame the lawyers seem to have driven a wedge between the original members but the replacement used in Hyde Park were pretty awesome. I've watched it a few times now on iplayer, this has a few clips of Lynne being interviewed, very cool and very unassuming. Loved the concert and the review!!!

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kevin gillespie
Nov 16, 2014 9:17am


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billy mcgeachy
Jan 7, 2015 11:28am

I was also at this fantastic JEFF LYNNE/ELO show and there must be a world tour and a new album release in 2015.Jeff Lynne in his sixties now is still at his peak powers and same with the great Richard Tandy. Was the show of 2014, will be the tour/album of 2015.Ajeff Lynne fan for 40 years, no one deserves this success better than Jeff himself.

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Shawn Dean
Feb 8, 2015 3:02am

I resonate with the sentiment of this article very much. I was the first in my family and among my friends to be an ELO fan at a time when all my school friends loved KISS. I became such a prophet for ELO that I passed my worship of the band on to my most influenced prodigy, my younger brother Danny Dean, who unintentionally brought my attention to the article when I was spying on his facebook page just now.
Over ten years ago I decided to leave the Jehovah's Witness faith I was brought up in, and as a result my entire family is shunning me. It's like they all died in a plane crash, never to utter so much as a hello to me for as long as I live. That is the doctrine of the Jehovah's Witnesses. If you know anything about JWs, you know that you can check in any time you like, but you can never leave, at least not without losing everyone you ever loved. But even though I was kicked out of the family, I notice my brothers and sisters have become even more fervent fans of ELO than I ever was. To them, the only way they can remember me is through Jeff Lynne's music. It would hurt me even more, if that was possible, if they could listen to a single ELO song without thinking of me. And if that is so, how could they possibly listen to ELO? Wouldn't the memories be too strong to deal with? I am effectively dead to my family. They call me an "apostate" which is a Jehovah's Witness slur against all who dare leave the cult. Me, I can't hardly listen to ELO anymore because it hurts too much. But when I do, I pretend that Jeff Lynne has put in some backwards masking, secret messages from me to them, and listening to the music of ELO is the only way we'll ever say I love you to each other again.

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eric saint-nubbins
Feb 24, 2015 1:33am

the 70's were my heyday but I didn't think of E.L.O. as uncool. To me Neil Diamond, Barry Manilow, Bee Gees, John Denver, Chicago were the uncool ones.
Never saw ElO or bought any of their music, but I watched the Hyde Park thing
and was blown away! The sound was awesome perfection, Lynnes voice perfect pitch. It sure looked like more than 50,000 to me

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Apr 3, 2015 4:52pm

Jeff is simply the most underrated talent in the history of music. What else is there to say? Who has a catalog of better melodies? Even listen to Zoom. There are at least 4 unbelievably beautiful and unnoticed songs that most people have never heard.

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