The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Baker's Dozen

Roll Over Beethoven: Jeff Lynne's Favourite Albums
Julian Marszalek , October 9th, 2012 11:58

Mr Blue Sky works up thirteen of his top LPs


Tom Petty – Full Moon Fever
This was a bit of a dodgy situation at the time but I didn’t know that. Tom had asked me to work with him and it was a solo record and that was all I knew. It wasn’t with the group. He used Mike [Campbell, Heartbreakers lead guitarist] for guitar and it was Mike’s studio that we recorded in, in his garage in LA.

Tom just stopped me in the street one day in Beverley Hills somewhere and he said, "I’ve just been listening to George Harrison’s new album. I love it. I’m having a barbecue. Do you wanna come?" I couldn’t go so he said, "do you fancy writing some songs together and see what we come up with?" and I said, "yeah, I’d love to!"

So I went round his house the next day and after we wrote one, we then wrote, believe it or not, ‘Freefalling’ which was such a big hit for him. So it worked out great and we carried on doing them in Mike’s garage, which was an amazingly sparse studio. It was a garage full of motorbikes and oil cans and bedsteads and things like that - it was pretty amazing!

Where him and George looking for that panoramic ELO sound? Well, it wasn’t always that panoramic a sound. I was gradually quietening that sound down that ELO had done and there were less strings. In ELO, it used to be a case of, "oooh! String day tomorrow!" and then by about the tenth album it became [adopts dismayed voice] "oh, fucking hell! It’s string day tomorrow." I’d had enough of them. I grew tired of the strings. But that’s not why they asked me. It was more the punch I was doing later on and they just liked the sound that I made, whatever it was. They liked something about it.