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Archive for the ‘Roy Wood’ Category

10538 Overture: Electric Light Orchestra Debut Turns 40, Expanded with Quad DVD and Bonus Tracks

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The musical partnership of Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood was a short-lived one, but EMI will soon give listeners a chance to revisit their acclaimed collaboration.  A 40th Anniversary Edition of the debut album from Electric Light Orchestra is set to arrive on March 12.  Self-titled for its original U.K. release and re-titled No Answer for the U.S., the album announced a bold new sound, reportedly created when Wood urged Lynne to add cellos to his song “10538 Overture.”  That track leads off this CD/DVD edition, containing both the original LP in expanded form and a bonus DVD.  On the latter you’ll find the quadraphonic mix of Electric Light Orchestra in DTS 96/24 and Dolby Digital, plus the album’s two-channel mix in PCM Stereo.

Electric Light Orchestra may be a shock to the system for those fans who only know the band from its later hits like “Evil Woman” and “Mr. Blue Sky.”  On those songs, musical polymath Jeff Lynne allowed his Beatle-influenced style to flourish, modernizing Lennon and McCartney-style pop songcraft for an arena rock experience.  On the debut album, though, Lynne was sharing the driver’s seat with another prodigiously talented music man, Roy Wood.  A founder of The Move who enlisted Lynne into the Birmingham band upon the departure of lead singer Carl Wayne, Wood brought his classical leanings to the newly-formed ELO, complementing Lynne’s rock sensibilities.  The divergences of opinion between Wood and Lynne only lasted through this one album, with Wood relinquishing ELO to Lynne and going on to form Wizzard.  But some forty years later, Electric Light Orchestra still shows off the best of both gentlemen.

The contrasts between Wood and Lynne are apparent, with the former’s baroque-flavored “Look at Me Now” quite a shift from the latter’s classically-colored hard rock of “10538 Overture.”  There are progressive rock touches to the album, with lengthy pieces like Wood’s “The Battle of Marston Moor (July 2nd, 1644).”  Lynne even touches on jazz with the piano-driven “Manhattan Rumble (49th St. Massacre).”

What bonus tracks have been included?  Hit the jump to find out! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

January 23, 2012 at 14:26

Open Your Eyes: The Move’s “Live at the Fillmore 1969” Coming From Right Recordings

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Can you hear the grass grow?  An oft-circulated set by Birmingham’s legendary Move is finally receiving an official release courtesy of Right Recordings! Live at the Fillmore 1969 chronicles the band’s stand at San Francisco’s legendary Fillmore Auditorium on October 16-19 of that year; The Move joined Joe Cocker and the Grease Band and Little Richard on the bill!  The new 2-CD set is being released thanks to the cooperation of Sue Wayne, the widow of late singer Carl Wayne, and arrives in the U.K. on February 13.

Although Fillmore 1969 has been previously available as a digital download, the 2-CD edition has additional content including a 10+-minute version of “I Can Hear the Grass Grow” as well as a near 11-minute recollection of the band’s 1969 U.S. tour by Bev Bevan, later of Electric Light Orchestra.  The tapes from The Move’s shows at the Fillmore West were saved by Carl Wayne over the years but deemed to be of less-than-sufficient quality for release.  According to Right Recordings’ press release, “Carl began restoring the tapes in 2003. Sadly Carl died in 2004 and was never able to complete the live album he believed would show how incredible The Move was as a live band. Now, with the full co-operation and permission of his wife – Sue Wayne – the tapes have been painstakingly restored, remastered and released in memory of The Move’s dynamic front man and lead singer.”

Naturally, Roy Wood’s Move originals figure prominently in the two sets heard here, but some well-selected covers are also present.  Disc One’s set beings with a heavy, super-charged take on Todd Rundgren’s “Open My Eyes,” originally performed by The Nazz.  Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil’s “Don’t Make My Baby Blue,” first recorded by Frankie “Jezebel” Laine, also gets a hard-rock makeover.  Still less likely is the band’s take on Tom Paxton’s folk standard “The Last Thing on My Mind.”  Of the Wood compositions in this set, “Cherry Blossom Clinic (Revisited)” injects classical sensibilities into the psych/prog arrangement, presaging Wood’s work with the early Electric Light Orchestra, and the band chose the shimmering “I Can Hear the Grass Grow” as the finale, with a thunderous Bevan drum solo.

Hit the jump to Move along to Disc 2, plus the full track listing! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

January 13, 2012 at 13:44

Of Wizzards and Electric Light Orchestras: Roy Wood Opens His “Music Book” and ELO Goes “Essential”

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Electric Light Orchestra may not have been the first band to merge a classical sensibility with the power of rock, but the group was undoubtedly the most successful.  Yet the group of “Mr. Blue Sky” and “Evil Woman” began as a decidedly different aggregation, born out of the ashes of Birmingham, England’s The Move.  When lead singer Carl Wayne departed The Move, his bandmate Roy Wood invited one Jeff Lynne, of The Idle Race, to join him.  This revitalized line-up of The Move produced two albums.  Legend has it that Wood made the first suggestion to add cellos to Lynne’s song “10538 Overture,” originally intended as a Move B-side.  But whatever the genesis, the two men created an altogether new sound together.  It wasn’t long before tensions between management, Wood and Lynne came to a head, and Wood departed the newly-christened Electric Light Orchestra.  Lynne, of course, took ELO to new heights while Roy Wood’s Wizzard racked up six U.K. Top 10 singles and a considerable legacy of its own.  This fall, the legacies of both Electric Light Orchestra and Roy Wood are being celebrated with two new anthologies.

The two-disc Essential Electric Light Orchestra is in stores now from Legacy Recordings, and if the name sounds familiar, that’s because a single-disc version was issued under the same title in 2006.  That edition’s 15 tracks have more than doubled to 37, with selections from every ELO album between 1971 and 1986 represented.  (No selections are included from 2001’s Zoom, a Jeff Lynne solo effort in all but name.) With Wood’s departure after the band’s very first album in 1971, Lynne continued to guide the classically-inspired rock band to pick up “where the Beatles left off.”  The heavier, more progressive sound of the early albums soon gave way to a more accessible, effortlessly melodic but still intricately orchestrated style.  The band’s fourth album, 1974’s Eldorado, became its first gold album, containing the hit “Can’t Get It Out of My Head.”  1975 follow-up Face the Music offered two more giant hit singles, “Evil Woman” and “Strange Magic,” and the classic line-up was in place: Lynne (writer/producer as well as vocals/guitar), Bev Bevan (drums, percussion, vocals), Richard Tandy (piano, organ, keyboards, guitar), Kelly Groucutt (bass/vocals), Mik Kaminski (violin), Hugh McDowell (cello), and Melvyn Gale (cello).  Electric Light Orchestra was, indeed, on its way to becoming one of the most singular acts in rock history, even arriving for concert appearances in a giant spaceship!

All of the original versions of ELO classics can be found on The Essential with the exception of Olivia Newton John’s “Xanadu,” written and produced by Lynne for the soundtrack to the 1980 film.  Lynne’s own rendition has been included from the 2000 box set Flashback.  (“I’m Alive,” “All Over the World” and “Don’t Walk Away” all appear from the soundtrack recording.)  1977’s Out of the Blue and 1979’s Discovery are the two best-represented albums with five tracks apiece.  As this collection is designed to emphasize the singles side of the band, there is only one track from 1971’s The Electric Light Orchestra (or No Answer in its American edition) and 1972’s ELO 2.  Only one cut has been excerpted from 1975’s concept album Eldorado, but it’s a doozy, the dreamlike hit “Can’t Get It Out Of My Head” which was ELO’s first American Top 10 single.

Hit the jump for the details on Roy Wood’s Music Book, plus the track listing and discography for both releases! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 28, 2011 at 10:43