Electric Light Orchestra - Secret Messages as originally intended

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by peterpyser, Feb 24, 2015.

  1. lawrev

    lawrev Well-Known Member

    I would buy the June Wembley concert only because I was there. But your other point is well taken. In an alternate universe, I'd prefer that Jeff's next album feature professional musicians that are sensitive to Jeff's recording methods, a release of the complete 2 LP Secret Messages, and a reunion of living ELO and Move members, to keep the long time die hard fans happy (and give a bit of a history lesson to younger ELO/Move fans). But all of this is asking for too much evidently.
     
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  2. Pizza

    Pizza Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    My thoughts exactly. I don't see this selling well. I bought the Hyde Park show last year (and the blu-ray that had a bunch of previously released stuff on it) and this just seems redundant.
     
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  3. Michaelpeth

    Michaelpeth Active Member

    Location:
    Durham, UK
    It'll sell by the boat load if it's released before Xmas or Father's day. All over the world had been out for years but sold by the bucket load last year. It'll be bought by kids/partners as presents rather than die hard ELO fans.
     
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  4. Releasing the Wembley concert would meet the quota of putting out a greatest hits type package to serve as a stocking filler for casual fans this year, plus it offers just enough "new" content to justify being issued so soon after the relatively similar Hyde Park show. Of course I'd prefer something that caters more to the hardcore ELO enthusiasts, but it'll do as a way of keeping momentum behind Jeff's most unlikely of returns to a degree of activity he's not demonstrated since the mid '80s. Saying that, I do worry that he'll again quickly grow tired of the record-tour cycle, especially considering his age. The next (home) studio album is unlikely to propel him back into the mainstream, though I'm hoping that we do get at least a few live appearances... If not for anything else, I really want to see Richard Tandy be there for whenever Jeff decides to finally call time on ELO forever. Maybe once there's absolutely no chance of either continuing to perform we'll see the vaults opened further?
     
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  5. Michaelpeth

    Michaelpeth Active Member

    Location:
    Durham, UK
    What would be great is JL and RT touring small venues with acoustic and piano only. Perhaps a string quartet as well. Playing acoustic versions of Laredo Tornado, Bluebird is Dead, Eldorado, 21st Century Man etc...obviously that'll never happen and I should be thankful I've managed to see him play live at all given 4 years ago I assumed he'd gone into retirement.
     
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  6. Scottb

    Scottb Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nanuet, NY, USA

    I think it would be a good move to get that DVD out by November so it's available for the holiday season and will do well sales wise if it's indeed out for the holidays. Sadly I just don't think it's in the cards for 'ELO vault material'. I just don't think that Jeff really wants that stuff released and that Sony would not back much of anything except a new studio album or another greatest hits package. I know Rob Caiger would love to see some of the stuff in the ELO vaults released but Jeff is such a perfectionist that I can't see him giving the green light. Even though another live DVD may be similar to the Hyde Park show I think it's important to have some 'new' product in the market to keep the ELO momentum going. If the DVD will be out for the holidays I would expect some press on it soon and my gut tells me this may not happen.
     
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  7. Scottb

    Scottb Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nanuet, NY, USA
    I would love that as well and was really bummed that the 'Bungalow Palace' video wasn't included as an extra on the Hyde Park DVD. I would buy a DVD of the Bungalow Palace tracks in an instant.
     
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  8. Tightrope

    Tightrope New Member

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I am so glad I found this thread and have enjoyed reading it (instead of working!). Just some thoughts I'd like to throw into the mix concerning all that I have read:

    For me, I have always thought that Secret Messages was a much better album than Time! I know I am in the minority, but SM sounds to me more like a "classic" ELO album (even though Kelly's voice is sadly almost non-existent) . "Bluebird" & "Take Me On and On" in particular really stand out for me as great songs ("Train of Gold" is the only track I skip). I would love to have the real double album sequence - I too was blown away by the songs missing (although Beatles Forever is somewhat embarrassing and I can see why Jeff doesn't want it out).

    I missed out on seeing ELO and the Big Night Tour back in '78. I was only 15 at the time, and my parents got their one week vacation at my uncles cottage the same week that ELO was coming! Being only 15, they wouldn't let me stay behind, although my 17 year old sister got to (AND then went with a friend to the show!!!). I was never more furious with my parents in my life - sitting at some damn cottage with a rowboat while my all time favorite band was playing its biggest concert in Chicago... I am still bitter. My mother told me at the time "Don't worry, they will be back with the ship next year". Fast forward to 1981. FINALLY, ELO returns, but with a stripped down, synthesizer only production... I was never more disappointed in my life. I remember the day of the concert the Chicago Tribune published an interview with Jeff where the main quote was "I am done with that lush orchestra sound" (paraphrasing). My heart broke even more. It all added to my disappointment with "Time". Coming back to current day, I had hoped that ELO's resurgence and the massive crowd support he has gotten would have inspired Jeff to go back, at least a little, to that "lush orchestra sound".... but interview after interview he repeats the same thing "it's just ELO now, I got rid of the orchestra". So I am certain that the days of the heavy strings and choirs are long one (sadly).

    I will say that "Alone in the Universe" is a much stronger album that "Zoom" (I always felt that Zoom was a potentially great album that needed one more pass of mixing with some more added to it). But I am not Jeff, and he is free to do as he likes.

    One last question for now... does anyone know exactly how much Louis Clark "created" the strings versus just conducting what Jeff had written? Meaning, did Jeff just say "I'd like some big strings here" and Louis took it from there, or did Jeff have it all figured out and Louis just grabbed the baton and conducted?
     
  9. Pelo

    Pelo Active Member

    You never know. At least he has performed the classic ELO songs live with an orchestra on several occasions since 2014, something he wouldn't have taken into consideration around 2001 (or even in the old days).
     
  10. Michaelpeth

    Michaelpeth Active Member

    Location:
    Durham, UK
    I suspect JL and RT had a few ideas/motives and LC took them expanded, orchestrated and scored them. JL can't read music, guess RT can though so he might have had a more active role in the orchestration.
     
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  11. As far as I can tell, Jeff and Richard would often come up with the basic ideas on piano, which Louis Clark then adapted for strings or choir. I'm curious to know if the late Rainer Pietsch ever spoke about taking over in this role for Time, and it would be interesting to see all of Richard's old notes - he supposedly kept a record of how to recreate every keyboard sound created with ELO, and there's even a picture from Wisseloord Studios taken during the making of Secret Messages that shows him documenting some work he'd been doing on the Oberheim OB-Xa. Although it's true that Richard did indeed receive piano lessons, I've never seen confirmation that he can actually read or write music, so maybe Lou handled this side of things alone?
     
  12. Michaelpeth

    Michaelpeth Active Member

    Location:
    Durham, UK
    I'd be amazed if RT cant. Ismt there comment by Bev in his book about how Richard could spend hours practising various concertos. He couldnt do that without reading music I wouldnt expect
     
  13. I'd be very surprised if Richard can't read music as well, but at the same time, I don't recall ever finding a quote that confirms this. Anyone?
     
  14. Pelo

    Pelo Active Member

    Source: Richard Tandy Interview 1994. Light Fanzine.
     
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  15. Thanks for that quote - I had a feeling this was the way things were done between Jeff, Richard and Lou.
     
  16. Saul Pimon

    Saul Pimon Active Member

    Location:
    Wicklow
    In order not to replicate the Hyde Park DVD, the Wembley concert could come as part of a CD-DVD live album. Perfect stocking filler, but I would have expected it to have been announced by now.
     
  17. mil0001

    mil0001 New Member

    I'm expecting far better quality in the Wembley Blu-Ray and probably a surround mix aswell.
     
  18. Dave1965

    Dave1965 New Member

    Location:
    Uk
    Why do we think that Long Wave 2 and Mr Blue Sky 2 won't ever be released? Surely Jeff owns the material not Frontiers. I don't expect Jeff would have committed these other tracks to packages only delivered for Frontier records. They must still be in the vault for a future if Jeff sees fit to release. I loved Hyde Park DVD and we were there in the VIP area so nice to have it on DVD and I do hope Wembley is released prior Christmas but as we all know the Big Wheels of Jeff turn slowly at times and we have all spent years on this wait so perhaps a few more won't hurt. Aarrrghhhhh
     
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  19. Chazzbo13

    Chazzbo13 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Johnstown, PA
    I don't think the question is one of ownership; I believe it's more about the purpose for which they were created...Jeff, arguably, needed to put re-tread product on the market as leverage for another long-term (financially friendlier?) deal with Sony and his catalog...the Frontiers material, theoretically, allowed him to strike commercial deals (TV ads, film soundtracks) for the use of catalog material that excluded Sony. The MBS material was the money-maker for Jeff, LW simply a vanity project, and contract obligation that was easy to fulfill...he may indeed decide to release the subsequent material, at some point, but the motivation to do so isn't nearly as strong right now...
     
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  20. lawrev

    lawrev Well-Known Member

    I knew that JL couldn't read/write music, and was always curious about RT. We know that LC can read music. This seems to have been cleared up.
     
  21. Scottb

    Scottb Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nanuet, NY, USA
    Yes that would be great but like you said with no announcement yet I don't see this one coming out this year. It's too bad as I think it would sell very well during the holiday season.
     
  22. Michaelpeth

    Michaelpeth Active Member

    Location:
    Durham, UK
    I'm not sure it has. No-one knows whether RT can read music, my guess is that he can but that's simply based on Bev's comment about him being the most dedicated in the band when it came to practising....something about locking himself away to learn another concerto. He couldn't learn to play classical works without reading music.
     
  23. Tightrope

    Tightrope New Member

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I was fortunate enough to see the first night of the Hollywood Bowl concerts last year and it was easily teh greatest concert I have seen in my life!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 20, 2017
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  24. mkriegsman

    mkriegsman Member

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Hi Michael...

    I've had several working musician friends that don't read music and can play the classics flawlessly by ear.

    One friend, Verne Langdon, a Grammy nominee, was famous for hearing a tune once - be it a movie score, a recorded song, anything, and yes, the classics - then sit down and play it note for note on the piano, organ, synth, you name it.

    He was a prolific composer, too (who LOVED ELO!) and a lot of his original recordings can be found on Amazon (not a sales pitch! Just proof!).

    Guys like Verne have "something" the rest of us don't.

    I wouldn't discount the possibility of Richard having that special "something", too.

    Best,
    Mk


     
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  25. Michaelpeth

    Michaelpeth Active Member

    Location:
    Durham, UK
    I find that utterly bizarre. I'm not doubting you one bit, but the ability to retain just a twenty or so bars of something as complex as a piano concerto is scary never mind learning the whole thing without having had the music to learn it from in the first place.

    I'd be amazed if RT can do that though - surely someone would have made reference to it in the past. Not doubting he's a fabulous musician
     
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