Electric Light Orchestra - Secret Messages as originally intended

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

  1. Pelo

    Pelo Forum Resident

    It's nearly 300 pages, some pictures and illustrations, hardcover. There is a wealth of information and a very detailed reference list. No, it's not cheap :-; but it's reasonably prized considering that it took me about 10 years of hard work and as a self-publisher, I have to bear all the costs. (So far, I've only lost money!)
     
  2. Pelo

    Pelo Forum Resident

    Here is the latest review, taken from eclipsed:

    eclipsed April 2018, Seite 110.

    [​IMG]

    Another great review appeared in Good Times.
     
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  3. themisto

    themisto Forum Resident

    So interesting to see Lynne on camera in the 80s - much like the 1986 interview with Dick Clark, he comes across as sharp, unpretentious, although not as snappy. On a side note: it's somewhat unsurprising that the punks hated bands such as ELO - one glance at Louis Clark in the footage and it's as if 1971 never ended!
     
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  4. That's awful to hear, and worrying for my own project...
     
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  5. lawrev

    lawrev Forum Resident

    I find this video to be fascinating also, not just for how good of a mood everyone was in, but also Jeff saying that this is a real group and not just a studio group. I was hoping that it ran longer, and have Bev in it too, though at one point you can see him behind his drum kit. A great find, regardless!
     
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  6. In some ways, delaying my book is quite frustrating, but then something of interest surfaces that makes it all worthwhile. Here's a perfect example:

    [​IMG]

    Until this picture, I'd wrongly assumed that Jeff became obsessed with using just the AMS RMX16 during the Secret Messages sessions, since this was the only component previously specified by name - it turns out he was actually enamoured with an entire AMS rack! (As a side note, I'm curious to find out where and when this shot was taken, if that's at all possible...)

    P.S. Another very recent development is that I'm currently waiting to hear back from a potentially fascinating new inside source who I suspect could help fill in blanks regarding a certain ELO album within the period my project will cover that we don't yet know too much about. Even at this early stage, an intermediary has provided me with a truly incredible piece of information, though I'll hopefully be able to elaborate on this soon.
     
  7. lawrev

    lawrev Forum Resident

    This thread never ceases to amaze me, ShardEnder! Great photo and thanks for sharing. Can't wait to hear more.
     
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  8. Michaelpeth

    Michaelpeth Forum Resident

    Location:
    Durham, UK
  9. grimble

    grimble Forum Resident

    Location:
    London, UK
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  10. Rickhawk22

    Rickhawk22 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Mason City, IA
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  11. Chazzbo13

    Chazzbo13 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Johnstown, PA
    Yeah...I can't help but think there's nothing important here...I simply can't picture a boutique product of this status (for the die-hard fan, anyway) flying so far under the radar...
     
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  12. Dave1965

    Dave1965 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Uk
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  13. Here's another link:

    Виниловая пластинка Electric Light Orchestra - "Secret Messages". Винил с доставкой по Киеву и Украине.

    This tracklisting is clearly a placeholder, as there's no way to separate the 10 songs of the original single LP across two discs without separating many that were previously connected (the link between Stranger and Danger Ahead is a subtle example). Also, why would you need a second disc for the three bonus tracks included on the 2001 remaster unless this ends up being an EP including just one of the further outtakes from either Afterglow or Flashback?

    In addition to keeping a close eye on whether Jeff's book offers any unlikely revelations, could this be the other reason why I chose to delay my own work until the summer? At this point, all I can say for certain is that I was promised something of interest to classic ELO fans to accompany Jeff's upcoming new album and tour. Whether it's quite the happy ending I'd been hoping for remains to be seen...

    P.S. I'm also pleased to see the singles boxes that were originally scheduled for last year being dusted off - archival enthusiasts have a good year ahead!
     
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  14. Gordon Lynne

    Gordon Lynne Well-Known Member

    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Following ShardEnder's logic, I cannot see how this product would be a simple reissue—indeed, why the need for a second disc? Moreover, with the LP due to ship on June 29th (at least, from Ukrainian, Czech, and German sites), my feeling is this could indicate a European-wide release date. Perhaps a UK release could fall a few days earlier on June 24th which would coincide quite nicely with the 35th anniversary of the album's UK launch in 1983. Now, wouldn't that be nice?!
     
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  15. While it's not exactly the most obvious of milestones I would have thought to celebrate, reissuing Secret Messages in its original 2LP form to mark the single album's 35th anniversary is perhaps the last real opportunity to finally beat the bootleggers and at least appease the hardcore few who've been hoping for such a release going back years. In all honesty, I once didn't believe there was much demand to see one of ELO's later period albums expanded in such a way, but over time I'd see comments in the most unlikely places from even casual fans asking for this to happen. Apparently the awareness and need for this material (or Beatles Forever specifically, as all the other songs are officially available, some in slightly different mixes) has been growing at a rate I'd consider proportional to Jeff's profile over the last decade or so, and with all the talk of a private group threatening to do something with the acetates at their disposal, the only real barrier to a fully approved alternative remained Jeff's resistance to a certain track once intended for this project.

    By technically giving us what we'd always dreamed of in a format that ensures its most controversial aspect retains a degree of scarcity, Jeff is seen to be catering to a small yet dedicated portion of his fanbase without throwing unwanted additional light on something he'd prefer to keep locked in the vault. Also, keeping in line with his general policy on letting out anything that isn't polished to the usual standard, approving a "vanilla" edition means he doesn't have to deal with approving further documented material such as the alternate single mixes or edits, not to mention the Garden Rehearsals that I've discussed in the past. While it would have been great to see even highlights of those recorded practices and Jeff's home demos included on a bonus disc with a CD edition, there's always the possibility a handful of more interesting curios, including one or two of the so-called Trojan Tapes Sessions, will find their way onto a new retrospective, especially since the previous Flashback will soon be turning 18!

    Saying that, we still don't know much about the plans and whether they include a CD variation featuring additional material. At a push, my guess is that the 2LP set will contain the correct mixes and artwork, but no expanded liner notes or drawing attention to a period in ELO's history when things really were getting to the point of no return, to borrow a line Jeff would use on what became their final album together, also released as the group's last pre-split single. Speaking of singles, it would have been great if the booklet for a new Secret Messages could reveal at long last the early sleeve design for Rock 'N' Roll Is King, which only reached the public through a slightly modified print advertisement. For those unaware, the initial jacket saw a continuation of the '50s theme shared by not only the song itself, but its promotional video. However, it's believed that 2 Tone Records objected to the heavy use of a checkerboard pattern it regarded as something of an in-house trademark, which may have contributed to the single's lengthy delay. Of course, it probably didn't help that the song's parent album was also held back two months while its contents were extensively reworked, and it should be noted that the clip for this track was actually filmed in late 1982 before the LP, provisionally entitled Unexpected Moments, was rescheduled from December '82 to March '83, then April and eventually June.

    I'd love to see Rob Caiger's dream of an exhaustive box celebrating the complete Secret Messages become a reality, though I'll happily settle for a less elaborate package. As I've already mentioned, it's not as if there aren't other ways to get the more interesting additional material out if the powers that be want this further down the line, and the demand for such rarities was hardly comparable of that for the 2LP running order, even if fans can technically reassemble this already to a level of accuracy. I'm just hoping now that we get something as authentic as possible, and that Jeff understands how much this is appreciated. Not all of his fans will be able to attend the upcoming live dates, plus I'm sure many won't have interest in the new album or singles boxes to be rolled out over several months. To end this optimistic post on a forward-thinking note, I've updated my ELO holy grail list to reflect the very real likeliness that Beatles Forever will soon be officially available, leaving those two mystery tracks from the initial 2LP acetates for Time as the next rarities I'm hoping will also receive a similar treatment some day...
     
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  16. drowningdeep

    drowningdeep Dude

    Location:
    North Carolina
    Congrats. Job.... done?
     
  17. I genuinely don't expect a letter of thanks from anyone for helping build up awareness of Secret Messages in its original 2LP form as something a greater number of ELO fans are clearly interested to hear - the fact remains that despite its primary creator wanting to bury this period of his work under the proverbial carpet for years, the material itself never slipped below a certain standard, and while Beatles Forever is hardly a career highlight, Jeff clearly saw its potential, since there are at least two further tracks based on elements from what became perhaps his most well-known outtake. To paraphrase a key point of my rejected proposal to Bloomsbury (which seems like a lifetime ago), I genuinely consider the full Secret Messages a 1980s equivalent of such familiar "lost" albums as SMiLE by The Beach Boys, The Who's Lifehouse and Weezer's Songs From The Black Hole. All of these can be recreated to a degree of accuracy, yet I always felt that ELO's contribution to music mythology was the least documented, and I regarded it something of a personal mission to draw as much attention as possible to what could be in the hope of such a thing one day receiving an official treatment. Now that looks to finally be happening, I guess it is a case of job done. Of course, I would have preferred an expanded set, though I can also understand why Jeff might not want to take such an approach...
     
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  18. Michaelpeth

    Michaelpeth Forum Resident

    Location:
    Durham, UK
    You do realise that release in June will be 'The songs of Secret Messages" rerecorded by Jeff Lynne's ELO
     
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  19. I'm probably going to be in the minority for saying this, but I wouldn't actually mind if Jeff was to revisit Secret Messages or any of ELO's other '80s material - while I'd naturally prefer expanded reissues of the original albums, it would at least be interesting to hear what he could do with Time and Balance Of Power especially, since they'd have a slightly more organic production style with less reliance on digital gimmicks (which I say as a massive fan of this period, by the way)...
     
  20. Michaelpeth

    Michaelpeth Forum Resident

    Location:
    Durham, UK
    I'd rather he re did ELO2 or On The 3rd Day
     
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  21. grimble

    grimble Forum Resident

    Location:
    London, UK
    I listened to all of ELO 2 on the way to work this morning. I’d love to hear a modern re-recording without Jeff’s original gruff vocals
     
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  22. Chazzbo13

    Chazzbo13 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Johnstown, PA
    I'd rather he'd leave **** alone and actually try something creative...Armchair Theatre was way too long ago...
     
  23. Paul R

    Paul R Forum Resident

    Location:
    Escondido, Ca.
    :yikes:
     
  24. noahjld

    noahjld Witchfinder General/ Das Boz Boz

    You most certainly DO deserve a letter of thanks.
     
  25. Michaelpeth

    Michaelpeth Forum Resident

    Location:
    Durham, UK
    I'm afraid you may be pissing in the wind

    My problem with early stuff is the strings are drivel, out of tune nastiness. Reckon a new version would be quite exciting
     
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