Jeff Lynne's ELO reveals 2018 Tour dates

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Larsen, Nov 13, 2017.

  1. ampmods

    ampmods Forum Resident

    Boston, MA, USA
    I'd say one of the biggest reasons for the drop off after Xanadu was just natural exhaustion. He'd been at it in a pretty constant way since the mid 60s and already had wild success and really nothing to prove. Realistically he had nothing to prove after Out of the Blue which was not only an epic creative explosion but also a huge commercial and critical success attached to a big tour. I would guess that he was probably operating on fumes during the Discovery and Xanadu period but was still really creative and productive. I think having a little 'time' before his next album obviously gave him enough mojo to create another major album with Time. But the delay of that album might have had something to do with just the general change in public tastes as well. Fairly or not, ELO was associated more with the old guard than the 'new wave' so setting the stage promotionally was probably an important consideration and likely a topic of discussion if not at Jet... then certainly at CBS.

    Your comparison with Brian Wilson resuming live activities is pretty on point to me. Both never were super into the idea of touring but... both recognize the love of fans and the positive energy of that type of experience. I think the problem with Zoom was that it was designed as a standard tour to promote a then current album... but it was poorly conceived and promoted and was too cookie-cutter for it to work for an artist who had been off the scene for at least a decade (and technically more from a live sense). I think both Brian, even though he kept releasing things along the way... and Jeff... could see this not as a promotional tour but as a victory lap... a love fest of fans and admirers who could come to the show not because of whatever current release or product was available but because of genuine love and respect for the artist's work. I'm thrilled for Jeff that not only is he taking the risk and opportunity to do this but that he's open enough to accept that love and respect from so many fans who only dreamed that such a tour would ever happen.
  2. I'd rather not open this particular can of worms for what feels like the millionth time (though not coming from me personally), but the comparison between Jeff and Brian also works because they're both often slammed for having very little stage presence, even if this is for very different reasons. Also, they've got a lot in common when it comes to how they work in the studio. While most would like to see Brian working as part of The Beach Boys, he's clearly more productive when calling the shots for himself, just as Jeff seems to favour the luxury of being able to operate in his own time. One major gap between the two examples is how Jeff can freely use the ELO name as he sees fit, while Brian couldn't as easily issue a new album under his own group's brand umbrella.

    As for the drop in productivity that followed Xanadu, I tend to believe that much of the problem initially came from Jeff's desire to find a new sound, having decided that he'd taken the "kitchen sink" approach to its logical conclusion. He went on record in late '79 as saying the next ELO project would be a concept album, yet I've managed to find out that he secretly battled with the exact direction this should take musically, even meeting up with old friends such as Eddie Offord, co-producer of The Idle Race's first LP, The Birthday Party, to discuss where he should go next, still contractually required to deliver three further albums without knowing where to go beyond outside the formula he'd long since grown tired of being constrained by.

    From the research I've been conducting into this period, it seems that long term engineer Reinhold Mack's advice was virtually identical to that he gave the members of Queen around the same period: turn your back on classic-sounding rock and embrace synthesiser technology. While the working relationship between Mack and Queen led to immediately successful results, Jeff was looking to others beyond his old sparring partner. Although the recording of Time could only last for two weeks at Musicland Studios as a result of Kelly Groucutt's manager booking him sessions for a solo project that required prior rehearsals in Los Angeles, it's unlikely the band could have remained in Munich much longer than they ended up being there when Jeff had a major falling out with Mack over mixing and compression.

    Before long, Jeff was also in Los Angeles, where he reconnected with Bill Bottrell, who previously engineered an impromptu session for All Over The World in late '78, when a demo for this song was needed so the Xanadu choreographers had something they could base their timing on when shooting a sequence. In just two days, not only did Bill help Jeff to record two further songs for Time in the form of Hold On Tight and Another Heart Breaks, but they'd decided to trim the parent album down from an intended double LP to a single album, with the original running order something that only recently came to light. By the creation of Secret Messages and the initial Balance Of Power sessions, the partnership of Jeff and Bill had settled into a new, guitar-heavy sound rather than relying too much on synthesisers.

    By contrast, it's interesting to see what direction Queen took. As you rightly said, there was a wider concern with most established '70s acts that they'd need to either update their approach or risk becoming obsolete in the following decade. Queen may have still been responsible for several chart-topping hits in 1980, but their studio work quickly descended into a directionless over-reliance on technology, while they somehow managed to become an ever better live band than ever by keeping things comparatively raw, only ever hiring a keyboardist to augment their core instrumentation. I absolutely love what I've heard of the Time Tour, yet ELO wasn't quite on the same level in this era, partly due to how little Jeff cared by especially the handful of '86 shows, where everything was played at breakneck speed with frequently messed-up lyrics.

    Jumping back to the Zoom Tour, I was initially quite happy to see Jeff return to the ELO name and playing live, but in retrospect he didn't yet have the confidence we've seen in more recent years. The touring group of 2001 might have been able to competently perform much of the classic era catalogue along with newer Zoom tracks, but the whole period now seems rather bland in retrospect. At least there's now a sense of spectacle, even if the audio seems barely live or lively. I won't comment on the technical side of Jeff's latest shows, yet I will say that even the controversial Wembley '78 concert had Bev crashing away in the background, not to mention two cellists whose behinds weren't permanent fixed to their chairs.

    To end for now with one final point regarding the Wembley '78 show, I maintain that it's a shame too much time had passed between the original broadcast and that restoration for home video, which revealed the genuine live mix. Like so many dates on the whole Big Night Tour, what those in the audience heard that night was closer to the studio tapes on mostly the Out Of The Blue material being raised in the mix to hide problems caused by a variety of perfectly acceptable issues that were inherent to ELO's overall formula. With the right explanation, I'm sure most would have accepted such compromises as a necessary evil forced due to the choice of instrumentation and stage design making for a bad combination.

    Instead, there was talk of disappointed fans and even promoters looking to seek compensation via legal channels, all leaving the impression that Jeff had something to hide. The Time Tour proved that he was capable of approximating ELO's studio work to an entertaining degree, but it would have been interesting to see the remixed version of Wembley '78 issued at a point when more than just the hardcore enthusiast cared for its long overdue arrival. Even now, a repackaging of this could be pushed to emphasise the real mix as rewriting the history of ELO as a glorified mine act, and it should be stressed that there weren't actually any overdubs made to this concert in any of its various forms!
  3. James Slattery

    James Slattery Forum Resident

    Long Island
    I've seen The Orchestra three times, once as ELO Part 2. All 3 shows were great and faithful reproductions of all of the bands chart records. I would hope that this tour would be as good. Speaking of Brian Wilson, I know everyone has love for him and nothing but scorn for Mike Love. But I've seen The Beach Boys many times, going back to 1977 and they've always been great and I saw Brian a few months ago and he can't sing anymore and some of it was painful. I don't want to experience the same thing, just because its Jeff Lynne.
    lawrev likes this.
  4. chewy

    chewy Forum Resident

    West Coast USA
    Why Denver and not Seattle? [angry emoji]
  5. I don't have scorn for Mike. He still sounds pretty good he's just a douche bag
  6. kwadguy

    kwadguy Forum Resident

    Cambridge, MA
    I dunno. I'll take this "Storytellers" show from 2001 over concert Jeff has played since he came back...It is clearly and assuredly live, played by a band, and it is far far better for it.

    BTW...The aired version only had 9 of the 12 songs played that night.

    If Lynne would issue this, I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

    The full concert list:

    Do Ya
    Evil Woman
    Telephone Line
    Livin' Thing
    State Of Mind
    Mr Blue Sky
    Can't Get It Out Of My Head
    Don't Bring Me Down
    Moment In Paradise
    Encore: Ma-Ma-Ma Belle
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
  7. head_unit

    head_unit Forum Resident

    Los Angeles CA USA
    Yes, right next to O'Hare Airport. A big shed of sonic hell.
    Chazzbo13, somnar and bhazen like this.
  8. head_unit

    head_unit Forum Resident

    Los Angeles CA USA
    After reading his autobiography, I didn't think so, at least not as much. He's certainly always been the humorous guy in the band.
  9. head_unit

    head_unit Forum Resident

    Los Angeles CA USA
    What?!?!? When did that happen?!?!? I demand it be returned IMMEDIATELY!!!! Next thing you know, they'll be claiming bands like Rush and April Wine are Canadian too-they're taking over!!!
  10. James Slattery

    James Slattery Forum Resident

    Long Island
    If I was only going to get my entertainment from solid citizens, my music, movie and TV options would be very limited. I'm not friends with or in business with him so what do I care?
    formu_la likes this.
  11. I never said you should stop listening to him now did I? I just stated my opinion on him personally. I listen to people that I don't necessarily disagree with all the time but, like Elvis Costello during the 70's, he could behave horribly. I still listened to EC. That doesn't make him or Mike any less of a douche (especially for EC during the 70's. He changed his behavior of course)
  12. oxegen

    oxegen Forum Resident

    Dublin, Ireland
    Ticket bought for Dublin 2018. Thank you to a fellow board member.
  13. utopiarun

    utopiarun "on the road to Utopia"

    Staten Island NY
    I heard an ad for the MSG show next August (!) on WFAN (sports radio) this afternoon saying tickets are on sale this Saturday. I honestly don't remember ever hearing a radio ad for a concert on that channel. The promoters are apparently going to push hard on this one!
  14. Juggsnelson

    Juggsnelson Forum Resident

    Long Island
    Got my tickets for MSG during the pre-sale....cannot wait!!
  15. Arnold Grove

    Arnold Grove Senior Member

    Now stay safe and healthy for the next 10 months or so ...

    (Jeff too!!) ;)
    Juggsnelson likes this.
  16. maccawings

    maccawings Forum Resident

    Got my tickets for Philly pre-sale
  17. Markjoel

    Markjoel Active Member

    Smithtown, NY
    I got tickets for the Garden show. I'm taking my son who is a huge fan, so he'll get to experience ELO live. I saw the Radio City show and I loved it, even though it was a bit short. I'm hoping he brings the Wembley show to the US with the spaceship as the lighting rig. The set list for the Wembley show was also great.
  18. How did you get Pre-sale tickets?
  19. The Hole Got Fixed

    The Hole Got Fixed Owens, Poell, Saberi

    Grabbed 4th row for the August 18th show.
  20. The Hole Got Fixed

    The Hole Got Fixed Owens, Poell, Saberi

  21. Thank You!
  22. balzac

    balzac Forum Resident

    Except you *have* just commented on Jeff's latest shows, referring to them as "barely live." I think you're doing not just the band but also your credibility as an author a great disservice by making such a broad-reaching, blanket characterization. Using a click track or loops isn't *anything* at all the same as "barely live."

    I'm not a Jeff Lynne fanboy; I have no problem criticizing the guy. There are even valid criticisms of his current live show. But to call it "barely live" is grossly incorrect.

    Also, I was at the CBS Television City "Zoom" tapings, and that band and performance was tight and hot. With their stripped-down arrangements, they actually sounded more like a "rock band" than the present lineup does. I actually prefer that 2001 lineup to the present lineup. Those 2001 shows sounded *amazing* in person. Jeff had pretty much the *exact same* demeanor at those shows as he does now.

    I think your "Secret Messages" book will be great and all of your posts have a *ton* of great, important information within them. But I honestly don't ever know how much to trust any of your actual characterizations or deductions. The raw data and info is always amazing, but then when you draw your conclusions and try to pull out and give things context, I'm afraid to trust what you write when you say clearly provably wrong things like the current live show being "barely live." So if, for instance, in your book if you say something like "This person barely played anything on the album", how do I know if that's actually true, or if you're just making a huge, potentially misleading generalization?

    I'm trying for constructive feedback here, genuinely! :)
  23. Unfortunately the code is now "invalid" according to the site.
  24. The Hole Got Fixed

    The Hole Got Fixed Owens, Poell, Saberi

    Worked for me. Try JEFFSELO
  25. They may be 'use once only' codes. This one is also now invalid.

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