Tag Archive: ELO

Review by C.J. Bunce

The Traveling Wilburys had a Volume 1 and 3–two fantastic, memorable albums each with chart topping hits, and it was said Tom Petty’s successful and acclaimed Full Moon Fever fit between as a sort of unofficial Volume 2.  Jeff Lynne′s ELO′s eagerly-awaited next album is out, From Out of Nowhere, and it could be the unofficial Traveling Wilburys Volume 4–all the beats, all the instrumentation, tempo, and lyrics are there.  But this time it’s Jeff Lynne carrying the album, since we’re long past a time when Tom Petty, George Harrison, or Roy Orbison are around to contribute anything but in spirit.  The evocative sound makes sense, since Lynne worked with Harrison and Petty on other albums in addition to Lynne’s status in the rock god supergroup as Otis-Clayton Wilbury.  Charles Truscott Wilbury, Sr. would be proud–you couldn’t ask for more from Lynne and ELO, the combination of songs on the new release is a mix of styles across the catalog of ELO songs and absorbs several of the band’s biggest influences and partnerships over the band’s 40-plus years.

All of the songs were written by Lynne, including the great romping roadhouse blast One More Time, which fits the Wilburys sound in songs like She’s My Baby (with a little cow bell and a little… Phantom of the Opera (!?) as a bonus).  The biggest hit here might be Time of Our Life, another chugging, Wilbury soundalike that would have fit perfectly with the back of the railcar videos from that band’s Volume 1 album.  The title song From Out of Nowhere begins the batch of Wilbury-esque songs–it’s like Tom Petty and George Harrison are singing back-up (they aren’t, of course, but this sounds like it could have been written for Petty and the Heartbreakers’ Into the Great Wide Open album, another project produced by Lynne).

It’s not just the Wilbury sound that comes through.  You’d swear Goin’ Out on Me is a cover of an old Beatles hit–Lynne conjures the sound of Paul McCartney’s trademark voice in this slow, bad-love ballad (Lynne worked on McCartney’s Grammy-nominated album Flaming Pie).  Or Help Yourself, a song made for George Harrison’s voice if there ever was one, which would have played nicely on Harrison’s Cloud Nine album (another album produced by Lynne).

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Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Jeff Lynne is back with a new album, and if his first track is any indication, this is going to be big for fans of classic rock.  The band is Jeff Lynne’s ELO and the album is From Out of Nowhere and you can listen to the first track released from the album below.  With the original ELO (the Electric Light Orchestra) Lynne and ELO gained fame for the rock anthem Don’t Bring Me Down in the 1970s, with hits Strange Magic, Evil Woman, Mr. Blue Sky, Livin’ Thing, Xanadu, All Over the World, I’m Alive, and Last Train to London (and more) before Lynne turned his attention to becoming a successful studio producer.  He has co-produced big albums, including George Harrison’s comeback album Cloud Nine, co-writing albums with Harrison that led to the formation of rock supergroup the Traveling Wilburys, featuring Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty, Harrison, and Lynne.  He then co-produced Petty’s mega-hit album Full Moon Fever followed by Into the Great Wide Open, followed by records by Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, and more, working on albums for Joe Cocker, Aerosmith, Joe Walsh, and Brian Wilson.  If anyone knows how to put out a good album, it’s Jeff Lynne.

Have a listen and see if you agree:  The first song available for free from the new album, to be released November 1 (available today for pre-order on CD here, vinyl here, and digital/streaming here) is the title track From Out of Nowhere And it sounds just like an original Traveling Wilburys song.  His influence and long-time partnership with The Beatles is obvious.  I’d swear I can hear George Harrison echoing Lynne’s vocals, and my mind’s eye sees Tom Petty playing rhythm guitar with him on the stage.  It has the classic ELO sound but that’s probably thanks to Lynne’s unmistakably familiar voice and rhythms.  With all his work with The Beatles (minus John Lennon), with Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan, and Tom Petty, you could run this track on any of the albums Lynne produced with his peers and it would fit right in.  This song is classic Jeff Lynne.

Here’s the title track from Jeff Lynne’s ELO album From Out of Nowhere:

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