MR. BLUE SKY: THE STORY OF JEFF LYNNE AND ELO Airs on Palladia, Beg. Tonight, 10/7
Jeff Lynne--the creative force of ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA and the singularly accomplished British singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer--is set to return next week in a big way. First comes the documentary, MR. BLUE SKY: THE STORY OF Jeff Lynne AND ELO , debuting on Palladia beginning tonight, October 7 at 9:00 PM ET and airing throughout the month, as well as VH1 Classic starting Wednesday, October 10.
This will immediately be followed by the release of two albums on Frontiers Records: the solo disc LONG WAVE, a heartfelt and vivid tribute to some of the very songs that originally inspired LYNNE, and MR. BLUE SKY–THE VERY BEST OF ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA. For the latter album, LYNNE has artfully revisited and created brand new versions--at his home studio in Los Angeles--of the greatest hits of ELO, actually improving on the gems that catapulted them to sales of 50 million-plus records worldwide.
LYNNE's illuminating and entertaining documentary Mr. Blue Sky: The Story of Jeff Lynne and ELO gets to the heart of who Jeff Lynne is and how he has had such a tremendous musical influence on our world. The answer--as told by the British artist himself and such distinguished collaborators and friends of JEFF as Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Tom Petty, Joe Walsh, Olivia and Dhani Harrison, Barbara Orbison and Eric Idle--is that LYNNE is a true man of music for whom the recording studio is his greatest instrument. Lynne recently made a rare appearance at The Grammy Museum in downtown Los Angeles (9/12) at the film’s premiere screening. LYNNE’s friends on hand included Tom Petty and guitarist Mike Campbell, Joe Walsh, Olivia Harrison, musician Gary Wright and drummer Jim Keltner.
The release of LONG WAVE and MR. BLUE SKY–THE VERY BEST OF ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA mark the 40th anniversary of ELO. LYNNE’s legacy will further be celebrated with releases in 2013 including ELO Live! plus expanded reissues of the ELO’s 2001 album Zoom and LYNNE’s first solo album in 1990, Armchair Theater. For up to date info on all things Jeff Lynne and ELO, go here: www.elo.biz
LONG WAVE powerfully celebrates the music of a time when LYNNE’s lifelong passion for music began, evoking an era back when old standards were just giving way to rock & roll. He somehow makes pre-rock standards like “Bewitched, Bothered And Bewildered,” “Smile” and “Love Is A Many Splendored Thing”--along with a few of his favorite gems from the Sixties such as the first single “Mercy, Mercy,” “Let It Rock” and “So Sad”--his own with these loving versions. LYNNE’s deeply felt and musically brilliant one-man-band takes add up to an inspired love letter to music itself--and an exquisite reflection of the way songs grace and change our lives.
MR. BLUE SKY–THE VERY BEST OF ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA is a powerful testament to LYNNE’s enduring artistry and his singular desire to get things right once and for all. Featuring such classics as “Evil Woman, “Don’t Bring Me Down,” “Livin’ Thing” and “Mr. Blue Sky,” the result is, in effect, a kind of showdown between Jeff Lynne today and his extremely illustrious past, and thanks to improved technology and recording artistry, LYNNE somehow comes out on top again. It’s a fresh chance to hear these extraordinary songs sounding sharper and clearer than the old versions. “There was a big reason I wanted to record new versions of these ELO songs,” says LYNNE. “When I listen to the old versions they don’t sound the way I thought they did when I first wrote and recorded them. I wanted to use the experience I’ve gained producing records ever since and have a completely new try at them. I’m not saying the old versions aren’t good; I like them very much. We were doing our best, but experience and technology also play a big a big part, and these new ones sound much more solid and tight.” The album includes a never-before-heard bonus track, “The Point Of No Return,” and a very special version of “10538 Overture” that’s a nod to ELO’s 40th anniversary.
LYNNE’s new video for “Mercy, Mercy”--the first track to radio from LONG WAVE--can be viewed here: http://elo.biz/media/videos/30581. Shot at his Los Angeles home studio that’s known as Bungalow Palace Studios, the Martyn Atkins-directed clip features none other than “The Jeffs,” a composite of four simultaneous images of the iconic British artist playing acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass and drums, as he did on the recording of the album.
Palladia, Viacom Media Networks’ high-definition music channel, launched in January 2006 and features original music-based programming for a variety of music genres, including hip hop, rock, country, pop, contemporary, classic rock, alternative rock, soul and more, as well as HDTV acquisitions and original content from Viacom Music Group’s MTV, VH1, and CMT family of services. The channel has grown to 30 million households and is available on major U.S. carriers including Comcast, Cox, Verizon FiOS, Time Warner, Dish, DIRECTV, Charter, AT&T u-Verse, Cablevision and Insight.
About VH1 Classic
VH1 Classic brings you the best metal, rock, soul and pop from the '70s, '80s and '90s. The channel features the gods of rock – from Black Sabbath, Metallica and Iron Maiden to Stone Temple Pilots, Pearl Jam and Dire Straits – in marquee concerts and music specials, and of course, tons of classic music videos. Recent big events include National Metal Day (11.11.11) and Metal Evolution, an 11-part documentary series on the history of metal. Because when it comes down to it – all music should go to 11.