Longplayer Orchestra: ELO tribute Band

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    Back in 2013 or so I discovered an ELO tribute band named “The Longplayer Orchestra”. Their first album “Longplayer” came out a few years earlier and I bought it on Amazon. It was OK but no where near as good as L.E.O. I would describe them as a watered down version of ELO. The music is good and professional but lacks the energy you found in ELO music or even the energy of hte L.E.O. album. Still worth listening to if your are an ardent ELO fan (like me).

    Shortly after I listened to their first album, they came out with their second album “How’s Life on Earth?” It was a definite improvement on their first album but I still felt they lacked the right “ummph” to challenge the likes of L.E.O.

    Finding information about this band is difficult because originally the band was named just “Longplayer” which is unfortunate because that is the same name as the The Longplayer Project, music that is supposed to last a thousand years. In fact,the band does not have a wiki page and I was only able to get info from the Swedish Wiki page on Göran Danielsson Hjertstedt, a founding member of the band. It was there I found the The Longplayer Orchestra web site. (I used Google translate to read the pages.)

    I also found their Facebook page. That’s when I discovered, sadly, that the band closed shop back in 2014, not long after I discovered them:

    The Longplayer Orchestra is no longer active as a group and the planned album “Memory Lane” will not be released. A new project has taken shape though including some of the members of The Longplayer O. The new project is called “The Grand Levé”, an album is already recorded and at the moment we´re looking for a suitable record company. Negotiatings are taking place.

    Here’s a link to “The Grand Levé” site.

    Their third album came out in 2014 – shortly before the band dissolved. – and it is called “Classic Ensemble”. I would not recommend it, however, as it is instrumental only and not reminiscent of their earlier works.

    Anyway, if you are looking for some ELO goodness, check them out. I think you can listen to them free on Spotify but you can also find them on Amazon (for a price).

    (I would have sworn I posted about this group a couple years ago but I did a search for “longplayer” and didn’t find anything.)

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    I have both of their first two albums, and they used to follow me on Twitter after I mentioned their first album. Nice sound, but a lot of ELO tribute attempts fall flat in one major respect: they can approximate some of the sound of ELO, but they do not even remotely approach Jeff Lynne’s songwriting. The best tribute I’ve heard remains L.E.O. (and what I wouldn’t give for a follow-up to that solitary album), because they had the songwriting chops of folks like Bleu. Still not quite “Jeffish” enough to be anything like equal, but I consider L.E.O. superior to Longplayer. That being said, The Orchestra’s “No Rewind” is the king of the hill, but perhaps disqualifies itself on the technicality of featuring former ELO band members.

    I’m sorry to hear that they’ve broken up as a band. Their live show was getting quite a good reputation. They chose quite a tough act to emulate, and I suppose that can get to be quite a drag to pull off consistently.

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