Lynne: new album "in October or something"?

Hailing frequencies open… Forums Media Music Mr. Blue Sky Lynne: new album "in October or something"?

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    This is intriguing and yet maddeningly vague. [LINK]

    Lynne explained to me before the event, that, in and of itself, is magic.

    “Obviously songwriting is like you can either work for days or months on it and you still can’t get it right. Or one will come straight to your head and it’s finished in about 10 minutes,” he said. “So songwriting is so elusive and if you get it right it’s such a thrill to get an award for it. And this is an award for all of my songs, from day one really.”

    Thinking about one song that really excited him, where he felt that thunderbolt, he said, “The last album, there was a song called “‘When I Was a Boy’ and that’s one of my most favorite moments.”

    Then adding, in a win for all music fans, “I’ve got a brand new album nearly ready to come out in October or something.”

    October. Or something. Maybe “October Or Something” should be the name of the album. What’s also vague is…is this an ELO album or Long Wave II? (Or Armchair Theatre II?) Can he top the outstanding Alan Parsons album we got this year?

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    One of the ELO news sites has gone all Inspector Gadget on the ASCAP song database and has come up with an (unordered) track list consisting of the following titles: “Time Of Our Life”, “All My Love”, “From Out Of Nowhere”, “Losing You”, “Down Came The Rain”, “Goin’ Out On Me”, “All I Need Is You”, “Wifi Woman”, “She’s Gone”, and “One More Time”, and the same source claims a November release date with the album to be titled either “From Out Of Nowhere” or “On The Horizon”…though there’s no source for that info.

    My caveat on the above info: some of the song titles are awfully close to titles from “Alone In The Universe”, and I really question why an album would be released in November when the tour starts next month. Not saying that I expect the album next month, but even taking into account the weirdness of the current music industry where albums and indeed any new material are just loss leaders while the real money is made on tour, why do things in that order?

    If reports surface from concertgoers that new songs are in the mix on the setlists, then I’ll start getting excited.

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    Well…looks like the fan snooping was pretty damn close to being right on the money. The new album is out November 1st. Needless to say… I have it on pre-order.

    Official press release:

    September 26, 2019



    Rock & Roll Hall of Famer and music legend Jeff Lynne will follow up a remarkable run of sold out European and American tours with a new album, From Out of Nowhere, on November 1 from Columbia Records. The album is now available for pre-order, and the title track “From Out of Nowhere” is available to stream and download with album pre-order:

    Lynne, whose music has touched fans deeply across three generations now, has found himself in recent years at the peak of his powers as a songwriter, musician and producer. The forthcoming album features a buoyant title song, which premiered today on BBC Radio 2. The song opens the album which features ten songs, from the wistful “Help Yourself” to the celebratory “Down Came the Rain” to the churning rocker “One More Time” (featuring a solo from pianist Richard Tandy) to the sweet closer, “Songbird.”

    As does its predecessor, 2015’s Alone in the Universe (the first new release from Lynne in 14 years), From Out of Nowhere shows Lynne finding new facets to his signature sound, at once drawing on his globally loved legacy and forging new paths in both sounds and emotions. Once again, he plays nearly every note of the music on guitars, bass, piano, drums, keyboards and vibes, as well as singing all of the lead and layered harmony vocals. Steve Jay, who also engineered the album, adds some percussion.

    The very existence of the album is an unexpected joy, as much for its creator as for his fans. “‘From Out of Nowhere” — that’s exactly where it came from,” Lynne says. “That’s the first one I wrote for this album and it’s kind of like that.” It’s a song about hope and salvation. Lynne often found himself turning to a sense of optimism, which is a theme recurring throughout the album, saying “Everybody’s got to have a bit of hope.”

    This album builds on the energy and acclaim generated by the release of Alone in the Universe and the triumphant return to touring for the first time since 1985, starting with a 2014 performance before more than 50,000 people in London’s Hyde Park. Since then he and the remarkable group he’s assembled have toured in Europe and North America, with shows including sold out dates at such esteemed locales as two nights at New York’s Radio City Music Hall, eight nights at the O2 Arena in London, a headlining slot at the 2016 Glastonbury Festival, a three-night fireworks spectacular at the Hollywood Bowl and a June 2017 spectacle for nearly 60,000 fans at Wembley Stadium. That latter was captured in the Wembley or Bust concert film. That was followed by a major U.S. arena tour in 2018 and a return for twenty North American shows this past summer.

    Covering the Anaheim kick-off to the 2019 trek, Forbes’ Steve Baltin called the return to the stage “a very unexpected surprise for fans, one that should be savored and celebrated not just by ELO fans, but any music fan who wants the chance to experience what has, in a turn no one could have seen coming, become consistently one of the best live acts in the world.”

    Additionally, 2017 also saw Lynne inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, with the touring band performing at the ceremony.

    With more than 50 million albums sold, ELO ranks among the most popular acts of its era. Those totals cover four consecutive Top 10 albums and seven reaching the Top 20, as well as a remarkable string of hit singles — 20 reaching the U.S. Top 40 and a full seven of them lodging in the Top 10. Lynne’s reach, of course, has extended far beyond ELO, touching millions as a producer and collaborator, most notably as a member of the Traveling Wilburys alongside George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison and Tom Petty. He also produced Harrison’s colorful Cloud Nine album and with Harrison, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr crafted full songs from John Lennon’s home tapes of “Free as a Bird” and “Real Love.”

    From Out Of Nowhere Tracklist
    1. From Out Of Nowhere
    2. Help Yourself
    3. All My Love
    4. Down Came The Rain
    5. Losing You
    6. One More Time
    7. Sci-Fi Woman
    8. Goin’ Out On Me
    9. Time Of Our Life
    10. Songbird

    The track listing is…awfully close to the stuff that was ferreted out of the ASCAP database.

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    How to stir up a hornets’ nest:

    1. Create this lovely remix of the new ELO single with added 70s-ELO-style strings.

    2. Happen to be the son of Louis Clark, who was ELO’s orchestral arranger in the 1970s and later co-founded ELO Part II/The Orchestra.

    Lou Jr. posted this in a Facebook group to which I belonged, “Jeff Lynne & ELO News”, mentioning that he had consulted with his dad, and that they had both listened to the song and liked it a lot.

    And that’s when the abuse started piling on – replies to the tune of “I hope Jeff sues you and your father into the ground”, “your dad is a has-been”, “if Jeff wanted strings on the song, he would’ve put strings on the song”…and worse from there.

    I couldn’t help but think of the Freddie Prinze Jr. rant while watching the replies just get worse and worse. I mean…wow. Just wow. If the remix isn’t to your taste…that’s fine. Keep walking. Jeff doesn’t write Kuiama-length songs anymore, so at most you’ve lost four minutes of your life that you’ll never get back. But…hurling insults at the person who created it (and their family)? Does that really need to be said out loud or online?

    I know that the roots of this likely lie with the should-now-be-dead-and-buried ELO vs. ELO Part II/Orchestra debates of 10-15 years ago. Even then I didn’t understand it. The early 2000s were great – Jeff was doing Zoom and reissues and just doing his own thing, Part II/Orchestra was touring (which Jeff steadfastly wasn’t doing at the time) and doing their own studio albums as well…and suddenly there were two entities making the kind of music I really like. What’s not to love?

    In any case, I thought it was a very nicely done remix. Might be interesting if Lou Jr. remixes the rest of the album a track at a time.

    In the meantime…I left the Facebook group in question. If this kind of bombing run of negativity was going to result from a single remix, best to grab a parachute and bail out before the album lands.

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    Might be interesting if Lou Jr. remixes the rest of the album a track at a time.

    Well come on…let’s go…this one’s even better than the first one he did.

    For context, here’s what’s actually on the album:

    Perfectly serviceable rocker, but the “extra strings mix” really sells it as ELO.

    There’s a problem with “keyboard strings” that has persisted since the days of the Mellotron: no matter how good your patches or samples, you have “strings” playing stuff that sounds very…keyboardy…in other words, “strings” doing things that just don’t come naturally to strings, and therefore fall into a kind of musical uncanny valley. But this is a really, really good example of doing “keyboard strings” right – it sounds like a proper string arrangement, there’s clearly a cello line and a separate arrangement for the violins, and the flourishes are very authentic to how an actual orchestral string section would play.

    I also like that the string arrangement simplifies and steps out of the way to make room for Richard Tandy’s piano solo.

    I’m really digging Lou Jr.’s efforts. I hope he’s busy arranging strings like this for the rest of the album. I also noticed that the comments on this video are a lot more positive than the first effort – I think he’s onto something.

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