Jeff Lynne (Electric Light Orchestra)
English songwriter, composer, arranger, singer, multi-instrumentalist and record producer Jeffrey “Jeff” Lynne Was born 30 December 1947. He is the leader and sole constant member of Electric Light Orchestra. Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) were a British rock group from Birmingham, England, who Were formed by jeff Lynne Roy Wood and Bev Bevan around a fusion of rock and classical music, with the original idea of both The Move and ELO existing in tandem. This project would eventually become the highly successful Electric Light Orchestra (ELO). Problems led to Wood’s departure in 1972, following the band’s debut record, So Lynne wrote and arranged all of the group’s original compositions and produced every album.Despite early singles success in the United Kingdom, the band were initially more successful in the United States, billed as “The English guys with the big fiddles”. they incorporated d complex and unique pop-rock sound mixed with studio strings, layered vocals, and tight, catchy pop singles. Thereafter followed a succession of band personnel changes and increasingly popular albums: 1973’s ELO 2 and On the Third Day, 1974’s Eldorado and 1975’s Face the Music. By 1976’s A New World Record. They gained a cult following despite lukewarm reviews back in their native United Kingdom. By the mid-1970s, they had become one of the biggest-selling acts in music. From 1971 to 1986They released eleven studio albums and another album in 2001 &accumulated 27 Top-40 hit singles in both the UK and the US, with 20 Top 20 UK singles and 15 Top-20 US singles (as charted by Billboard magazine). The band also holds the record for having the most Billboard Hot 100 Top 40 hits of any group in US chart history without ever having a number one single.ELO collected 19 CRIA, 21 RIAA and 38 BPI awards, and sold over 50 million records worldwide during the group’s active period of recording and touring. The pinnacle of ELO’s chart success and worldwide popularity was the expansive 1977 double album Out of the Blue, which was largely conceived in a Swiss chalet during a two-week writing marathon. The band’s 1978 world tour featured an elaborate “space ship” set and laser light show. In order to recreate the complex instrumental textures of their albums, the band used pre-recorded supplemental backing tracks in live performances. Although that practice has now become commonplace, it caused considerable derision in the press of the time.
Lynne has often stated that he prefers the creative environment of the studio to the rigours and tedium of touring. In 1979, Lynne followed up the success of Out of the Blue with Discovery, which held No. 1 in the UK for 5 weeks. The album is primarily associated with its two disco-flavoured singles (“Shine a Little Love” and “Last Train to London”) and with the title’s word play on “disco” and “very”. However, the remaining seven non-disco tracks on the album reflected Lynne’s range as a pop-rock songwriter, including a heavy, mid-tempo rock anthem (“Don’t Bring Me Down”) that, despite its use of a drum loop, could be considered the antithesis of disco. In an April 2008 interview, Lynne fondly recalled his forays into dance music:I love the force of disco. I love the freedom it gave me to make a different rhythms across it. I enjoyed that really steady driving beat. Just steady as a rock. I’ve always liked that simplicity in the bass drum.In 1979, Lynne rejected an offer for ELO to headline the Knebworth Concert in the UK, allowing Led Zeppelin to headline instead. In the absence of any touring to support Discovery, Lynne had time to contribute five tracks to the soundtrack for the 1980 film musicalXanadu. The score yielded three Top 40 singles: I’m Alive (UK No. 20), All Over The World (UK No. 11), and the title track Xanadu, which reached number one in the UK. Nevertheless, Lynne was not integrated into the development of the film, and his material subsequently had only superficial attachment to the plot. Xanadu performed weakly at the box office (although it later has experienced popularity as a cult favourite). Lynne subsequently disavowed his limited contribution to the project although he later re-recorded the title song (with his lead vocal) for the 2000 box set Flashback. In 2007, the film was loosely adapted into a successful Broadway musical, incorporating almost all of the songs from the original film, and also using two other ELO hits: “Strange Magic” and “Evil Woman”. ln 1981, Lynne took the band in a somewhat different direction with the science-fiction themed album Time, The strings were still featured, but with heavily synthesised textures. Following a marginally successful tour, Lynne kept this general approach with 1983’s Secret Messages and a final contractually-obligated ELO album Balance of Power in 1986.
ELO now had only three remaining official members (Lynne, Bevan and Tandy), and Lynne began devoting more time to producing. During his time in the Electric Light Orchestra, Lynne did manage to release a few recordings under his own name. In 1976, Lynne covered the Beatles songs “With a Little Help from My Friends” and “Nowhere Man” for All This and World War II. In 1977, Lynne released his first solo single, the disco-flavoured “Doin’ That Crazy Thing”/”Goin’ Down to Rio”. Lynne and ELO keyboardist Richard Tandy contributed two original songs “Video!” and “Let It Run” to the film Electric Dreams . Lynne also wrote the song “The Story of Me,” which was recorded by the Everly Brothers on their comeback album EB84. , Lynne began his move toward focusing almost exclusively on studio production work. Lynne produced and wrote the 1983 top-40 hit “Slipping Away” for Dave Edmunds and played on sessions (with Richard Tandy) for Edmunds’ album, Information. Lynne also produced six tracks on Edmunds’ follow-up album in 1984, Riff Raff. .Lynne’s influence by the Beatles was clearly evident in his ELO work and the connection to the Beatles was strengthened when Lynne produced George Harrison’s Cloud Nine, a successful comeback album for the ex-Beatle, released in 1987, featuring the popular singles “Got My Mind Set on You”, “When We Was Fab” (where Lynne played the violin in the video), and “This Is Love”, two of the three songs co-written by Lynne.
Lynne’s association with Harrison led to the 1988 formation of the Traveling Wilburys, a studio “supergroup” that included George Harrison, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and Roy Orbison as well as Lynne himself, and resulted in two albums (Vol. 1 and Vol. 3), both co-produced by LynneIn 1988 Lynne also worked on Roy Orbison’s album Mystery Girl co-writing and producing Orbison’s last major hit, “You Got It”, plus two other tracks on that album. For Rock On!, the final Del Shannonalbum, Lynne co-wrote “Walk Away” and finished off several tracks after Shannon’s death.In 1989, Lynne co-produced Full Moon Fever by Tom Petty, which included the hit singles “Free Fallin’”, “I Won’t Back Down”, and “Runnin’ Down a Dream”, all co-written by Lynne. This album and Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1 both received nominations for theGrammy Award for Best Album of the Year in 1989. The Traveling Wilburys won a Grammy for “Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal” that year.Lynne’s song “One Way Love” was released as a single by Agnetha Faltskog and appeared on her second post-ABBA album, Eyes of a Woman. Lynne co-wrote and produced the track “Let It Shine” for Beach Boys founder Brian Wilson’s first solo album in 1988. Lynne also contributed three tracks to an album by Duane Eddy and “Falling in Love” on Land of Dreams for Randy Newman.
In 1990, Lynne collaborated on the Wilburys’ follow up Traveling Wilburys Vol. 3 and shortly after that released his first solo album Armchair Theatre,with old friends George Harrison and Richard Tandy featuring the singles “Every Little Thing” and “Lift Me Up”. The album received some positive critical attention but little commercial success. Lynne also provided the song “Wild Times” to the motion picture soundtrack Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves in 1991. In 1991, Lynne returned to the studio with Petty, co-writing and producing the album Into the Great Wide Open for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, which featured the singles “Learning to Fly” and “Into the Great Wide Open”. The following year he produced Roy Orbison’s posthumous album King of Hearts, featuring the single “I Drove All Night”.In February 1994, Lynne fulfilled a lifelong dream by working with the three surviving Beatles on the Anthology album series.At George Harrison’s request, Lynne was brought in to assist in reevaluating John Lennon’s original studio material. The songs “Free as a Bird”and “Real Love” were created by digitally processing Lennon’s demos for the songs and overdubbing the three surviving band members to form a virtual Beatles reunion that the band had mutually eschewed during Lennon’s lifetime. Lynne has also produced records for Ringo Starr and worked on Paul McCartney’s Grammy nominated album Flaming Pie.Lynne’s work in the 1990s also includes production of a 1993 album for singer/songwriter Julianna Raye entitled Something Peculiar and production or songwriting contributions to albums by Roger McGuinn (Back from Rio), Joe Cocker (Night Calls),Aerosmith (Lizard Love), Tom Jones (Lift me Up), Bonnie Tyler (Time Mends a Broken Heart), the film Still Crazy, Hank Marvin(Wonderful Land and Nivram), Et Moi (Drole De Vie) and the Tandy Morgan Band (Action). In 1996, Lynne was officially recognised by his peers when he was awarded the Ivor Novello Award for “Outstanding Contributions to British Music” for a second time. Jeff Lynne’s latest Electric Light Orchestra Album “Alone in the Universe” was released in 2015 and features the song “When I was a Boy”.