Archive for ELO

Great Rock Albums of 1983: Dave Edmunds- Information

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 22, 2016 by 80smetalman

Dave_Edmunds_Information_album_cover

Radio can be very misleading. In the summer of 1983, the single “Slipping Away” from Dave Edmunds’ “Information” got a considerable amount of airplay on radio. Then in the November, when I started my job working the Saturday and Sunday midnight to eight shift at a parking lot in Atlantic City, the radio seemed to play his cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “From Small Things (Big Things One Day Come)” at least once during my first few shifts. Naturally, I assumed both songs were from this album, which I never bought for some reason. It was only when I did my preliminary research for the post that I discovered that “From Small Things” was actually on the album prior to this one. Shame, because I really liked that song but listening to “Information,” I am not disappointed too much.

Another historical point, back in the early 1980s, there was a brief heyday for what some would call “Rockabilly” music. Rock music with a country music style vibe but unlike Southern Rock, this genre doesn’t have the ferocity of it relative. That’s the category this Dave Edmunds seems to fall in and I would site the track “The Shape I’m In” as evidence. Saying that, he is still much more rock than the artist most known for rockabilly in the very early 1980s. Here’s my weird mind at work again but the whole rockabilly thing has made me think of her again. Juice Newton, who had several hits between 1981 and 83. Hell, she even covered a Dave Edmunds single, “Queen of Hearts” and her version doesn’t stray far from Dave’s musically.  Confession time! In 1981 and 2, I had a serious crush on Juice Newton.

juice

Enough of Juice for now, let’s get on to “Information. The best way to describe this album is Dave Edmunds would be the result if The Ramones played country music. Each song starts out in the one, two, three go style that the Ramones were famous for throughout the 1970s. The best examples of this are “Don’t You Double” and “Don’t Call Me Tonight.” The latter song has a guitar solo in the style of Eddie Cochran, making it sound a quite fifties but it’s still well done. Dave Edmunds is very good at keeping the tempo going on every song. Another interesting track is “Feel So Right” which has that Ramones one, two, three start and goes into the rockabilly sound. However, as the song progresses, you are led to conclude that if you didn’t know that Jeff Lynne of ELO fame had produced the album, you would have discovered it for yourself with said song. Then again, the more I think about it, I can hear a little bit of Lynne influence on “Slipping Away.” These factors combined make “Information” another album I regret not buying back then.

The Ramones

The Ramones

Track Listing:

  1. Slipping Away
  2. Don’t You Double
  3. I Want You Bad
  4. Wait
  5. The Watch on My Wrist
  6. The Shape I’m In
  7. Information
  8. Feel So Right
  9. What Have I Got to Do to Win?
  10. Don’t Call Me Tonight
  11. Have a Heart
Dave Edmunds

Dave Edmunds

Dave Edmunds- guitar, vocals

Geraint Watkins- accordion

Jeff Lynne- bass, synthesizer

John David- bass

Dave Charles- drums

Paul Jones- harmonica

Richard Tandy- synthesizer

I think this was another hidden gem from 1983 that didn’t get the respect it deserved at the time. Maybe because rockabilly was already in decline or because of its unique sound, it was too hard rock for trendies but not hard enough for metalheads. All I know is that I enjoy “Information” and I know I would have liked the album if I first listened to it back then.

Next post: One Hit Wonders of 1983

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategipublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

 

 

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Great Rock Albums of 1979: ELO- Discovery

Posted in 1979, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on July 25, 2012 by 80smetalman

This album has been dubbed “Disco Very” by some and the phrase was actually first coined by band member Richard Tandy. However, I never really considered this to be a disco album.  I don’t doubt that singles like “Shine a Little Love” probably got played a lot in discos across the world, especially that there were other notable rock stars crossing over into disco, most likely for the big bucks. Some, like The Rolling Stones with “Some Girls” and Rod Stewart with “Do You Think I’m Sexy” were quite blatant about it. Still, back in 1979, I would have much rather listened to that ELO song than either of those two or the disco tune that was popular at the time, Anita Ward’s “Ring My Bell.”

“Discovery” was a departure for ELO in other ways as well. It was the first album not to feature its famous string trio with the violin and two cellos because Jeff Lynne had considered them superfluous to requirements. I often wonder if this was not a mistake as although this is a good album, it’s  not as good as the previous album “Out of the Blue.” Nonetheless, the album does contain a really cool rock sounding song, “Don’t Bring Me Down,” which is among my favourite ELO songs.

Track Listing

1. Shine a Little Love

2. Confusion

3. Need Her Love

4. The Diary of Horace Wimp

5. Last Train to London

6. Midnight Blue

7. On the Run

8. Wishing

9. Don’t Bring Me Down

ELO

Jeff Lynne- vocals, guitar, piano, synthesiser

Bev Bevan- drums, percussion

Richard Tandy- piano, synthesiser, clavinet, electric piano

Kelly Groucutt- bass, vocals

It has been said that “Discovery” was a departure from a formula that had worked very well for ELO in the past. I won’t be dragged into that debate, but I will say that it isn’t as good as the previous album. It is still a good album nevertheless with some good tracks, definitely still a good listen after all these years.

Next Post: George Harrison- Somewhere in England

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

Great Rock Albums, 1978: ELO- Out of the Blue

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , on December 28, 2011 by 80smetalman

                                                                                          

 Before everybody starts getting on my case about historical accuracy, something I myself am big on, I know that “Out of the Blue” was actually released in 1977. However, I didn’t hear this fine album until 1978 and because it was the very first album I listened to that year, I thought it was only fitting that I begin the new series with it. I first heard it on the very first weekend in January 1978 while over my friend’s place and I must say I was hooked from the very first track, “Turned to Stone.” It was only fitting that I listen to the rest of it.

Back in 1978, I considered ELO’s “Out of the Blue” album to be state of the art as did many back then. I was completely impressed with the use of instruments, synthesisers and other sound effects like the recording of actual rainfall in the four song piece, “Concerto for a Rainy Day.” I was further impressed with how ELO used classical instruments such as cellos and violins and still maintained a unique rock sound. This is why the album was considered a scientific breakthrough back then.

Track Listing:

1. Turned to Stone

2. It’s Over

3. Sweet Talkin’ Woman

4. Across the Border

5. Night in the City

6. Starlight

7. Jungle

8. Believe Me Now

9. Stepping Out

Concerto for a Rainy Day

10. Standing in the Rain

11. Big Wheels

12. Summer and Lightning

13. Mr Blue Sky

14. Sweet is the Night

15. The Whale

16. Birmingham Blues

17. Wild West Hero

 

 ELO:

Jeff Lynne- lead vocals, guitar

Bev Bevan- drums, percussion

Richard Tandy- keyboards, guitar

Kelly Groucutt- bass

Mik Kaminski- violin

Melvin Gayle- cello, piano

Hugh McDowell- cello

Since this album kicked off 1978, for me I think it is only fitting to start 2012 by listening to this classic album once again and I invite you to do the same. I assure you, you won’t be disappointed.

Next post: Rory Gallagher- Photo Finish

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Banres& Noble and Froogle