Thursday, September 10, 2015

ELO: "Live In Hyde Park" [DVD]

Rating: Live
Label: Eagle Vision 2015
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

Brummies are bonkers? Chuffed? Their humor and northern upbringing could forgive you for thinking, it's like watching a more altogether version of Ozzy? No matter what, the son of Beatles, Jeff Lynne is a genius and he gets things done. A true master at what he does and this could be everything from ELO to producing and writing records with the likes of Tom Petty, George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Ringo Star, the all-star project of Traveling Wilburys inc. Bob Dylan and all the above mentioned artists.

And eventually The Beatles and their Free As A Bird release. He's responsible for all the sounds and records of the 70's and 80's and it's just as good since he never cared much for working for living. "It was always like a nightmare getting up at like 7:30. It was dark and I had to go on the bloody bus. And every body's like coughing up their guts".

Never keen on touring either for that matter or doing 66 shows in 76 days or whatever. Thus why you haven't seen ELO on stage for 28 years prior to this concert in Hyde Park on September 2014. It's just bloody ridiculous to watch. It's one Soft-Rock hit after the other and it really doesn't matter if you have the stamina of Mike Tyson, you'll be down for the count, praying for the bell to toll. Livin' Thing? It's magic. Evil Woman? Classic. Mr Blue Sky. Pomp at its best. It's weird, but the likes of Don't Bring Me Down and Rock N Roll Is King, could just as easily have been the two greatest songs that Status Quo never did. Hardly any banter in between tracks and time fly by as they end the show with the only cover tune, Roll Over Beethoven (Chuck Berry). The audience of 50,000 and BBC Concert Orchestra makes this the ultimate ELO live experience. Lynne can still hit most of the high notes and the backing band do rock.

Running time approx 173 mins. and you'll get the entire gig (17 tracks), interview with Lynne, and Mr Blue Sky - The Story of Lynne and ELO. "You've got your rock n roll, harmonies, classical bits. Stick 'em all together and what have you got? You've got ELO". Listening to endless guitar solos and epic tracks on early 70's radio, made Lynne think of wanting to do something different from that. Like writing Evil Woman and I quote, "I wrote it in six minutes. Those three chords that you hear, they came to me immediately and the whole thing was ready. The quicker it comes, the more... usually, the more memorable it is, cause the simplicity of it, and simple things are always the best in music".

Contributions from and interviews with Paul McCartney, Tom Petty, etc. Plenty about songwriting and the stories behind the songs. I can't get it out of my head. Recommended indeed!

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