Wembley or Bust
Jeff Lynne has been taking stock in recent years – then again, maybe that’s all he’s ever been doing. But there was the reworking of classic ELO songs as a one-man-band. And a solo album of crooner-covers. Then, finally a new studio album of originals under the new moniker Jeff Lynne’s ELO.
Now we have the inevitable live album – and in true it’s-for-boomers mode it’s available in multiple formats across Blu-Ray and standard DVD, CD, Vinyl and deluxe editions.
It’s best to think of this the way you’d think of Paul McCartney’s recent touring and live albums and the Brian Wilson live recreations of classic Beach Boys records; that’s essentially what’s happening here – faithful covers of the back-catalogue.
Lynne presents material from right across the range – from his lively Disco-Beatles hits of the mid-late 70s, some of the more recent songs and even a couple of selections from the Xanadu soundtrack.
When he plays Handle Me With Care by The Wilburys, mid-set, there’s a wry, “Here’s one from one of the other bands” announcements. Well, it’s all just work to Lynne. It’s all he’s ever done. Just work and rework his own earnest attempts at writing Beatles songs.
He’s bloody good at it. And still in fine-enough voice and the band is fabulous. Full, lush string treatments.
And what a run of hits.
A new song here and there but always to punctuate it something like a Showdown or a Livin’ Thing, and then an enviable run of monster songs to finish – your Telephone Lines and Mr Blue Sky-types, your Turn To Stones and Don’t Bring Me Downs.
Look it’s all good fun, all immaculate, all funkless and utterly lacking in cool. Which is actually what makes it as close to cool as it has ever been. These songs just make me happy.
If you’re a Lynne fan – as I am – then this is for you. But of course it’s only here to re-spark your interest in the classic compilations and albums that already feature these songs.