ELO's Jeff Lynne is back with two new albums today (October 9th) -- the covers collection called, Long Wave and his note-for-note re-recordings of ELO's biggest hits -- Mr. Blue Sky - The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra. Long Wave, which is released under Lynne's name, is his first new set since ELO's 2001 album, Zoom. Long Wave features such pop and rock standards as the Everly Brothers' "So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad)," Don Covay & The Goodtimers' "Mercy, Mercy," Roy Orbison's "Running Scared," Etta James' "At Last," the Four Aces' "Love Is A Many Splendored Thing," Chuck Berry's "Let It Rock," and Bobby Darin's "Beyond The Sea," among others.
Mr. Blue Sky - The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra is released under the ELO moniker and featured such classics as "Mr. Blue Sky," "Evil Woman," "Strange Magic," "Don't Bring Me Down," "Turn To Stone," "Showdown," "Telephone Line," "Livin Thing," "Do Ya," "Can't Get It Out Of My Head," "10538 Overture," and the new track "Point Of No Return."
- The new version of "Do Ya" on the Mr. Blue Sky collection, marks Lynne's third recording of the song, following the Move's 1971 original version and ELO's 1976 Top 25 hit recording. We asked Lynne if he's finally gotten the hang of it: "There are three different versions, like you say. I mean the first one was a little bit strange, that was when we first recorded it in the Move. I didn't quite finish that one, and it was released. But it was the only Top 100 song that the Move had, actually. But, anyway, so doing it again, it wasn't really hard. It's trying to make it sound better is what I was after. So it's always easy to play, 'cause it's quite a simple tune."
- Lynne told us that recording Long Wave was beyond being a simple labor of love: "The fact that I loved the songs so much that I was singing, the old ones on Long Wave -- and I like me own ones, too -- but, y'know, I love these Long Wave ones. It was just such a pleasure to do 'em and to play everything, y'know, to play all the instruments; that was the main thing that I love to do. It was like, there's no better fun than that, really. That's like, as good a fun as I can ever have. And then singing them is a pleasure, 'cause the words are so great, the tunes are marvelous. So, of course, I'm gonna do them as best as I can and, y'know, make it a memorable version that's totally different from anybody else's, but it's equally good in its own way."
- The new documentary, Reel To Reel: Mr. Blue Sky: The Story Of Jeff Lynne And ELO, was recently premiered in Los Angeles and is headed to DVD by the end of the year.
- High profile friends and artists featured in Reel To Reel include Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Tom Petty, Joe Walsh, Olivia and Dhani Harrison, Roy Orbison's widow Barbara Orbison, and Monty Python's Eric Idle.
- Jeff Lynne co-wrote George Harrison's "When We Was Fab," Roy Orbison's "You Got It," and Tom Petty's "Free Fallin'," "I Won't Back Down," "Runnin' Down A Dream," "Learning To Fly," and "Into The Great Wide Open."
- Lynne, who recently co-produced Joe Walsh's new Analog Man collection, last reignited the ELO brand with 2001's Zoom album. An ELO tour behind the album was booked for North American arenas but was soon canceled due to poor ticket sales.
- Prior to that, he had co-founded the Traveling Wilburys, and produced George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Ringo Starr, Tom Petty, Paul McCartney, and a number of other acts -- including the Beatles' two Anthology reunion tracks -- "Free As A Bird" and "Real Love."
CHECK IT OUT: ELO's Jeff Lynne and Richard Tandy in 2012 performing "Evil Woman":
Jeff Lynne On Re-Recording 'Do Ya'
Jeff Lynne On Recording 'Long Wave' Alone