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.!4 KLOS Q&A. .

Los Angeles radio station 95.5 KLOS-FM today announced a special screening, Wednesday, November 14 at The GRAMMY Museum in downtown Los Angeles, of the JEFF LYNNE documentary Mr. Blue Sky: The Story of Jeff Lynne and ELO. It will be followed by a Q&A with the creative force of ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA and the singularly accomplished British singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer. KLOS DJ Cynthia Fox will host the event, which starts at 7:00 PM, and moderate the Q&A.

LYNNE's illuminating and entertaining documentary Mr. Blue Sky: The Story of Jeff Lynne and ELO, written and directed by Martyn Atkins, gets to the heart of who JEFF LYNNE is and how he has had such a tremendous musical influence on our world. The answer--as told by the British artist himself and such distinguished collaborators and friends of JEFF as Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Tom Petty, Joe Walsh, Olivia and Dhani Harrison, Barbara Orbison and Eric Idle--is that LYNNE is a true man of music for whom the recording studio is his greatest instrument.

In other news, LYNNE recently received a nomination for inclusion in the 2013 Songwriters Hall of Fame. The event will take place June 13, 2013 in New York City.

LYNNE just released two albums on Frontiers Records on October 9 to critical praise: the solo disc LONG WAVE, a heartfelt and vivid tribute to some of the very songs that originally inspired him, and MR. BLUE SKYTHE VERY BEST OF ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA. For the latter album, LYNNE has artfully revisited and created brand new versions--at his home studio in Los Angeles--of the greatest hits of ELO, actually improving on the gems that catapulted them to sales of 50 million-plus records worldwide.

The release of the albums marks the 40th anniversary of ELO. Both albums contributed to what Billboard.biz called a spectacular chart comeback (10/15/12), with three top-10 albums on the U.K. charts at the same timeLONG WAVE, MR. BLUE SKYTHE VERY BEST OF ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA, and ALL OVER THE WORLD.


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Interview: ELO Frontman Jeff Lynne Discusses Long Wave and Mr. Blue Sky

Its hard to imagine how anyone with an appreciation of classic pop or rock music of the past 40 years could not be affected in some way by the work of singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jeff Lynne. It all began in the late '60s with his lesser-known releases as leader of The Idle Race, then dipped into the very early 70s after he joined The Move. Hit after hit poured forth from Lynne throughout the 70s and into the 80s with Electric Light Orchestra. The latter half of the 80s found the self-taught producer successfully moving into outside production work with legends like George Harrison, Tom Petty, and Roy Orbison. Together with those three artists, plus Bob Dylan, Lynne was part of the beloved Traveling Wilburys.

Lynne co-wrote and produced more hits in the 90s. He also ventured out on his own for the first time with the release of his solo debut, Armchair Theatre. A monumental challenge (and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity) presented itself in 1994 when the surviving members of The Beatles approached Lynne to produce their reunion sessions. Using primitive John Lennon demo recordings, healong with Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starrcrafted the singles Free as a Bird and Real Love, both part of the Beatles Anthology project.

But its simply not enough to rattle off a list of credits and accomplishments. Songs such as Strange Magic, Do Ya, Mr. Blue Sky, and Dont Bring Me Down have permanently fused with the very fabric of pop culture. Jeff Lynnes songs are heard in movies, advertisements, department stores, andmost importantlythe stereos and iPods of music fans all over the world. His recently released solo album, a batch of non-original oldies titled Long Wave, and a collection of newly re-recorded ELO hits, Mr. Blue Sky: The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra, offer proof that he hasnt slowed down or lost a step to this day.

I recently had the great privilege of spending some time talking to Mr. Lynne about his recent projects and storied career.

I loved the new album, Long Wave. Did you record any additional songs that didnt make the final cut for some reason?

Well no, they all couldve made the final cut. There was no reason why not. But I just had too many. I had enough for two volumes, really. So I just wanted to do the ones I felt were ready to go. And some are still a little bit unfinished. Its just that you can only put so many out at once really.

The relatively brief running time left me wanting more.

Well, it is short because those songs, all of them, are only like two minutes or two minutes, 15 seconds or something. And thats the way they used to write them in those days, which I actually love. I love short songs. I think its so much better to get in and get out again.

Being a skilled multi-instrumentalist, you played every part on the album and made it sound like an ensemble. Is it easier for you to do it that way, or do you enjoy the challenge it presents?

Oh, well its a total challenge for me to learn all the parts, every single part that goes into the song. And thats why I do it, because its a stretch for me musically as well. Its much harder music than Im used to doing. So when I actually started on this album, which was about three years ago, I just realized what a stretch it was.

Stylistically, you cover a lot of ground on the album, going back to pre-rock standards from the 30s and 40s like Charlie Chaplins Smile and Rodgers & Harts Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered.

Ive learned a lot doing these songs. Its made me a better musician, for sure. Learning all the parts was sheer pleasure for me. It was like going to university and discovering all these things I didnt know about. And so absolutely, playing all the things myself was integral to doing it, really.

I feel the song choice that probably stands out the most is Love is a Many-Splendored Thing. I was curious about how you decided to do that one.

Yeah, me too! [laughs] Its a very strange one. Ive always loved the tune of it, the melody. Ive never liked the old arrangements that Ive heard up to now particularly. Theyve always been a bit too flowery and grand. I wanted to try and make it more of a shuffle and just rock it up a bit.

It worked! It sounded like Jeff Lynnea real highlight of the album.

Ah, thanks.

Sure. With the Mr. Blue Sky album youve meticulously recreated the ELO sound, track-by-track, again playing everything yourself. Was there any temptation to introduce new arrangements?

No, I never wanted to change them. I always wanted to be faithful to the actual original songs, on Long Wave as well. A lot of people tend to abuse old standards, and sort of go off on their own merry little tune. I prefer to stick to what was written down, what they actually meant the tune to be. So I dont like really altering things from how they started out. So thats why I never altered the Mr. Blue Sky ones. All I wanted to do was make it technically better, you knowto sound better. So I started off with a click track and gradually built it up from there, layering it until it was sounding good.

Can you describe the process of creating these re-recordings?

I did Mr. Blue Sky first to see what the difference would be, recording it now as opposed to recording it 35 years ago. And it was a big, vast difference because of the facilities Ive got now in my studio, like an 80-channel analog desk. Then I can go into the digital stuff from that. So its like the best of all worlds really. There are no moving parts. Its analog and it sounds really good. The difference is, in the old days I used to try and stuff thousands of instruments onto these little few tracks and they just would tend to wear the tape slightly, a little bit. And so theyd be a bit hissy and have a lot of top missing out of them from bouncing down tracks over and over again. I knew it was a little bit naughty in those days, but I had to do what I had to do to get the song finished, how I wanted to do it. So thats the main difference really. Now theyre all clean as a whistle. Theres no wear and tear on the tape, so theyre all clean for the first time.

Would you like the new ones to replace the old, in terms of radio airplay? Or should they just exist comfortably alongside the old ones?

I think they can exist together. But personally Id love to hear the new ones played rather than the old ones. Because when I listen to the old ones now I go, Oh my goodness, I wish Id done that a bit better, or I wish I hadnt worn the tape out quite so much. Theres always some reason that I go, Hmmm, I dont know, I dont think so. So they can co-exist, but I do prefer to listen to the new ones.

Were coming up on the ten-year anniversary of the Concert for George, which itself marked the first anniversary of George Harrisons passing. Did you organize that tribute concert with Eric Clapton?

Basically Eric organized it. I just helped in any way I could, like by singing four of the songs. Or five, was it? Four, I think.

Including a pair of duets, you did five songs. My favorite was the very first one you did, The Inner Light, with Anoushka Skankar, daughter of Ravi Shankar, on sitar.

Oh yeah, that was a scary one! You know, I mean with Ravi standing right there.

Had you played with classical Indian musicians prior to that?

I had before, previously on my album Armchair Theatre. I had probably eight Indian drummers. George conducted them for me in my house in England. We recorded them in a hall. It sounded fantastic. George really knew how it works, this technique called the tihai. Which is a God knows how it works. I dont really. Somehow you count backwards and you end up finishing on the right note. And I dont know how to do it, but he could do it.

That sounds pretty interesting.

Big, long strings of numbers and it all works out. I dont know. Ive no idea how it works. And, of course, I had these two great classical Indian singers on there too, on a song called Now Youre Gone. And I was thrilled with them, they were such brilliant singers. Mournful and just so sad, their voices. Beautiful.

You helped induct George Harrison, as a solo artist, into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. You, Tom Petty, Dhani Harrison, and Prince performed While My Guitar Gently Weeps.


Do you know whose idea it was to get Prince involved?

Um, you know I really dont know. It just sort of happened. The next thing I knew, we were playing together, rehearsing one of them. I dont know how it happened, but it mustve been somebody at the Hall of Fame I would suspect.

Do you remember what you were thinking when Prince stepped up and launched into that epic solo?

Well yeah, I was thinking it sounded pretty good, actually! [laughs] It was great, I enjoyed that. But obviously its always tinged with sadness when its for someone whos no longer with us.

Yes, of course. The second Traveling Wilburys album, Vol. 3, is also tinged with sadness, as it was recorded after the passing of Roy Orbison. Its less talked about than the first, but theres some great playing on it. Whose idea was it to bring in the late, great Gary Moore to play lead guitar on Shes My Baby?

Oh, it was George. Gary was friends with George at the time, thats how he got invited in. Of course, I knew him as well a little bit and he was a really nice guy. And we just got him in because we were working at Georges house and he lived not far away at that time. He just came in one day and overdubbed his guitar.

Stepping way back to your work with Roy Wood in The Move, how do you assess the albums Looking On (1970) and Message from the Country (1971) with over 40 years of hindsight?

Well, really its that I can see my total lack of experience as a producer. But I like some of the songs. Its just that some of the ways that theyre recorded is a little bit odd, the things that I did when I wasnt very experienced. I mean, weve all got to start somewhere. I had started producing with The Idle Race. Id done one album before The Move. And so those were my second and third albums [as producer] as part of The Move. I didnt have all that much experience, like I say.

Good songwriting though, "Open Up Said the World at the Door" deserves to be a Classic Rock radio staple. Was that a period of growth for you as an artist?

Well, I probably wrote half the songs on each of the albums, me and Roy Wood. So I dont know, I dont really think about it in terms of progressive or whatever. I was just still learning. And I think theyre good, I think we did our best on them. And some of them sound pretty good. Theyre just a bit rough, production-wise.


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   :07.11.12 12:22.: . ..


The making of our Mr Blue Sky Jeff Lynne

Jeff Lynne was born in Birmingham on December 30, 1947 and has the same birthday as one of his musical heroes, Del Shannon, who he ended up producing.

His rise to prominence started when Mike Sheridan and the Nightriders, one of the best bands on the Birmingham scene, disbanded after both Mike and guitarist Roy Wood left (Roy to form The Move).

The remaining three members of the band recruited 18 year-old Jeff.

Id been hanging about learning the guitar and recording stuff at home, he says. Id bought a B&O tape recorder for 120 guineas (about £130, which was a lot in those days) and I learnt how to record sound on sound on it (overdubbing) in that little front room in Shard End.

The Idle Race, as the band changed their name to, also made it big on the local scene, but despite being championed by the likes of DJs John Peel and Kenny Everett (who was honorary president of their fan club), they failed in their bid for stardom.

The bands two albums were mainly written by Jeff. The second was also produced by him. The songs were touches of whimsy with more than a hint of an influence from The Beatles (who received a name check on the track Girl in the Window).

Eventually, the bands lack of commercial success prompted the fledgling producer to accept Roy Woods second invitation to join The Move in 1970.

Jeffs condition on joining The Move was that he could be a part of Roy Woods vision that became The Electric Light Orchestra. The initial shows were rather fraught, as Jeff remembers.

There was a famous occasion when the seven of us in the band outnumbered the audience and another time the neck busted off Roys cello. That caused a bit of a kerfuffle, he smiles.

ELOs first album, released 40 years ago in 1972, spawned the hit single 10538 Overture, which Jeff wrote. But Roy then left to form Wizzard.

I didnt know Roy was gonna leave. But wed done about half a dozen gigs and we werent getting on as we used to and he decided to leave. That, of course, left me to pick up the pieces.

From then on, Jeff and ELO could do no wrong. A string of hit singles ensued. Livin Thing, Dont Bring Me Down, Xanadu (with Olivia Newton-John their only Number One), Sweet Talkin Woman, Wild West Hero and, of course, Mr Blue Sky cemented Lynnes reputation as an excellent songwriter.

It was pretty damn amazing really, he says of those days.

The bands tours grew to be enormous and for their 1978 world tour they had lasers and a giant spaceship that rose into the air.

However, Jeff wasnt the biggest fan of touring.

I dont hate it, he emphasises. I just prefer to be in the studio making new stuff. I toured because I had to. I call it doing the legwork.

Jeff wanted to produce other artists work and disbanded ELO in 1986. Drummer Bev Bevan formed ELO Part Two a few years later, touring and recording an album, and Jeff released an album under the bands name in 2001 entitled Zoom.

And despite all the rumours of bad feeling between the former Move members Lynne, Wood and Bevan, Jeff says its all nonsense.

Were still mates although I havent seen em for nearly 20 years. We all went our separate ways and I wish them all the best.

After ELO, Jeff went into production work and worked with the very best, Brian Wilson, The Everly Brothers and Del Shannon among them. Then, after producing albums by George Harrison, Tom Petty and Roy Orbison, Jeff co-founded the super-group The Traveling Wilburys with Petty, Harrison, Orbison and Bob Dylan.

The Wilburys recorded two albums (the second without Orbison who had passed away) with great success and Jeff also brought out a solo album entitled Armchair Theatre.

He also produced The Beatles when Harrison, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney reunited to record Free as a Bird, around an old tape of John Lennons vocal.

Having seemingly been quiet for a few years though, the Birmingham-born musician is back with a brace of albums; both with a nod to the past. But why two at the same time?

Well, he muses, they are quite different albums and despite working on them for the past three years they were both finished at the same time.

Mr Blue Sky The Very Best of The Electric Light Orchestra sees Jeff revisiting his hits and re-recording them

I recorded these songs again because over the past few years when Ive listened to them, they have sounded a bit woolly. Also, he adds, Ive got 30 years more experience as a producer, so I decided to make them more punchy. I couldnt use any of the old tapes but I was faithful to all the original arrangements.

Among those on the album are, of course, Mr Blue Sky, Strange Magic and Telephone Line.

And as a special treat there is a brand new track called The Point Of No Return.

Of all the songs he recorded with ELO, he cites Mr Blue Sky as his favourite.

Of the hits, yes, but I also love Take Me On And On from the Secret Messages album.

The second album, Long Wave, is so titled as it is full of covers of songs he used to listen to on long wave radio when he was younger.

Jeff takes up the story.

Basically, I was forced to listen to these songs as a kid. My dad had the radio on all the time and it would be on pretty loud.

He used to say Ahh, this is the stuff, but I just couldnt understand it. It was the arrangements that got me, they were so complex. But the years went by and I started to understand them and I wanted to record them.

Then when I worked out the songs I found that they were really quite simple. I dont read music so I learnt all the songs by ear and I love all that music now.

The songs include such classics as She.

Ive wanted to do it for years, Jeff says. Like all the songs, I couldnt sing it like the original and I wasnt going to sing it like me (as the singer with ELO). I made She into a harmony song and did the three-part harmonies.

Theres also Smile, Love is a Many Splendoured Thing and a superb version of Beyond The Sea.

Naturally, Lynne has included a Chuck Berry song Let It Rock.

I had to, he says. I love Chuck Berry cos that was what started us all off.

As with Mr Blue Sky, Jeff has worked mainly solo on the recordings.

Ive had help from Marc Mann on the strings and my eldest daughter Laura has put some backing vocals on. Apart from that I play virtually everything.

I love recording on my own. I get a sense of satisfaction and Im a nutter for getting it right.

The good news is that we could also soon get to hear some new compositions from the 64 year-old Brummie.

Ive got eight new songs so far for a new album I hope to have out next year.

Read More http://www.birminghampost.net/life-leisure-birmingham-guide/birmingham-culture/music-in-birmingham/2012/11/02/the-making-of-our-mr-blue-sky-jeff-lynne-65233-32138636/2/#ixzz2BWjyhTyD

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   :07.11.12 18:20.: new album I hope to..

new album I hope to have out next year


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   :13.11.12 09:53.: ..


Jeff Lynne - Strange Magic

Since his introduction to the recording studio in the late 1960s, Jeff Lynne has proven himself a continual innovator. With the formation of Electric Light Orchestra (Lynne, Roy Wood, Bev Bevan) in 1970, he introduced the inclusion of orchestral string players as permanent members of the band, adding a new layer to the pop soundscape. Soon after, the move to Giorgio Moroders Musicland studio and collaboration with engineer Reinhold Mack in the mid-70s culminated in what many consider Lynnes crowning achievement in recording, ELOs 1977 double-LP release, Out of the Blue.

Following the breakup of ELO in 1986, Lynne turned heavily to producing other artists, including George Harrison, Dave Edmunds, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Tom Petty, Roy Orbison and a band listed at the top of his recording heroes, The Beatles themselves, for whom he produced the groups Anthology reunion tracks, Free As a Bird and Real Love in 1994-95. He was also, of course, a member and co-producer of The Traveling Wilburys, with Harrison, Petty, Orbison and Dylan, releasing two acclaimed discs in 1988 and 1991.

Lynne released one solo album, Armchair Theater in 1990, and 22 years later, on October 9, released a second, Long Wave, a tribute to the classics he heard on the BBC on his fathers long-wave radio in the late 50s and early 60s. Released the same day was Mr. Blue Sky: The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra, for which Lynne has taken a second pass at some of ELOs biggest hits.

Recording of the two albums took place at Lynnes Los Angeles home, where he has lived these past 17 years overlooking L.A. and on a good day gaining a view of Catalina. The space has a warm tone with wood-paneled rooms, and Lynne might plug in anywhere. As Joe Walsh, one of Lynnes most recent collaborators [see Mix August 2012], says in a new documentary (Mr. Blue Sky: The Story of Jeff Lynne and ELO), Every room in that house is a recording room.

The control room still reflects Lynnes analog roots, with a classic 40-channel British Raindirk Symphony LN1 console, a load of EQ modules rescued from his previous Raindirk Series 3 desk, AMS DMX 15-80, S-DMX and RMX-16 digital delays, API 550 and Massenburg 8200 EQ units, API 512b and Brent Averill 1073 and 1272 mic preamps, and plenty of UREI 1176 limiters. Lynne and engineer Steve Jay, with whom he has collaborated for the past five years, record to Pro Tools and mix through the Raindirk, monitoring through Yamaha MSP-10s or Event Opals, as well as larger ATC SCM100 speakers.

Lynne records guitars and vocals in a half-office/half-studio space next to the control room and drums in an extra room filled with spare CDs, box sets and 7-inch vinyl. A very large wood-paneled, high-ceilinged room downstairs, looking much like the interior of a warm hunters lodge (and formerly used to store pinball machines by the previous owner), is used for recording piano and string and choir sections, among other things.

For Mix, Lynne reveals his current recording process, as well as that of his pioneering work with ELO, some techniques of which remain in his massive bag of recording tricks.

Youve had personal recording studios for years. When was your first?

[Points to a Bang & Olufson Beocord 2000 Deluxe reel-to-reel machine in the control room]. Thats my original studio. I got it in 1968. I had a Mellotron in the front room of my mom and dads house, and I had that set up, with a record player right next to it in this big cabinet. Its a 2-track sound on sound machine. So you would record on the left track, and then record a mix of that along with, say, a second guitar, onto the right track, and just keep bouncing, adding a vocal or a bass drum. Sometimes Id bounce 20 timesyoud see through the f***ing tape! It was like Scotch tape in the end. And I could do the best phasing on Earth.

What did you learn from using it?

I learned to experiment. I learned about having sounds together, seeing what piano sounded like with the guitar and how to include the Mellotron.

What do you like about the rooms you use here for recording?

Everythings made of wood. The big room downstairs has just the right amount of bouncevery soft, not trashy, like a big room can be. The other room, where I record guitars mainly, has just that perfect ratio of room and guitar, like the old BB King kind of blues sound. Dry, but slightly wet. No reverb. I never use any reverb. And my drum room, which is like a storage cupboardI have some great fun recording in here. Youll see, Ive got tielines in each room that lead back to the control room, so theres no cables running down the halls.

On the two new albums, you play everything yourself. Do you miss having a band of guys around to play with?

No, not really. Dont forget, when I first started recording, with the B & O, I was on my own. I always record by myself, which I love. I love playing every instrumentthats my favorite thing, just making a whole, big landscape of racket, with me doing it all. If wed record everything live, at once, I could never get the separation I wanted, and I could never concentrate enough on the bits that were really important. When you get those bits done early on, and theyre tight and just right, its much nicer to play to, to add all the guitars, pianos, keyboards and the harmonies. Once its solid, its just that much more fun to play.

Walk us through how you build a track.

Ill start with a click track, which Ill play to with a hi-hat for about 20 seconds, recording a really good groove. Then Ill use the click to build up the tracks. Ill put the snare on, and then tom-tom fills and snare fills. I can play a full rhythm trackIve been drumming since I was 13; I play on a Gretsch kit now that I got during the Wilburys sessionsbut not necessarily great. So I prefer to build it up, with lots of assistance from Steve and the computer, and just layer it.

Nearly all the time now, Ill also use a big fat bass druma 28-inch Ludwig from 1941 that belongs to Steve. You can cut the room decay down to different lengths. So on some really slow songs, you can have it quite long. Or if its a fast song, like Beyond the Sea on Long Wave, you gotta pull it in a bit, because otherwise, its just one big BOOMBOOM-BOOMBOOM. After the bass drum is in place, Ill put the bass on, real punchy, dead on, on the note. Then Ill put the guitar rhythm. From there, I have a foundation to work from.

One of the hallmarks of any great Jeff Lynne recording is the drum sound. How do you create that?

Theres a certain sound that I can hear in my head that I can usually create, depending on the room were in. I can always get it in here because Steve knows how to get me the old-fashioned drum sound that I love in that rooma little bit of room on it, and plenty of separation. But a big part of it is I move the overheads out about 10 feet. I dont like close-up mics. I dont like the clickiness of them. I especially dont like a mic under the snare, that little ShureI hate that sound. It doesnt even sound like a drum.

This sound really goes back to even the earliest ELO days.

One of the things I do comes from the fact that I couldnt get enough separation when I would record Bevs drums. So I used to get him to double-track the snare drum and some of the tom-toms in a room, on their own. So youd pick up that, along with just the room sound of those drums, which you can then turn up separately in the mix of the kit. It was a much better sound, because the room sound of those drums doesnt bleed onto the bass drum and everything else. I did that from Day One4-track the snare drum and the tom-tom. That is the drum sound, really. Thats all it is.

On Mr. Blue Sky, you match the signature sound of Dont Bring Me Down perfectly.

Thats basically a snare thats just crushed to death by a UREI [1176]. Thats as flat as I could have it without it blowing up or becoming a fuzz box. Thats how I did it in the first place, and I did the same method on the new version. On the original record, that was actually a drum loop from a different song. I just took two tracks of drummingbass drum and snare, with a bit of leakage on the hi-hatput it on the 2-track machine and did the old trick, wound it round a mic stand and my old pencil. I think it was two bars long. Recorded that onto the 24-track, and then I was ready to go.

Believe it or not, I think that had eight pianos on it, all doing the same note. God knows what I was expecting to happen. It just gets eight times louder! If you turn it down, its still only one piano. It doesnt track like a guitar [recorded with multiple passes], because a guitar bends a bit. You can slightly knock it out of tune, and you get this big chorus effect. A piano doesnt do that, of course, until you bang it out of tune.

Do you miss tape?

I dont miss anything about tape, except the fact that you can tie your plants up with it. [Laughs.]

When did you first get introduced to Pro Tools?

Probably about 14 years ago. I didnt like it when it was new; it was very low-bandwidth, it sounded brittle and gray, no color to it. Gradually, over the years, the sampling rates got better.

What do you like about working in Pro Tools vs. analog recording?

I love everything about Pro Tools. There were things that sometimes would take a week to do that we can now do in half an hour. Its so much better, and theres no moving parts. Theres 10 different ways to get the same sound. I just think its super duper.

And you can see everything youre doing. Whod have thought youd end up looking at what youre recording? You can see where the hit is. In the old days, on tape, you wouldnt have a clue exactly where a beat was while editing. You just had to get it right, and then, if you were wrong, you had to do it again and again. You can still hear edits in some of the old ELO tracks, when we were recording on tape. Now its all smooth.

How did you do basic tracking with ELO?

When I had the band, Id always start out with piano, bass, guitar and drumslive. And I always used to tell them, Dont worry, you wont hear any of this, because of all the overdubbing! [Laughs.] And that goes back to what I was saying about recording by myself. When I would record with a band, it was four guys having to get it right, each playing in their own time, trying to get it right all at once at the same time. Now you can have as many goes as you like, and then still tighten it up if you want. If you dont want anything wrong, you dont have to have anything wrong. Now you can do it and theres nothing wrong. I love it.

Do you find you produce songs in your head prior to recording, particularly in the days of complex ELO recordings?

Yeah, I used to think about sounds a lot. There are certain sounds that are just built into me.

I imagine it was great fun for you to create those sounds, as well.

Yeah, it was always fun, because I was using stuff that I never dreamed of using, like choirs. 20 people in a choirthats quite an amazing thing to use, if youve never done it. And it does certainly add a completely other dimension to something. Same for big string sections, like 30- or 40-piece. Its funny, at the start, it used to be, Oh, a string day tomorrow! with four sessions of strings. But by about the sixth album, it was, like, Ugh, string day tomorrowf***. Were gonna have to do that all day. Cause by then, I just wanted to simplify it.

The production on Long Wave is decidedly simple.

Its because the songs are brilliant. You dont need much to make em work. Theyre written by proper geniuses, like Rogers and Hammersteinabsolutely brilliant people. When I was a kid, I didnt get it at all. My dad would say, Oh, this is Richard Rogers, and Id go, How? Why? I dont understand it. Its just a big load of grownup stuff. What does it mean? Until I tried listening to it again a few years ago. And I thought, Ill have a go at one of these buggers and see if I can make sense of it now and do it.

How did you approach them?

To learn these songs, I just sat there, playing a guitar part, listening 100 times, tunneling in the bits I needed to learn. The way Ive recorded them, Ive stripped them all of their original flowery arrangements that were very good in the day but not really suitable for the way I wanted to do it, which was more punch, make em electric. We rebuilt these songs onto my own track.

Your vocal performance, then, becomes so much more important, because its really all about the melody and the emotion with songs like these.

Exactly. And thats why I really had to try really, really hard to get them right. Id do 10 takes sometimes cause I still wasnt sure that Id got everything covered. It was daunting trying to sing any of them. Id come in to sing it, and it was, like, Oh, my God. Oh, here we go

Its some of your best singing ever. Particularly challenging, I would imagine, was Roy Orbisons Running Scared. Did you find that, having known him and sung with him, you were able to infuse your performance with some of his heart or intonation?

Thats a really difficult question. Id listened to him, since I was 13 or 14. Its like some kind of godthat voice. Hes justI dont know, ridiculous. I mean, how can anybody sing like that? Its so pure and marvelous and emotive. Everything about it just sensational, your hair stands up on end.

In the ELO days, how would you map out all of those interesting lead vocal and background parts, which are so much fun to listen to?

Well, kind of backwards to how most people would do it. I didnt have any words to any of those ELO songs until the last couple of days, until I had to mix em. Id got bits of ideas for words, but I never sat down and wrote them. I was too busy doing the music. Lyrics were always the big chore. Id be, like, Ugh, Ive gotta do em tomorrow. Ive got the tune in the back of my mind, which I could rely on in between doing the rhythm track and finishing all the overdubs, before I did my vocal. For my lead vocal recording, I usually modified the tune to work best with the backing track wed done. And that sometimes made it difficult to do the backgrounds, because I hadnt actually made the words up yet. So I couldnt commit myself if they had words in them until Id done the vocal.

On tracks like Mr. Blue Sky, you always had so many wonderful miscellaneous vocal bits thrown in, as well.

Mr. Blue Sky had a lot of stuff going on, little instances popping up. Back then, you could fit em in between, where there was an empty part on one section. The engineer, Mack, would say, You can have four tracks there, just on that bit. Those little pieces popping upthat is the best fun. I love doing harmonies; its my favorite thing to do.

How has your recording experience evolved since ELO?

I had a year off, after I disbanded ELO the first time, and I just played on my desk at home, with me as the engineer. I learned tons about EQ and echo and AMS and stuff. So when I started work with George [Harrison], the engineer, Richard Dodd, knew I was well aware of all that stuff. What Im good at is EQ, and I like certain effects that I always use, though there are certain ones that I like to experiment with. I have here all the EQ modules from my old 16-track Raindirk desk, because the EQ on them is really, really powerful. Its got a tremendous sweeping ability. You can sweep through certain frequencies on an electric guitar, and it makes it sound like a slide. I used it twice on Long Waveon Love Is a Many Splendored Thing and Smile. It sounds like youre playing some weird instrument, but its actually just that. Oh, shut up! Now Ive told yasecrets out. [Laughs.]

You record dry? I notice youve got a nice collection of AMS units.

Everythings recorded dry, yeah. I love the AMS, even though its digital. Its 30 years old, and its so easy to use. Its just the best gadget or box Ive ever known. Very rarely use echo on anything, but, if I do, probably would be on voice, just as an effect. And I never use reverb, except as an effect on the end of something.

How did the Mr. Blue Sky album come about?

I heard Mr. Blue Sky playing once, and I thought, I thought it was better than that. But it obviously wasnt, not the way I had always heard it in my head. So I started with that one, to see what it would be like. I played it for my manager and a lot of other people, and they all went, Whoa, you should do more. So I tried Evil Woman, and then I tried Strange Magic. And I thought, Just keep going, then. And I enjoyed doing them.

My goal here really wasnt just trying to reproduce the original sound. I was also trying to improve on the overall sound. The guitar sound, the piano sound, the drum soundtrying to improve all the bits that make up the whole. Thats what I aimed for.

What was the best part of returning to these songs for a second spin? What did you learn from them?

I learned that even though Id done quite a few albums up to then, I still needed to learn as much as I needed to learn. No song is ever the same as another, when youre recording them. You cant beat recording. As far as Im concerned, its as much fun as you can ever have.


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   :15.11.12 09:11.: ..


Legacy acts reboot classics to regain royalties

With the record industry continuing its gradual decline, and digital downloads and commercial licensing proving ever more crucial, a number of legacy acts are heading back into the studio. But cutting a new album may be the furthest thing from their minds.

While most legacy acts control their own publishing rights as songwriters, rights to the master recordings of their biggest hits are often controlled by the record labels, which limits a band's ability to freely license out its music, and forces them to split the proceeds with a label to which they may no longer even been signed. Yet there's usually nothing to stop them from simply recording their songs again, note-for-note, and exploiting those recordings to the fullest extent they desire.

Appropriately, a number of marquee artists have taken the initiative by painstakingly re-recording their biggest hits, and in some cases, complete platinum albums, in an effort to control 100% of the revenue made from digital downloads and licensing from advertising, TV and film placement. Performers include Def Leppard, Foreigner, Styx, Squeeze, Cheap Trick, Electric Light Orchestra, Tori Amos, Randy Newman and Twisted Sister, and the list continues to grow each year.

"It has to do with the inherent corporate structure of the music business," says Jay Jay French, founding member, guitarist and now, manager of Twisted Sister. "It's the only business where you create, you pay back, and you still don't own. This is why most musicians, by the way, will not cry over the destruction of the record industry."

Twisted Sister not only re-recorded their iconic 1980s rock anthems ("We're Not Gonna Take It" and "We Wanna Rock"), they completely re-created their platinum album, "Stay Hungry," releasing it recently with additional material as "Still Hungry." Originally attached to Warner Music's Atlantic Records, the band recently signed deals with smaller labels Razor & Tie and Eagle Rock, both of which worked out a partnership that French says "respected the heritage of the band, and gave us the flexibility to record those songs and maintain control for the licenses of them."

Twisted Sister directly licensed its music for "The Betty White Show," the Broadway play and film version of "Rock of Ages" and in ad promos for Amigo Tequila and Extended Stay Hotels. By offering the re-record licensing rights for less than Warner Music would charge for the 1980s originals, French says they are able to lock up 90% of the deals.

How lucrative can these deals be? Licensing fees for advertising alone can range from $100,000 per song to several million dollars, which Led Zeppelin received from Cadillac in 2003 for the use of "Rock n Roll" in a TV ad campaign.

It's no longer considered to be a sell-out for bands to place pop classics in advertising, films and TV -- not with half of the licensing revenue ending up in artists' pockets. Now the creators are looking to get more of a return.

"From a licensing standpoint, we have seen the greatest exploitation of our music this year," says French. "Every year I keep thinking it can't get any bigger and it does. Why not make 100% of the money?"

Although classic rock still holds the crown, alternative and indie music placements are growing rapidly.

Re-recordings of hit songs are nothing new. Little Richard, the Everly Brothers and several other rock pioneers often re-cut their greatest hits in the early 1960s when they signed with new record companies; and TV marketer K TEL Presents made millions releasing compilations filled with re-recorded hits. The practice caused labels to incorporate a re-record restriction for five years in record contracts.

Def Leppard re-cut some its classic songs for a different reason: they were unhappy with the split Universal offered them to license their recordings to iTunes and other digital download platforms.

"We're master forgers now," singer Joe Elliott told The Virginia Pilot in August. "We're not trying to be greedy. We just want a fair cut of what we think is right."

Electric Light Orchestra founder and leader Jeff Lynne recently re-recorded "Mr. Blue Sky: The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra," releasing it through Frontiers Records for an entirely different reason: he never liked the way the original versions sounded.

"Some of them just weren't recorded too well back then, and my production wasn't as good as I thought it was," says Lynne, who owns the name of the band and all the rights to both the old and new versions. "I was totally faithful to the old songs. I didn't change the songs or the arrangements. I did them exactly the same because what was wrong was the way I had produced them back then."

Since Lynne controls the usage of all ELO songs, it is likely he will only want his newly solo-recorded versions available for license. "Sony Music has the older version of the ELO hits out and they can pick those ones as much as they can pick mine."

Tom Rowland, senior VP film & television music for Universal Music Enterprises, assures the trend to re-record has not been an issue for giants like Universal, Sony or Warners.

"It's not a big problem," he says. "It has gotten more press than it deserves. First of all, guitarist X is dead and the drummer is dead and they are not really the tracks. If I am going to land a Cream song or a Traffic song in a film set in the '70s, they are not going to use a recording of that song done in 2012 or 2013, because it is not authentic."

He adds, "Music supervisors want authenticity. They want the real thing. Unless it is a different spin on the track, like a new remix or a completely different version, why mess with perfection?"


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   :19.11.12 09:45.: ..


Mr. Blue Sky: The Story of Jeff Lynne and ELO

Grammy Museum, Los Angeles

KLOSs always-lovely DJ Cynthia Fox hosted this memorable event at the Grammy Museum as KLOS and American Express presented Mr. Blue Sky: The Story of Jeff Lynne and ELO.

This new documentary finally sheds a little light on the man behind the curtain Jeff Lynne! More than a powerful songwriter and musician (The Move, ELO, Traveling Wilburys), Jeff Lynnes role as an engineer, producer, and collaborator has sealed his fate as one of the most influential men in music history. The movie takes a peek into whats behind this legendary genius, and explores Lynnes successes through his own words, along with a parade of distinguished friends and fellow musicians including Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Tom Petty, Joe Walsh, Olivia and Dhani Harrison, Barbara Orbison (Roys widow), and even Monty Python alum Eric Idle! The movie is a must-see for any music fan!

After the screening, Cynthia Fox moderated a very interesting Q&A with Lynne, whose sincere and quite charming!! The night ended with a series of great questions from the audience, which was filled with Jeff Lynne fans and lots of KLOS winners, as well as a most notable attendee drummer Stewart Copeland of The Police, who even raised his hand and asked his friend a question!


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Liner Notes

My friend Jeff Lynne has asked me to write some liner notes for his CD. In a cavalier moment when he was worried about writing them I airily offered to do the job.

Oh would you? Youll be able to do it easily he said Because I cant.

But Jeff I said you have done everything else. All the writing, all the recording. All the singing. All the selling.

But I havent a clue what to do, or how to write liner notes he said.

Nothing to it I said. But I lied. My only previous experience was writing liner notes for the second Wilburys album, and I think I just copied what Michael Palin had done for the first. Clearly the thing to do was to find somebody funny and copy them, so my first move was to co-opt Billy Connolly into joining us for dinner.

Liner notes he said, they still have liner notes? I thought they went out with the Titanic. Thats Liner, Billy I said.

The story so far. In a fit of egotistical madness Eric Idle has agreed to write the liner notes for Jeff Lynnes album, but so far he has no idea what to do. He is assembling for dinner with Jeff and Billy at an expensive West Hollywood watering hole, called The Expensive West Hollywood Watering Hole. He has sat with Billy for half an hour and made a bad joke about Shark Infested Waiters at the Peninsular. They are waiting for Jeff. He appears.

How are the Liner Notes going? he asks.

Nothing to it I lie.

But its a dilemma. I have Billy Connolly to help me, but he isnt much help, he just keeps collapsing into a pile of giggles and staring wistfully at the waitress. The waitress is really worth a stare, but she has no place on these liners notes. I ask Billy what he wants to eat. He says I want nothing bouncy or jiggly.

Seems to me I say the waitress falls into that category.

Billy stares morosely into the distance. I know that look to mean hes thinking. For the serious collector he says the vinyl CD.

Oh yes and you can download it I say. The idea slips into the sand and drains away.

I like that says Jeff.

How about we say originally it was a Virgin record? It had no hole in the middle.

Thats not funny said Jeff.

Alright I say well improvise. Its 1932. I begin.

I had just woken up and was feeling wretched continues Billy.

I was lying in the street next to a donkey. Nice ass I said.

Listen to this mate, said the donkey putting on a Jeff Lynne album and a small sleeveless Fair Isle knitted pullover

Adding a small moustache he set off to invade Poland.

Because he couldnt spell Czechoslovakia.

This too sank into the sand. There was a moment of silence as Billy stared at the long legs of the waitress.

Theyre all strumpets! he said suddenly and very loudly in his Scottish pastor voice. Whoors, harlots and strumpets the lot of them!

First of all theyre not strumpets, I said, One or two of them may be on the sluttish side, but I never met a slut I didnt like.

Put that down says Jeff, thats good.

For the liner notes? I say in disbelief.

Maybe he says.

I know Armchair Theater very well. Its a lovely album isnt it? I mean either you know it or youre about to, and either way youll love it, but nowhere is there anything in it about sluts. Even I dont think thatll fly. We abandon our pathetic attempts to be funny and drift on to other subjects and an enormous amount of food is eaten.

Are you still doing my liner notes? says Jeff, as he reaches for the check.

Oh yes, I lie.


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   :22.11.12 14:57.: ..

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Hurricane Sandy Relief

While the effects of Hurricane Sandy devastated much of the eastern United States, many of the small coastal communities in New Jersey and New York, were hit especially hard. To help these small largely lower income communities get back on their feet, such as Red Hook Brooklyn and the Far Rockaways, a host of amazing artists have contributed to Songs After Sandy: Friends of Red Hook For Hurricane Sandy Relief, Volume 1.

Songs After Sandy: Friends of Red Hook For Sandy Relief is being sponsored by the Not For Profit Green Ground Zero, which was founded for exactly this purpose, to help communities rebuild after disasters. In this case it is particularly poignant as they also advocate for green restoration which creates a more sustainable environment while hitting the root of the problem of global warming.

All proceeds from this campaign will go to Restore Red Hook, Red Hook Initiative, Occupy Sandy, specifically the Wedding Register they maintain where they detail items needed in specific communities and Green Ground Zero.

PledgeMusic will be the only place you can pre-order this album (and look out for subsequent editions!). In addition to the album, many of the artists here will offer up exclusive signed items and experiences so keep an eye out.

Adam Arcuragi Cobra Tie
Joseph Arthur Come on Caroline
Brendan Benson What Im Looking For Live version
Eric Burdon Tishomingo Blues
Kaiser Cartel Long Way From Home
Toby Lightman Life Is a Riddle
Jeff Lynne Save Me Now (Brand New Electric Version) unreleased track about global warming
Joan Osborne Where We Start
Kenny Wayne Shepherd featuring Buddy Flett Third House on the Left
Ringo Starr Wings, recorded Live in Atlanta with the 2012 All Starr Band
Bow Thayer & Perfect Trainwreck The Tide
These United States Damned & Redeemed
Joe Walsh Rocky Mountain Way Live from Troubadour with Ringo Starr on drums
Bonus content:
Bob Weir and Jesse Malin Video, live performance of Brown-Eyed Women


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Mr Blue Sky - The Story of Jeff Lynne and ELO-BBC HD Broadcast-AVCHD

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