Book review: On Track…ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA by Barry Delve


Sonicbond Publishing [Publication date 03.12.21]

After a highly readable book on Queen a couple of years ago Sonicbond now publish a book based on my other all-time favourite band the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO).

Wisely Barry Delve focusses solely on ELO and doesn’t include the various Jeff Lynne solo, production duties and Travelling Wilburys, which as he rightly states deserve a book of their own. However, there is a brief look at Jeff Lynne’s solo albums in one of the appendacies, plus the Bev Bevan led Electric Light Orchestra Part Two get a brief overview. Mind, you keeping track of that band’s line-up and the subsequent ones of Orchestra would see Pete Frame running low on ink doing one of his famous family trees!

Drawing on already published interviews, Bev Bevan’s memoir and some new interviews with the album cover designers and more, Barry Delve certainly knows his stuff and gives a fair appraisal of each album and song, including B-sides and bonus tracks. He’s a big fan of ‘Julie Don’t Live Here Anymore’, one of ELO’s finest songs from the 80s yet it never made it onto the ‘Time’ album.

Only the debut album seems to get short shrift and to be honest it is very much an album of its time, with the two main songwriters Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood, seemingly battling to find the band’s sound and direction. It was only when Wood left after the first album that ELO started to blossom into the familiar sound loved by millions from the mid-70s onwards.

2001′s ‘Zoom’ gets credit, especially as it was seemingly a false start for Jeff Lynne and ELO, back with their first new album and tour since 1986. Sadly a focus on the US saw the tour wound up quickly and they never made a full UK tour at the time.

Luckily, through DJ Chris Evans at BBC Radio 2 back in 2014 asked Jeff Lynne how many texts he’d need to consider touring again. He answered 2,000 and the Radio 2 listeners sent over 14,000 texts which helped pave the way for the Hyde Park show in September of that year. Since then Jeff Lynne’s ELO (as they are billed now) have toured and released two studio albums to date.

A perfect read for fans new and old, which gets you digging out those albums for a listen and shows there was much more to the Electric Light Orchestra aside from their string of hit singles in the 70s and early 80s. The author sums up the lasting appeal of ELO’s music succinctly in this line – “ELO have always been there for me: it would be a terrible thing to lose.” ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

Josh Taerk’s latest Sunday Session was streamed on Sunday 22 May.

Next session: Sunday 17 July.

Check out previous videos here:

David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 GMT, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 19 June 2022.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 GMT as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 21 June 2022.

How to Listen Live?

Click the programming image at the top of the page (top right of page if using desktop)

Listen via Windows Media Player. Click or tap here and “open file”
Listen via other media player (eg. VLC) Click or tap here and “open file”

Get Ready to ROCK! Radio is also in iTunes under Internet Radio/Classic Rock
Listen in via the Tunein app and search for “Get Ready to ROCK!” and save as favourite.

More information and links at our radio website where you can listen again to shows via the presenter pages:

Power Plays w/c 27 June 2022 (Mon-Fri)
REVIVAL BLACK Broken Home (TMR Records)
FLOYA Epiphany (indie)
TWISTER Own Worst Enemy (indie)
MODERN MIMES Down And Dead (Curtain Call Records)
TUNGSTEN Northern Lights (Arising Empire)
THE GREAT LESLIE Feel Alive (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 27 June (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 GRACE Hope (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 CLASSLESS ACT Welcome To the Show (Better Noise Music)
14:00-16:00 TIMOTHY B. SCHMIT Day By Day (indie)

Popular (last 30 days)

This entry was posted in ALL POSTS, BOOK REVIEWS and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply