By Jim Johnson

ELO’s Jeff Lynne admits that he wasn’t sure how his 2014 gig at London’s Hyde Park would be received — but now says that it’s led to a full-scale comeback. Lynne, who has revitalized the ELO moniker, will release the band’s new album, Alone In The Universe, on November 13th, and credits the crowd that night on September 14th, 2014 as giving him the faith that his new music would have an audience. Lynne was most recently behind the boards for Bryan Adams‘ new album, Get Up!

Jeff Lynne recalled the Hyde Park concert, telling Rolling Stone, “We were fenced off by the BBC, and I couldn’t see the audience. I was walking up the stairs with my fingers crossed, hoping that people hadn’t gone home since they already saw the act they came to see. 50,000 fans singing along. I felt such relief that all these people were there, screaming and clapping to every song. It made me feel really good. I was just knocked out, just the most wonderful crowd I’d ever seen. I had so much fun doing it, I decided to come back and do a new album.”

  • Although a few large-scale UK shows are in the planning stages, North American ELO gigs still seem up in the air — for now: “To be honest, I love theaters because the sound is always so much better. As far as more shows, we’ll see what happens if it goes well, I’ll certainly do more stuff. Let’s hope it goes well.”
  • One of the highlights of the Hyde Park gig was Jeff Lynne’s performance of the Traveling Wilburys classic, “Handle With Care.” Lynne recalled the ease in composing the first Wilburys album with bandmates George Harrison, Tom Petty, Roy Orbison, and Bob Dylan: “You’d write the song in the afternoon, have dinner, write the words, sing ’em, and that would be the end — one song each day. On the first Wilburys album, that was one a day. And then, obviously, we’d have to finish them off, like, and fill the holes in again, afterwards, but the basic songs and the vocals were all down each day the song was written.” 
  • Alone In The Universe, which is Jeff Lynne’s first for Columbia, marks his first new release since the 2012 twin releases of the covers collection Long Wave — Lynne’s first new set since ELO’s 2001 album, Zoom; and Mr. Blue Sky – The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra, which featured Lynne’s note-for-note re-recordings of ELO’s biggest hits.


CHECK IT OUT: Jeff Lynne’s ELO’s 2015 track “One Step At A Time”:


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