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ELO / Secret Messages 2LP vinyl

Double vinyl available for the first time, as originally conceived.

Secret Messages, the Electric Light Orchestra‘s (ELO) 1983 album will be reissued as a double vinyl set in August reinstating a number of ‘missing’ tracks 35 years after Jeff Lynne was forced to omit them in order in order to deliver a single album to the record label.

There are six tracks here presented on vinyl for the first time including Hello My Old Friend and Endless Lies. The latter was included on 1986’s Balance of Power in an alternate version. Some of the missing tracks ended up as B-sides and reappeared on the Afterglow box set in 1990

Secret Messages will be reissued as an expanded 2LP vinyl set on 3 August 2018.

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Electric Light Orchestra

Secret Messages [VINYL]

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Amazon uk 6LP coloured vinyl box 18.99
Amazon de 6LP coloured vinyl box 24.99
Amazon usa 6LP coloured vinyl box 24.98
JPC de 6LP coloured vinyl box 27.99
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Side 1

  • 1. Secret Messages
  • 2. Loser Gone Wild
  • 3. Bluebird
  • 4. Take Me On and On

Side 2

  • 1. Stranger
  • 2. No Way Out
  • 3. Letter from Spain
  • 4. Danger Ahead

Side 3

  • 1. Four Little Diamonds
  • 2. Train of Gold
  • 3. Endless Lies
  • 4. Buildings Have Eyes
  • 5. Rock ‘N’ Roll Is King

Side 4

  • 1. Mandalay
  • 2. Time After Time
  • 3. After All
  • 4. Hello My Old Friend

57 responses to ELO / Secret Messages 2LP vinyl

  1. Francesco says:

    … and if the absence of BEATLES FOREVER was just a misprint on this page?
    LOL :-)

  2. william mckinley says:

    So, would this be considered an expanded, expanded edition of the original?

  3. Bill Hammell says:

    We need a CD edition (also a 5.1! ;)
    Include Beatles Forever as a “hidden track”! :)

    • Derek Langsford says:

      I’d like to hear the earlier albums in 5.1 (have their first in 4.1) but I have heard Lynne doesn’t like 5.1 and the tapes have been lost for at least Out of the Blue. I had thought as Sony helped develop DSD that the ELO catalogue might have seen the light of day in 5.1 but no.

    • richard says:

      amen to that

    • richard says:

      yes Cd please

  4. Mark says:

    ..One of my favourite albums period.
    Put this ‘Extended Version’ together years ago once i’d figured out where to look. Has anyone mentioned if Four little diamonds has the “Hows It Go?” intro?
    Beatles Forever.. hmm.. Is everybody slagging it off because were all probably listening to the same poor quality bootleg version and if you just squeeze it in between No Way Out and Letter from Spain it hasn’t got the same sonic musical depth as the rest of the released tracks.
    I’ve also got another couple of tracks to chuck in, ‘Let It Run’ and ‘Video’ Can’t remember why I included these.

    • ShardEnder says:

      I’m hoping the correct longer mix of Four Little Diamonds (with the additional “how’s it go?” speech at the beginning) is used, plus the short version of After All rather than the considerably extended variation that was first issued as the b-side to Rock ‘N’ Roll Is King and is currently the only version to have ever been officially released. Also, it will be interesting to see if Hello My Old Friend has the full “welcome to the show” ending instead of fading out, as it did when included on the Afterglow boxed set. In addition to the absence of Beatles Forever, I fear there are so many details about this upcoming release that could bring it further from Jeff Lynne’s original intention… I’ve not even started on the artwork, which was completely different to that of the eventual single LP edition, later being reworked for a somewhat rare poster.

      Sooner Or Later, Let It Run and Video! were technically Lynne solo tracks recorded with Richard Tandy for the Electric Dreams movie at some point between June 1983 and September 1984, when ELO reunited for what became their final group project together, Balance Of Power. While the overall style of Sooner Or Later in particular serves as a clue to the musical approach Lynne would take on the aforementioned last ELO album, the other two definitely fit in more with Secret Messages, and I’ve previously used them in place of a high quality copy of Beatles Forever. Indeed, you could argue that they’re more than appropriate for this purpose, since Video! recycles elements from Beatles Forever. To end on a related note, I’d love to see all three contributions to Electric Dreams given the remastering treatment along with a further instrumental mix of Video! that remains exclusive to that song’s 12″ maxi single, not to mention Sooner Or Later has never been released digitally. While I’m at it, how about a long overdue digital release for the Xanadu era b-side, Drum Dreams, as well?

    • ShardEnder says:

      In addition to the extended Four Little Diamonds you mentioned, I’m hoping we’ll get the correct (US single edit) of Rock ‘N’ Roll Is King so that its eventual LP tag – the “welcome to the show” section – can be correctly restored to the end of Hello My Old Friend, a song originally to have been connected to a shorter mix of After All that has since been replaced with its longer b-side variation. If the powers that be are willing to let this long overdue 2LP treatment hit shelves without Beatles Forever, it wouldn’t surprise me if at least one of these other tracks also ends up being different from what Jeff Lynne intended for the album back in early 1983 before it was reduced down to a single disc. As for Let It Run, Video! and the vinyl-exclusive Sooner Or Later, these were all recorded by Jeff with Richard Tandy for the Electric Dreams soundtrack in the months immediately following the completion of Secret Messages. While the overall style of Sooner Or Later is closer to ELO’s eventual last album together, Balance Of Power, I’ve used Video! in place of Beatles Forever on my own expanded editions of Secret Messages before since it recycled a few basic ideas from the earlier song. On that note, I’d love for Sooner Or Later and the instrumental version of Video! to finally receive the digital treatment, preferably on a rarities collection along with the Xanadu-era Drum Dreams.

      • ShardEnder says:

        Sorry about that – I wrote a shorter second reply because I didn’t think my first had sent… (My bad!)

      • Chris Squires says:

        Hey Shard End. I had my car nicked in 1986, yellow mini metro, from Aston and it was found in Shard End. Only time I’ve been to Jeff’s stomping ground. World famous now of course up there with LA, New York, Amsterdam and Monte Carlo. But I never had me nicked car found in any of those lesser places.

      • John Bowen says:

        Have you ever heard if there was a Lynne/Tandy demo for “Slipping Away,” which seemed to have been recorded by Dave Edmunds during the Secret Messages sessions? From what I can vaguely recall, Dave’s INFORMATION album was released in 1983, just prior to ELO’s album.

  5. Derek Langsford says:

    After 35 years of waiting for this I am pretty disappointed that a track has been left off, and even more so, there is no CD release. IMO, ELO started to lose their magic after OoTB, but still to not have the full album as originally imagined and no physical digital version, means no sale for me.

    I am trying to understand Lynne’s approach and not giving fans what they really want. The Wembley or Bust! set fell short with applause deleted out of the CD (removing the feel of a concert when each CD had ample room), and no 5.1, talking over the intro to Standing in the Rain, too much footage of the mostly middle-aged audience embarrassing themselves, and documentaries interspersed on the Blu-ray.

  6. Chris Squires says:

    Hmm. I am a massive ELO fan, I think until the recent small resurgence of interest they were one of the most critically under-rated bands of their generation. I am so glad they have had an mini abba-esque rise from the ashes. I just wish Bev and the boys could be part of it.

    I don’t see what the fuss is about with Beatles Forever. It’s a crap song. Genuinely crap. Not just bad but awful. Kudos to Jeff for sticking to his guns and ignoring those who “Love” ELO but throw they toys out the pram when they don’t get exactly what they feel entitled to.

    Neil Parnell wrote the perfect one liner on the recent Soft Cell Keychains…thread.

    ‘This looks amazing…..oh there’s one track missing….lets not bother then”….insert facepalm gif here.

    • Derek Langsford says:

      The lack of Beatles Forever wouldn’t stop me buying a CD version of this LP release. The lack of a CD is a bigger issue.

      I would have liked to view this release more as an attempt to correct the historical record for this album rather than a 2018 reinterpretation of what he thinks it should have been. I still hope to see a CD version with Beatles Forever finally restored to the album.

  7. DaveM says:

    The not so Secret Message is that CD buyers can eff off.

    I will keep an eye on CDJapan though, I reckon there might be a Japanese CD of this.

  8. Daniel ( from Berlin ) says:

    no interest without the “beatles forever” track.

  9. Ben Williams says:

    I am very, very happy about this release – but would have liked a CD release too – it could easily fit onto 1 CD (especially without the Beatles track) so that would have been nicer on my wallet.. and I do love listening to music in the car – unless this comes with mp3 download?

    The Afterglow compilation is long deleted and so to have those exclusive tracks and Buildings Have Eyes on CD/digital would be great. But I’ll have to wait until the CD revival in 2030 for that maybe!

    Four Little Diamonds is in my top 3 ELO tracks – just saying!

  10. Chris says:

    Interesting…if there is a digital download with the vinyl I could be tempted, but ideally I’d prefer a CD release.

  11. fan says:

    don’t worry the 2lp as intended will probably be released in 2023 for the 40th anniversary…

  12. Brad says:

    Regardless of the quality of Beatles Forever, this double-album will not be “as originally conceived” without it.

  13. Benjamin Adams says:

    Has anyone mentioned yet that “Beatles Forever” isn’t included?

    I’m here all week, folks! Try the veal!

  14. Sundown says:

    I’m hearing that there is no CD guys only vinyl and digital.
    Really disappointed that Beatles Forever will not be included. I actually like the song but even if I didn’t its simply not the double we all wanted without it. Its a record company cash grab. No more no less. With no CD the only way to hold the physical product is by buying the more expensive vinyl. Id have no problem with the vinyl if it was the full intended holly grail double. As it is I’m thinking long and hard about purchasing.

  15. Jürgen says:

    Who needs this, as long as the real original intended version won‘t be released. I‘ll pass it

  16. Frank says:

    I can imagine he’s not proud of the lyrics. I’m Dutch and it looks like an English school essay a 15 year old student from the Netherlands would write. (And I’m a big ELO-fan…)

    Courtesy of MetroLyrics:

    There’s something about a beatles’ song, that lives forever more
    The beauty of the harmonies, the sound of the Fab Four
    All their music will live on and on, John ‘n’ Paul, George and Ringo
    They really taught the world to sing

    Beatles forever, Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
    Beatles forever, All you need is love, yeah yeah yeah
    Beatles forever, I wanna hold your hand wooh
    Beatles forever, hey Jude and Revolution, number nine

    ‘Cause when you feel the beat, you’ve gotta move your feet
    You get the rhythm’n’blues, and a pretty tune
    Rock’n’roll eternity, that started out as Merseybeat

  17. Mike the Fish says:

    This was mooted by Rob Caiger years ago, I believe. Wow! Shame, but not surprising it’s missing Beatles… Hope it’s nicely segued with correct versions. Looking forward to hearing Hello My Old Friend on the album.

  18. Jeremy says:

    If Beatles Forever is really ‘dreadful and embarrassing’, why would anyone want to have it included? Good call, Jeff!

  19. ShardEnder says:

    In addition to Beatles Forever being absent* from this highly anticipated 2LP edition of Secret Messages, there’s no mention of whether it will contain the originally intended gatefold sleeve and correct mixes – I suspect the upcoming version won’t be faithful to either vintage test pressings or artwork proofs known to be in the possession of collectors…

    *The problem isn’t one of licensing The Beatles’ name or even paying royalties for the musical “quotations” contained in this song, but is rather because Jeff Lynne simply doesn’t like the resulting piece (which he quickly reworked into Video! for the Electric Dreams soundtrack, only without the somewhat embarrassing lyrics of its earlier guise).

  20. toni says:

    Finally!!!!! 35 years after justice has been done!!!!

  21. Paul Kent says:

    I mean, Beatles Forever is total pish which Lynne should, quite rightly, feel embarrassed about. But, at least be embarrassed about a newly remastered digital version of it than the atrocious nth-generation boot that is freely available on the interweb. It’s not as if those who care haven’t already heard it.

    BF’s omission aside, it’s a huge disappointment that a variant of an album that means a hell of a lot to, and has been dreamed of for decades by, all ELO fans will not get a CD release. Fine, if it is simply the missing tracks slotted in, but not if it has been newly mastered with originally jettisoned segues, interludes and, yes, secret messages reinstated. Really, this is too important a release to not go all-out on.

  22. MARK LEVY says:

    I might just get this one.

  23. Eric says:

    No brainer to purchase.

  24. Paul Wren says:

    I’ve never heard of the missing “Beatles Forever” track until reading all these forum comments today – as always, I live and learn!!

  25. daz says:

    so from reading the comments i take it Beatles forever is not on this ;-)

  26. DaKraut says:

    Guys, guys, guys…The omission of “Beatles Forever” has the key to it not being released in the title: “Beatles”. Licensing that would certainly be a nightmare. Otherwise, Jeff – who isn’t miserly – would certainly let it out.
    And yes, I hope a CD version comes out, too.

    • CAB says:

      He could have just re-titled the song ‘Beetles Forever’ and have had a little giggle with all the disappointed punters below.

    • Craig Hedges says:

      What about The Beatles and The Stones by The House of Love, there was no issue there.

  27. Volker Poetting says:

    Too bad that “Beatles Forever” is missing. Should be on Side 2, track 3.
    I have no idea why they omitted that song, highly requested by many ELO fans.

  28. Rob says:

    I thought the original version also included a track, I think it was called “Beatles Forever” that Jeff is embarrassed by but the fans really want. Bad bootlegs of the song, played at an ELO convention are out there. Too bad he couldn’t just let that out too.

  29. JasonC says:

    The big omission is the track Beatles Forever which was supposed to be between No Way Out and Letter From Spain. Jeff is obviously never going to let it see the light of day. There was also supposed to have been a different cover, and it’s a pity they haven’t gone with that.

    I wonder how much tinkering Jeff has done with this or is it just a “mixtape” of all the already circulating tracks?

    It’s also my least favourite ELO album. All that aside, of course I’m going to buy it! Why wouldn’t I?!?

  30. John says:

    Great news! A CD version would be nice, too!

  31. Pascal says:

    Hoping for an additional CD release of the originally intended double album.

  32. Christian says:

    And yet this release does not present the 2LP version as originally delivered to the record company, as it omits ELO’s dreadful and embarrassing tribute song “Beatles Forever”.

  33. Rob says:

    The original 2LP track listing was supposed to include a song called “Beatles Forever.” C’mon Jeff, fans have been waiting, well, FOREVER, to hear it! A shame that it’s not included. Will there be a CD version?

  34. Larry Davis says:

    Cool news!! Now a companion CD would be great…a deluxe SDE of 1 or 2 discs to mirror the vinyl…with more bonus tracks than now…

  35. Steve says:

    No Beatles Forever though!

  36. Andre says:

    Brilliant news, although I see ‘Beatles Forever’ has been omitted. Should have appeared between ‘No Way out’ and ‘Letter From Spain’ according to legend…

    Any news of it being released on CD as well?

  37. Brad says:

    There was also supposed to be the track “Beatles Forever” in the middle of side 2. Is it not being included?

  38. Hermen says:

    Great news!

  39. Paul S says:

    Still no Beatles forever which is a shame

  40. Ern says:

    This is a must buy for all ELO fans. Never thought I would see this in any format

  41. MATT SPARKES says:

    Excellent. Let’s have a coloured vinyl at some point for consistency please.

  42. Mark says:

    Any word from Sony as to whether there will be a CD or hi-rez download available as well?

  43. cecil meulenberg says:

    Still there is talk about another missing track, like a Beatles tribute.
    And, will there be a CD release as well? And remastered, please?

  44. Rod says:

    Really pleased about this long overdue release. Sadly ‘Beatles Forever’ is not included as Jeff Lynne is apparently now less than fond of its lyrics. That aside – can’t wait!

  45. Chris Squires says:

    Woo-hoo Japan and ELO in one week.

    That’s more like it, no disrespect to Rick intended.

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