ELO / Alone in the Universe


ELO, or rather “Jeff Lynne’s ELO”, return in November with a new deal inked with Columbia Records and a new album Alone in the Universe.

The long player represents the first new music from the (one man?) band in over a decade and you can already listen to a typically Beatlesy song from the album – When I Was A Boy – below.

The deluxe CD edition of Alone in the Universe adds two bonus tracks to the standard ten-track album – Faultline and Blue.

Alone in the Universe will be released on 13 November 2015.



Deluxe Edition CD

Vinyl LP


1. When I Was A Boy
2. Love & Rain
3. Dirty To The Bone
4. When The Night Comes
5. The Sun Will Shine On You
6. Ain’t It A Drag
7. All My Life
8. I’m Leaving You
9. One Step At A Time
10. Alone In The Universe

11. Faultline*
12. Blue*

*Deluxe CD only

40 responses to ELO / Alone in the Universe

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  3. DLG says:

    It’s amazing to me when people that actually like ELO **knowingly** minimalize the man that wrote, arranged, sang and produced every single one of those classic songs.

    He created those songs often with very little assistance from the “band”. Their biggest chart hit in the US was Don’t Bring Me Down in 1979. There are exactly 2 musicians on that song: Jeff Lynne and Richard Tandy.

    After Roy Wood left in 1972, ELO was basically Jeff Lynne with backing musicians. His songs. His voice. His arrangements. His production.

    What’s next? Are we going to tear down Paul McCartney by suggesting Ringo Starr made his songs sound better? Ludicrous.

    • dan says:

      Totally agree on everything you said, But Ringo DID make Paul sound better!! haha

    • RWG says:

      While I agree with what you say, the band, in particular, Kelly Groucutt, did add to the ELO sound in a small and subtle way. Kelly actually sang quite a lot (mostly backing vocals).

      When I saw ELO on the “Time” tour Kelly sang lead on many of the songs. I do believe that Louis Clark had a big hand in the orchestral arrangements (per Jeff Lynne’s visions).

      So yes – Jeff Lynne wrote everything from ELO 2 on except the few covers they did. Jeff Lynne produced everything and Jeff Lynne sang most everything (I think Kelly may sing some lead on Out of the Blue in 1 or 2 spots).

  4. Eurovision says:

    I’ve actually compared a few of the Blu-spec CD2 versions (not the initial Blu-specs, which didn’t make much of an impact) and they are much crisper, clearer with better separation and totally worth an upgrade for me. I have some Hall & Oates, ELO, EWF, Karla Bonoff, Valerie Carter, Jimmy Webb, Bill LaBounty, and even some reissues of Seiji Ozawa’s Deutsche Grammophon recordings that were issued in Blu-spec CD2 format double CDs in Japan for a special price… all sound excellent.

    • DaveM says:

      Eurovision, I have the four ELO Blue Spec 2’s (Jewel case format) and they sound amazing. They are probably the nearest to the way I remember the vinyl sounding that I have heard on CD before, hence why I have pre-ordered the batch due in November.

  5. Pete E. says:

    Jeff Lynne wrote every ELO song with the exception of a few songs from other writers outside the band. He produced every album and hired Louis Clarke. Jeff Lynnwood WAS AND IS ELO, period. ELO I I was LAME. They sang Lynne”s songs without him. That is sad.

    Lynne is a genius on the order of Brian Wilson. Why don’t you give him credit where it is due? What the heck is wrong with you people?

    • CJ Feeney says:

      “Lynne is a genius on the order of Brian Wilson. ”

      1) No, he isn’t. Not by a long way. He has many of Wilson’s skills, but not his genius.
      2) Wilson has never released a solo album under the Beach Boys name, even the Smile album or Pet Sounds Live. He only uses the Beach Boys name when he works with the surviving band members.

      • Beach Boys Opinion Page says:

        To be fair, the 2012 Beach Boys reunion album “That’s Why God Made the Radio” was fairly close to a Brian Wilson/Joe Thomas-penned solo album with the Beach Boys adding vocals to most tracks. Brian’s at-the-time right-hand man Jeff Foskett is heavier in the vocal blend than the other Beach Boys on many tracks. Brian actually cut several of the songs on his own before the reunion even started.

        But more importantly, the Beach Boys is not comparable to ELO. Unlike ELO, where Lynne did write, sing, and produce nearly everything (apart from half of the first album), the Beach Boys had numerous lead vocalists, various songwriting iterations, and a disparity between the touring lineup versus the studio lineup. Way more grey areas there about what should be called “The Beach Boys.”

        Whether you like Lynne’s stuff or not, his current sound is what he likes. If Bevan and Tandy were on it, it would still sound the same for the most part. He’d have Bevan playing to a click track, etc. Jeff Lynne and ELO are interchangeable frankly.

  6. Eric says:

    This sounds EXACTLY what it its supposed to sound like…a Jeff Lynne album. His production qualities are unrivaled…love the texturing…whether it be Armchair Theater or Zoom…give me more

  7. Adam says:

    If there were even a slim chance of this sounding like the ELO of old,I would be interested.
    But since its probably going to sound like a George Harrison solo album..ugh.Count me out.

    • Beach Boys Opinion Page says:

      If Jeff Lynne had kept making numerous albums into the 80s and 90s as ELO and made them all sound like “Out of the Blue”, he would have been marginalized and forgotten years ago.

      The sound Jeff does now is the sound he likes. It’s ELO as much as “Time” was ELO, and “Time” sounded different than “Out of the Blue”, and “Out of the Blue” sounded different than “On the Third Day.”

  8. Robert Fitzpatrick says:

    The Orchestra are very good actually since they got Parthenon Huxley have a listen to the no rewind album it is excellent !

  9. Marc Hocker says:

    Apparently the Japan edition of this new ELO album has 1 additional bonus track in addition to the 2 mentioned above.
    Also does anyone else think that that is a young Jeff Lynne on the album cover? The hair looks similar.

  10. Gary Russell says:

    Wonder what bonus track(s) the Japanese version will have

  11. Pablo says:

    ELO is Jeff Lynne, Bev Bevan and Richard Tandy. But I prefer this ELO with Lynne and Tandy that the crappy and sadly cover band The Orchestra.

  12. Toni Hernandez says:

    ELO was Jeff Lynne,Richad Tandy,Kelly Groucutt;Bev Bevan and Mik Kaminsky with the Arrangements of Louis Clark.
    This is a jeff lynne solo album!

  13. Hans says:

    Only one word can describe this song: awesome but far too short. The cd will be bought unheard.

  14. Bill Scruggs says:

    So, who’s heard any of the songs? Is it pretty good stuff?

  15. Paul Kent says:

    Lynne has been working on this album for donkeys years! He was recording it alongside the Long Wave and Mr. Blue Sky albums, well in advance of Chris Evans’ championing of him. It was originally to be another solo album but the subsequent renewed interest in ELO appears to have forced a sly rethink. I find his continued use of the ELO name rather frustrating as, along with the Zoom album, the new song does not sound anything like “classic” ELO and everything like the usual dry and closed production style he has favoured since Armchair Theatre and the Wilburys. I will buy it as I’m a huge fan of Jeff but the use of the ELO name is totally cynical, self-serving and misleading… and the cover art is horrible, too!

    • JasonC says:

      While it’s true that Jeff’s been in the studio for years, he told Chris Evans on the radio that over half the album was written and recorded post-Hyde Park. Less of a “sly rethink” but rather Hyde Park made Jeff realise that he’s in demand.

      The ELO sound changed so much from the first album, through New World Record to Discovery to Balance of Power. The thread through it all is Jeff, so I don’t think it’s cynical to use the ELO name. It made sense that Long Wave wasn’t an ELO record. This new album is what Jeff’s been writing and producing, so let’s call it ELO. If we’re going to be purist about it, we should demand that Roy Wood is present! :-)

  16. Adam shaw says:

    Its seems Chris Evans ( a BBC radio 2 UK presenter ) has been pushing Jeff to record and tour since the Hyde Park gig and Jeff was a guest on his show last week . So thats worked well for ELO fans , but as an old head if only he put some strings on the new single it would have sounded just a bit more convincing . Will he tour with an orchestra ? Lets hope .

  17. TheProgster says:

    Jeff Lynne is without doubt a musical genius and I have no doubt at all that this album will be top notch stuff he’s a perfectionist…melodic, catchy if not anthemic at times this is the stuff us fans want…you can forget you rap trap r&b rubbish this is proper music by a musician not a wannabe from the x-factor who will be last weeks flavour in six months time…Buy it when released or forever regret you should have bought it when you had the chance.

  18. DaveM says:

    Boaz, as Paul says the packaging is always superb. I do think they generally sound better, whether that is because of slightly different mastering or purely Blu Spec is a matter of opinion. It is always going to be subjective and I think depends on your stereo system as well. My newest HiFi stuff is cheaper that the old stuff I had, and tends to be more source critical as there is no polish as such, and Blu Specs seem to sound better.

  19. DaveM says:

    As I mentioned elsewhere, around the same time there are Japanese Blu Spec CD 2 mini LP editions of On the Third Day through to Balance of Power (nine in total obviously omits Xanadu) being issued. Alone in the Universe will also be available on Blue Spec CD 2 at the same time. That truly is Christmas sorted.

  20. Chris Squires says:

    It’s interesting to think of how many one-man groups there are out there now. Do Columbia think sticking the name ELO on the front will add a few zeros to the sales figures? Who would buy a Mick Hucknall record over the fuss that would be made over a new Simply Red recording?….Bryan Ferry is another matter entirely. Solo / group – brilliant either way.

    Jeff still has an amazing voice, not many his age still do.

    • Julian H says:

      Mick Hucknall and Bryan Ferry are not multi-instrumentalists and producers. Jeff is capable of writing, recording, singing and producing an entire album on his own. That’s a difference.

  21. Phil Cohen says:

    Yes, it is a solo album, and either management or the record company thought that the use of the ELO name would help sales. Excepting a few background vocals by his daughter, it is a one man band effort. Lynne has no interest in revisiting the heavily orchestrated sound of 1970’s ELO. Perhaps that isn’t possible without orchestrator Louis Clark. Lynne almost never works with anyone from his past(excepting keyboardist Richard Tandy’s inclusion in the recent live Hyde Park performance)

    • JJDelmas says:

      Tandy is the only one of the main members of the ELO classic lineup who never took part in the Lynne-less ELO PartII, probably this is a clue on why he doesn’t work with the rest of his former colleagues. Even when Bev Bevan decided to quit as they were sued by Lynne! I remember watching them live twice, after Bevan’s departure, but Groucutt, Kaminski, Clark and co could still make one hell of a show. What is more, they released two albums which put to shame (especially the first album) anything Lynne has done since under the ELO banner. Regrettably Groucutt passed away a couple of years ago. In my opinion Louis Clark orchestrations were almost as important as Lynne’s songwriting to create the trademark ELO sound.

      • Phil Cohen says:

        Agreed, and Louis Clark’s instrumental album “Per-Spek-Tiv” makes it obvious that his contributions to ELO’s “Out of The Blue” album were significant.

      • Paul Kent says:

        You’re absolutely right about ELO Part Two, JJ. The two albums they put out were both brilliant. Their third, ‘No Rewind’, was released after they changed their name to The Orchestra. It came out around the same time as Lynne’s ‘Zoom’ which was put out under the ELO moniker. ‘No Rewind’ sounded more like an ELO album than ‘Zoom’. Let’s not forget, either, that ‘Zoom’ was the big comeback for Lynne’s ELO yet it flopped and the projected tour was cancelled due to poor ticket sales. The Orchestra, meanwhile, have toured solidly and successfully for years. Lynne sued ELO Part Two after Bev Bevan had left, though. They both had a 50% ownership of the ELO name, so Lynne could only take legal action once Bevan had left. I saw them live three times, once in Manchester with the Hallé Orchestra and a full choir and they were amazing. Still hoping to see Jeff live, though! :)

      • dan says:

        Come on..Louis Clark did some great arrangements and the musicians were all gret, but Jeff Lynne IS ELO…Zoom is a fantastic and VERY underated album..some of Jeff’s all time greatest work IMO

  22. MiG says:

    Wouldn’t be an ELO album without songs that have “Rain” and “Shine” in the title. This’ll do until we get the Steven Wilson 5.1 mix of “Eldorado”. That’s a hint, Jeff.

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