DISCOGRAPHY | INTRO | TRACKLISTING | REVIEWS | ZOOM TOUR LIVE DVD | EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW | FTM
ZOOM
Sony - 502500 2 RELEASED 2001
INTRO


JEFF LYNNE, the sonic architect of ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA, builds on the group's formidable legacy with 'Zoom', their first album of new material in 15 years on Epic. But it's been well worth the wait, as 'Zoom' showcases Lynne's prodigious talent and unbridled musical passion on 13 songs, including 'Moment In Paradise', 'State Of Mind' and 'Melting In The Sun'.

Zoom is now available in the UK (Epic 502500 2), USA (Epic 85336) and Japan (Sony SRCS 2466). The Japanese domestic edition features an excellent bonus track, 'Long Black Road', plus an additional 24-page black and white lyric booklet plus sleeve notes (all in Japanese).

Photo by Pam Springsteen, Los Angeles, 2000. Courtesy of and © Sony Music Photo Archives. Not for reproduction

ZOOM - Japanese bookletWritten, produced and performed by Jeff Lynne, the album mixes many classic widescreen ELO elements - the layered harmonies, ringing guitars, melodic rushes, string arrangements and rootsy rock stylings - with the shimmering sonic touches he brought to other projects as a producer (George Harrison's 'Cloud Nine'; Tom Petty's 'Full Moon Fever', Petty and The Heartbreakers 'Into The Great Wide Open'; Roy Orbison's hit 'You Got It') and as a member of the Traveling Wilburys, with Harrison, Bob Dylan, Orbison and Petty, on their two albums (1988's 'Volume 1' and 1991's 'Volume 3').

"The general body of work of ELO actually goes all the way back from a couple of cellos and a violin to a 40-piece orchestra and a 30-piece choir at its biggest and most expansive," reflects Lynne. But the strings on Zoom, he points out, "are not over the top- there are just little string quartets and little violin sections."

Throughout Zoom, Lynne handles lead vocals, backing vocals, lead guitar, rhythm guitar, cello, piano, keyboards, bass and drums. He's joined at various points on Zoom by such guests as George Harrison (slide guitar on 'A Long Time Gone', 'All She Wanted') and Ringo Starr (drums on 'Easy Money', 'Moment in Paradise') as well as vocalist Rosie Vela and cellist Suzie Katayama.

Japanese PromoOther standout tracks like 'Melting In The Sun', 'Really Doesn't Matter At All' and 'Stranger On A Quiet Street' feature Lynne's signature, layered vocals, while 'In My Own Time', 'Lonesome Lullabye' and 'Ordinary Dream' showcase the more orchestral ELO sound.

Lynne says his musical relationships with Harrison, Dylan, Orbison and Petty influenced how he sculpted the ELO sound on Zoom.

"Working with them broadened my mind and I thought, 'What if I applied this new knowledge to a new ELO album? I'd probably see it differently and do it differently.' I have learned a lot working with all those guys, all my favourite guys. It was a total pleasure. I suppose bits of them rubbed off on me and it opened me up more. I was always locked away, working on stuff."

Zoom's 13 songs were recorded over the period of two and a half years at the British artist's Los Angeles home recording studio and in various rooms throughout the house, utilising the built-in dramatic acoustics. "It's interesting in that respect," says Lynne. "You actually get different sounds than you probably would in a studio. I prefer natural-sounding wood and the echo of different rooms." Lynne adds, with a laugh, "Sometimes in the bathroom I've got an acoustic guitar."

The songs on Zoom draw on life's "ups and downs, you know," Lynne explains. "Some of them are about just trying to do as good as you can when things don't work out. Sometimes there are loose ends that you can never tidy up," adds Lynne about relationships that falter. "But it's also about trying to learn to trust your instincts and do what you feel is right."

Lynne reveals that "these words actually came to me much faster than they used to in the old days because I was basing them more on things that have happened to me. These lyrics are more heartfelt than ones in the past."

While waiting for the release of Zoom, ELO fans luxuriated in the newly issued 'Flashback', a three-CD box set compiled by Lynne that spans ELO's entire career from 1970 to 1986. Between 1974 and 1981, the multi-million selling ELO enjoyed a remarkable 17 Top 40 hits - among them 'Evil Woman', 'Strange Magic', 'Telephone Line', 'Can't Get It Out Of My Head', 'Don't Bring Me Down', 'Shine A Little Love', 'Hold On Tight' and 'Livin' Thing' - and became a major arena and stadium draw. The group's shows were sonic and visual spectacles, including massive flying saucers and vibrant light shows.

Photo by Pam Springsteen, Los Angeles, 2000. Courtesy of and © Sony Music Photo Archives. Not for reproductionThe 53-track (Epic/Legacy) collection includes seven previously unreleased tracks, plus alternative mixes and rare demos plus liner notes by Rolling Stone's David Wild and track-by track comments from Lynne. The set encompasses the group's 21 U.S. and U.K. chart singles, ranging in time from the seminal '10538 Overture' ("the very birth of the realisation of the sound" says Lynne, recorded in 1970 with Roy Wood when they were still in The Move) and 'Roll Over Beethoven' (the song that brought ELO to the American top 40 for the first time in 1973) all the way to 'Calling America' (ELO's final top 20 hit of 1986). The final ELO album was 1986's 'Balance of Power'. In 1990 LYNNE released a solo album, 'Armchair Theatre'.

"I think the long-distance gap of 15 years gave me a very good perspective of what I did earlier", says Lynne reflecting about 'Zoom'. "I've learned a
lot during that time."

 

All material copyright Face The Music & not for reproduction elsewhere without permission. Website designed by Ken Greenwell.