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Jeff Lynne’s - ELO Wembley Or Bust album review

Visually draining, sonically stunning

Cover art for Jeff Lynne’s - ELO Wembley Or Bust

Back before Paul McCartney had re-embraced his 60s back catalogue, and nobody realised you could actually get away with being a tribute act, ex-Idle Race (as if being ex-Idle Race was actually a thing in those days) man Jeff Lynne recognised a cavernous gap in the market and, having rapidly split from profile-rocketing ex-Move co-founder Roy Wood, contrived ELO to be The Beatles you could actually go and see. Which, cynicism aside, is nowhere near as easy as it sounds. But Lynne was no slouch in the hook department, knew his way around a string arrangement and, with drummer Bev Bevan at his back, effortlessly served up an extensive succession of mega-selling hits when mega-selling hits still sold in mega-truckloads.

Wembley Or Bust finds Lynne and a reliably faultless June ‘17 incarnation of ELO wowing a stadium full of wowed folk with some of the greatest pop songs of pop’s greatest decade. Visually you get to look at Lynne (standard expectations fulfilled there, on ‘n’ off-stage, ever-excellent hair and ever-present shades included) and an awful lot of footage of the sort of people who dance to ELO dancing to ELO. Good for them and all, but it’s hardly Strictly.

Classic Rock’s Reviews Editor for the last 19 years, Ian stapled his first fanzine in 1977. Since misspending his youth by way of ‘research’ his work has also appeared in such publications as Metal Hammer, Prog, NME, Uncut, Kerrang!, VOX, The Face, The Guardian, Total Guitar, Guitarist, Electronic Sound, Record Collector and across the internet. Permanently buried under mountains of recorded media, ears ringing from a lifetime of gigs, he enjoys nothing more than recreationally throttling a guitar and following a baptism of punk fire has played in bands for 45 years, releasing recordings via Esoteric Antenna and Cleopatra Records.