"When I was a boy I had a dream
All about the things I'd like to be
Soon as I was in my bed
Music played inside my head
When I was a boy I had a dream..."
--- "When I Was A Boy" by Jeff Lynne from Alone In The Universe
Listen closely to Alone In The Universe - the first new ELO album in nearly a decade and a half - and you can hear the powerful sound of a great rock & roll dream coming true. Alone In The Universe represents a dream come true not only for millions of ELO fans all over the world, but also a continuing dream come true for Jeff Lynne himself - a new set of songs that perfectly capture the extraordinary music playing inside his head.
As beautifully recounted in "When I Was A Boy" - the uplifting and infectious opening song and first single from Alone In The Universe - music has always been the driving force in Jeff Lynne's life. That enduring love for music has transported Lynne from his humble childhood in Birmingham, England to the global stage where he remains one of the most successful and respected singers, songwriters, and producers of all - time - as the creative force behind ELO, as a member of The Traveling Wilburys, as a solo artist, and as a much in - demand producer for many of his fellow rock & roll legends, including The Beatles, Roy Orbison, and Tom Petty.
Yet behind all that remarkable success is the same lasting passion for music that has marked Jeff Lynne's life since he was a boy. "Music has taken me everywhere I've ever been - literally and figuratively," Lynne says. "Music is such a powerful force in our lives. A good song can make people feel much less alone in this universe. And trying to create one of those songs somehow makes me feel less alone too. My whole life - from being that kid with a dream in Birmingham right until today - proves how much music can do."
Alone In The Universe is an inspired album that cuts deep and brilliantly reflects all of Lynne's very musical life. From Alone In The Universe's deeply personal opening song "When I Was A Boy" right through the stunning closing track, "Alone In The Universe," this is a wildly impressive piece of work that artfully showcases all that Jeff Lynne is as an artist here and now.
Alone In the Universe finds Lynne both reclaiming and furthering his remarkable musical legacy with ELO - something that he and longtime ELO keyboardist Richard Tandy have been seen doing with increasing frequency onstage in recent years, whether it was thrilling 50,000 fans in London's Hyde Park in 2014, or performing onstage at the Grammy Awards with Ed Sheeran.
Alone In The Universe is a brand new album full of melodies, sonic touches, riffs, and musical textures that recall the greatest ELO albums of all time, including such popular favorites as Eldorado (1974), Face The Music (1975), A New World Record (1976), and Out Of The Blue (1977). Yet, as Lynne says, "This is an album that I could only make now. I like to think that I've learned a bit along the way."
The record is as clear as "Mr. Blue Sky" - the music of Jeff Lynne always has been and always will be very much a "livin' thing." Jeff Lynne's music is a livin' thing for its wildly gifted creator - arguably our most unassuming rock god ever - and it's a livin' thing for millions of fans all over the world who love the uplifting, inspiring and exquisite music that this man has been making all of his life. Indeed, these past few years have been especially exciting times for Jeff Lynne fans. That's because the man himself has been busy working in the studio - Lynne's natural environment - bringing us an impressive long wave of releases that found him looking both forward and backward, and reminding us that the very best music is forever.
Following fast upon the 2012 release of his remarkable last studio solo album 'Long Wave' and the amazing brand new recordings on 'Mr. Blue Sky: The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra' came three 2013 releases that allowed fans to celebrate and rediscover some significant moments in Lynne's ongoing career. Among these new 2013 releases were an expanded - edition of Jeff Lynne's first solo album, 1990's 'Armchair Theatre', a lovely set of songs that followed Lynne's great success with the Traveling Wilburys, and featured guest turns from George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Del Shannon and Richard Tandy, as well as a co - write by Lynne with his friend and frequent collaborator, Tom Petty. There was also an expanded edition of 'Zoom', the 2001 album that found Lynne reviving Electric Light Orchestra for an excellent new set of songs that also featured guest turns from Harrison, Starr and Richard Tandy.
It seems only right that Alone In The Universe is being released by Jeff Lynne's ELO - after all, Lynne has long been one of music's most hands - on band leaders. As Lynne says, "For me, the process has always been the same. I'll get an idea, and then you're off to the races and the fun begins."
"I've taken my time to get this album right, so it is exciting to have these songs see the light of day now," says Lynne. "We have a great new deal with Sony, and I am looking forward to sharing what we've done. I've seen and heard for myself how much music can mean to people. I felt that again when we played Hyde Park. I remember looking at Richard Tandy, and thinking how all these years later, the songs somehow mean even more to people, and to me too. I could hear the audience singing so loudly that I almost couldn't hear myself. It was a beautiful thing, and for me at least, it was the best concert that I've ever been in - literally, my favorite show ever. That definitely makes me feel a little bit less alone in this universe."