Debunking the Myths
There is some misinformation that often gets propogated about Jeff Lynne or ELO's involvement with songs or bands. This page attempts to address those most often misunderstood songs that a lot of people believe have Jeff Lynne involvement, when indeed the songs do not.
- Blinded By The Light - This song from 1976 is oft confused as an ELO song because it has a similar sound to ELO. It is not an ELO song, nor does it have any relation at all to the band. The song, written by Bruce Springsteen is by Manfred Mann's Earth Band from their The Roaring Silence album. Manfred Mann is the same artist that had a hit (before the Earth Band) in 1964 with Doo Wah Diddy. The confusion with ELO has been propogated by the artist being mislabeled on various file sharing sites.
- Love Is Like Oxygen - This song from 1978 is oft confused as an ELO song because it has a similar sound to ELO. It is not an ELO song, nor does it have any relation at all to the band. The song is from the Level Headed album by the glam rock band Sweet, whose other hits include The Ballroom Blitz and Little Willie. This song is also often mislabeled on various file sharing sites.
- Guns N' Roses' November Rain - Axl Rose had asked Jeff Lynne to produce the song in 1990 and that's where the rumors started. Jeff never did in fact work on the song as he was too busy at the time on other projects. It's not clear if the pair even actually met. Jeff also mentioned that he would consider it in a 1990 Rockline radio show interview, but the project never happened. A June 2001 Reuters news story confirms this by saying, "Axl Rose of Guns N' Roses wanted [Jeff Lynne] to work on the band's 1991 song November Rain, but Lynne was too busy to help."
- ELO's Back From Nowhere - This is a rap artist album from 2005 by Lorenzo Lawson, under the street name of ELO. This is, of course, not Jeff Lynne's ELO. Rapper ELO's album features such songs as Thug Wid You, Rhyme Spitters and the offensive F**k Y'all. The main irony of this: Lorenzo Lawson's ELO stands for Everybody Loves Originality. Yeah, Lorenzo, a little research might have saved you some embarrassment here.
- Michael Shrieve's Stiletto and The Big Picture albums - It's not entirely clear where the rumor started that Jeff Lynne produced either one of these albums, but it's simply not true. It may have first appeared on a general music website (Allmusic.com) in error and it took off from there. Several Jeff Lynne fans bought the album(s) looking for Jeff's involvement, but the liner notes bear out that Jeff was not involved in any way. No one has ever been able to confirm Jeff's involvment unofficially and it's now believed to be a simple rumor started by a database error in the late 1990s.
- A Fifth Of Beethoven - This song is a 1976 song by Walter Murphy and was released on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. It is essentially a disco version of the first movement of Beethoven's 5th Symphony. It is often confused as an ELO song, probably because of the use of classical elements to create a rock song. Even back in the 1970s it was confused as an ELO song and today it still appears on file sharing networks as such. It has no relation to Jeff Lynne or ELO at all.
- Olivia Newton-John's Fool Country - This song is the country rock number that was used in the Xanadu film, in the middle of the Xanadu dance sequence and on the B-side of Olivia's Magic single in the US and the Xanadu single in the UK. Some databases on the web (including imdb.com) have stated that this song is produced and arranged by Jeff Lynne. The Philippines single (and probably other Asian countries) list the error. Jeff Lynne has no connection with the making of this song, rather it was written, produced and arranged by Olivia's long time producer, John Farrar.
- Del Shannon's Traveling Wilburys session songs - It's not clear where the rumors started that Del Shannon was to replace the deceased Roy Orbison for the Vol. 3 sessions and some songs were recorded before Del's own untimely death. George Harrison, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne have all repeatedly denied that Del or anybody was ever considered as a replacement and no such recordings exist in any form. Rumors also exist that Carl Perkins was considered as a replacement at one time, which the band also denies.
- Jeff Lynne the Welsh singer - There is a ballad/caberet singer from Wales by the name of Jeff Lynne. Needless to say, he is not the same as ELO's Jeff Lynne and there is no relation between the two other than the coincidence of the name.
- Earth, Wind & Fire collaboration - Some music sites (artistdirect.com in particular) list Jeff Lynne, as well as several other ELO members, as playing music and producing for the 1970s band Earth, Wind & Fire on some of their 1970s album. This is incorrect. Maurice White was the main songwriter, producer and singer for the band. This is probably caused by a database entry error only as there was never any collaboration at all between these 1970s supergroups.
- Dave Edmunds Steel Claw and Busted Loose - Early European LP pressings of Dave Edmunds' Riff Raff album incorrectly credited Jeff Lynne as producer on Steel Claw. The US pressings did not have this error and later European pressings corrected this error. Curiously, the 2002 BGO reissue of the album on CD then incorrectly credited Jeff as producing Busted Loose. Jeff did not produce these songs, rather Dave Edmunds produced them by himself. Admittedly, these two songs have some of the Jeff Lynne and Richard Tandy style "twiddly-bit" additions to them and there is a chance that they may have even played on the tracks, but they are not credited. Dave was using this technique from as far back as his D.E. 7th album in 1982, before working with Jeff, so it's not unprecedented.
- Jeff Wayne's The Musical Version of War of the Worlds - This was a popular 1978 recording by musician Jeff Wayne which uses progressive rock and orchestra to tell the H.G. Wells War of the Worlds story. Probably because of the era it was recorded, the use of the orchestra and mostly the similarity of the names "Jeff Lynne" and "Jeff Wayne", many people mistakenly believe this work to be a work of Jeff Lynne. Jeff Lynne has no involvement in this project.
- The Wizards' I Need Your Love - This song was written by an American songwriter named "Jeff Lynn" (no "e") and released as an American label single in 1965. The Swedish band, The Wizards, recorded and released the song on a single in 1966 in Sweden only. It was thought for a while that this song was written by the Birmingham Jeff Lynne, but with new information coming to light, it is confirmed that this is not the same person. There remains a great deal of uncertainty how The Wizards came across the song in the first place.
- Acid Gallery's Dance Round The Maypole - This song was written by Roy Wood and released as a single in 1969. It's been rumored for many years that Roy Wood sang on the chorus, mainly because fans claimed they could hear him. Roy Wood denies it's him singing, but as recently as 2009, members of Acid Gallery insist that it is him singing. In any case, there has never been any evidence that Jeff Lynne sings on the song, a fact that Roy Wood also denies. It is surmised that through the years, the rumors that "that guy from ELO sang on the song" was translated to "Jeff Lynne sang on the song" and that's where the false rumor has come from. Jeff is not on the song.
- Electric Light Orchestra Part Two's Easy Street - This song, appearing on the Electric Light Orchestra Part Two self-titled 1990 album is incorrectly credited as written by Jeff Lynne (and Dan Hartman) on allmusic.com and this has been propogated to several other web related sources. The song is actually written by Bev Bevan and Pete Haycock. It has no Jeff Lynne involvement.
- Barclay James Harvest's Titles - This 1975 Beatles tribute song uses the gimmick of having all lyrics made up of Beatles song titles. The same gimmick was used years later for ELO's Beatles Forever. It's probably this similarity that causes some people to get them confused, thinking the Titles song is an ELO song.
- George Harrison's Poor Little Fool and Cockamamie Business - These George Harrison produced songs appeared on Best Of Dark Horse 1976-1989 in 1989 as new songs alongside the Jeff Lynne produced Cheer Down (which he also performed on). Although Jeff did not produce the songs and the Best Of Dark Horse 1976-1989 album does not list any performance credits, rumors have persisted that Jeff played on them-- he did not. Cheer Down started life as a Cloud Nine outtake in 1987. In July 1989, George finished this song as well as recording the newly written Poor Little Girl and Cockamamie Business. Apparently Jeff was unavailable to be involved in these new recordings; although apparently Richard Tandy was involved which may explain the somewhat Jeff Lynne sound to the songs. The book While My Guitar Gently Weeps : The Music of George Harrison by Simon Leng gives full credits on the tracks, but this is believed to be in error because it fails to give a source of this previously unpublished information and there are several obvious errors and omissions in the book in relation to George's work with Jeff that puts much of Leng's data in doubt. Leng's credits appear to be mostly copied from Cheer Down with slight variation.
- Electric Light Orchestra at Prospice - It's not entirely clear what this early May 1975 show was, but it is certainly not believed to be the Jeff Lynne led Electric Light Orchestra. The clues are that the show was scheduled at a time when the band was not touring at this time, but in Germany recording the Face The Music album; and that the band is playing a small cabaret venue with "Roy Buchanan's #2 Band", which is an entirely unknown variation of the Roy Buchanan Band. It is believed that this is a locally New Jersey musical production of the Robert Browning poem Prospice, set to music with musicians that are variations/tributes of other well known bands. It surely has no involvment with the English rock band Electric Light Orchestra.
- Idle Race's It's Much Easier in Dreams, Creating Love and I Would Have Believed You Girl - Old acetates of these songs were available on eBay and/or YouTube in the late 2010s. The seller claimed that they were by Jeff Lynne and/or Idle Race. However, they have been confirmed by various authorities, including the band members themselves, to not be Idle Race acetates. It's unknown who they are.
That's all for now!