SO SERIOUS 1985 - 1986
years on from their formation in 1970 and with a string of
critically acclaimed albums including worldwide platinum-sales
smashes 'A New World Record',
'Out Of The Blue', 'Discovery',
and 'Time', plus twenty-eight
hit singles in the UK alone, the Electric Light Orchestra
were enjoying a career as one of the UK's greatest and
most successful ever bands.
instead of a follow up to 1983's Top 5 'Secret
Messages' album, the press were inexplicably announcing
ELO's new LP had been postponed. Despite extensive recording
sessions at Compass Point Studios in Nassau and unbeknownst
to fans, ELO leader, songwriter and producer Jeff Lynne
had become frustrated with the direction of his band (now
down to a three-piece including Richard Tandy and Bev
Bevan) and the restrictions ELO's orchestral format was
imposing on his songwriting.
Lynne: "The last
album we had out we didn't tour with and I didn't know what
sort of direction to go in musically, because I'd been throwing
all these great big thirty-piece orchestras on records at
the time. It took me three years to really think "maybe
I don't wanna do that anymore" because the last album
and the one before that I was getting tired of strings and
I'd record them all and gradually pull them down lower and
lower in the mix till they'd gone. And I thought "that
sounds better. I can hear something now. I can hear some music.
And that prompted me not to do anything for a while and just
think about it."
Preview extract taken from Balance Of Power' sleeve notes by Rob
Bev Bevan, Jeff Lynne and Richard Tandy
braving terrible weather at Compass Point Studios in Nassau, 1985...
Jeff Lynne during Epic Records promotional photo shoot for Balance
Of Power album launch, 1986