Martin Cooper checks out sym­phonic pop masters ELO and the gui­tar style of their mighty front­man, the multi-tal­ented Jeff Lynne.

Guitar Techniques - - CONTENTS -

Martin Cooper bows to the multi-tal­ented front­man of ELO – the won­der­ful Jeff Lynne.

The Elec­tric Light Or­ches­tra was formed in 1970 by Birm­ing­ham mul­ti­in­stru­men­tal­ists Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood, along with The Move drum­mer Bev Be­van. Hav­ing dis­banded The Move, Lynne and Wood started ELO with a de­sire to cre­ate sym­phonic songs that fused su­perb, Bea­tles-in­flu­enced pop writ­ing with clas­si­cal ideas and in­stru­men­ta­tion. Wood left to form Wizard and, along with key­boardist Richard Tandy, ELO saw in­cred­i­ble suc­cess dur­ing the 1970s and 80s, be­fore Lynne moved on to other projects. He was to re­unite with Tandy only last year to form Jeff Lynne’s ELO – with so many trib­ute bands and off-shoots from for­mer mem­bers trad­ing on the ELO name, the cur­rent name and line-up leaves no doubt as to who’s steer­ing the ship.

In the early days the or­ches­tral string parts were over­dubbed in the stu­dio, but af­ter the suc­cess of the first few al­bums Lynne be­gan to hire or­ches­tras to more au­then­ti­cally in­ter­pret his epic ar­range­ments. At the time ELO sold over 50 mil­lion al­bums and played to full-to-ca­pac­ity sta­di­ums all over the world.

Dur­ing a lengthy hia­tus from the band – he left in 1986 as he was los­ing in­ter­est in ELO – Lynne was hardly sit­ting idle, and co-wrote, pro­duced and played on records by Tom Petty, Eric Clap­ton and The Bea­tles. More re­cently he has pro­duced al­bums from Joe Walsh and Bryan Adams. He was also part of su­per­group The Trav­el­ing Wil­burys with Petty, Ge­orge Har­ri­son, Bob Dy­lan and Roy Or­bi­son. When Lynne re­formed the band un­der the of­fi­cial ELO name and an­nounced a show in Lon­don’s Hyde Park, all 50,000 tick­ets sold out in 15 min­utes and sub­se­quently led to them head­lin­ing the Leg­ends slot at Glas­ton­bury.

The track this month is in the key of D (D-E-F#-G-A-B-C#), but uses notes and

Bb, chords out­side the key in­clud­ing C, and which lends a dis­tinct Bea­tles-style qual­ity. While not dif­fi­cult, be care­ful to play the chords ac­cu­rately and in time, as there is a lot of space in the ar­range­ment to in­cor­po­rate the melody and har­mony parts played by the string sec­tion , piano and or­gan. The chart has the im­plied chords writ­ten. Th­ese are what the acous­tic gui­tar on the record­ing is play­ing, with the elec­tric gui­tar play­ing some em­bel­lish­ments to the un­der­ly­ing chord har­monies.


Jeff Lynne: so much more than ELO’s gui­tarist!

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