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Thursday, April 23, 2015

"Hello My Old Friend" - Electric Light Orchestra (1983)

Well, here's an interesting one.....

In 1983, ELO delivered their album "Secret Messages" to the record label as a two-record set. CBS promptly told Jeff Lynne it was too expensive to press it up so he was forced to trim it down to a single platter. Many tracks were dropped- but over the course of a few years- some trickled out as "B" sides to 7" and 12" singles. Others finally saw the light of day via ELO box sets and "Hello My Old Friend" is one of them. It finally came out as part of ELO's 1990 US-only "Afterglow" box set.

I've read that- by 1983- Jeff Lynne wanted to end ELO to pursue a solo career- and as a sort of majestic send-off for the band- this epic 7-minute-plus opus was to be the closing track on "Secret Messages".  The band owed CBS two more albums and I guess Lynne thought he could fulfill the contract with this double release. When it was finally released in 1983, the LP reached #36. ELO wound up releasing one more album: "Balance Of Power" (1986).

The lyrics of "Hello My Old Friend" tell the story of Lynne and Co. returning to their hometown of Birmingham, England and the word "friend" represents said city. Another interesting facet is the main riff of the song is taken directly from ELO's first single (and first song on their first album) "Overture 10538". It's used as sort of "we've come full-circle" sort of deal.

Anyway, that's a quick synopsis of the entire affair. Now, sit back and give a listen to what is most certainly a fascinating, hypnotic- and unreleased until 1990- trip back to the early 1980's.



Original intended "Secret Messages" artwork:


The released artwork for "Secret Messages" (1983):


"Hello My Old Friend" - ELO (1983)


"Hello My Old Friend" Lyrics:

Early morning day is dawning
Cooling towers and factory gates
Dirty streets and laughing people
Skinny dogs and beer crates
Hello my old friend
Hello my old friend
Sad canals green black water
Somewhere bicycles and beds
Wet and windy afternoons
And pigeons coo in garden sheds
Hello my old friend
Hello my old friend
High-rise tower blocks with panoramic
Views of trains and coal
Tiehead railway tracks tread faithfully
The gas works to behold
Hello my old friend
Hello my old friend
Just to see the sunset
Pretty rainbows over your majestic towers
To feel your earth beneath my feet
Here I could stand for hours and hours
Big machines that once were champions
Turn to dust under the sky
Broken windows choking chimneys
Factory walls for miles and miles
By bye my old friend
By bye my old friend
Just to see the sunset
Pretty rainbows over your majestic towers
To feel your earth beneath my feet
Here I could stand for hours and hours



Jeff Lynne Article (April 23, 2015)


1 comment:

  1. .oooO.............Leaving
    (.....).....Oooo.........my.........
    . (........(.... ).......
    .. ......) /..........footprints.........
    .............(_/.....You know how I love this post..
    -Yilly Soga-

    ReplyDelete