English composer, singer, musician, and record producer Jeff Lynne is well-known. In order to start his first band, the “Rockin’ Hellcats,” he dropped out of school at the age of 15, demonstrating his early love for music. Later, at the ages of 17 and 19, he joined the bands “The Chads” and “The Nightriders” (later known as “Idle Race”), respectively. He produced another record the following year after releasing his debut one with the ‘Idle Race’ at the age of 21. He eventually joined the British rock group “The Move,” which went on to release two albums, but they were not financially successful. He co-founded Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) at the age of 23, quickly rose to the position of chief songwriter and producer, and the group published a number of successful albums under its aegis. He had established himself as a well-known composer and producer by the time ELO split up in 1986. One of his best works from this time period is “The Beatles Anthology,” which he produced albums and wrote songs for in his later years. Additionally, he published a number of albums and revived ELO.
Young Adulthood & Youth
On December 30, 1947, Jeff Lynne was born in Birmingham, England’s Pype Hayes neighborhood. His father, Philip Porter Lynne, held the position of foreman in Birmingham Council’s roads division. Nancy Lynne née Osborne, his mother, was employed by ATV Television. He had two sisters and a sibling.
Jeff was born to make music. He became interested in it at a young age after hearing about his grandparents, who were professional musicians and from whom he inherited his ability. Despite not being a performer, his father had a deep affection for classical music. With one finger, he could perform classical music.
His parents may have taken him to see the American catastrophe movie “The High and the Mighty” in 1954. Little Jeff was deeply moved by the film’s soundtrack, which was composed by Dimitri Tiomkin and became a lifelong passion.
The family relocated to a government home at 368 Shard End Crescent when Jeff was nine years old. The remainder of his childhood was spent in this location, where he spoke with a Brummie accent, attended Alderlea Boys’ Secondary School, and cheered on Birmingham Foot Club.
He first became a Roy Orbison devotee at the age of 13, when he first heard the song “Only the Lonely” on the radio. He eventually grew to like Del Shannon as well, but at first, he didn’t get the Beatles. The group’s composition “Love Me Do” particularly offended him.
Hearing “Please Please Me” caused him to alter his mind about the Beatles. He requested a guitar from his father after being moved by the music. Finally, his father bought him one for £2, and with constant practice, he quickly developed into a very talented guitarist.
His next spark of creativity came from a performance he went to. His father brought him to a Del Shannon performance at Birmingham Town Hall when he was still in school. It so overwhelmed him that he made the decision to start his own ensemble and make music his life’s work.
Career of Jeff Lynne
When Jeff Lynne was 15 years old, he dropped out of school to start his first band with David Walsh and Robert Reader. His mother, who wanted him to become a photographer, made a lot of effort to talk him out of his plans, but he persisted.
The group, originally known as the “Rockin’ Hellcats,” used Spanish guitars and cheap electrical instruments to rehearse at Shard End Community Centre. Later, they began giving weekly performances at the center and, after initially calling themselves “Handicap,” later “Andicap,” the ensemble.
Over time, they increased the number of shows they played in and around Birmingham and secured regular engagements at the Regal Handsworth, where they performed in between Saturday afternoon movie showings. When Robert and David departed the group in 1964, Jeff kept it going and found a replacement for them.
Jeff himself departed “Andicap” toward the end of 1964 and joined the Chads, a nearby band. He bought a stereo reel-to-reel cassette recorder, his first piece of studio recording gear, in 1965.
In 1966, he departed ‘The Chads’ to join ‘The Nightriders’ (later renamed as ‘The Idle Race’) as the lead guitarist. He rose rapidly to become the band’s primary songwriter.
With Lynne serving as the main guitarist, singer, and pianist for “Idle Race,” the group’s debut album, “The Birthday Party,” was released in October 1968. He wrote the majority of the tracks. The UK and America did not chart, despite the positive reviews from the critics.
The group’s second record, “Idle Race,” was released in November 1969, with Jeff serving as its producer. Although the record received favorable reviews, it once again failed to chart. Roy Wood had already founded “The Move” by that point, and Jeff joined them in February 1970 after becoming discouraged by their continual failures.
The Move released “Looking On” in December 1970; it was the group’s third record and the first to include Lynne. But by that time, Lynne, Wood, and Bev Bevan had made the decision to establish a new band called Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) and had begun writing the songs for their self-titled debut album.
Simply to satisfy their contractual obligations, Move’s fourth album, “Message from the Country,” was released in June 1971. They issued “The Electric Light Orchestra,” the first album by ELO, six months later, on December 1st, 1971.
Wood departed ELO in July 1972, leaving Lynne as the band’s primary songwriter and producer. They had begun work on “Electric Light Orchestra II,” their second LP, in May 1972. Except for two, all of its songs were penned by Lynne.
In January 1973, “ELO 2” was released, and it debuted in the British Top 40 album list. They later published their third album, “On the Third Day,” in late November or early December. Although both of these recordings received high praise from critics, Lynne’s father was unimpressed, telling him that his music lacked any melody.
The criticism from his father inspired Lynne to start a new project, a concept album called “Eldorado,” in which he wrote about a man who enters a fantasy world to avoid his everyday reality. When it was released in the States in September 1974, it received instant Gold and Silver certifications.
Eldorado was followed by the similarly well-received “Face the Music” album (September 1975), whose lead single, “Evil Woman,” became the group’s first international hit. The tune was a last-minute filler that Lynn wrote in 30 minutes. It was listed in the UK and US Top Ten charts at the beginning of 1976.
The New World Record, ELO’s sixth studio record, became an instant classic. It was released in October or November of 1976, and within a year it had sold five million copies worldwide, ultimately becoming multi-platinum in the UK and the USA. It marked a new peak for Jeff’s songwriting, and the majority of the songs came to him very rapidly.
The album “Out of the Blue,” which the group released in 1977, helped them hit the top of the charts. The LPs “Discovery” (1979), “Time” (1981), “Secret Message” (1983), and “Balance of Power” came after it (1986). He concurrently composed songs for well-known singers, including Dave Edmunds, whose song “Slipping Away” is one of them.
ELO performed numerous times in Europe in 1986, with the final show taking place on July 13 in Stuttgart, Germany. After that, ELO broke up. His fame as a producer and lyricist had already gained widespread recognition by that point, and he had received requests to work on a number of movies.
Jeff Lynne was asked to co-produce George Harrison’s comeback record, “Cloud Nine,” in late 1986. Harrison suggested that they form a band while they were working on it. Harrison, Lynne, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, and Tom Petty eventually came together to create the ‘Traveling Wilburys’ in April 1988.
On October 18, 1988, Traveling Wilburys’ first record, “Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1,” was made available. It was a huge hit and was coproduced by Lynne and Harrison. In 1989, it was nominated for a Grammy Award for Album of the Year. ‘Rattled’ and ‘Not Alone Anymore’ are two tracks that Lynne may have also written.
Until 2012, Lynne wrote his first compositions on his first guitar, which his father had purchased for him for £2. He claimed that “the guitar taught me how to be a songwriter” on that instrument. He said that his stereo reel-to-reel cassette recorder, which he purchased in 1965, gave him the skills necessary to become a producer.
Lynne resumed his production career after his time with the Wilburys, creating “Into the Great Wide Open” for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, an American rock band. But “The Beatles Anthology,” a three-volume collection of double albums, was his best achievement of this time period.
He began working on “Free as a Dove” in February 1994 and finished it in March. John Lennon, who passed away in 1980, recorded the tune. The full project was finished by 1996, and “Anthology 3” was published that same month. He continued to write songs for well-known performers at the same time.
He revived Electric Light Orchestra in 2000, purchasing the brand’s 50% rights from Bev Bevan, and in 2001, the album “Zoom” was released under that name. It was primarily made by Lynne, with appearances by Ringo Starr and George Harrison.
Harrison and Lynne started collaborating on his final record, “Brainwashed,” in 2001. Lynne finished the overdubs after Harrison passed away on November 29, 2001, and the song was released on November 18, 2002. He began production on “Mr. Blue Sky: The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra” in 2001.
He played a number of songs at the “Concert for George,” which was hosted on November 29, 2002, at the Royal Albert Hall in London as a tribute to George Harrison. Later, in November 2003, he made the “Concert for George DVD” and released it.
He worked with Tom Petty to co-produce his third and last solo studio record, “Highway Companion,” in 2006. Additionally, he contributed to several songs by playing keyboards, bass guitar, rhythm guitar, and backing vocals.
He began working on his second solo record, “Long Wave,” in 2010, and it was released on October 8, 2012. It opened at number 1 on the UK Top 40 Independent Albums Chart and number 7 on the UK Albums Chart.
He also published “Mr. Blue Sky: The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra” on October 8, 2012, which mainly contained cover versions of some of their earlier hits. The record debuted at position 2 on the UK Top 40 Independent Albums Chart and 8 on the UK Albums Chart.
The thirteenth ELO album, “Alone in the Universe,” which is composed entirely of new tracks written by Lynn, was released on November 13th, 2015. It was certified silver and reached its peak positions at number two on the Billboard Top Rock Albums and number four on the UK Albums Chart.
On June 24, 2017, Lynne gave a performance at Wembley Stadium in London, performing 24 tracks in total. There were about 60,000 individuals there. Later, the tracks were made available as “Wembley or Bust” on DVD and CD.
Bigger Productions of Jeff Lynne
The ELO album “Out of the Blue,” published in October 1977, is Jeff Lynne’s best-known work. He wrote and produced the entire album, which went on to sell ten million copies globally, rapidly earning multi-platinum status in the UK and the USA and spending about 108 weeks in the UK charts.
Personal Influence & Life
Jeff Lynne wed Rosemary Adams in 1972. In 1977, the pair got a divorce.
He wed Sandi Kapelson in 1979, and the two of them had two children. His junior daughter Stephanie was born in 1981, while Laura Lynne, the older, was born in December 1979. They too eventually got separated.
He currently resides with Kiefer Sutherland’s ex-wife Camelia Kath.
Lynne was awarded a star on the Birmingham Wall of Stars in 2014. He was admitted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017 and the Hollywood Wall of Fame in 2015.
The instrument taught me how to be a songwriter, says Lynne, who used his first guitar, which his father purchased for £2, until 2012. He said that his stereo reel-to-reel cassette recorder, which he purchased in 1965, gave him the skills necessary to become a producer.