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Jeffrey Lynne (born 30 December 1947) is an English singer, songwriter, record producer, and multi-instrumentalist who co-founded the rock band Electric Light Orchestra (ELO). The group formed in 1970 as an offshoot of the Move, of which Lynne was also a member. Following the departure of Roy Wood in 1972, Lynne assumed sole leadership of the band and wrote, arranged and produced virtually all of its subsequent records. Before, Lynne was also involved with the Idle Race as a founding member and principal songwriter.
After ELO’s original disbandment in 1986, Lynne released two solo albums: Armchair Theatre (1990) and Long Wave (2012). Additionally, he began producing various artists. In 1988, under the pseudonyms Otis Wilbury and Clayton Wilbury, he co-founded the supergroup Traveling Wilburys with George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, and Tom Petty. Lynne’s songwriting and production collaborations with former Beatles led him to co-produce their Anthology reunion singles from John Lennon demos “Free as a Bird” (1995) and “Real Love” (1996). In 2014, Lynne reformed ELO and resumed concert touring under the name “Jeff Lynne’s ELO”.
Lynne produced all fifteen ELO singles that rose to the Top 10 record charts in the UK. His producing credits also include the UK or US Top 10 albums Cloud Nine (Harrison, 1987), Mystery Girl (Orbison, 1989), Full Moon Fever (Petty, 1989), Into the Great Wide Open (Petty, 1991), Flaming Pie (Paul McCartney, 1997) and Get Up! (Bryan Adams, 2015). In 2014, Lynne received a star on the Birmingham Walk of Stars, and was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame the following year. He received three Ivor Novello Awards including the award for Outstanding Services to British Music. In 2017, Lynne was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of ELO.
Just listening to the records he’d done, I knew he made good records, and I know he’s very good at harmonies. He’s very good at being precise with his production. You don’t get too many rough edges — it’s his style. He’s a good lad and he’s a fun guy who comes from our school of thought. You know, we’d be talking about reading and writing music, and with the phenomenal success of The Beatles, none of us could ever read or write a noted music. And Jeff quite rightly said, ‘Yeah, we just make it all up, don’t we?’ Yeah. Exactly. That’s our skill. We make it up. That kind of person is good to work with. I mean, we have a similar non-training.Paul McCartney, about working with Jeff Lynne on the Beatles Anthology and on Flaming Pie, from the Flaming Pie Archive Collection, 2020
Last updated on August 12, 2020
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