Jeff Lynne is the leading man the ’70s rock band Electric Light Orchestra, otherwise known as ELO for short. Back in 1976, Lynne thought that ELO might have been done for good at that point. However, two more revivals would occur, one of them taking place right now. After selling out arenas all over the globe, it is evident that generations of old and young have come together to appreciate the creative masterpiece that is ELO.
“I was worried that there weren’t enough people who knew about us,” says back in a 2014 interview when they have revived ELO again. ELO was to headline an all-day festival at London’s Hyde Park. “We took a big chance. The crowd could’ve gone home any time, they didn’t have to wait around for us at the end. But it was still full. I remember looking through a little gap in the curtain and going: ‘They’re still here!’”
Jeff Lynne of ELO delves into the success and incredible impact of “Mr. Blue Sky”
Fast forward to the year 2020, Lynne has recently sat down for another interview with Louder Sound to discuss the highlights of his incredible rock career. On top of his success with ELO, he has gone on to co-founded supergroup the Traveling Wilburys and produce many A-listers, including the three remaining Beatles members.
Many have their ELO favorites without a doubt, but one of the biggest hits from the band was the song “Mr. Blue Sky.” In the interview, they mention that the song has become Birmingham FC’s unofficial anthem, and it’s been used as a wake-up call to astronauts on NASA missions. The interviewer wonders which of those two Lynne is most proud of. He responds, “[Laughing] Being a Blues fan, it’s got to be Birmingham. I’m just kidding. Obviously the idea that it’s been used to wake up spacemen is amazing, just the fact that someone sent my tune up there.”
His incredible career branches out to different avenues in the music industry
Lynne was then asked if the extensive reach of “Mr. Blue Sky” ‘blows his mind’ sometimes. He then responds, “It makes me feel good about the music I’ve made. I didn’t ever get a proper job, I just carried on doing this. My mum hated me doing music. She’d go: “You don’t want to do that all rubbish. There’s a job going at ATV for a cameraman.” I’d already had about three hits by that point!”
It’s obvious that “Mr. Blue Sky” has had quite a reach that Lynne was not prepared for in comparison to other ELO hits. As previously mentioned, ELO wrapped up back in ’86 and Lynne reveals exactly why that happened. “I just wanted to start producing other people,” he reveals. “I started with George [Harrison], then I ended up producing Paul [McCartney] and after that the two Anthology Beatles tracks, which were John’s two singles.”
Jeff Lynne has certainly had quite the career, making a name for himself and branching out into other aspects of the industry. Take a look at the video below for a recent performance of “Mr. Blue Sky” by ELO. He still sounds fantastic!