When I was a boy I had a dream
All about the things I’d like to be
Soon as I was in my bed
Music played inside my head
When I was a boy I had a dream
— “When I Was A Boy” by Jeff Lynne from Alone In The Universe
Listen closely to Alone In The Universe—the first new ELO album in nearly a decade and a half—and you can hear the powerful sound of a great rock & roll dream coming true. Alone In The Universe represents a dream come true not only for millions of ELO fans all over the world, but also a continuing dream come true for Jeff Lynne himself—a new set of songs that perfectly capture the extraordinary music playing inside his head.
As beautifully recounted in “When I Was A Boy”—the uplifting and infectious opening song and first single from Alone In The Universe—music has always been the driving force in Jeff Lynne’s life. That enduring love for music has transported Lynne from his humble childhood in Birmingham, England to the global stage where he remains one of the most successful and respected singers, songwriters, and producers of all-time—as the creative force behind ELO, as a member of The Traveling Wilburys, as a solo artist, and as a much in-demand producer for many of his fellow rock & roll legends, including The Beatles, Roy Orbison, and Tom Petty.
Yet behind all that remarkable success is the same lasting passion for music that has marked Jeff Lynne’s life since he was a boy. “Music has taken me everywhere I’ve ever been—literally and figuratively,” Lynne says. “Music is such a powerful force in our lives. A good song can make people feel much less alone in this universe. And trying to create one of those songs somehow makes me feel less alone too. My whole life—from being that kid with a dream in Birmingham right until today—proves how much music can do.”
Alone In The Universe is an inspired album that cuts deep and brilliantly reflects all of Lynne’s very musical life. From Alone In The Universe’s deeply personal opening song “When I Was A Boy” right through the stunning closing track, “Alone In The Universe,” this is a wildly impressive piece of work that artfully showcases all that Jeff Lynne is as an artist here and now.
Alone In the Universe finds Lynne both reclaiming and furthering his remarkable musical legacy with ELO—something that he and longtime ELO keyboardist Richard Tandy have been seen doing with increasing frequency onstage in recent years, whether it was thrilling 50,000 fans in London’s Hyde Park in 2014, or performing onstage at the Grammy Awards with Ed Sheeran.
Alone In The Universe is a brand new album full of melodies, sonic touches, riffs, and musical textures that recall the greatest ELO albums of all time, including such popular favorites as Eldorado (1974), Face The Music (1975), A New World Record (1976), and Out Of The Blue (1977). Yet, as Lynne says, “This is an album that I could only make now. I like to think that I’ve learned a bit along the way.”
It seems only right that Alone In The Universe is being released by Jeff Lynne’s ELO—after all, Lynne has long been one of music’s most hands-on band leaders. As Lynne says, “For me, the process has always been the same. I’ll get an idea, and then you’re off to the races and the fun begins.”
“I’ve taken my time to get this album right, so it is exciting to have these songs see the light of day now,” says Lynne. “We have a great new deal with Sony, and I am looking forward to sharing what we’ve done. I’ve seen and heard for myself how much music can mean to people. I felt that again when we played Hyde Park. I remember looking at Richard Tandy, and thinking how all these years later, the songs somehow mean even more to people, and to me too. I could hear the audience singing so loudly that I almost couldn’t hear myself. It was a beautiful thing, and for me at least, it was the best concert that I’ve ever been in—literally, my favorite show ever. That definitely makes me feel a little bit less alone in this universe.”
– David Wild
2014 HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME HONOREE
2014 BIRMINGHAM WALK OF STARS HONOREE
2014 BIRMINGHAM CITY UNIVERSTIY HONORARY DOCTORATE RECIPIENT
NATIONWIDE MUSIC AWARD:
Album of the Year for Out of the Blue (1978)
IVOR NOVELLO AWARDS:
• Ivor Novello Award for contribution to British music (1979)
• Ivor Novello Award for Best Film Theme Song for “Xanadu” 1981)
• Ivor Novello Award for “Outstanding Services to British Music” (1996)
To be included in this exclusive roster, a song with an average length of three minutes must have been broadcast over one million times. This definition equals at least 50,000 broadcast hours, which equals more than 5.7 years of continuous airplay.
• BMI Songwriters Award for 1 million broadcasts in USA for the song “Evil Woman”
• BMI Songwriters Award for 1 million broadcasts in USA for the song “Livin’ Thing”
• BMI Songwriters Award for 1 million broadcasts in USA for the song “Telephone Line”
• BMI Songwriters Award for 1 million broadcasts in USA for the song “Don’t Bring Me Down”
• BMI Songwriters Award for 1 million broadcasts in USA for the song “Strange Magic”
• BMI’s Million-Air performance certificate for “Don’t Bring Me Down” (two million airplays)
• BMI’s Million-Air performance certificate for “Turn To Stone” (one million airplays)
Co-recipient (with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Roy Orbison, and Tom Petty; as group The Traveling Wilburys) of Grammy Award for best rock performance by a duo or group with vocal, 1989, for the Traveling Wilburys, Volume I.
ASCAP GOLDEN NOTE AWARD:
Recipient of ASCAP’s Golden Note Award 2009, presented to songwriters, composers, and artists who have achieved extraordinary career milestones. Previous honorees include Tom Petty, Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder, Sean “Diddy” Combs and Garth Brooks, to name a few.