The Philadelphia Inquirer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on October 2, 1981 · Page 86
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The Philadelphia Inquirer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania · Page 86

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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Friday, October 2, 1981
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Page 86
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- ,22 Friday, 0toti 2, 19S1. , . JliU5delpUiaJiquu,fT i ... Albums i - " ' .v. - " - .-Ji.;-- :tt:w-: Jp - - ! - v "Lr:i; i , v V IMMIIftMmiM ' - llllltt tssif X 1 The Electric Light Orchestra performs tonight at the Spectrum; this tour, the strings have been replaced with keyboards Backlash has ELO's Lynne fuming By Dennis Hunt Los Anff.les Times Service Jeff Lynne, the Electric Light Orchestra's Mr. Everything, is one of rock's mystery men. He rarely gives interviews and usually ducks the media spotlight. Many rock fans know the basics: He is an Englishman who joined the band in 1970, when it was called the Move, and took it over in 1972; he sings lead, writes all the music, produces, arranges and efficiently runs one of the most successful bands in pop music. ELO will appear tonight in Philadelphia at the Spectrum. Lynne has various reputations as surly or agonizingly shy, or woefully uncommunicative, or a snob who thinks he's above intrusions by the media and fans. Actually, he seems to be a genial man with a good sense of humor. He contends that he is a little shy, yet he is a lively, somewhat frantic talker. On a recent afternoon, Lynne, drinking beer and wearing an old sweat shirt and jeans, came across as a ragtag extrovert "I'm ho weirdo," he insisted. "I'm a normal guy. Back home I play tennis and watch soccer and go down to the pub all the time . . . People shouldn't think I'm strange, because I'm not." He rejects nearly all interview requests, he said, because of the fear of being misquoted, being made to look foolish or having an article built around something he considers insignificant. And he added, "I don't have that much to say." Really? On this afternoon, the leader of ELO was furious about a backlash against the PbpRpck group's new album, "Time," which despite hitting the Top 10 (and spinning off a Top 5 single, "Hold on Tight") Lynne said has been hurt by the reluctance of some radio stations to play it. "It's because of that film," he said. They're saying. 'We don't want to touch them after they did that bloody film.' " The "bloody film" is Xanadu, the awful Olivia Newton-John musical for which Lynne wrote five songs. "It's because the film is so bad and it's a failure and we're associated with it," he said, although he acknowledged that part of the backlash resulted from the feeling apparently shared by some pop fans and radio personnel that ELO's Xanadu songs were too heavily pop. To some, the project seemed like a commercial sellout, since the material is so far from the elegant, classically tinged pop that elevated the band to super-group status in the mid-1970s. "Maybe it does have too much of a pop approach on it," Lynne conceded. "But that's what they wanted. I had to give them what they wanted. I was trapped" by a contract. The contention that ELO has turned into an overly slick commercial pop outfit is nothing new. The criticism surfaced in 1979 with the "Discovery" album and gathered legions of supporters with Xanadu and hasn't really subsided with "Time," though the album is one of ELO's finest. Lynne defended his latest style, contending, "I get into pop moods and want to write strong, obvious pop songs, simple songs ... I know everybody was impressed with the other music we were doing, but I got tired of that." Lynne's disenchantment with the old ELO .pop-classical sound peaked in 1978, after the release of the "Out of the Blue" album and during the band's last tour. So he fired the three-member string section, reducing ELO to a quartet guitarist Lynne, drummer Bev Bevan, keyboards-player Richard Tandy and bassist Kelly Groucutt. On the current tour, he has replaced the strings with keyboards or, as he put it, "I dropped those guys in favor of electronics; it's the best way to get the sound I want now, which is sort of like the old sound but richer, fuller, heavier and punchier." The change, he said, was for the good of the band: "It's my group. I know what I want, and I have the concepts in ray head. I get closer to the final results I want when I'm in charge. It's just the way I am. I'm not nasty or greedy or selfish. I'm just trying to get the best results and I think this is the best way. "I don't have this thing where I tiink what I do is untouchable and always brilliant. I'm open to suggestions. If somebody says something is terrible, I'll change it." Does that happen often? "No, it's never happened yet," he said. Electric Light Orchestra, and singer Ellen Foley, appear tonight at 8 at the Spectrum, Broad Street and Pattison Avenue. Call 336-3600. TERM GIBBS I'm a Lady (MCA): Gibbs, whd scored impressively earlier this year with her debui album and a hit single, "Somebody's Knocking,' in fine vocal form again on this new LP. While the first album was not exactly hard-core country, this one is even less country-flavored. In an effort to capitalize on . Gibbs' "cross-over" potential, her producers have put together a highly eclectic collection of tunes a little country, a bit of pop, a touch of blues and even a good-time Dixieland number. Although the material is not quite as strong as the sonqs gathered for her first album, Gibbs' distinctively smooth, deep voice makes the LP another highly appealing winner. Among the highlights are those vintage standards, "I Wanna Be Around" and "Georgia on My Mind Among the solid ballads are "Too Far Gone" and "That's What Friends Are For." NATALIE COLE Happy Love (Capitol): This is the most impressive LP from Cole in some time, thanks largely to a strong selection of material, including three songs that were written or co-written by the singer. Among the excellent ballads are "You Were Right, Girt, "When a Man Loves a Woman, "Noth ing But a Fool," "The Joke Is on You" and "Love and Kisses." Cole takes on a couple of funkier numbers, too, such as "Only Love." BOXY BURNETTE Gimme You (Columbia): This album fulfills, to a great extent, the promise dis played on Burnette's first album. For the most part, Burnette uncorks a session of highly infectious old- time rockabilly that comes very close, at times, to capturing the raw spirit of the early Sun sessions. The LP kicks off in grand style with "Whatcha Gonna Do When the Sun Goes Down?" and gains momentum with such bluesy rockers as "I Don't Know Why," "I Don't Wanna Know" and "Gone Again. The album is balanced with occasional such ballads, like "The Bigger the Love." BOB SEGER A THE SILVER BULLET BAND Nine Tonight (Capitol): Seger & Co. have been known for years for the dynamics of their stage act, and the excitement comes across nicely m this two-record live release. Included are such Seger staples as Night Moves, Hollywood Nights, Rock n Roll Never Forgets" and "Betty Lou's Getting Out To night. There are also a number of newer Seger tunes: Fire Lake." "You'H Accompany Me" and "Against the Wind." Excaflent Vary oood. Good. fm. Poor. K " Terry Gibbs displays fine vocal form On South Street, soothing strings and dulcet tones There are two nice things happening on South Street this weekend. The first real "season" begins tonight at the Gallery Salon, 623 South St. John Davis wants his little (capacity 80) place to be a "salon" in the 19th-century European manner. Tonight, viulinist Davyd Booth, a member of the Philadelphia Orchestra, will give a recital in this cozy, Victorian-appointed space. A harp and cello recital follows on Oct. 10. Davis says we are entering a period in which the arts will have to rely on individuals for support. That's why he is asking for a "minimum donation" of $8 ($5 for students) for tonight's recital. The Gallery Salon is a wonderful addition to the mulligan stew of bars, restaurants, nightclubs and so forth that comprises South Street between Front and Eighth Streets. The other nice thing that is hap- By JOHN CORR w On the town pening on South Street this weekend occurs Sunday night when the Ink Spots come to LaSpada's Cafe to inaugurate a season of cabaret entertainment featuring acts like the Crystals ("Da Doo Ron Ron"), Danny and the Juniors, The Duprees, Damita Jo and the Dovells. (This Ink Spots group has as much right to the name as any other. All of the original members of the group have died and been replaced over the years. Billy Byrd, who is the leader of this group, joined the original quartet back in 1950 to replace bass singer Herb Kenny.) Another show debuts tonight at Meson Don Quijote, the Spanish restaurant on Chestnut Street near Front. It is a flamenco floor show featuring Jorge Navarro (recently part of Charo's nightclub act), who is appearing with Julia Lopez, who owns the place, Carlos Rubio and two flamenco dancers. The entertainment, Julia says, encompasses "classical, flamenco and folkloric." A lot of old friends of Kenny Shaffer turned up last night to help him celebrate the opening of his new supper club, Kenny Shaffer's Top of the Tooz at 222 S. 15th St. Kenny has been singing songs and playing the piano in other people's saloons in this area for 43 years. The opening of his own place was quite a sentimental occasion. PUB CRAWLING: Catch Ralph Dino and Larry DiTommaso tonight or tomorrow night at Joe's Speakeasy, on top of the London Restaurant, 12th and Sansom Streets. They are both very talented and slightly crazy, and this is just the right kind of room for them . . . There is good jazz tonight at the Brasserie in the Warwick Hotel, a room that is getting to be something of a music mecca in town . . . Vince Console, the singing guitarist working at Doc Watson's on 11th Street tomorrow night, works during the day as manager of the Parkway Room, 22d and Spring Garden Streets, where he constantly complains about the salaries that musicians get these days. . . YUKS: I confess to being a Bob Nel son groupie. I think that he is a outrageously funny comedian (c duck, or moose or whatever he ha; pens to be portraying). He does again tonight at the Comedy Work 126 Chestnut St. At the other corned nightclub in town, the Comedy Fa tory Outlet, two women from Ne York, Abby Stein and Barbara Scot top the bill. In honor of their arrive all women will be admitted at ha price, which is $2. And there's some interesting musi tonight and tomorrow at Duke's i Queen Village, where Sandra De Valle sings country songs, as well i Spanish, Italian and Irish tunes . . 'Cobras, a rock band from Austii Texas, appears this weekend at tl new Chestnut Cabaret, 38th anl Chestnut Streets. If you prefer folk t rock, try the club Folk on little Ban Street, where Uene Weiss and Stev Netsky are booked.

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