'I’ve been trying to figure out ways': Jeff Lynne considering tour with ELO bandmate Richard Tandy

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Jeff Lynne, though never a fan of the road, says he might attempted a scaled-back concert tour — perhaps with former Electric Light Orchestra bandmate Richard Tandy — if the details were right.

Lynne and Tandy recently reunited in Lynne’s studio for a jam session featuring several ELO favorites, including “Evil Woman.” Tandy was the only former band member to appear on the most recent Electric Light Orchestra project, 2001’s Zoom, as well.

[SOMETHING ELSE! REWIND: Previews of all 12 songs from Jeff Lynne’s forthcoming album of solo Electric Light Orchestra remakes are up at elo.biz. Click here to listen!]

Meanwhile, Lynne has spent the last three years painstakingly recreating the band’s most well-loved hits for a forthcoming solo project called Mr. Blue Sky: The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra, to be released on October 9, 2012 by Frontiers Records. Handling all of the instrumental duties meant that portions of that time were spent practicing the various instruments, Lynne says in a new interview with Jillian Mapes of CBS affiliate KEarth101.

The 12-song set also featured a completely reworked version of “10538 Overture,” in honor of ELO’s 40th anniversary as well as the previously unreleased track “Point of No Return.” Lynne will release an album of pre- and early-rock cover tunes on the same day, called Long Wave.

Though ELO’s world tour in 1978 featured an elaborate set up featuring a space ship and laser-light display, Lynne has often complained about the rigors of mounting such sweeping affairs. Lynne’s most recent tour with ELO, after Zoom was released, was ultimately cancelled — though a live performance from a CBS soundstage was eventually released on DVD.

Lynne still isn’t making any promises, he tells Mapes, when it comes to a return to the road.

“I haven’t got any plans at all to tour, but I’ve been trying to figure out ways that I can do it and do it very, very simply,” he says. “Maybe it’s just me and Richard. I never was really all that into the touring thing, it never was that much fun – but I’m thinking about it.”

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Here’s a look back at our recent thoughts on Jeff Lynne and the Electric Light Orchestra. Click through the titles for complete reviews …

SNEAK PEEK: JEFF LYNNE, “POINT OF NO RETURN” (2012): The track sounds, at least in the early going, like the typical solo Lynne production, dominated by his now familiar drum signature, propelled by a Byrdsy guitar, enveloped with a double-tracked vocal. Add in Roy Orbison, and it might have been a Traveling Wilburys outtake. Then, just as you’re getting comfy with it all, “Point of No Return” begins to elevate, as Lynne stirs in some billowing strings and a fabulously smeared, echoing guitar solo. Something starts to happen, something very 1970s. And I mean that in a good way.

ONE TRACK MIND: JEFF LYNNE, “AT LAST” (2012): At last! Jeff Lynne, having most recently issued a solo album in 1990 with Armchair Theatre, will be returning with two new studio recordings. But … “At Last”? The Etta James number? At first, I couldn’t get past the first two words on this advance track from Lynne’s Long Wave, the two words that James so completely owns — the two words that she has come to personify. I heard Lynne sing “at last,” and I turned it off. Careful readers will remember my enthusiasm in this space for “Point of No Return” — a new song on a set of ELO remakes that will be released in tandem with Long Wave. But this is different.

SOMETHING ELSE! FEATURED ARTIST: JEFF LYNNE AND THE ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA: News that Jeff Lynne is making a long-awaited return with both a studio album and a fresh examination of ELO’s greatest hits had us recalling some old favorites. Lynne will release both albums, titled Long Wave and Mr. Blue Sky: The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra respectively, on October 9, 2012 through Frontiers Records. To get you ready, we took a spin through some of our favorite cuts from the Electric Light Orchestra.

JEFF LYNNE REUNITES WITH FORMER ELO BANDMATE RICHARD TANDY: Even as Jeff Lynne is set to issue new solo versions of his greatest hits with the Electric Light Orchestra, he has reunited with former ELO member Richard Tandy. Videos of the pair performing “Showdown” and “Evil Woman” have been posted to elo.biz. “Showdown” was originally a No. 12 hit single in the UK in 1973, while “Evil Woman” was went Top 10 both in America and in England in 1975. It’s unclear whether a full-length recorded reunion with Tandy is in the offing, or if the longtime ELO keyboardist is to be part of Lynne’s planned Mr. Blue Sky: The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra, though these new videos are posted under a heading that reads “sneak peeks.”

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