Hello, Mr. Radio

“Jeff has incredible studio I.Q. Ask anyone who makes music: he’s one of the great record producers, period.” So says Tom Petty, and? if anyone should know, it’s him, having worked with Jeff Lynne as a producer on sonic blockbusters like his own Full Moon Fever and the Traveling Wilburys’ Volume? 1. “In the period where a lot of? us were in garage bands, he was home with a multitrack recorder,” observes Petty. “That’s always been his real love, more than performing. He’s interested in records, and how to make them.”

Lynne, 65, a melodically driven multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, shepherded Electric Light Orchestra’s mighty run in the 1970s and ’80s, and now he’s back with two albums: 1) complete re-recordings done by himself of a dozen ELO classics on Mr. Blue Sky: The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra, and 2) reimagined takes of 11 standards he grew up listening to on Long Wave (both on Frontiers). Why re-record your own material for Mr. Blue Sky? His ears told him to: “I wanted to get it the same,” Lynne acknowledges, “but just make it sound better.” Ah, now the light bulb goes off...