Esoteric Recordings are proud to announce the release of a new deluxe 3CD which tells the story of the so- called “underground” era of one of Britain’s great independent record labels of the 1960s & 1970s, Transatlantic Records. In the heady atmosphere of the late 1960s, the sea change in British popular music spearheaded by the Beatles experimentation on the Sergeant Pepper album and swiftly followed by the likes of Cream, Pink Floyd, Traffic, Family, Procol Harum, Jethro Tull and a host of groups and musicians who followed in their footsteps led to the album being seen as the medium in which “serious” musicians would explore and develop their craft. The apparently disparate genres of blues, jazz, rock, folk and even world music were fused together by many diverse acts all of whom were eager to be regarded as “progressive” in their musical approach. The so-called “underground” audience eagerly consumed this music, which sat alongside the social changes that were also taking place.
Although ELO quickly became Jeff Lynne's baby, it was launched as a collaboration between Lynne and his bandmates in the Move, multi-instrumentalist Roy Wood, and drummer Bev Bevan. Indeed, the label on ELO's first album reads "Move Enterprises Ltd. presents the services of the Electric Light Orchestra," and most histories claim that the initial idea for the spin-off group combining rock and classical music was Wood's, not Lynne's. Wood and Lynne split the songwriting duties on Electric Light Orchestra, much as they did on late-period Move albums, but it seems like their visions of what ELO was were widely divergent. Wood's songs are clearly more classically influenced, with the string and horn sections driving the songs rather than merely coloring them, as they do on Lynne's tunes.