ELO Part II
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|Electric Light Orchestra Part II|
|Labels||Scotti Brothers, Volcano, Zomba Label Group, Sony BMG, Curb, Edel Music|
|Associated acts||The Move, Electric Light Orchestra, OrKestra, The Orchestra|
|Past members||Bev Bevan
ELO Part II were a band formed by Electric Light Orchestra drummer and co-founder Bev Bevan. The band also included former ELO bassist Kelly Groucutt, and violinist Mik Kaminski for most of its career, along with conductor Louis Clark who toured as a guest with ELO in its later years.
In 1988 drummer Bev Bevan approached Jeff Lynne, wanting to record another ELO album. Lynne declined to participate, so Bevan signalled that he intended to continue the band without him. Lynne, however, objected over use of the ELO name, and the final agreement reached between the two resulted in ELO officially disbanding and Bevan forming a new band in 1989 called Electric Light Orchestra Part Two. Original ELO co-founder Roy Wood was approached about joining the band, but declined. Bevan recruited longtime ELO string conductor and co-arranger Louis Clark into his new band, but not as an official member (Clark was never an official member of the original ELO himself either). The first line-up comprised Bevan, plus three musicians completely unrelated to ELO: Eric Troyer (keyboards and vocals), Peter Haycock (guitar and vocals) and Neil Lockwood (guitar and vocals).
Electric Light Orchestra Part Two (album)
ELO Part Two released a self-titled album in 1990 which featured former ELO violinist Mik Kaminski on one track. The album was intended to harken back to ELO's classic sound of the mid-to-late 1970s, but compared to the original ELO being under the creative control of Jeff Lynne, ELO Part II were more democratic in terms of songwriting and lead vocals. The first tour featured the band performing live with The Moscow Symphony Orchestra, (MSO), and was well received in the UK. Approximately two-thirds of the songs performed were ELO hits. The concert in ELO's home town of Birmingham was captured on video and on the live album with the long-winded title Performing ELO's Greatest Hits Live Featuring The Moscow Symphony Orchestra. Kaminski, former ELO cellist Hugh McDowell, and former ELO bassist Kelly Groucutt were part of the live band, with Groucutt sharing lead and backing vocals with Troyer, Haycock and Lockwood. Kaminski, McDowell and Groucutt were initially appearing as guest artists from a band they had formed called OrKestra, itself a vehicle to exploit their past association with ELO, but eventually dissolved it and joined ELO Part Two full-time by 1993. McDowell's tenure with the band was short. Plans to tour the USA with the MSO were cancelled as costs became prohibitive.
The band continued to tour Germany and the UK in 1992 with Louis Clark playing keyboards to emulate the strings of the absent orchestra. In 1993 Haycock and Lockwood left the band, and were replaced by guitarist/vocalist Phil Bates, who had been in the band Trickster, one of the opening acts for ELO's 1978 world tour. A world tour was undertaken by ELO Part Two in 1993, including dates in the USA and Eastern Europe.
Moment of Truth
Now a six-piece band with a slightly altered name, Electric Light Orchestra Part II recorded a second studio album, Moment of Truth, which was released in 1994. The album was not a commercial success. The band continued its tour schedule over the following years, sometimes augmenting the core band with a backing orchestra. On these rare occasions they hired local orchestras at each venue to cut down costs.
One Night (Live in Australia)
Another live album with orchestral backing was recorded in Sydney, Australia in 1995 and was released the following year in Germany as a double album One Night, and the year after that in the USA as a single album One Night - Live in Australia. The band sold the master tapes of this album and it has since been remixed, remastered, and re-released several times.
Bates remained with the band until January 1999 and was replaced by Parthenon Huxley (guitar, vocals). In 1999, Bates studied for a History degree with the University of Wales, and on graduation briefly taught Welsh history to undergraduates. By 2007 he had returned to the band (under the name The Orchestra) taking over from Huxley.
In November 1999 Bevan played his last show with the band at the Sands Hotel in Atlantic City and issued a press release in early 2000 indicating that ELO Part II had split. The remaining members, however, recruited drummer Gordon Townsend and decided to continue as The Orchestra who continue to tour up to the present day. With the death of Kelly Groucutt in February 2009, Glen Burtnik, of Styx and Beatlemania, joined the group. They toured the US in 2009 billed as "The Orchestra featuring former members of The Electric Light Orchestra and ELO Part II."
ELO Part II were banned from playing in the township of Ballymena; Ian Paisley's DUP-dominated council reasoned that their appearance would attract "the four Ds": Drink, Drugs, Devil and Debauchery.
- Bev Bevan – drums, percussion, backing vocals (1989–2000; ELO member 1970–86)
- Louis Clark – keyboards, orchestra arranger and conductor (1989–2000; ELO associate 1974-80, 1983, Non-member touring musician 1982, 1986)
- Eric Troyer – keyboards, vocals, guitar (1989–2000)
- Pete Haycock – guitar, bass guitar, vocals (1989–93; died 2013)
- Neil Lockwood – guitar, vocals (1989–93)
- Mik Kaminski – violin (1990–2000; ELO member 1973-79, Non-member touring musician 1982, 1986)
- Kelly Groucutt – bass guitar, vocals (1991–2000; ELO member 1975-83; died 2009)
- Hugh McDowell – cello (1991–92; ELO member 1972, 1973–79)
- Phil Bates – guitar, vocals (1993–99)
- Parthenon Huxley – guitar, vocals (1998–2000)
- Electric Light Orchestra Part Two (1990 US, 1991 UK) No. 34 UK Albums Chart
- Moment of Truth (1994 UK, 1995 US)
- Performing ELO's Greatest Hits Live Featuring The Moscow Symphony Orchestra (1992)
- One Night. Live in Australia. (UK, 1996) 2 CD, (US, 1997) 1 CD
One Night was rereleased in 2001 with the title Mr. Blue Sky. An incomplete version called Livin' Thing, was released in 2005.
Singles and highest chart positions
|March 1991||"Honest Men"||60||—||Electric Light Orchestra Part Two|
|June 1991||"Thousand Eyes"||—||not released|
|1991||"For the Love of a Woman"||not released||—|
|1994||"Power of a Million Lights"||—||not released||Moment of Truth|
|1994||"Breakin' Down the Walls"||—||not released|
- Performing ELO's Greatest Hits Live Featuring The Moscow Symphony Orchestra (VHS), (1992)
- Electric Light Orchestra - Part II - One Night Live in Australia '95 (DVD), (1995)
- Access All Areas (DVD/VHS), (1997) Produced and Directed by George Reed. Running time 58 minutes. Feature includes interviews with band members, live performances, music videos for "All Fall Down" and "Ain't Necessarily So" as well as behind the scenes footage.
- Follow us. "Where drugs cross the religious divide - Features, Unsorted". Independent.ie. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
- "Electric Light Orchestra". Offfical Charts Company. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
- Discovery - welcome to the show ELO & Jeff Lynne information page
- Under London Skies - unofficial fanzine for The Orchestra, the band formerly known as ELO Part II.
- ELO Fans.com - discussion for fans of the Electric Light Orchestra, ELO Part II and The Orchestra.