Richard Tandy

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Richard Tandy
Birth name Richard Tandy
Born (1948-03-26) 26 March 1948 (age 67)
Origin Birmingham, England
Genres Symphonic rock, progressive rock, art rock, pop rock
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments piano, Moog synthesizer, synthesizers, electric piano, clavinet, harmonium, harpsichord, mellotron, keyboards, guitar, bass, organ
Labels United Artists
Jet Records
Harvest Records
Associated acts Electric Light Orchestra, Jeff Lynne, Tandy Morgan Band
Website Musical career
Notable instruments
Wurlitzer electric piano
Yamaha CS80

Richard Tandy (born 26 March 1948, Birmingham, England), is an English musician, best known as the keyboardist in the rock band, Electric Light Orchestra ("ELO").[1] His palette of keyboards (including Mini Moog, clavinet, mellotron, and piano) was an important ingredient in the group's sound, notably on the albums A New World Record, Out of the Blue, Discovery, and Time.


Tandy was born on 26 March 1948 in Birmingham and educated at Moseley School, where he first met future bandmate Bev Bevan.[2] Tandy would later be reunited with Bevan in 1968 when he played the harpsichord on The Move's number one chart-topper "Blackberry Way" and briefly joined them live playing keyboards, but switched to bass while regular bassist Trevor Burton was sidelined due to a shoulder injury. When Burton was able to play again, Tandy left to join The Uglys.[3]

Later in 1972, Tandy was the bassist in the first live line-up of The Electric Light Orchestra (the classical rock project conceived by Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne), while occasionally playing keyboards or guitar, but switched to keyboards full-time when Lynne decided that their live sound needed improvement. Tandy was often seen on stage playing the stereotypical 1970s prog-rock stack of keyboards with bass pedals under his feet. As well as ELO, he has collaborated musically with Lynne on many projects, among them songs for the Electric Dreams soundtrack, Lynne's solo album Armchair Theatre and Lynne produced Dave Edmunds' Information. Before joining ELO Tandy played with the groups The Ugly's and Balls.[2]

Tandy's keyboards would be an integral part of ELO's sound and some of the keyboards he played included piano, Minimoog, clavinet, Oberheim, Wurlitzer electric piano, mellotron, Yamaha CS80, ARP 2600, synthesizers, harmonium and was also proficient on guitar. On some albums, he is credited with backing vocals, but precisely which songs, if any, have him singing backing vocals is unclear.[citation needed] Tandy was Jeff Lynne's right-hand man in the studio and co-arranged the strings with Lynne and Louis Clark from Eldorado onwards.

In 1985 Tandy formed the Tandy Morgan Band featuring Dave Morgan and Martin Smith, both of whom had worked with ELO in live concerts. In 1985, the Tandy Morgan Band released the concept album Earthrise. A remastered version was released on CD on the Rock Legacy label in 2011. A follow-up to Earthrise with previously unpublished tracks was released as The BC Collection, containing one track written by Tandy: "Enola Sad".

Tandy is featured on all ELO albums with the exception of the eponymous debut. He was also credited as co-arranger from Eldorado onwards. Some of the ideas for the ELO album titles conceived by Richard Tandy were A New World Record, Out of the Blue, and Discovery.[citation needed] In 2012, Tandy teamed up again with Lynne to record another ELO project, a live set of the band's biggest hits recorded at Lynne's Bungalow Palace home recording studio, which was broadcast on TV.[4] In 2013, Tandy joined Lynne in performing 2 songs for Children In Need Rocks; Livin' Thing and Mr Blue Sky. He was also part of ELO's set on Radio 2's Festival In A Day in September 2014.


After permanently switching from bass to keyboards, Tandy's initial onstage setup was of Minimoog synthesizer and Wurlitzer electric piano and occasionally grand piano (as seen on ELO's performance of "Roll Over Beethoven" on The Midnight Special),[5] which he otherwise used mainly in the studio. However, he gradually added more keyboards to his stage and studio rig, notably the Hohner clavinet, mellotron (which was largely relegated to stage use), other synthesizers and he began to make more regular use of the grand piano both on stage as well as the studio. He also used the Yamaha CS80, ARP 2600, Polymoog, Micromoog and Oberheim synthesizers from the late 1970s to the early 1980s. Tandy played a harmonium on Kuiama on ELO 2.


  1. ^ "Rewired Electric Light Orchestra Hitting The Road". MTV. 13 July 2001. Retrieved 16 November 2013. 
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. pp. 673–675. ISBN 1-84195-017-3. 
  4. ^ "FULL PERFORMANCE: Jeff Lynne and Richard Tandy reunite for Evil Woman". Youtube. Retrieved 16 November 2013. 
  5. ^