Richard Tandy

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Richard Tandy
Born (1948-03-26) 26 March 1948 (age 71)
OriginBirmingham, England
GenresSymphonic rock, progressive rock, art rock, pop rock
InstrumentsPiano, Moog synthesizer, synthesizers, electric piano, Clavinet, harmonium, harpsichord, Mellotron, keyboards, guitar, bass, organ
LabelsUnited Artists
Jet Records
Harvest Records
Associated actsElectric Light Orchestra, Jeff Lynne, Tandy Morgan Band
WebsiteMusical career

Richard Tandy (born 26 March 1948) is an English musician, best known as the keyboardist in the rock band Electric Light Orchestra ("ELO").[1] His palette of keyboards (including Minimoog, 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 inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on 7 April 2017 as a member of Electric Light Orchestra.[2]

Life and career[edit]

Tandy was born on 26 March 1948 in Birmingham and educated at Moseley School, where he first met future bandmate Bev Bevan.[3] 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.[4]

In 1972, Tandy served as the bassist in the first live line-up of Electric Light Orchestra (originally a side project of The Move), before becoming the band's full-time keyboardist. He has collaborated musically with ELO frontman Jeff Lynne on many projects, among them songs for the Electric Dreams soundtrack, Lynne's solo album Armchair Theatre and Lynne-produced Dave Edmunds album Information.

Tandy's keyboards would be an integral part of ELO's sound, and included piano, Minimoog, Clavinet, Oberheim, Wurlitzer electric piano, Mellotron, Yamaha CS-80, ARP 2600, and harmonium. He was also proficient on guitar. On some albums he is also credited with vocals or backing vocals, without any specification of which songs.[5] 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 every ELO album except 1971's No Answer, recorded by Wood, Lynne, Bevan, Bill Hunt and Steve Woolam prior to his arrival, and 2015's Alone in the Universe, on which all of the instruments were played by Lynne. 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.[6] In 2013, Tandy joined Lynne in performing two 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, and played a piano solo on the song One More Time from Jeff Lynne's ELO 2019 album From Out of Nowhere.[7]


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),[8] 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), and other synthesizers, and he began to make more regular use of the grand piano both on stage and in the studio. He also used the Yamaha CS80, ARP 2600, ARP Omni, Polymoog, Micromoog, ARP Quadra, and Oberheim synthesizers from the late 1970s to the early 1980s.[citation needed] Tandy played a harmonium on "Kuiama" on ELO 2.

Personal life[edit]

Tandy's first marriage was to Carol "Cookie", a friend of Cleo Odzer,[9] but the marriage ended in divorce; he is now married to his second wife, Sheila. He has lived variously in Birmingham, France (Which region? Which city?),[10] and Los Angeles[9], but currently resides in Wales.[11]


  1. ^ "Rewired Electric Light Orchestra Hitting The Road". MTV. 13 July 2001. Retrieved 16 November 2013.
  2. ^ "Inductees: Electric Light Orchestra (ELO)". Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Retrieved 20 December 2016.
  3. ^ "Richard Tandy Interview - April 1999".
  4. ^ Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. pp. 673–675. ISBN 1-84195-017-3.
  5. ^ "Richard Tandy - Vocals".
  6. ^ "FULL PERFORMANCE: Jeff Lynne and Richard Tandy reunite for Evil Woman". Youtube. Retrieved 16 November 2013.
  7. ^ Inc, Midwest Communications. "Jeff Lynne's ELO releasing new album, 'From Out of Nowhere,' in November; title track available now". 94.3 Jack FM. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  8. ^ Electric Light Orchestra - Roll Over Beethoven. 23 December 2007 – via YouTube.
  9. ^ a b "Richard Tandy". Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  10. ^ Scott-Morgan, David (26 October 2014). "Patterns in the Chaos". Retrieved 20 November 2016 – via Google Books.
  11. ^ Cole, Paul (14 March 2014). "ELO's Jeff Lynne: The lad from Birmingham who reunited The Beatles". Retrieved 20 November 2016.