Jeff Lynne In-depth Biography
Following his stint as the leader of the Electric Light Orchestra, singer/guitarist Jeff Lynne forged an equally successful career in the '80s and '90s as a producer, with his distinctive sound gracing the latter-day records of many veteran rock & roll legends. Lynne began his career in the late '60s as the frontman of a group called the Idle Race, which recorded the album The Birthday Party for RCA in 1969. In 1970, Lynne accepted an invitation from Move leader Roy Wood to join his revamped band; the two shared a vision of fusing electric rock & roll with classical orchestrations, a concept that eventually transformed the Move into the Electric Light Orchestra (instead of the two groups running concurrently, as had originally been planned). The Lynne composition "Do Ya" provided the aggregation's first U.S. hit in 1973; Wood soon abdicated his share of the group's leadership to form Wizzard, leaving Lynne in charge. He ran the group into the '80s, scoring several U.S. Top Ten singles and albums and contributing to the soundtrack of the 1980 film Xanadu.
In the early '80s, Lynne's production career began to take off, as he worked with roots-rocker Dave Edmunds, Duane Eddy, and the Everly Brothers. Acclaimed work followed with George Harrison (1987's Cloud Nine), Brian Wilson, and Randy Newman. In 1988, Lynne participated in the Grammy-winning Traveling Wilburys supergroup; he soon produced fellow Wilburys Roy Orbison and Tom Petty on the critically and commercially successful Mystery Girl and Full Moon Fever, respectively. In 1990, Lynne released his first solo album, Armchair Theatre, and worked on the Wilburys' second album, Volume III. In recent years, Lynne's most prominent work has been with his main influences, the Beatles, on their Anthology series; the reconstructed "Free as a Bird" bore his unmistakable stamp, and he has also worked with Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney (Flaming Pie) individually. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi