Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Hump Day Chat: Jeff Lynne - Legendary Producer or Wanna-be Legend?

G.E. Smith: Jeff Lynne - yay or nay?
Michael Anthony: In what respect? Like his production, kinda hate his music.   

G.E. Smith: Yeah screw him as an artist solo or with ELO (besides "Living Thing," dig that one), we both agree he eats nut. This is about his production. Obviously there's the Petty albums. They're good but would have been better without him.

Michael Anthony:
But sound better than the Dick Lubin stuff don't you think?

G.E. Smith: Rubin had to produce crud ("You Don't Know How It Feels," maybe the best off "Wildflowers," blatantly rips off Wilco's "Too Far Apart"). If Rubin had the "Full Moon Fever" stuff to produce it woulda been SCHWEET.

Michael Anthony: I love the Lynne stuff on "Full Moon Fever," it's just a limp album. And then "Learning to Fly" is amazing sounding, no?

G.E. Smith: No, I hate that tune. Especially since the Foo Fighters repurposed it.

Michael Anthony: Goo Fighters repurposed it twice ("Learn to Fly" and "Wheels"). What about how he ruined The Move. 

G.E. Smith: What'd he do? Dress them in Commie outfits and derail their entire career like Malcolm McLaren did to the New York Dolls? 

Michael Anthony: Move was rad psych pop, two-minute short 'n' weird singles, then Lynne started contributing and it got limp like ELO. Basically it turned into ELO, which isn't that bad but The Move was tight.

G.E. Smith: I think fever has some solid tunes ("Free Ballin" being way overrated) but the lite approach wasn't the way to go I don't think. "Great Wide Open Legs" is a mess no matter who produced it. Personally I think Lynne made it worse.

Michael Anthony: Eddie bated when he finished high school.

When you're rippin' light Petty, it's all downhill.

One of these things is not like the other ...
G.E. Smith: He went to Hollywood, slurped up some goo. What if "Fever" had a more raw approach like Rubin did with the Cash stuff, not exactly the weak stab he made on the shitty Petty album. "Runnin' Down a Dream" is fine but the rest have that Pringle-ish acoustic sound that is on EVERY SINGLE JEFF LYNNE TUNE EVER.

Michael Anthony: Can't see it. Rubin on "Full Moon." Haha.

G.E. Smith:
Just some more robust and/or direct approach, that's all I was thinking. But,
  OK, you have Lynne down as a win here. What about in Traveling Wilburys? I think his production is the right call there but his inclusion is a major violation.

Michael Anthony:
Even as an 8 year old I was like who's that guy pretending to be cool with all those legends. Sad thing is he was actually the studliest one.

G.E. Smith: It's like putting Jimmy Carter or Bush I on Mount Rushmore. Maybe that was the argument. He was like the Cliff Lee of the staff while the others were burnouts like Roy Halladay or R.A. Dickey. 

Michael Anthony: You don't like the plinky acoustic layers man? GBV ripped that on "Girls of Darryl Strawberry."

G.E. Smith: Yea I love it on "Strawberries." I love it on "Handle My Balls with Care" too. I just don't love it on EVERYTHING.

Michael Anthony:
You think all those dudes kind of ragged on him during it all. Like at least during the video shoot.
Like all standing around, then Orbison starts singing, "one of these things just doesn't belong here" from "Sesame Street." 

G.E. Smith: Or the other dudes circle jerking on his stupid ass fro. There's a doc where they have footage of all of them together it's pretty Bad A. There's no circle jerk.

Michael Anthony: I bet they never laughed at any of his jokes. 

G.E. Smith: Maybe they were trying to elevate him to their level. I bet Petty was the ring
Drag Clapton into this? Why not?
leader on getting him aboard.

Michael Anthony: You think he's racist on top of it all? Like Sting and Costello?  

G.E. Smith: Absolutely. Anyone with glasses like that is clearly a racist. 

Michael Anthony: Haha fuc. He's racist against not looking like a piece of shit. Clapton too.

G.E. Smith:
ou think Clapton ever tried to cover up his racism with his tunes?

Michael Anthony: Yeah, when he circled back around and went full racist with that mid-'90s faux blues album

G.E. Smith: Yea that's what I was thinking. He was actually being racist while trying to make up for being racist.  

Michael Anthony: Check that "Motherless Child" video, Clapton goes all out. 

G.E. Smith: What about Lynne and the Beatles shit. Like does he deserve to even in the
Lynne AND Petty were among those destroyed by Prince at the '04 Rock Hall.
same building as even one Beatle? Lynne co-produced Harrison's "Cloud Nine." 

Michael Anthony: He's considered among the five or so best producers of all time - do you think it's because of who he worked with or because of merit.

G.E. Smith: Well you know what I think. I think even his good work would still be great without him touching it. It's like a pointless layer of gloss that he puts on in many cases. 

Michael Anthony: Haha. "Cloud Nine" was the forerunner to "Full Moon." Kind of puts it into some perspective now. I still love "Learning To Fly," but yeah he sniffs.

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