Jeff Lynne

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Jeff Lynne
Jeff Lynne in 2016
Jeff Lynne in 2016
Background information
Birth nameJeffrey Lynne
Also known asOtis Wilbury/Clayton Wilbury
Born (1947-12-30) 30 December 1947 (age 75)
Birmingham, England
GenresProgressive rock, pop rock, symphonic rock, art rock, pop
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter, producer
InstrumentsGuitar, Keyboards, bass, drums, percussion, cello, violin
Years active1966 - present
LabelsJet, Harvest, Epic, SonyBMG, Reprise

Jeffrey ("Jeff") Lynne OBE (born 30 December 1947, Birmingham, England) is a British musician (guitar, piano and bass guitar), songwriter and music producer. His longtime band was the Electric Light Orchestra (also known as ELO), but he worked with many other artists, including Duane Eddy, members of the Travelling Wilburys (Lynne himself was one also), and The Beatles. Jeff Lynne is also well known for always wearing aviator sunglasses.

Lynne first became known as a member of a band called The Idle Race. He taught himself about recording with a simple reel-to-reel tape recorder at home, using "sound on sound" to build up the sound of his own music. He later joined The Move, which then re-formed as Electric Light Orchestra. Lynne did not collaborate with ELO's members, as much as he directed how each member should play and sound. His work with ELO was often compared to music by The Beatles. Even John Lennon, the Beatles's founder, called ELO a "Son of Beatles" kind of band, before his death in 1980. Lynne also performed music for two movie soundtracks, All This and World War II and Electric Dreams.

Electric Light Orchestra's fame lessened during the 1980s. Lynne began to produce other, sometimes older recording artists, some of whom had new hits after years without them. A friend introduced Lynne to George Harrison, another former Beatle, who planned a comeback album in the late 1980s. Their collaboration, Cloud Nine, reawakened interest in Harrison and his music.

After the success of Cloud Nine, Lynne and Harrison formed the Travelling Wilburys with Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and Roy Orbison. They became a popular group.

Early in the 1990s, the surviving Beatles completed a documentary series telling their own history. George Martin, their original producer, could not play as big a role as he had, because he had lost some of his hearing. Lynne was chosen to work with them. Yoko Ono handed over demos of five unfinished John Lennon songs, and two were chosen for the rest of the band to overdub (add parts to). Lynne used his studio knowhow to develop finished records from the raw demos, and the songs became hits, over twenty years since the Beatles issued a new recording.

Lynne moved to Los Angeles, California, and bought a house, which he turned into a large recording studio, with places to plug in equipment in nearly every room. He formed a new lineup of ELO in the early 2000s, recording a new album and beginning a tour, but interest was short-lived, and many shows were cancelled.

Lynne's music with ELO is popular again, through its use in television commercials. He continues to write and produce new music.