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Jeff Lynne and Paul McCartney - About the Best Musicians of the Late 20th Century. Why?

Updated on December 19, 2016
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Starlight is an evil genius whose neither evil nor dominating the world. But he's a good Dad who supports his family working from home.

Good News Update - March 7, 2014. THE Star One Day SOON

Good news since I wrote this a year ago! Jeff is receiving a star on the Hollywood walk of fame! Kudos to Hollywood for recognizing the living legend in their midst. I wish I could be there, but they don't announce when it will happen until the last minute, otherwise I'd have my plans made to be there even if I had to ride Amtrak coach from Chicago to do it. Well, I'll be watching the live broadcast, since I signed up on their facebook site to get a heads up and link on the "One Day" when his ship comes in to shore.

Update Feb. 25, 2015 - He got a "Brummy" star in England (love the Brummies) but so far no such star on the Sunset Strip. Confusion? It's such a terrible thing.

Not everyone can move to Sunny LA and get a star on the Walk of Fame, but everyone can buy an Indoor Sun Lamp which I happen to love! I'm no Brummie, not even a Pommie, but I'm no L.A. dog either, so I need my lamp.

Jeff, One Day in 2014

Not a "Sir", not in the Rock and Roll Hall of fame, but every bit as deserving as Sir Paul McCartney!
Not a "Sir", not in the Rock and Roll Hall of fame, but every bit as deserving as Sir Paul McCartney!

Jeff Lynne, we barely appreciate thee

Jeff Lynne wrote almost as many hit songs for ELO as Paul did for the Beatles. The quality of the songs he wrote for ELO picks up where the Beatles left off. Jeff dissolved ELO and wrote solo works just like Sir Paul did post-Beatles. More attention should be given these Jeff Lynne solo works that could become standards someday by their own merit. Jeff's compositions equal Sir Paul's in terms of multidimensional style and depth of emotional poetry. Both are experts at combining all of it with classic music theory. The good music theory. Not just the music theory that explains why the average person really likes pop and rock more than classical. I mean, let's not kid ourselves here. I'm talking about the music theory that explains why some music makes an emotional connection and elevates mood and thought. Jeff and Paul have this nailed, and can conjure it and make it real like nobody else.

As time goes on, Jeff Lynne's songs will be emulated, remade, covered, and sampled more than any other late 20th century musician (aside from Sir Paul, perhaps) for many hundreds, probably thousands of years. The timeless poetry of his lyrics and flavor of chord construction haven't even been properly discovered and appreciated by the current generation, perhaps future generations will do so. Future technology will identify the masterpieces he wrote and make them "required listening" for millions of fortunate people who NEED to rock out, and chill perfectly to his music.

Bonus article: check out Jeff and others without their ever-present sunglasses

10538 Overture by ELO, American Hustle Soundtrack

Hooray for American Hustle Soundtrack

Jeff Lynne's first song with the newly formed Electric Light Orchestra with Roy wood, ELO published the ground-breaking 10538 Overture that is now finally being hewn in rock and roll history thanks to the movie American Hustle and its awesome soundtrack. Of course, the best song on that album is (according to youtube comments) Jeff Lynne's ELO classic 10538.

The song lyrics make me think of today's 24 hour news cycle, how, looking at your door (where you could have a screen mounted) you read the news of a friend of yours- "Did you see a friend, crying from his eyes today?" whose on the run from the law, mucking about along some jagged rocks seaside, crying and crawling to escape the ubiquitous views of cameras. Prisoner # 10538's life means more than it did before, thanks to the drama, but you can't quite remember his name. He made the entertainment/news on your bedroom door.

AWESOOOOOOMME!
AWESOOOOOOMME!

OK let me introduce Paul McCartney, a bass player of a popular band.

Paul McCartney, um, remember when you were in the Beatles? He was asked by Chris Farley, another genius, on SNL one time. You see, the Beatles, basically THE rock band of all time, is just part of his career. He's written over 200 hit songs that are played every minute of the day around the world and will be for hundreds, maybe thousands of years, or more. He's a musical pioneer of Rock. Sure, he's standing on the shoulders of giants like Chuck Berry, but nobody seemed to borrow the right things and use them at the right time as eclectically and elegantly as Sir Paul.

The public only envies the living, and envy precludes otherwise deserved admiration to an extent. Such folks are the real-life "Salieri" characters fictionalized in the movie "Mozart". Paul gets seemingly enough admiration either way.
The public only envies the living, and envy precludes otherwise deserved admiration to an extent. Such folks are the real-life "Salieri" characters fictionalized in the movie "Mozart". Paul gets seemingly enough admiration either way.
His amazing life continues as he is a STAR once again in the 2012 London Olympics. Here he has a good time with his gorgeous wife.
His amazing life continues as he is a STAR once again in the 2012 London Olympics. Here he has a good time with his gorgeous wife.
Having fun as you make heaps of money, and get a front-row-seat to the games accompanied by a woman 20 years younger than you. Yeah, smiles are understandable.
Having fun as you make heaps of money, and get a front-row-seat to the games accompanied by a woman 20 years younger than you. Yeah, smiles are understandable.
The lives of the two geniuses did, of course, intersect. It's inevitable.
The lives of the two geniuses did, of course, intersect. It's inevitable.
Jeff Lynne OWNS the curly hair, beard, and aviator  dark brown sunglasses thing. He owns it because of who he is and the music he created. Let me be the first to say, Sir Jeff!
Jeff Lynne OWNS the curly hair, beard, and aviator dark brown sunglasses thing. He owns it because of who he is and the music he created. Let me be the first to say, Sir Jeff!

Living Legends

I believe these two artists have not been fully appreciated- if they were they should be put in the same class as Mozart and Beethoven. Why? It seems to happen simply because they are long-lived legends. Like famous artists of history, dying seems to be the key element of their status as legend. When dead, the public accepts to properly appreciate them. Paul "died" once already, maybe that's another reason he's more appreciated today than Jeff Lynne. Janis, Jimi, Kurt, etc. had their approval (tragically) much sooner. It's saddening, and probably motivated by the darker side of our nature. We should appreciate them while we have them here, at any age.

Jeff Lynne is inexplicably absent from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (jealousy, personality conflicts, trappings of genius?). His Zoom tour in 2001 met with low ticket sales and tragically (artistically speaking) ended early. Many listeners ignored him more and more since the late 80's, just like Beethoven was written off later in life as a deaf composer doddering about on a piano, while he wrote his 9th symphony. I think most of the songs Jeff wrote for the Zoom album are way under-appreciated works. If he would have written more new music had the Zoom album been received better, then we should be ashamed of ourselves for missing out. Or we can blame those bastard terrorists. Either way, we have a tragedy on our hands.

Paul McCartney is often thought of as a Beatle, which sometimes equates him to being a bass player in a rock band. This will change in time, just like how Salieri and the nobles were forgotten while the genius of their lower contemporary Mozart lives on. Jeff Lynn is thought of as the front man of ELO. Well Electric Light Orchestra would have been a spark without Jeff. Living legend or not, these fellows have already defined a half-century by writing the absolute best music and poetry.

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    Deanna 2 years ago

    I'm in complete agreement with your point of view. I've never heard a bad song (either lyrics or musical composition) that Jeff Lynne has written. The words he's written and those melodies stay in my mind day after day, and they're so beautiful. They make me happy and sometimes make me cry. His music is set apart from any other music I've ever heard. It's hard to describe. One has to listen in order to understand the depth to which his music can touch. That, to me, is real genius. It seems to me that he has faithfully followed his muse, staying true to himself and his music. I hope he is fully recognized in his lifetime for the prodigious talents he has.

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    Arturo 3 years ago

    hi, interesante your comments, I also I was thinking about this, is something complicated, maybe Jeff can have better comparison, Paul did it some themes for orchestra and was hard for Paul, now this no must be bad for Paul but put to Jeff in better position. greetings

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    Doug DeWalt 4 years ago from Ohio USA

    For me it is the same, Jeff occupies 1-4, and Paul comes in at #5. Paul would have done better if he dialed back on the corniness a few times in his career. Maybe it won't seem so corny in future generations. Either way, his compositions will be standards for ages to come. Jeff on the other hand, will have to be rediscovered some day. To preserve his work, I'm going to pass his LPs on as heirlooms someday, because vinyl isn't corrupted as bad as data in the distant future in my opinion. A lot of music is compressed and essentially a low-def version of the record. Anyway, I'm glad you enjoyed the article and share the sentiment!

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    Jon Nicholas 4 years ago from Lexington, Ky. USA

    These two artists are among my favorites of all time. Jeff is number one on my list and Paul is certainly in my top five. It was nice to read an article that features these two.