Electric Light Orchestra Part II

Mik Kaminski, Louis Clark, Bev Bevan, Eric Troyer, Kelly Groucutt, Phil Bates

ELO Part II's forerunners, The Electric Light Orchestra, enjoyed enormous success in the Seventies and Eighties with a splendid array of hit singles and albums, whilst earning a reputation as one of the most spectacular live bands. The final album was released in 1986, accompanied by a handful of stadium concerts after which founding member, Jeff Lynne decided to concentrate on solo work, leaving behind a legacy of superb songs. The legend of ELO remained aglow throughout the ensuing period of band inactivity, whilst individual members diversified to follow separate projects.

In 1988, Bev Bevan felt the time was right to rekindle the fire and began to look for suitable recruits. New Yorker, Eric Troyer became involved after impressing Bev with his song writing and vocal talents, along with singer/guitarists Neil Lockwood and Pete Haycock. They were joined by members of the "Old Firm", Kelly Groucutt, Mik Kaminski, Louis Clark and Hugh McDowell, so forming the original line-up of ELO Part II. Bev spent almost three years resoling the legal side of things before ELO Part II could record and release their eponymously-titled first album in the spring of 1991. Produced by Jeff Glixman, the album was a mixture of old and new, with echoes of the big string sound of its predecessors whilst also revealing a rockier, more guitar-dominated feel.

At a time when the eyes of the world were focused upon East-West relations, the band embraced the new state of "Glasnost" and, following a visit to Russia by Bev Bevan and Lou Clark, arrangements were made for the Moscow Symphony Orchestra to accompany ELO Part II on their maiden tour of Britain. Working closely with the MSO leader, Konstantin Krimets, ELO Part II created a show which, as well as having their rock songs backed by an eighty piece orchestra, also featured the MSO in their own right, performing popular classics.

The following year, Bev decided to take the band further afield to tour the world. By now having broken all management ties with the past, ELO Part II visited Europe and America before returning to Britain to play a selection of theatre-sized venues - an immensely popular decision among the fans. A further change of personnel saw the streamlining of the band to a six piece, introducing Phil Bates on guitar and vocals. In this form, ELO Part II successfully toured Germany, America, Britain, Scandinavia and Poland, where they gathered much experience playing together with spirit and cohesion. Their triumph on the live circuit paved the way for a new record contract and they have since completed their monumental album, "Moment Of Truth" with highly-accomplished producer Stephan Galfas. Under his guidance, this album captured the energy and finesse of their stage performances, promoted their individual talents and realised their true direction as an orchestral rock band.

In 1998 after extensive touring Phil Bates had left the group and was replaced by Parthenon Huxley. For many as a big surpirse Bev Bevan announced his departure from E.L.O. Part II in November 1999 and gave his rights on the name "E.L.O." to Jeff Lynne. After that Jeff Lynne now owned the complete rights to the name "Electric Light Orchestra" and the remaining members of E.L.O. Part II had to look for a new name. A new name was found with The Orchestra and Gordon Townsend joined as the new drummer. The Orchestra continued touring the world and released a self produced studio album in 2001 though FTM England by the title "No Rewind".

Information compiled by Gill and Mat, FTM. (C) 1994 MAGIC ARTS.
Additions by Alexander von Petersdorff (C) 2004 FACE THE MUSIC GERMANY.


E.L.O. Part II Images

last modified: 22.03.2004