Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Tip#59: New Life – Pick Up The Pieces Of Your Past - School of Rock

New Life For A Favourite Album

This year rock group, Electric Light Orchestracelebrated its 30th anniversary of their landmark double album, Out of The Blue. You may remember it's many hits that included, 'Turn to Stone', 'Sweet Talkin' Woman' and 'Mr. Bluesky'. This album from the 70's has been re-released and digitally remastered for even better sound. It has been given new life.

And not only did hearing this re-release send me to nostalgic heaven it also contained a special gem. The cd had a previously unreleased song called 'Latitude 88 North' and when I heard it for the first time I got chills up my spine. It was as if I had discovered a long lost treasure from my past that was very familiar and yet completely brand new.

Imagine favourite treats you use to love as a kid but are no longer available today. And then suddenly, "out of the blue" you are sent this treat and it fills you instantly with a happy nostalgia that re-energizes you from your head to your toes. That's what it was like listening to a new song from a favourite band from so long ago.

We all had our favourite bands growing up that somehow gives us a special connection to our times in high school. ELOwas my favourite band back then and I remember listening to 'Out of the Blue' inside out since it first came out in 1977. ELOhad the perfect blend of Beatlesinfluenced tunes and classical music which simply made me feel great listening to it. I loved how the string arrangements sounded so cinematic as if they were from a sweeping or suspenseful movie soundtrack. They added a sense of drama to the pop songs.

Over the years ELOwould lose that drama and eventually breakup leaving only their classic albums to enjoy. But then 'Latitude 88 North' comes out 30 years later with its catchy melody and eternally optimistic violins on the chorus that I currently cannot stop listening to the tune. I felt like a teenager again playing a favourite song over and over again.

And despite its melancholy lyrics the tune was so happy and positive that it felt like a golden nugget of "electric light" from my past sent to the present as a present. I was filled with a timeless optimism and was so thankful that Jeff Lynne, leader of ELO,finished this once forgotten masterpiece.

New Life for The Beatles

Jeff Lynne was the man responsible for remastering the Out of The Bluealbum and for finishing his previously unreleased song. And though most people don't know, Lynne was also involved in giving new life to 2 songs that made history.

Back in December 1995 there was a huge buzz about the surviving Beatlesreleasing brand new songs. But how could that be when, at the time, John Lennon had already past away? The answer was they carefully took Lennon's original demo tracks of 'Free As A Bird' and 'Real Love' and had the remaining Beatlesrecord on top of his rough vocals and instruments played.

Ironically it was Jeff Lynne who was brought on board as "an honorary Beatle" to digitally clean up the track and produce the songs with Paul, Ringo and George (who was alive at the time).

When the songs debuted on television with new music videos it was a huge event for millions of Beatlesfans. New life had been brought to these previously buried gems. It was another hidden treasure being shared with the world. 'Free As A Bird' was a hauntingly moving song and fascinating to hear Lennon's voice singing along the other Beatles. And the music video was dazzling having incorporated old black and white footage of the Beatlesintermingling with other modern footage and images relating to many of their other songs.

And though a few thought is was a little morbid to unearth Lennon's spirit in this manner it still brought a thrill to people around the world. The songs could have been lost forever but someone cared enough to do what it took to clean them up, finish it and release it to the world.

School of Rock (2003)

The musical comedy School of Rock is about Dewey (Jack Black) a slacker who follows his passion for rock and roll no matter what. In the story he wants to write and perform the ultimate rock song despite being kicked out of his own band. To raise money he ends up masquerading as a substitute teacher and discovers his young students are gifted musicians. He ends up helping them develop their talents and they end up helping him creating a great song called, of course, School of Rock.

Black's character allowed himself to see his unfinished project through new eyes and achieved his dreams. And despite his crazy antics he inspired others along the way. 'School of Rockwill inspire you to see there are always options around the blocks preventing you from completing a task or goal.

New Life For You

Let these songs be a metaphor for all your unfinished dreams and projects. Take a look in your cupboards of the pieces in your life you have pushed to the back on that top shelf. Maybe it was too painful to deal with it back then and you chose to put it aside. That's okay. Time heals all and it is never too late to breathe new life into them.

Jeff Lynne was just a person who knew he had the ability to revitalize forgotten songs and did something about it. He saw there was value in the time and effort it took to pick up the pieces and finish incomplete projects. You have the same abilities for any area of your life. You have the ability to finish something you once started.

So look at yourself as an unfinished work of art. Know that when you are ready you will be able to finish whatever you started years ago. Know that everything you have done along your path has some value now or in the future. It may even have a greater hidden value to others.

You are in control of your journey and can you pick up the pieces any time you choose. After all you are already a masterpiece. You are a master of your pieces!

Emmanuel Lopez
Life Skills & Career Development
© Emmanuel Lopez 2007


Anonymous said...

You give good podcasts

Very creative interesting and fun to read.


Anonymous said...

Like the idea of a blank canvas to start made into a masterpiece…its so true….well said Emmanuel!!!!!


Anonymous said...

Enjoyed reading your adventures. Must listen to that ELO cut! Jeff Lynne was a genius. And to think back to that ‘controversy’ about those pre-recorded tracks used in concert. That’s now common place.


Anonymous said...

Hello ELO fan,

you can listen to 3 very rare ELO songs on my website (in the information page):