Letter From Spain – Electric Light Orchestra (1983) FLAC Remaster 1080p Video
“Letter From Spain” was released on Electric Light Orchestra’s 10th studio album, Secret Messages, which was released in June of 1983. This was the last ELO album with bass guitarist Kelly Groucutt, conductor Louis Clark, and real stringed instruments, and the last ELO album to be released on Jet Records. It was also the final ELO studio album to become a worldwide top 40 hit upon release.
As a longtime and major ELO fan, I had very high hopes for Secret Messages, mainly since I thought the album they released previously (1981’s Time) was one of the greatest records they ever produced. The record, though it is still a very good one, somehow seemed to lack the cohesiveness that I found with every single previous ELO album….but I didn’t listen to the album as much because it strangely didn’t seem like an album….of course years later we found out that Jeff planned on it being a double album, but the record company balked and he had to scrap his vision….and I realized possibly why it always had that effect.
“Letter From Spain” was the very first video I ever made, partly because I loved the song so much and partly (mostly! LOL!) because it was an easy to make….really I just thought about an image of a letter in and out over that very cool (and frequent!) background “letter” throughout the song. I’ve started getting serious about reworking many of my older videos (because I can’t watch most of them anymore and because it’s been fun to go back and see how I can improve them based on a few years experience making these videos. I resist completely new videos and try to incorporate as much of the original as possible…if I used lower resolution images I try and find higher ones, or work them to remove any nasty blocking or artifacts. These songs deserved way better videos than I was able to give them years ago….it feels great to dust them off and present them in manner more respectful of their art. So here it is….my update of my first video (wow!…from five January’s ago!); for the achingly beautiful “Letter From Spain”…including new art, more beautiful girls, and featuring a remastered FLAC audio source! (For anyone interested in the old one: https://youtu.be/ntJw-lHS6mY ) Thanks all for watching!
The record was originally planned to be a double album, but was thwarted by Jet’s distributor, CBS Records, claiming that producing a double vinyl album would be too expensive, and as a result, leader Jeff Lynne had to reduce it to a single album. This version of the album was digitally recorded and was to have been ELO’s first compact disc. Six of the songs from the intended double album appeared as B-sides and reappeared on the Afterglow box set in 1990, including a string-laden eight-minute long tribute to the band’s home town (Birmingham) entitled “Hello My Old Friend”. Some of the tracks reappeared on the 2001 re-issue of the album. “Endless Lies”, which had been altered for its inclusion on the subsequently-released Balance of Power album, appears in its original 1983 form on the 2001 remaster of this album.
Secret Messages, as its title suggests, was littered with hidden messages in the form of backmasking, some obvious and others less so. This was Jeff Lynne’s second tongue-in-cheek response to allegations of hidden Satanic messages in earlier Electric Light Orchestra LPs by Christian fundamentalists which led up to early 1980s American congressional hearings (a similar response had been made by Lynne on the Face the Music album, during the intro to the “Fire on High” track). In Britain, the back cover of Secret Messages has a mock warning about the hidden messages. Word of the album’s impending release in the United States caused enough of a furor to cause CBS Records to delete the cover blurb there.
Louis Clark returned to conduct the strings once more and the violinist Mik Kaminski appeared on an ELO recording for the first time since Out of the Blue in 1977, playing a violin solo on the track “Rock ‘n’ Roll Is King”. On completion of this album, Lynne dismissed bass guitarist Groucutt, who later sued for alleged lost royalties and received a settlement out of court.
Three singles were released from the album in the UK: “Rock ‘n’ Roll Is King”, the title track and “Four Little Diamonds”. In the US, “Rock ‘n’ Roll Is King”, “Four Little Diamonds” and “Stranger” were issued. “Rock ‘n’ Roll Is King” was the band’s last UK Top 20 hit. The song “Letter from Spain” was used as backing music in commercials for the Games of the XXV Olympiad, held in 1992 in Barcelona.
I read the papers this morning
I saw your photograph
You look good in the movie
It must be so much fun
Letter from Spain
From someone I once knew
I got a letter this morning
Postmark said it was from Spain
Your writing is so very strange
I guess it always was that way
Letter from Spain
From someone I once knew