Electric Light Orchestra (ELO)
Seattle Center Arena
February 8, 1976
JEMS Full-Track Tandberg Mono Master
Recording Gear: Sony ECM-22P Microphone > Tandberg Model 11 Portable Reel to Reel
JEMS 2016 Transfer: Master reel > Tandberg Model 11 > Sound Devices USBPre 2 capture (24/96) > iZotope RX and Ozone > MBIT+ convert to 16/44.1 > Peak Pro XT (volume smoothing / edit / index) > xACT 2.35 > FLAC
01 Fire On High
04 Ocean Breakup / King Of The Universe
05 Bluebird Is Dead
06 Oh No Not Susan
07 New World Rising / Ocean Breakup Reprise
08 Cello Song
11 Can't Get It Out Of My Head
12 Poor Boy (The Greenwood)
13 Illusions In G Minor
15 Violin Solo
16 Strange Magic
17 10538 Overture
18 Do Ya
19 Evil Woman
20 Let's Spend The Night Together / Piano Concerto No. 1 / The End
21 Ma-Ma-Ma Belle
22 Roll Over Beethoven
With Jared’s passing in October 2016, the complete JEMS Archive was moved south from his home up north. That move, sad impetus aside, presented an opportunity, however daunting, to go through and organize the collection. With the help of some amazing friends and experts (among them Slowburn, SS, RD and slipkid68), JEMS tapes are now accessible in ways they have never been before. SG was also on hand to help and fill in our taping history as he always does.
When the task was done and loaded into the truck, one box in particular captured my attention: master reels recorded by SG on his Tandberg portable reel to reel. We’ve posted some 20 or more of these on DIME over the years, but this box contained master reels that had never been digitized before and, in some instances, had never been traded or circulated.
If you don’t know about the Tandberg, it was a remarkable piece of gear in its day, not only capable of recording at 3-¾ and 7-½ IPS, but in full-track mono. I won’t do the math, but compared to a cassette, the surface area of tape capturing the music is orders of magnitude higher, which is why so many of SG’s Tandberg masters from the likes of David Bowie, Elton John, Led Zeppelin and Bruce Springsteen are considered by some as audience-recording classics. The Tandberg required 10(!) D-cel batteries to operate, is roughly the size of a compact typewriter and weighs more than ten pounds. Imagine sneaking that into a show and your respect for what SG accomplished only grows.
This is the third in a series of Tandberg master reels digitized for the first time. Happily, the original Tandberg deck is still fully functioning, so these transfers offer full-track mono playback on the original tape recorder to maximize quality.
We follow up Boston (http://www.dimeadozen.org/torrents-details.php?id=581370) and Lou Reed (http://www.dimeadozen.org/torrents-details.php?id=582027) with ELO performing a full set in support of their fifth studio album, Face The Music, riding high on singles like "Evil Woman" and "Strange Magic," both of which are performed with gusto this night. The set also includes a spirited cover of the Rolling Stones' "Let's Spend the Night Together" (never released by ELO on record), right into the last verse of The Beatles' "The End." Quite lovely.
Little Feat opened the show and that recording is available on Archive.org. One of the ELO/Jeff Lynne sites suggests ELO's set was recorded by Seattle station KISW and broadcast several months later. Given that no recording of that broadcast has ever surfaced and JEMS recorded nearly every local broadcast on Seatttle radio at that time, we doubt that claim, but would love to be proven wrong and have this recording superseded.
Once again, SG managed to set up his microphone well away from any close-up audience (you really notice the quiet between songs), giving the recording fine balance, especially for an (albeit small) arena show. The master tape was a bit noisier than other Tandberg masters and required a lot of de-clicking and hum removal. The result isn't perfect, but again for a 1976 audience recording, I find it pretty impressive. Samples provided. If the file size seems small, remember it is a mono file, half the size of stereo version of the same thing.
Our hat goes off again to SG for his remarkable work in the ‘70s, ‘80s and beyond for capturing these shows in the first place, and to Jared, may his legacy live on as he rests in peace. Thanks as well to mjk5510, for his unflinching support of JEMS’ efforts and indispensable post production work.
BK for JEMS