Career Resurrection: A new album called Alone in the Universe was released in November of 2015, 14 years after the lukewarm Zoom. Spurred on by positive reviews of his recent solo records, and the positive reception of Mr. Blue Sky, a 'greatest-hits' collection of ELO songs re-recorded by Lynne, it seemed the time was right for Jeff Lynne to return with new ELO material. It is also the first album billed as 'Jeff Lynne's ELO', as he now has complete rights to the band name. He played his first concert as ELO in thirty years in New York City in November, 2015.
Creator Breakdown: Balance of Power was Jeff Lynne's way of saying "I really don't want to keep this band going anymore."
Creator Killer: The television broadcast of their 1978 Wembley concert, which fell victim to a horrible mixing job that makes their Xanadu soundtrack sound like the Scarface (1983) soundtrack by comparison, was most likely the beginning of the end for ELO.
Missing Episode: From the Secret Messages sessions came the song "BeatlesForever". It was originally slated to be released as part of the album, but it was ultimately left off when the original concept of making the album a double album was canned. Subsequent re-releases of the album have not seen it released as a bonus track and is unlikely to ever see an official release, possibly due to Jeff Lynne's later involvement in projects involving former Beatles members causing him to look back on it as an Old Shame. Bootlegs do exist, though, thanks to an ELO Fan Club Convention that played the song once for its attendees.
In 1990 Jeff Lynne got together with Roy Wood to write and record two songs. Though meant to be a double-sided single, they were ultimately never released, but appear on several ELO bootlegs.
Old Shame: The soundtrack to Xanadu. Jeff Lynne eventually came to terms with that and released an album featuring some rerecorded Xanadu songs.
The Pete Best: Roy Wood, one of Jeff's old bandmates from their previous band The Move, who left after the first album to form Wizzard.
Shrug of God: Jeff Lynne says that he doesn't actually know whether the time travel journey of "Time" really happened to the protagonist, or was all a dream.
Throw It In: The lead soprano on "Rockaria!" came in too early, but Jeff Lynne found it endearing enough to keep it on the finished track.
What Could Have Been: Originally, Secret Messages was going to be a 2-disc album including the unreleased track "Beatles Forever". However, the band was advised against it, since their record company claimed it would be too expensive to produce.
Balance of Power was another ELO album that ended up with more unused material, as the existence of alternate recordings of both "Secret Lives" and "Heaven Only Knows" shows it was supposed to be a more string-heavy production. Denying that the album was slapped together to fulfill a contract, ELO archivist Rob Caiger adds the 34-minute album was condensed down from 4 hours of material.