Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Autumn and Harvest: September Song

Jeff Lynne: September Song


I distinctly remember when I got my first music-playing device. It was Christmas 1979, and my parents gave me a Panasonic cassette recorder--one of those old-school, mono machines that laid flat (very similar to this one).

Before I got to that present however, I opened up a smaller one. A cassette! When I first opened it, part of the cover was obscured, and all I saw was the word "Orchestra" and what at first glance appeared to be a black-and-white photo of men in tuxedos, and my initial thought was, "Yuck! a classical recording!". I soon figured out it was indeed a rock album--Electric Light Orchestra's On the Third Day. (My parents must have noticed me listening to my older brother's ELO cassettes.) Say what you will about ELO, that album was my first love, predating (and leading directly to) my long-standing Beatles fixation.

This is all a rather long-winded way of introducing this song, which is not actually an ELO track, but a song from ELO mastermind Jeff Lynne's one-and-only solo album, Armchair Theatre, from 1990. It's not a particularly great album, but thanks to Christmas 1979, I have a soft spot for Mr. Lynne. And on this toe-tapping, slightly wonky cover of "September Song," he hits all the right nostalgic notes, while avoiding the over-sentimentality that creeps in on slower versions of the song.

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