ELO

ELO: The Video Game – A Soundtrack To A Game That Never Was

In an age when Beatles Rock Band is old hat, It’s hard to remember a time when video game “product placements” or celebrity connections were a rarity, and kind of a big deal: Atari slapping Pele’s name on a new soccer cartridge, Mattel Electronics securing permission to emblazon every new sports video game with the name and logo of that sport’s professional league, or the one that started it all, a 1976 arcade, game awfully similar to Night Driver, called Datsun 280 ZZZAP!.

[Via] Hirudov gaming

And then there was Journey. Around 1983, you’d be hard pressed to find a bigger radio hit than Separate Ways (Worlds Apart). That synth line, the one that leads the whole song off, was practically made to be turned into video game music. Journey inspired two video games – a fantastic Midway arcade game, and the quirky but enjoyable Journey Escape for the Atari 2600.

[Via] MY SATURDAY M0RNINGS

Read: Celebrate Atari Day With Journey Escape And MTV!

But what if another band had been in the right place at the right time to cash in on the video craze?

That’s the idea behind another project perhaps best described as “quirky but enjoyable” – a soundtrack for ELO: The Video Game that was never, in fact, made.
ELO
The free downloadable “ELO: The Video Game” album from online label Pterodactyl Squad re-imagines several of the band’s singles, and a few lesser-known tunes, as chiptunes – as they would sound as music for intros, level-up animations, and even boss battles.
ELO
It’s a little disconcerting seeing the ELO spaceship – a fixture of the band’s album covers since 1977 – spewing missiles at everything within sight on the artwork for this release, but it’s a fun (and fast) listen.

Now someone just needs to create a game to go with the music.

Rockin' Out

Rockin’ Out In Orbit, LEGO-Style Rock Band Spaceships

Lego was already rockin’ out with wondrous things going all the way back to my childhood. The “Space” series sets were a staple of playtime. And now, if any of these fan-designed set proposals can be approved and licensed, I might go back to space with Lego…and turn it up loud.

Lego user Grobiebrix has suggested a new line of licensed Lego sets: Rock Band Spaceships. It’s funny how all of these are either from the 1970s or represent bands whose roots were planted in the ’70s – just another sign that the arrival of Star Wars made sci-fi cool enough for all walks of life, including rock music.

Rockin' Out
The Boston spaceship is crewed by a Tom Scholz minifigure, and preserves the UFO-shaped-suspiciously-like-a-guitar form seen on the 1976 cover of Boston’s debut album.

The Boston spaceship has graced all but one of the band’s album covers since then…and even the album cover that didn’t feature the ship (1986’s Third Stage) still sported a space theme.

Rockin' Out
Journey’s Escape album cover is commemorated in Lego form as well, with the “Scarab” spaceship that featured prominently on several of the band’s early ’80s album covers, and was even a central element of two Journey video games (one in the arcade, one for the Atari VCS) inspired by the same imagery.


Sticking with Grobiebrix’s theme of the axemen-as-spacemen, Neil Schon and his guitar would come with this proposed set.

But perhaps my favorite out of the bunch – and this is a purely personal bias, as it would be (if it was approved and made) a rare piece of merchandise involving my favorite band of all time – is the ELO spaceship, a Wurlitzer jukebox speaker-inspired beauty seen on the cover of 1977’s Out Of The Blue, the Flashback greatest hits box set (2000), and Alone In The Universe (2015).

This iconic, colorful flying saucer – one which a friend of mine once called the Flying Hamburger – naturally has the reclusive but brilliant Jeff Lynne in the pilot’s seat, complete with guitar.

I guess I’ll have to customize my own minifigures for the likes of Steve Perry, Jonathan Cain, Richard Tandy, and Bev Bevan.

(Has anyone noticed that two out of the three musicians featured in these proposed sets are reclusive mad musical scientists fully capable of assembling entire albums by themselves?)

All three projects have a following in the low hundreds, and time’s running out to hit the 1,000 supporter mark to keep these proposals alive in Lego’s system. If you, too, think we need to turn up the volume in space, lend your support as well.

Mayer Hawthorne

Mayer Hawthorne’s Dreaming Made Me Lose My Mind!

I’ve not heard of Mayer Hawthorne before today. But to be honest working down in the Retroist Vault means I’m surrounded by about 100 years of retro culture. I find I have no real need to venture up to the surface. Which is the only way I can explain to you how I missed Mayer Hawthorne’s song entitled Dreaming as well as his 2011 album, How Do You Do.
Mayer Hawthorne

In addition to missing Mayer Hawthorne’s album, not to mention Dreaming of course. I also had no idea that he had a music video for it. An absolutely astounding piece of work by Ross Harris featuring Showbiz Pizza’s The Rock-afire Explosion!

I’m not ashamed to admit that many joyful tears started to fill these old eyes watching this video. Not only that, friends. But the video also sneaks in some vintage swag from Showbiz Pizza in regards to the one and only Billy Bob Brockali.

Having pointed that out – Mayer Hawthorne’s video for Dreaming. Also includes the likes of Fatz Geronimo, Mitzi Mozzarella, Beach Bear, Looney Bird, Rolfe DeWolfe and Earl Schemerle, and of course Dook LaRue. Who I must say appears to have an admirer in the video.

For my first Mayer Hawthorne song, I cannot think of a better way to hook me. Granted the song itself is fantastic – has kind of an Electric Light Orchestra vibe to it. Furthermore I think it’s safe to say that Mayer must have been a Showbiz Pizza kid too. There is just too much love shown for the characters of The Rock-afire Explosion for this not to be the case.

[Via] Vevo

Now that you’ve enjoyed Mayer Hawthorne’s Dreaming. Take a moment and listen to The Rock-afire Explosion‘s tribute to the late great Davy Jones.


This video comes courtesy of the The Rock-afire channel and was uploaded after the passing of Jones in 2012. So…you are seeing a new show of sorts!