“When I was a boy I had a dream…” are the first words sung by Jeff Lynne on “Alone In The Universe,” his first release in 14 years and only his second release in 29 years.
When I was a boy, I loved hanging out in the record section of the Lackland Air Force Base Exchange (BX) while my Mom shopped. She would come get me when she was finished and I would often persuade her to buy me a 45 or two, to add to the collection she got me started with. (Paint it Black by the Rolling Stones was one of my favorites.)
On my 8th birthday, I received some cash from my Aunt Debbie and decided I would invest it in my first album purchase:
It had been out for about 10 months, and I was an avid listener to American Top 40, so I already knew and loved the singles “Livin’ Thing” and “Telephone Line.”
I remember how exciting it felt to make that purchase with my own money, how much larger and more substantial the album felt relative to a 45. I remember going home, putting the record on my parent’s turntable and listening to both sides, from start to finish, all 36 minutes and 20 seconds. I must have listened to that record dozens and dozens of times. I never got sick of it. Even today, A New World Record still sounds as rich, as sweet, and as full of mystery as it did then.