Eloy, formed in 1969 in Hannover by guitarist Frank Bornemann,
debuted with Eloy (Philips, 1971), an album that offered politicized
hard-rock and progressive-rock and contains the eight-minute
Something Yellow. It was a tentative album, but Bornemann had to deal
with continuous changes of line-up and never quite returned to the sound of the
He became the lead vocalist of the band on Inside (EMI, 1973),
whose 17-minute Land of Nobody harks back to early
Genesis and Thick As A Brick-period
Jethro Tull, with
Manfred Wieczorke's keyboards often competing with the guitar for attention.
It included their first hit, Future City,
which was doubled by the single Daybreak.
The sound was a lot less conceptual and a lot less "rocking".
Atmosphere had replaced politics.
A 14-minute suite, The Light From Deep Darkness, was the centerpiece of
Floating (EMI, 1974), although the most accomplished composition
was probably the shorter Castle In The Air.
The concept album Power and the Passion (EMI, 1975), was
self-indulgent and not very musical (too much spoken poetry, and bad one).
The golden age of Eloy began with Dawn (EMI, 1976), that sports
a completely new line-up
(Detlev Schmidtchen on keyboards, Klaus-Peter Matziol on bass, Juergen Rosenthal on drums)
around the leader. Detlev Schmidtchen provided the
symphonic arrangements that Bornemann desired, and Bornemann himself refined
his vocal style to resemble David Gilmour. Not surprisingly, the resulting
sound was a mixture of
Dark Side-period Pink Floyd ,
early King Crimson
and Yes at their most pompous.
With increased production value and shorter, melodic pieces,
sales increased dramatically.
Ocean (EMI, 1977) did even
better, despite the fact that it contained only four lengthy suites:
Poseidon's Creation (11 minutes),
Incarnation of the Logos (8 minutes),
Decay of the Logos (8 minutes),
Atlantis' Agony (15 minutes).
In many ways, this concept album represented the peak of Eloy's inspiration,
arrangements and playing.
Silent Cries and Mighty Echoes (EMI, 1979) is even more derivative
from Pink Floyd. The pieces are not as effective as the previous album was
at evoking exotic/archaic themes.
Colours (EMI, 1980), instead, marked another artistic and
commercial peak, with a touch of heavy-metal guitar and a few quotations from
Alan Parsons' productions.
Each step forward seemed to be followed by a step backwards, and
Planets (1981) was no exception: an overblown concept that increased
the dependence on synthesizer without adding any new element and while losing
the lyrical undercurrent of the previous album.
Time to Turn (1982) was the second part of this "sci-fi" concept.
Performance (1983) and Metromania (1984) were mere routine,
marked by an increased reliance on electronic effects and solemn rhythms.
Eloy's sound was smooth, sophisticated easy-listening.
Eloy disbanded but Bornemann resurrected it as a duo with
keyboardist Michael Gerlach.
RA (1988) was a mild improvement over the previous albums.
It includes a few mid-size suites: Voyager of the Future Race,
Dreams, Invasion Of A Megaforce, Hero.
As usual, the following album, Destination (1992), was a disappointment.
This edition of Eloy ended after The Tides Return Forever (1994).
Yet another line-up recorded Ocean 2 (1998).
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