Eloy


Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1969-71)

- Frank Bornemann -- vocals, guitar

- Helmut Draht -- drums, percussion

- Eric Schriever -- vocals, keyboards

- Manfred Wieczorke -- keyboards, guitar, bass, vocals

 

  line up 2 (1971-72)

- Frank Bornemann -- vocals, guitar

NEW - Fritz Rabdow -- drums, percussion (replaced Helmut Draht) 

- Manfred Wieczorke -- keyboards, guitar, bass, vocals

 

  line up 3 (1972)

- Frank Bornemann -- vocals, guitar

NEW - Luithen Harvey Janssen -- bass 

- Fritz Rabdow -- drums , percussion 

- Manfred Wieczorke -- keyboards, guitar, bass, vocals

 

  line up 4 (1972-74)

- Frank Bornemann -- vocals, guitar

NEW - Wolfgang Stocker -- bass (replaced Luithen Harvey Janssen)

- Fritz Rabdow -- drums, percussion 

- Manfred Wieczorke -- keyboards, guitar, bass, vocals

 

  line up 5 (1974-75)

- Frank Bornemann -- vocals, guitar

- Fritz Rabdow -- drums, percussion 

NEW - Detlef Schwaar -- lead guitar

- Wolfgang Stocker -- bass

- Manfred Wieczorke -- keyboards, guitar, bass, vocals

 

  line up 6 (1976-79)

- Frank Bornemann -- vocals, lead guitar

NEW- Klaus-Peter Matziol -- bass, backing vocals (replaced 

  Wolfgang Stocker)

NEW - Jürgen Rosenthal -- drums, percussion, flute (replaced Fritz Rabdow)
NEW - Detlev Schmidtchen -- keyboards, mellotron, xylophone,

  backing vocals (replaced Manfrew Wieczorke)

 

  line up 7 (1979-84)

NEW - Hannes Arkona -- lead guitar 

- Frank Bornemann -- vocals, lead guitar

NEW - Hannes Folberth -- keyboards (replaced 

  Detlev Schmidtchen)

- Klaus-Peter Matziol -- bass, backing vocals

NEW Jim McGillveray -- drums, percussion (replaced Jürgen Rosenthal)

 

  line up 8 (1980-84)

- Hannes Arkona -- lead guitar 

- Frank Bornemann -- vocals, lead guitar

NEW - Hannes Folberth -- keyboards (replaced Detlev Schmidtchen)

- Klaus-Peter Matziol -- bass, backing vocals

-  Jim McGillveray -- drums, percussion 

 

  line up 9 (1988-93) reunited band

- Frank Bornemann -- vocals, lead guitar

NEW - Michael Gerlach -- keyboards (replaced Hannes Folbeth)

 

  line up 10 (1993-97)

- Frank Bornemann -- vocals, lead guitar

- Michael Gerlach -- keyboards (replaced Hannes Folbeth)

NEW- Klaus-Peter Matziol -- bass, backing vocals

 

  line up 11 (1998 - )

- Frank Bornemann -- vocals, lead guitar

- Michael Gerlach -- keyboards, vocals

NEW- Hannes Folberth -- keyboards

- Klaus-Peter Matziol -- bass, backing vocals

NEW- Bodo Schopf -- drums, percussion

 

 

 

 

- Toto Blanke's Electric Circus

- Blue Note

- Bronx

- Cavern Beat

- Cold Sweat

- The Harvey Cooper Band

- Dawn Road

- Echo Part

- Ego on the Rocks (Jurgen Rosenthal and Detlev Schimdtche)

- Epitaph

- The Hunters

- Jane

- Joal

- Lorry

- Moon'Doc

- Saxon

- The Schadel Brothers

- The Scorpions

- Serene

- Shade

- Sinner

- Victory

- Wacholder

 

 

 

 

 


Genre: progressive

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Inside

Company: Janus

Catalog: JLS 3062
Year:
 1973

Country/State: Cologne, Germany

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: US pressing; gatefold sleeve; cut to right corner

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 6389

Price: $30.00

 

 

Following a series of personnel shake ups that saw original drummer Helmut Draht and singer/keyboard player Eric Schriever head out the door, Eloy's second album saw the revamped band (now featuring the talents of singer/guitarist Frank Bornemann, drummer Fritz Rabdow, bassist Wolfgang Stocker and keyboardist Manfred Wieczorke), introduced to the American market via a distribution deal with Janus Records.  Self-produced their sophomore release saw the quartet all but abandoning the leftist political stance that dominated the 1971 debut (anyone expecting to hear something along the lines of 'Voice of Revolution' was going to be disappointed).  With Bornemann stepping into the creative forefront, this time out the emphasis was on musicianship and while none of he four tracks was particularly original, each was worth hearing.  As lead singer Bornemann wasn't any great shakes.  His heavy German accent was clearly an acquired taste, but given a chance, you quickly grew use to it.  Rather than the accent, the fact of the matter is he simply wasn't gifted with a very strong voice.  That put the emphasis on the quartet's musicianship which was never less than professional, but seldom showed a great deal of originality.  These guys had clearly been listening to lots of British progressive bands and it didn't take a lot of effort to discern influences like Genesis, Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd and even Uriah Heep.  While that may not make this sound like a very promising album, the set was actually surprisingly entertaining.  Yeah, the side long 'Land of No Body' would have benefited from some judicious editing, but it was still worth hearing and side two (with three shorter compositions) was quite enjoyable.  

 

 

"Inside" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Land of No Body   (Eloy) - 17:14

Clocking in at over seventeen minutes, the side long 'Land of No Body' was hard to accurately describe.  Opening up with a vaguely ominous air, Bornemann's heavily accented vocals were an acquired taste, but his voice quickly grew on you and since most of the song was an instrumental, in the end it didn't matter all that much.  Judging by the mid-section of the song, Bornemann was a pretty good screamer.  Fact of the matter was that large segments of the song spotlighted Wieczorke's keyboards - anyone who likes Hammond organs should treasure this set.  And while the song had a heavily progressive orientation, Wieczorke displayed a surprisingly light touch on the organ.  At times his work recalled early Focus (albeit without the whistling and flutes); in other places there were echoes of  Uriah Heep at their most experimental, or perhaps a German-version of Jethro Tull; (particularly the last minute or so).  Other than the opening vocal section Bornemann was pretty low keyed, though he ripped off a nice guitar solo about three quarters of the way through the song.  Full of melodic and rhythmic twists, the song wasn't particularly commercial, but still managed to be engaging enough to make the 17 minutes pass by quickly.  I'm sure others will disagree, but to my ears, the song's secret weapon was actually bassist Stocker who kept everyone on track, but was also responsible for some of the songs more melodious segments (check out the last minute of the song).    rating: *** stars

 

(side 2)
1.) Inside   (Eloy) - 6:35

Starting out as one of the prettiest Krautrock songs I've ever heard, 'Inside' opened up with some nice Bornemann jangle guitar and then abruptly shifted gears into the album's most commercial rocker.  The song was also worth hearing as the one selection on the album where Bornemann's double tracked guitar stepped into the spotlight.     rating: *** stars

2.) Future City   (Eloy) - 5:35

Complete with plenty of percussion and acoustic guitars, 'Future City started out sporting what sounded like Ian Anderson and company exploring a raga rock.  The song then shifted gears into a piece with a tropical feel that served as a great spotlight for Bornemann's overlooked guitar chops.  Perhaps the album's weirdest, but most enjoyable performance and it clocked in at just over five minutes.   rating: **** stars

3.) Up and Down   (Eloy) - 8:23

Opening up with some blues Hammond organ, 'Up and Down' found the band taking a stab at a mixture of smoldering blues-rock and psychedeliaThis time around Wieczorke handled the vocals and to be honest his English was even more heavily accented than Bornemann's.  The funny thing is I actually found his voice better than Bornemann's - well until he got to the spoken word narration part of the song.  Powered by some stabbing Uriah Heep styled Hammond, it was quite a trippy way to end the album.   rating: *** stars

  

A good place for the casual fan, or someone merely curious to start.

 

 

 

 

 


Genre: progressive

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Ocean

Company: Harvest

Catalog: 1C 064-32 596
Year:
 1977

Country/State: Cologne, Germany

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: German pressing; gatefold sleeve

Available: SOLD

Catalog ID: SOLD 6110

Price: SOLD$20.00

 

1977's "Ocean" remains a mystery to me.  Given it's a concept album featuring a set of four extended space rock jams, by all tokens I should hate this album with a passion.  While it isn't something I'd want to hear everyday, I have to admit that the results have kind of an interesting edge that's slowly grown on me over the years.  Largely written by drummer Jürgen Rosenthal, the concept certainly wasn't the most original thing you've ever heard, an allegorical plotline mixing the rise and fall of Atlantis with bits of Greek mythology thrown in (words to the wise, don't piss off the Greek Gods ...) and a nod of caution to current times.  While the results weren't perfect, it held together better than most everything in The Pink Floyd catalog and for some reason Bornemann's heavily accented vocals weren't really much of a distraction.  I'd even argue the occasionally clumsy English lyrics ("guardman of justice offering help favorite victim of your self-made gods") actually added an element of fun into what could have been a pretentious and plodding effort.  Back to Pink Floyd for a moment ...  Among the dozens and dozens of online reviews of this one, quite a few compare these guys to Floyd; even accusing them of being little more than a copy band.  I'd suggest you simply discount those comments and accusations.  Sure there are some Floyd influences in these grooves, but they have their own unique sound without being imitative.

 

"Ocean" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Poseidon's Creation   (Frank Bornemann - Klaus-Peter Matziol - Jürgen Rosenthal - Detlev Schmidtchen) - 11:42

The first half of 'Poseidon's Creation' was an atmospheric instrumental that served to showcase the band's technical competency.  Guitarist Frank Bornemann, bassist Klaus-Peter Matziol, keyboardist Detlev Schmidtchen, and particularly drummer Rosenthal all got a shot at the spotlight with impressive results.  As mentioned earlier, Bornemann's vocals were heavily accented, but with a little effort you could figure out what was going on and the band's harmony vocals were surprisingly sweet.   rating: *** stars 

2.) Incarnation of Logos   (Frank Bornemann - Klaus-Peter Matziol - Jürgen Rosenthal - Detlev Schmidtchen) - 8:25

Initially spotlighting Schmidtchen's synthesizers, 'Incarnation of Logos' was a far starker and more ominous composition.  The spoken word backing vocals ("primary procreation is accomplished ..."  always make me smile.  After droning on for about five minutes the track unexpectedly picked up some speed and energy with Matziol contributing a killer bass line.    rating: *** stars 

 

(side 2)
1.) Decay of Logos   (Frank Bornemann - Klaus-Peter Matziol - Jürgen Rosenthal - Detlev Schmidtchen) - 8:10

'Decay of Logos' seemed intended as little more than an opportunity for each member to showcase their technical skills - Bornemann won this one turning in a killer lead guitar solo.  Oh, this was the part of the narrative where mankind basically shows off what a bunch of losers we are, in the process pissing off the Greek Gods.  Remember what I said earlier?  Don't piss off the Greek Gods ...    rating: *** stars 

2.) 'Atlantis' Agony of June 5th - 8498, 13 p.m. Gregorian Earthtime   (Frank Bornemann - Klaus-Peter Matziol - Jürgen Rosenthal - Detlev Schmidtchen) - 15:35

And then you come to 'Atlantis' Agony of June 5th - 8498, 13 p.m. Gregorian Earthtime' ...  This extended epic saw Bornemann and company seemingly discarding most of the elements that made the first side so appealing.  Okay, okay, maybe that was a bit on the harsh side ...   The track opened up with an over-the-top spoken word segment and then plunged into an extended instrumental section which displayed more than a little Kraftwerk influence, including tons of Schmidtchen doodling synthesizers ...  great background music to slap on your sound system while vacuuming the living room.   Luckily the band regained their sense of melody towards the end of the track and Rosenthal turned in some astounding drums, even if they sounded like they were being played from the bottom of the ocean (which may have been the intent given Atlantis' final resting place).  rating: *** stars 

 

Commercially this one saw the band hit the big time throughout Germany and parts of Europe, though once again they couldn't get arrested in the States.

 

 

 

       full gatefold sleeve

 

For anyone interested, the official Eloy website is located at:

http://www.eloy-legacy.com/eloy.php?Lang=en

 

 

 

 

 


Genre: progressive

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Silent Cries and Mighty Echoes

Company: Harvest/Electra

Catalog: 064-45269
Year:
 1978

Country/State: Cologne, Germany

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments:  gatefold sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 1753

Price: $25.00

 

 

Eloy's seventh studio album in eight years ...  Self-produced, 1979's "Silent Cries and Mighty Echoes" was unlikely to come off as a major surprise to fans who'd come to enjoy the band's patented brand of progressive/space-rock.   Singer/guitarist Frank Bornemann remained the front man and creative mainstay and like earlier releases this one was seemingly a concept piece, though the plotline was totally lost on me.  Perhaps a commentary on the band's religious beliefs?  A treaties of metaphysics?   Someone out there will know. As on early albums, Bornemann's heavily accented vocals subjected the band to a lot of criticism.  I'd readily admit the guy had an accent, but for the most part I really didn't find it disruptive.   On the other hand Bornemann's deep and complex lyrics were another thing.  Exemplified by tracks like 'Silent Cries Divide the Night ' and 'Mighty Echoes' you had to wonder how many words he could cram into a piece of music ...  In the best tradition of Bob Dylan, quite a few as it turned out.  With the five songs credited as group compositions, musically the set was quite good; full of complex arrangements; time changes, and surprisingly catchy melodies..  Nothing particularly original, but then you knew what you were getting into if you bought an Eloy album.

 

Sadly, shortly after the album was released, what was probably the best Eloy line-up collapsed with  dummer Jurgen Rosenthal and keyboardist Detlev Schimdtchen leaving to form Ego on the Rocks.

 

"Silent Cries and Mighty Echoes" track listing:
(side 1)

1 a.) .Astral Entrance (instrumental)   (Frank Bornemann - Klaus-Peter Matziol - Jürgen Rosenthal - Detlev Schmidtchen) - 3:03

I've got to admit the first couple of times I played this album I wondered if I'd accidentally put on Pink Floyd's 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond.'   Powered by Frank Bornemann's spidery David Gilmour-styled guitar and Detlev Schmidtchen's synthesizer washes, the resemblance between 'Astral Entrance' and the latter was more than just a passing thing.  I love Pink Floyd as much as anyone, but this kind of flattery was almost funny - certainly something a copywrite lawyer would have been interested in looking at.   rating; *** stars

1 b.) Master of Sensation   (Frank Bornemann - Klaus-Peter Matziol - Jürgen Rosenthal - Detlev Schmidtchen) - 6:00

Abruptly the song shifted gears into more conventional and surprisingly commercial rock mode.  Bornemann's heavily accented vocals were liable to put off some listeners, but personally I got a kick out of his earnest Germanic intonation.   Yeah, the synthesizers sounded a bit dated , but elsewhere Bornemann turned in a killer lead guitar solo while bassist Klaus-Peter Matziol may have been the band's most overlooked component.  Imagine a German Alan Parsons Project.  Not bad.   rating; **** stars

2.) The Apocalypse   (Frank Bornemann - Klaus-Peter Matziol - Jürgen Rosenthal - Detlev Schmidtchen)

   a.) Silent Cries Divide the Night   (Frank Bornemann - Klaus-Peter Matziol - Jürgen Rosenthal - Detlev Schmidtchen) - 

With an opening set to church organ sounds, at least for me,' Silent Cries Divide the Night' found  the lyrics getting a bit deep and pompous.  Musically it morphed into one of their prettier melodies,  with the band even showing off a surprisingly knack for harmony vocals.  But those rapid fire lyrics ...   rating; *** stars

   b.) The Vision - Burning    (Frank Bornemann - Klaus-Peter Matziol - Jürgen Rosenthal - Detlev Schmidtchen) - 11:32

For anyone who doubted the Pink Floyd comparisons, check out 'The Vision - Burning'.   Female backing singer Brigitte Witt sounded like she'd been force fed a steady diet of Clare Torry's performance on Floyd's 'The Great Gig in the Sky'.   I liked it, but found myself constantly think back to that other album ...  rating; *** stars

   c.) Force Majeure (instrumental)  (Frank Bornemann - Klaus-Peter Matziol - Jürgen Rosenthal - Detlev Schmidtchen) - 3:22

The instrumental 'Force Majeure' showcased keyboardist Schmidtchen.   Side one's most progressive oriented tune, it's always reminded me a bit of something off an early Alan Parsons Project album.   rating: *** stars

 

(side 2)

1.) Pilot To Paradise   (Frank Bornemann - Klaus-Peter Matziol - Jürgen Rosenthal - Detlev Schmidtchen) - 7:01

Kicked along by Matziol's pounding bass, 'Pilot To Paradise' found the band getting relatively funky ...   well, at least until Bornemann''s broken English lyrics kicked in.  Great rocker and one that would have been even better without those deep and insightful lyrics.   LOL      rating: *** stars

2.) De Labore Solis   (Frank Bornemann - Klaus-Peter Matziol - Jürgen Rosenthal - Detlev Schmidtchen) - 5:12

Another unexpectedly attractive ballad.   Not sure what angelic elfs had to do with anything, but I always liked the melody.   rating: *** stars

3.) Mighty Echoes   (Frank Bornemann - Klaus-Peter Matziol - Jürgen Rosenthal - Detlev Schmidtchen) - 7:16

I've read and listened to the lyrics dozens of times and they still make me smile.   "Just think about what we call love and hate.  We're the ones to recreate it.  When we're sowing fear, when we lock up,  All the tears that separate!"   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And that's true, given how bad in shape the prog rock scene was by 1979. We all know about punk and disco taking a toll on the genre, the punk rock scene accusing prog rock of being pretentious, while the disco scene basically asked everyone to party and have a good time (not to mention it generated a lot of money for the record companies), meaning there was no time for intellectual lyrics and extended compositions (and I don't mean some extended version of "Love to Love You, Baby", since it still conforms to disco rules) and tricky time signatures. Pretty much just about every prog rock band in 1979 had seen their best days behind them and many of them sounding really hopeless finding themselves during changing fads (since most weren't in to disco or punk, they simply became much more mainstream and pop-oriented, if they survived this long, that is).

One band that completely avoided that and totally ignored those changing fads was Eloy. In 1977 they recorded one of their finest albums ever, Ocean, and against all odds, became a huge seller in Germany outselling much better known acts as Genesis and Queen in Eloy's home country. And how do they follow up with that masterpiece? With Silent Cries and Mighty Echoes, which was recorded at the end of 1978 (November and December), and released in '79. I call it a miracle this album even came out, because the band simply ignored whatever fads were in their place (New Wave was becoming big in '79) and still recorded prog like it was still 1975 (and in fact, aside from the Yamaha CP-70 electric grand piano, most of the other keyboards used on this album were made before '75, so no polyphonic synths here like the Prophet V or Yamaha CS-80). And you know what? This album was another German smash hit!

And speaking of 1975, the opening cut, "Astral Entrance" sounds so much like a missing piece from Pink Floyd's "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" from Wish You Were Here (from 1975) that you can easily get mistakened for a lost Wish You Were Here session. Here Detlev Schmidtchen used those same droning string synths that Rick Wright did on "Shine On You Crazy Diamond", with Frank Bornemann giving those David Gilmour-like lead guitars. And in fact this album has a stronger emphasis to Bornemann's lead guitar playing than did Ocean. "Master of Sensation" finds the whole band kicking in, with prepared piano that's not unlike something off Meddle. Lots of nice Moog solos too. "The Apocalypse" is a wonderful three part epic, with lots of great string synths, Hammond organ, and Moog, and some female choruses. "De Labore Solis" is a very spacy ballad that's not unlike some of the spacier moments of Ocean, while "Mighty Echoes" has some rather dominate Yamaha CP-70 electric grand piano, and an ELP reference in the lyrics ("Just take a pebble and cast it to the silent sea", or something like that.

This album also marked the end of Detlev Schmidtchen and Jurgen Rosenthal's stay in the band. According to Frank Bornemann their departure was because of their egos. Both Schmidtchen and Rosenthal did continue on as Ego on the Rocks and around 1981 released the album Acid in Wounderland, which unsurprisingly, has an Eloy-like sound. Eloy continued on until 1984 with some new guys (Hannes Arkona, Hannes Folberth, Jim McGillivray, and after 1981, Fritz Randow returning, replacing McGillivray), and of course the reunion in 1988 with Michael Gerlach.

Silent Cries and Mighty Echoes only proves how to do prog rock in the ever difficult times of 1979, and it's an album I very much highly recommend.

0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

 

BACK TO BADCAT FRONT PAGE

BACK TO BADCAT CATALOG PAGE

BACK TO BADCAT PAYMENT INFORMATION