Symphonic and Space Rock, that's what these German Prog Metallers brought to the table and bring it they did. The bands sound shares more in common with English Progressive Metal acts like Pink Floyd and Yes than their Krautrock counterparts - perhaps unusual considering their German nationality and music during this period in Germany.
Bornemann described the origin of the name of the band thus: "The name Eloy is based on the book 'The Time Machine' by H.G Wells. Wells describes in his book the situation of mankind about 800,000 years later, and 'Eloy' is a human race in his story. The Eloy in Wells' story have made a new start with the help of the time traveler. In a way, it was a new beginning for the human race. German rock bands in the late 1960s played mainly covers from other bands instead of playing their own compositions. Record deals for German bands were absolutely rare and German bands generally were considered to be second class bands in their own country. At that time it was a strong effort for a German band to come out with only their own compositions. It was a start into an unknown future, and from this point of view, comparable to the human race in Wells' story. That is why I got the idea to name the band 'Eloy'.
The band were formed in the 1970's by guitarist and vocalist Frank Bornemann. The band have had several different line ups with Bornemann being the only consistent member. Bornemann tried to peruse a more commercial sound to the bands music. But despite being successful in Germany selling over a million albums in 1983 alone and becoming Germanys most successful progressive band outselling bands such as Yes and Pink Floyd, they never gained much popularity in the United States or anywhere apart from Germany.
In 1971, Eloy got their first recording contract with Philips and went to Hamburg to record their debut album with sound engineer Conny Plank. Due to a serious car accident, which left him unable to play for a long time, Helmut Draht the lead singer at the time had to be replaced by Fritz Randow, because of this Frank Bornemann took over the vocals and Manfred Wieczorke switched to playing the organ, which expanded the instrumental range of the band and fitted in better with their musical intentions.
With their new bass-player Luitjen Jansen, they recorded the album Floating which consolidated their success. However, the band did not consider this rock-orientated material a step forward and went on to tackle a more substantial project.
Unfortunately, the influence of Eloy's manager at the time, Jay Partridge, caused strong tensions between the band making them eventually fall apart. Frank Bornemann found himself without fellow musicians. However, EMI stood by him still trusting his artistic abilities. They offered to help him to rebuild the band with new members and continue his career.
The search for new musicians was soon successful. First, Frank joined forces with Hanover guitarist Detlev Schmidtchen, Detlev switched to another instrument and now operated the keyboards for Eloy. Klaus-Peter Matziol and Jurgen Rosenthal were a very creative new rhythm section, enriching the sound of the band.
In 1977 Eloy recorded there album Oceans which has remained Eloy's best selling album of today. This album precisely mirrored the zeitgeist, with its synthesis of atmospheric electronic sounds, orchestral rock-music patterns and esoteric lyrics. It brought about the band's breakthrough in the music industry and put them at the top of the so-called progressive-rock movement.
The band then opened there own recording studio called 'Horus Sound' and then they later recorded there album colours in spring 1980.The songs were now shorter and more rock orientated, which earned them applause from their former critics, although some Eloy fans were discontented because they preferred the atmospheric sound waves of the previous line-up.
The band decided to go back to there old paths and in 1984 returned to atmospheric sounds, coupled with pulsating rhythms, heavy riffing and grippingly arranged compositions that there old fans enjoyed most. The new album was called Metromania yet this new common ground was not enough and the tensions within the band did not die down.
After the break-up, few expected to hear from Eloy again. But the creative spark was not extinguished. Together with keyboarder Michael Gerlach from Berlin, Frank wrote songs for a new album Ra, which was released in 1988.
1993 was a special year in the band's history with the 25th anniversary of Eloy the following year. It was to be celebrated with the ambitious Chronicles project, with two CDs comprising the best Eloy songs.Due to public demand, there was a second part to the tour in 1995, and the second part of Chronicals was released that year as well.
In 2003, EMI released Timeless Passages, the ultimate song collection on two CDs. The product was graced with elaborate cover artwork, strongly suggestive of the band's heyday.
The 'The Legacy Box' double DVD was released in December 2010 and contains numerous videos and TV recordings from all the band's periods, as well as a comprehensive documentary of the band's history with interviews, a photo gallery and many other features. "
The band played at festivals in Germany and Switzerland in July 2011 with the personnel largely the same as on the 1994-1995 tour
Eloy are still going strong actually. They recently confirmed their first ever U.S appearence for June 2012 at the North East Rock Art Festival. Eloy will be the last band to EVER play at this long running prog festival.
Band Members (At the time of HMR Releases):
Frank Bornemann (Lead Vocals and Guitar)
Hannes Arkona (Guitar, Percussion and Keyboards)
Hannes Folberth (Keyboards)
Klaus-Peter Matziol (Bass)
Fritz Randow (Drums)
|Power and the Passion||1975|
|Silent Cries and Mighty Echoes||1979|
|Time to Turn||1982|
|The Tides Return Forever||1994|
|Ocean 2: The Answer||1998|
Tour details and latest news can be found over on Eloy's official website.