09 December 2010

Cinematic Document of Germany's Most Successful Progressive Rock Band ELOY To Be Released

In celebration of their 40 year band history, a new cinematic document of Germany's most successful progressive rock band ELOY take the friends of their music on a journey through four decades of the band's fascinating history. In the 90-minute documentary Mighty Echoes (DVD 1) former and current ELOY musicians (Frank Bornemann, Klaus-Peter Matziol, Jürgen Rosenthal, Hannes Folberth, Michael Gerlach, Fritz Randow, Hannes Arkona) talk about their time and work with ELOY. Likewise engineers, product managers and other important companions of the band also have their say. All phases are documented and enhanced with previously unpublished pictures making this the definitive documentary of the legendary German ensemble. On the clip compilation (DVD 2) there is an additional collection of old TV shows, live videos and promotional videos, such as The Midnight Fight, The Sun Song, Decay of Logos, Silhouette and Voyager of the Future Race.

The Legacy Box is the ultimate Eloy collectors item!!!

Formed in Hanover, Germany by guitarist Frank Bornemann in 1969, ELOY derived its name from HG Wells science fiction classic 'The Time Machine'. After winning a regional band competition the band recorded their first single in 1970. In 1971, ELOY signed their first recording contract with Philips and went to Hamburg to record their debut album with sound engineer Conny Plank (who was also working with Kraftwerk, The Scorpions and Jane at that time). The sometimes socio-critical lyrics were reflected in the iconic folding dustbin album cover. Frank Bornemann, reflecting on this debut in 2008 said, “Despite the often polarizing positions concerning the artistic line, we nevertheless managed to put an album together which aptly depicts the zeitgeist of this era.”

With a new line-up, ELOY recorded 'Inside', which was released in 1973 on EMI’s prestigious Harvest label (Pink Floyd, Deep Purple among others). These changes proved successful, and now a clear musical outline was visible. The typical ELOY sound, a synthesis of spherical sounds, pulsating rhythms, powerful guitars and complex concert arrangements was born, and set out to enthuse an ever growing community of fans. Sales figures for 'Inside' were good enough to call the album a success and the band proceeded to the next 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. 'Power And The Passion' was ELOY's first concept album. It was released in 1975, and featured new synthesizers. Putting a story into music allowed the band to give their work a broader narrative scope.

Unfortunately, the influence of ELOY’s manager at the time, Jay Partridge, caused strong tensions. The band fell apart, and eventually, 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. With a new line-up intact, the music became even more orchestral, structurally diverse and atmospheric. During rehearsals, ELOY wrote the music for the new album, 'Dawn'. At subsequent recording sessions in Cologne, a string orchestra added orchestral elements. This gave the music a unique touch, something special. The album hit the stores in 1976, at once becoming ELOY’s greatest success so far. With two subsequent tours, the band gained a dedicated following. The ground was cleared for the big one, which followed in 1977 with the album 'Ocean', which has remained ELOY's best-selling album till 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 and put them at the top of the so-called progressive-rock movement. It eventually turned out to be the best-selling progressive rock album by a German band to date. In 1995, it was awarded a gold award by EMI - 25 years after the release, with sales figures in Germany alone at 250,000. ELOY were high in the German charts in 1977, sometimes outperforming their British colleagues in Genesis and Pink Floyd. The subsequent tour was elaborately staged with a laser show. The audiences were growing and the live show was triumphant. Recordings of it were released in 1978 as a double album named 'Live'.

Eloy would go on to record several more critically acclaimed albums throughout the '80s with several line-up changes, albeit the one consistent original driving member Frank Bornemann. After a break in the early '90s, 1993 became a special year in the band's history with the approaching 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. Some of the material was re-recorded with the original cast, some was remixed or remastered. Autumn of this year saw the release of 'The Tides Return Forever', and, for the first time since the '80s, they were touring again. Due to public demand, there was a second part to the tour in 1995, and the second part of 'Chronicles' was released that year as well. “What more is to come?” asked Frank Bornemann? The answer was 'Ocean 2'. This ambitious project also owed itself to the fan club, which had been set up for the tour of '94. In 1998 the 16th studio album eventually saw the light of day. Positive reactions everywhere sent the band on another tour. Unfortunately, this was to be the last sign of life from Germany's most successful progressive rock band for a long time.
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. Shortly after, the last newly mastered old EMI studio albums hit the market. The back catalog sold in respectable quantities, proving the interest of the fans was still alive. And so the people at Frank's label, Artist Station, which he founded together with Martin Kleemann, had to figure out a way of meeting expectations. In December 2010, ELOY are celebrating their 40th anniversary with the release of 'The Legacy Box' DVD-set. On the occasion of the anniversary, new music is being written and recorded much to the elation of ELOY fans around the globe. 'Visionary' is the title of the new album, set to challenge the best of the old ones. Frank has brought the band together again and inspired them to give their best. ELOY is back!

The entire ELOY history, discography, pictures and more can be viewed at www.eloy-legacy.com

Frank Bornemann hand-signed copies of 'The Legacy Box' as well as new editions of T-Shirts, picture cards and stickers are available here.

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