Melo´s Band Directory > Eloy (Germany)

Eloy - Historical Overview


Copied from the original entry by Melo the Prog Goddess on the old bazaar.

"The name Eloy is based on the book "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 rockbands in the late 60's 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.

I started to play in the early 60's, inspired by bands like The Shadows and American rock'n'roll singers, and later The Beatles. I found the other musicians of Eloy by chance, but I felt from the beginning that this would be a longtime project!"

1969: Eloy is formed. Initially it is a school band, whose repertoire inclued songs by The Beatles, The Moody Blues, The Who and Cream.

1970: Eloy wins the first prize at a newcomer competition and they recorded two of their own compositions for a single which is released on an independant label. ( Daybreak/Walk alone )

1971: Eloy's first LP (self-titled) is recorded in the "Stars-studio" (Hamburg) and released.

"From the beginning, we tried to find a very special style, influenced by progressive rock music. Of course, it took time to find an individual identity. In the beginning, we had with lead singer Erich Schriever, guitar and keyboard player Manfred Wieczorke, and me, 3 composers in the band. I got the leadership of the band after Erich left us in 1972. He was very good, qualitywise, but not willing to do the step to a professional. Furthermore we had some problems with him, while playing live. He was no entertainer at all, too politically-oriented and not visionary enough. At that time I was only the guitar player in the band. When Erich left overnight, I had to replace him for a couple of gigs and so I played guitar and sang. At that time, we intended to find another lead singer to replace Erich, but that wasn't that easy in the early 70's. The first two concerts with me as a singer turned out to be more successful than ever before! In the end, we decided that I continue to sing. Helmut Draht on drums was replaced by Fritz Randow.

Like every other band we had problems at the beginning to coordinate all ideas, but at the time of our first EMI album, "Inside", everybody in the band was agreeing on playing in a progressive style."

1973: "Inside" released on EMI's Harvest label. First tours supporting English acts like Beggars Opera or East of Eden.
- The song "Future city" reached the topten of some american radio-stations.
- The single "Daybreak" was released (B-side: "On the road")
- Wolfgang Stöcker left the band. Luitjen Janssen replaced him.

1974: "Floating" released. This album was recorded at night - at the same time as the Scorpions recorded their album "Fly to the rainbow", because Rudolf Schenker arranged Frank Bornemann for the production of their album.

1975: "Power And The Passion" released with second guitarist Detlev Schwaar. It reaches sales figures of 30.000.

"The reason for the break-up of the band in 1975 was mainly the way of working, plus the style of the music. I personally wanted to continue the way of Eloy with concept-albums and a mixture of symphonic arrangements, atmospheres and rock structures. Some members of the band didn't agree with this concept. Manfred Wieczorke changed to the band Jane, mainly for financial reasons, as Eloy was in an awful financial state after a lot of trouble with our manager Jay Partridge.

In 1976, I had to reform the band totally and found musicians in my hometown, who were sharing my vision regarding the future of Eloy. It was also the first time that I was accepted as the producer of the band, and so I could realize everything I had in mind.

Klaus-Peter Matziol is very individual and creative, and his way of playing gave Eloy a very special push. Jürgen Rosenthal came not only for drumming, but also wrote the lyrics for three albums : "Dawn" (together with me), "Ocean", and "Silent Cries And Mighty Echoes" (together with me). His way of playing the drums was influenced by Neil Peart and Bill Bruford, and also gave Eloy a special accent of the rhythm parts. Detlev Schmidtchen moved from the guitar to the keyboards and tried to replace Manfred in every way. He was excellent! These two musicians have a common spirit. With this line-up, Eloy became the most successful rockband in Germany.

In that period, the financial situation was better than ever before, so we could do whatever we wanted to do. To record an album like "Dawn", with a string orchestra, would cost much more money nowadays ! The inspiration in the lyrics to our albums was mostly the world we live in, and I usually use fantasy or science-fiction stories to bring out what I feel. Except for some lyrics by Jürgen Rosenthal, I wrote most of the songs, arranged and produced them all. Crediting the band collectively for writing the music was only a way to give every member of the band the same amount of money."

1976: "Dawn" sells 150.000 copies

1977: "Ocean" sells 200.000 copies. In german charts better than Genesis or Queen.

1978: "Eloy Live", a double-livealbum is released (due to technical problems not a complete live-album).

1979: "Silent Cries and Mighty Echoes" sales surpass "Ocean"

"The split of 1979 was not for musical reasons. From my point of view, Detlev Schmidtchen and Jürgen Rosenthal had ego problems and left the band to start their own careers [they recorded an album together, "Ego On The Rocks", in 1978]. Klaus-Peter and I weren't able to change their minds, and so we had to find new partners.

Jim McGillveray was a very well-known drummer in Germany. He had the reputation to be one of the best drummers in this genre. Hannes Arkona and Hannes Folberth were good friends, and worked together in a few bands in Hannover before. Both were big talents, and very nice guys. In spring 1980, we released our first album together, "Colours"."

1980: "Colours" is released

"But in the following years it was not easy to keep the balance in the band. Some members wanted to change the style, and tried to get Eloy to sound like a hardrock band. I personally didn't agree, and tried to continue in the old style of the band, albeit with a few modern up-dates."

1981: "Planets" is released as part I of a two-part concept (A science-fiction-story).

1982: "Time to Turn" is released as part II.

1983: "Performance" is released and toured in German-speaking countries and the UK.

1984: The band breaks up after finishing the production of "Metromania".

"Until the autumn of '84 that concept was working, but then everybody went his own way. Our common spirit didn't exist anymore... There were no financial reasons for the split this time, although the end of our record deal with EMI was the first time we had the opportunity to rest the band for a while.

As a farewell, Eloy gave several concerts in the UK, which were recorded by the BBC. One of these shows in the famous Marquee is attended by Fish and other members of Marillion, and photos of Fish with Eloy are in circulation.

After a break of 1 1/2 years, I met Michael Gerlach by chance in Berlin, while I was producing a heavy-metal band there. The decision to continue Eloy as a duo was based on the possibilities of modern technologies, which allow us to create musical layouts in a perfect way, without having a full line-up. I'm talking about drum machines and music computers to replace the other musicians during the composition phase and the recording of the basic tracks.

Nowadays, I am working as a producer and I own a publishing company, in partnership with Warner/Chappell, and a production company. I give my main attention to young artists. I try to ensure them a serious artist development, which is working well. Michael is doing similar things, and we cooperate from time to time."

1988: "Ra" is released by the new company SPV and introduced at a live-TV-show.

1991: "Rarities" released by EMI. A collection of singles and rare-tracks.

1992: "Destination" is released with bassplayer Klaus-Peter Matziol on some songs.

"With "RA" and "Destination", we had very good chart positions and sale figures in Germany. I am surprised that there is still so much interest in our music. I guess it has something to do with our very special profile. We receive a lot of letters from fans everywhere around the world, although our albums are only available as imports in foreign countries...

As the other members of Eloy and I never had problems with each other during the long years we spent working together - we only had differing opinions regarding the music sometimes - it was easy to invite most of them for the "Chronicles" project. I'm also still in contact with Manfred Wieczorke (we are still good friends). Jürgen Rosenthal wasn't able to join us for the project, as he hasn't played for years. It was a wonderful feeling to play the old songs after all these years again. I was very surprised at how good our harmony was during those sessions!"

1993: "Chronicles I" is released as a part of a re-recorded bestof-collection.

1994: "The best of Eloy Vol.I" is released by EMI. It includes titles of the "early days" from 1972 to 1975.

1994: "Chronicles II" is released.

1994: "The tides return forever" is released and the band reappeared live on stage for several successful shows in Germany.

April 1995: The first official Eloy-fanclub was founded.

"Now, Klaus-Peter Matziol is back in the band as a full time member. Our latest album "The Tides Return Forever" is in the classic Eloy tradition, and reflects the feelings we had during the recording of the "Chronicles" CDs. Our 25th Anniversary deserved another highlight in our long series of albums!

It is a real pleasure for me to have gotten such a great and positive response everywhere for "The Tides...". I think this album is our best one for a long time and can be compared, qualitywise, to "Silent Cries And Mighty Echoes" and "Time To Turn".

Last spring, we played a series of 12 shows to celebrate our 25th Anniversary. They were all sold out! After our concert in Bochum, on April 9th, 1995, we received a golden record for the previous album "Ocean", from EMI-Germany."

The line-up for the 1994-95 tour was :
Frank Bornemann - Guitar and Vocals
Michael Gerlach - Keyboards
Klaus-Peter Matziol - Bass
Steve Mann - Guitars and Keyboards
Bodo Schopf - Drums
Bettina Lux and Susanne Schätzle - backing vocals/choir

1996: "The best of Eloy Vol.II" released by EMI. It includes titles of the "prime"-period from 1976 to 1979.
1996: Work on "Ocean 2" began.
12th October 1998: "Ocean 2" released

1999: Remaster-project of all Eloy-CDs started

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 afterwards, the last newly mastered old EMI studio albums hit the market. The back catalogue 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 2009, ELOY are celebrating their 40th anniversary. »The Legacy Box« DVD-set comprises a documentary on the history of the band, enriched with video clips, concert footage and TV appearances of the band. Many of the former and current members of the band have their say. Up to date? Yes, on the occasion of the anniversary, new music is being written and recorded. »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.

Visionary was actually released in 2009, with the following line-up:

Frank Bornemann (lead vocals, guitar)
Michael Gerlach (keyboards)
Hannes Folberth (keyboards)
Klaus-Peter Matziol (bass)
Bodo Schopf (drums, percussion)

ELOY is back!

On January 17th 2014, Eloy released Reincarnation on Stage, a double live CD featuring recordings  of Eloy´s latest tour.

Some of my favorite tracks on this album are Child Migration, Silhouette & Horizons, but it is good to hear some of the older tracks such as Poseidon's Creation, Decay Of The Logos & Atlantis' Agony At June 5th 8498, 13 p.m. Gregorian Earthtime, three tracks from the legenday 1977 Oceans album, actually 3/4 of this album.

Eloy´s tour line-up:

Eloy´s line-up:

Frank Bornemann (guitar & vocals)
Michael Gerlach (keyboards)
Hannes Folberth (keyboards)
Klaus-Peter Matziol (bass)
Bodo Schopf (Drums & percussion)


Steve Mann (guitars)
Alexandra Seubert (vocals)
Tina Lux (backing vocals)
Anke Renner (backing vocals)


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