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Eloy - 1983 Performance

ALBUM: Performance
LABEL: Heavy Metal Worldwide
YEAR: 1983
CD REISSUE: 1995, Laser Light (Germany), 16133 * 2005, EMI, 7243 5 63778 2 0


LINEUP: Frank Boremann - lead vocals, guitars * Klaus-Peter Matzoil - bass * Hannes Folberth - keyboards * Fritz Randow - drums, percussion * Hannes Arkona - guitars, keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 In Disguise * 02 Shadow And Light * 03 Mirador * 04 Surrender * 05 Heartbeat * 06 Fools * 07 A Broken Frame


Taking their name from the H.G Wells classic story 'The Time Machine', Eloy are widely considered to be the German Pink Floyd. The groups early albums 'Inside' and 1977's 'Ocean' are dyed in the wool progressive rock classics and should be in every serious collection. Hugely popular in their native Germany, it wasn't until the early 80's that Eloy really begun making strides with British audiences, somehow latching on to both the NWOBHM and the neo-progressive scene spearheaded by Marillion and IQ. Suddenly Eloy articles appeared in 'Kerrang!' and Sounds magazines boosted by a plethora of reissues on Heavy Metal Records sporting fresh Rodney Matthews cover art. It's been said that with this development in the bands history, Eloy began looking towards a more commercial sound which is probably true. Asia and Saga were turning over big bucks and creating a bridge between progressive rock and the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, so why shouldn't Eloy? For hardcore progressive fans, albums like 'Performance' and the follow-up 'Metromania' may have reeked of sellout to the MTV crowd, but I disagree, since this was still very much a prog band and a good one at that.

The Songs
I think it's the drum sound found on 'Performance' that most prog fans find distasteful, but it was the 80's and this is a very hi-tech sounding Eloy. The music is more stream-lined and forceful reminiscent of Saga, but also European bands Irrwisch and Opus. Much of the Pink Floyd spaciness can still be found here and there in particular the eight minute epic 'A Broken Frame', but on songs like 'Surrender' and 'Heartbeat', Eloy were definitely flirting with AOR styles (the song titles are a give away) while still holding on to prog rock adventurism that made them so popular to begin with.

In Summary
Eloy's entire catalog has been reissued numerous times over the years and the most recent version of 'Performance' contains a handful of live tracks as a bonus. This CD and 'Metromania' are both highly recommended and easy to obtain. The band have been active in recent years, playing live dates and releasing a new studio album which at this time, I have not heard but all reports say it's a fine return to form, leading me to believe that their experiments in hi-tech AOR are long behind them.

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#1 | gdazegod on February 05 2007 08:56:07
I have most of the Eloy albums going back into the early 70's. All good stuff. I do like 'Planets', 'Metromania' and this one 'Performance'. As Eric mentioned, the move to Saga like arrangements during this period of their history got the thumbs up from me..
#2 | AOR Lee on September 08 2012 12:19:11
Great album, In Disguise and Fools may be the highlights here

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