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Eloy - 1981 Planets

ALBUM: Planets
LABEL: Harvest, EMI Electrola
SERIAL: 1C 064-46 483
YEAR: 1981
CD REISSUE: 2005, Harvest, EMI Electrola, 7243 5 6 3776 2 2


LINEUP: Frank Bornemann - vocals, guitars * Klaus-Peter Matziol - vocals, bass * Hannes Arkona - guitars, keyboards * Hannes Folberth - keyboards * Jim McGillivray - drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Introduction * 02 On The Verge Of Darkening Lights * 03 Point Of No Return * 04 Mysterious Monolith * 05 Queen Of The Night * 06 At The Gates Of Dawn * 07 Sphinx * 08 Carried By Cosmic Winds


I do remember a time back in the 80's when Eloy were high on my playlist. I have to thank one of my buddies back then (Frank) who was a mad Eloy fan, and gave me a few albums to listen to. This was back in the day of the walkman and tape cassettes, and like many of you, I had a few of them, which I used mainly to play in my car tape-deck. By 1981, Eloy had come out of the psychedelic/space rock continuum as if from a chrysalis. Sprouting wings which would see them reach into the melodic rock universe over the course of their next three albums. Their Pink Floyd comparisons would be put on the back-burner during the early 80's, as the band explored territory not far removed from what Canadians Saga were doing. It was a much tighter and clinical sound, and many non progressive music listeners took a liking to what these timeless Germans were doing.

The Songs
By Eloy's own standards, 'Planets' is a short album, with only eight tracks. Lead-off 'Introduction' is a swirling mass of synths clocking in at 2 minutes. 'On The Verge Of Darkening Lights' is where evidence of Eloy's crossover prog meets AOR style comes into play. Some great keyboard work abounds here. The track takes on a tempo and identity change about two thirds the way through, as it segues into the quite stunning 'Point Of No Return'. There is some really lovely synth work here, reminding me of the chilling cold sound which Hungarians Omega bought to the table. The seven minute plus 'Mysterious Monolith' skirts around the Pink Floyd mannerisms which Eloy are well known for, but by now I'm wondering if American symphonic giants Kansas have a hand to play (songtitles especially)? The song is resplendent in moog, prophet 5 and organs. 'Queen Of The Night' has a real symphonic element to it, with strings provided by Wolfgang Dyhr, giving it an Alan Parsons Project like structure. 'At The Gates Of Dawn' is likened to some of Japanese synthesist Kitaro's airy work from this era. It's an instrumental, and meanders mostly. Things get really exciting for the immense 'Sphinx', the synth is the lead instrument here, and drives this song with excellent results. It really is a classic Eloy moment! Seguing into 'Carried By Cosmic Winds', this one flows slowly at the start, and is then built upon by female backing vocals, orchestration and a stronger keyboard/organ melody.

In Summary
Eloy released 'Colours' at the beginning of the 80's decade, followed by this, 'Time To Turn' (1982) and 'Metromania' (1984). All of them are worth obtaining, and represents a time in Eloy's career where their crossover into musical territory befitting this website, should be well and truly investigated. 'Planets' picked up an interesting reissue in 1982 on the Heavy Metal label (UK), which also saw a revamped cover created by Rodney Matthews. The album was reissued and remastered in 2005 by Harvest. It came with an extra bonus track, a 1983 live version of 'On The Verge Of Darkening Lights', plus liner notes, which unfortunately for the rest of the world, was written entirely in German. Oh well..

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#1 | gdazegod on April 07 2014 00:10:01
Eloy - On The Verge Of Darkening Lights

#2 | AOR Lee on April 11 2014 05:30:52
If Colours began the move to AOR, then Planets perfected it. A classic album and they never looked back
#3 | gdazegod on April 11 2014 07:10:20
Eloy - Sphinx


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