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Entry updated 20 September 2021. Tagged: Music.

German prog-rock band, founded in 1969 by guitarist, singer and songwriter Frank Bornemann (1952-    ); named after the Eloi of H G Wells's Time Machine (the track "Eloy" on the band's first album [Eloy, 1971], sings their praises). It is not clear why Bornemann got the spelling wrong, or why he has persisted with it through decades of English-language recording. Early albums often contain, alongside a number of more conventional tracks, one very long science-fictional song; as, for instance, the 17-minute "Land of No Body" (in Inside, 1973) about disembodied intelligences leaving Earth to explore space; or the 14-minute "The Light From Deep Darkness" (in Floating, 1974) which maps out cosmic timescales. Full-blown concept-albums followed, most notably Ocean (1977), a science-fictional spin on the Atlantis myth that many fans consider the group's best work. Planets (1982) dramatizes a battle between good and evil on "the planet Salta in the solar system of Hel"; a sequel, Time to Turn (1982), continues the story. The band broke up in 1984, but reformed to release Ra (1988). Among the tracks on this album are "Voyager of the Future Race", a cautionary tale about an Immortality treatment, and "Invasion of a Megaforce", which prophesies doom on the grounds that "free enterprise" and science "rape the land". The Tide Turns Forever (1994) develops the theme of impending ecological catastrophe. Ocean 2: The Answer (1998) is a sequel to their 1977 album. Eloy's music is bombastic prog-rock of a rather ordinary and familiar sort, guitar- and synthesizer-based with symphonic pretensions. The often clumsily unidiomatic English of the lyrics, and the heavy German accent of Bornemann's singing voice, tend to undermine the music – for anglophone listeners, at any rate. [AR]


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