A band I wanted to listen to a lot when I was much younger; finally got around to it.
This ticks off a lot of a prog boxes: guitar and keyboard solos; a side-long track to star the record, enough of a rock side to it so that you are not worried you’re about to enter a hippy commune or a dance club. You might think of these guys as somewhere between Deep Purple and Genesis – more of a hard rock band than Genesis but way proggier than Mark II Purple. Perhaps a better comparison would be somewhere between Purple and Caravan, as Eloy aren’t as theatrical as Genesis (and arguably not as adept musically).
The first problem is that, though this music is compelling and the kind of prog rock from the era that I quite like, it’s not exactly distinct. It’s fairly easy to make comparisons to other bands as, though this band was making distinct music for a German prog rock band – this is not Krautrock, no matter what RYM tell us – it’s not super distinct from the English bands, and recalls a few of them. (The more I think about the Caravan comparison, the more I like it more than the Genesis one.)
The other, bigger issue is the singer: much like many German bands, Eloy’s Frank Bornemann has opted to sing in English; and much like Amon Duul II’s singers, he has a really annoying German accent. (Not all German bands who sing in English have this particular accent.) I’d much listen to lyrics in German, frankly, even though I wouldn’t understand them.
But those two problems do feel like nit-picks when the overall competence of the recording is taken into account. And, the thing is, there were a number of more original bands in the UK, but few of them actually produced many LPs that were entirely consistent. If you can get over Bornemann’s voice, this music is what most of us want in the louder side of prog rock. It may not be original, but it’s consistent and insistent.