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Eloy - Ra CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

2.79 | 210 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars I found this LP for next to nothing at a Eugene, Oregon record convention. The seller was a prog junkie, and likes Eloy just as much as the next proghead, but I was under the impression he never cared for Ra, which is understandable, it's not well liked in the prog community. That's why I got it for next to nothing, along with several prog albums more worth noting, including Melody's Yesterlife (1977), a band that's not in ProgArchives (although should be).

I knew right away this was not going to be like Ocean or Silent Cries and Mighty Echoes. I didn't even expect it to be like Planets or Time to Turn, their best 1980s albums. It's not bad, although having a real drummer could have benefited big time (listen to Ocean 2 from a decade later, which had a real drummer in Bodo Schopf and you can see the difference). Put this against Ocean or Silent Cries and Ra crashes and burns. Put this up against popular mainstream music of the time like teen bubblegum of the Debbie Gibson and Tiffany variety, or cheesy hair metal of the Bon Jovi, Poison, Whitesnake, and White Lion variety, and this sounds like a breath of fresh air. The music is straight out of the late '80s. Digital synths (including the Yamaha DX-7) and drum machines all over the place, heavy metal guitar riffs (at least more tolerable than cliched hair metal guitar riffs as done by those kind of bands mentioned). There's no denying the intro of "Voyager of the Future Race", a nice ambient piece, and one could have imagine this becoming the Ocean of the '80s, but you know that wasn't going to me. But the album does have some really nice melodies, and not the most offensive of '80s sounds so I did find it enjoyable. Ballads like "Dreams" and "Rainbow" clearly showing them attempting to score a hit, and Frank Bornemann attempts a ridiculous falsetto he never did before, but does on this album (and on Destination and even parts of The Tides Return Forever). I guess this album probably would not have been so trashed on had it been released as a Frank Bornemann & Michael Gerlach album. I guess Bornemann felt that he'd be able to sell more copies by slapping on the Eloy name. I guess if you are strictly '70s for prog rock, you probably should stop at Time to Turn, and avoid anything they done after. But to my ears it's not bad, and I didn't expect it to be like their classics and found it nice listening, but not really essential, so three stars. Love that cover, though (which leaves such bad covers as Yes' 90125 and Big Generator, King Crimson's Beat, Emerson, Lake & Powell's sole album and ELO's Balance of Power totally in the dust).

Progfan97402 | 3/5 |


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