Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography



Psychedelic/Space Rock

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Eloy Performance album cover
2.88 | 270 ratings | 16 reviews | 6% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

Write a review

Buy ELOY Music
from partners
Studio Album, released in 1983

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. In Disguise (4:29)
2. Shadow and Light (5:17)
3. Mirador (3:44)
4. Surrender (5:38)
5. Heartbeat (6:26)
6. Fools (5:10)
7. A Broken Frame (8:10)

Total Time 38:54

Bonus tracks on 2005 remaster:
8. Shadow and Light (live *) (5:08)
9. Heartbeat (live *) (6:00)
10. Fools (live *) (4:49)

* Recorded live in Paris, France, 1983.

Line-up / Musicians

- Frank Bornemann / lead vocals, guitars, co-producer
- Hannes Arkona / guitars, keyboards
- Hannes Folberth / keyboards, grand piano
- Klaus-Peter Matziol / basses
- Fritz Randow / drums & percussion

Releases information

Artwork: Walter Seyffer with Ulli Dinger (photo)

LP Harvest ‎- 1C 064-46 714 T (1983, Germany)
LP Heavy Metal Worldwide ‎- HMI LP 12 (1983, UK)

CD EMI Electrola ‎- 538-7 92501 2 (1989, Europe)
CD EMI 5 63778 2 (2005, Germany) Remastered by Hans-Jörg Mauksch with 3 bonus Live tracks

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy ELOY Performance Music

ELOY Performance ratings distribution

(270 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(6%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(23%)
Good, but non-essential (44%)
Collectors/fans only (22%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

ELOY Performance reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars ELOY here is still quite progressive, and the keyboards are really floating, rythmic, varied, futuristic and melodic. The electric guitar is well balanced between sometimes distortion-free parts, sometimes quite aggressive hard rock parts, and it is always very clean and very rythmic. The bass is surprisingly complex, very well played and often fast. The drums are sophisticated and may be fast too. "Surrender" is the piano ballad by excellence: very catchy and full of colorful keyboards. You listen to this record from beginning to end without any problem. Among the best ELOY's albums. Let's say it is comparable to "Planets": it has the same sound, it is faster hard rock and the keyboards steal less the show.
Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars "you will fall before you know - hey watch where you go"

Eloy's eleventh studio album to date is the first display of decadence. Sooner or later it happened to any respectable prog band. The positive remark for Eloy is the highest level of quality of their works for such a long time, at least until the (science-fiction/fantasy) double concept album Planets and Time to Turn (1981/1982). Only a year later, magic has sadly disappeared. No concept, no fantastic idea behind. The sound now evolves into a more plastic product of the eighties with only some sparkling hard rock flavour. In fact some of the tracks are still good and appreciable. That's the case of the opener "In Disguise" with its catching fast tempo and electric rythmic guitar.

"Shadow and Light" is the most prog one, with excellent bass guitars and drums building an interesting changing tempo. It seems to be a reject from the previous album Time to Turn.

From "Mirador" on the quality standard decays inexorably. Well, it is not bad music. At least keyboards try to repeat the job. The fact is that it's more like a tired band, with no particular merit and approaching dangerously the commercial side of rock (plus a new wave thin tendency). The classic Eloy's mordant it's definitely gone.

What a regret.

What a regret.


Review by Joolz
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Using Time To Turn as a start point, Performance may best be seen as another step toward mainstream credibility and a date with MTV! Occasionally Prog-lite, but mostly Prog-less, it can appeal on a basic level, but initial enthusiasm tends to fade as you discover the attraction is only skin deep. The sound wavers between disposable 1980s pop-rock [eg Surrender] and bombastic AOR [eg Shadow And Light], but with a harder edge given by some excellent heavy-rock guitar work [eg Fools]. The band clearly have the licks but, with a couple of exceptions, most melodies are simply too poor to carry this sort of thing with any confidence. Drum patterns are artificially simplistic and metronomic [eg In Disguise] and basslines are often irritatingly busy and persistant [eg Shadow And Light], presumably an artistic decision as there had been no line-up changes.

The opening four tracks are very poor: with a better rhythm section, In Disguise might be a half-decent pop-rock song; Shadow And Light is uninspired bombast despite some powerful proggish guitar themes; Mirador is a pointless instrumental that would have been fine as a section within a longer track; Surrender outstays its welcome by at least 5½ minutes! The final three tracks are much better: Heartbeat is a jaunty song but its catchy vocoded vocal hook is repeated far too much; Fools is initially weak, but later develops into a powerful rock song featuring a fabulous guitar solo; and A Broken Frame ends the album on a high with a tuneful song [though again with too much repetition for my taste], and a structure progressing from an ambient opening via a memorable rhythm to an excellent wah-wah guitar solo that is definitely worth sticking around for!

On balance, there is not enough goodness to give a general recommendation to anyone other than a pre-existing Eloy fan.

Review by b_olariu
3 stars 3.5 really for Performance

With all that here is no performance in Eloy's '83 album face the oldest one's, but still great, to me at least. What is the positive remark on Eloy music is they survived to the late '70's, when prog was not in front line, and to beggining of the '80, when pop and heavy metal was all over.They released more than 10 albums 'till this one, and of the highest calibre. Now on Performance they still doin' prog but more popish, some ex. are In disguise the opening track, in fact all tracks are with a touch of modern keys, electronic drums and other stuff that is necesary for this kind of musical aproach. Not by far a bad album, but with a plastic sound, more like pop bands from the early '80, Tomas Dolby for instance. Anyway Performance has very catchy tunes and full of colorful keyboards. Musical speaking Eloy always was very good, delivering stunning albums. So here we have a 3.5 , still good but i guess non essential for many of you, and to me too. This is the last one i want to hear from them.

Review by ZowieZiggy

"Eloy" has been quite faitful to its sound in the early eighties which needs to be said here because not many prog bands did so. But with "Performance", the dream has come to an end.

The opener "In Disguise" is seriously electro-pop oriented. I really don't like it. But most of this album is disappointing, little inspired. "Mirador" is as poor as the poorest "Genesis" songs of this period. Slow and heavy beat, just notes; no melody, no nothing. One of the worst song of this album.

I guess that the worse of "Eloy" is being reached with "Surrender". Another insipid track. Full of heavy keyboards. Where are those catchy songs ? All gone I 'm afraid. The only track which is not as bad in this opening sequence is "Shadow & Light". But do not be over-enthusiastic, it is a simple rock song which wouldn't even have been mentioned on other "Eloy" albums. At least, it rocks a bit.

I can't fully adhere to "Heartbeat" and its "Buggles" oriented vocals (synthetized). The "Buggles" were able to write great pop songs, which is absolutely not the case of "Eloy". The synth pop "Fools" being another example of very poor songwritting even if there is a good guitar work.

IMO, the only interesting song is "A Brocken Frame". The thythm is very repetitive and a great guitar solo will fill it with class. But one good track (even if it is the longest one - just over eight minutes) can not save this messy album.

"Eloy" finally (and unfortunately) entered the eighties. Three years later. At least it gave them the time to release two good albums during these difficult times for prog bands.

Two stars.

Review by kenethlevine
2 stars After spending two albums travelling through the cosmos, Eloy crashed down with "Performance". A mere collection of very 1980s sounding, almost poppish songs, it marks a downturn for the band, and they would never again reach quite the heights achieved during the golden era, even if several subsequent efforts easily eclipse Performance.

When we listen to the keyboard sound on this disk, what comes to mind is how effortlessly that Eloy was able to avoid cheesiness and pop sensibility up until that point, and how completely they basked in it here. Also, with the noteworthy exception of two tracks, the songwriting and arranging have taken a nosedive, while few of the melodies really stick, and even Bornemann sounds robotic in his enunciation at times. By far the best cut is the excellent closer "Broken Frame" which is intense, atmospheric, and rocking, and is highlighted by Arkona's talking lead guitar and a captivating repetitious chorus. Elsewhere, "Shadow and Light" showed Eloy could still sport innovative rhythms even in a more commercial context. If I had to display a weakness for any of the tacky material it would be for "Surrender", which is at least has sunny keys that sound like piano, and other parts that are reminiscent of the great "Planets" album.

So, a precipitous fall off the precipice for Eloy, and not a performance for posterity. Recommended only for those who enjoy the group's classic albums and feel they must have it all.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Starved of oxygene

After a string of fine prog albums which flew in the face of the changing music scene of the day, Eloy finally started to succumb to commercial pressures. The line up for "Performance" remained unchanged from that which recorded "Time to turn", but the cracks within the band were widening. As a result, Frank Bornemann relinquished total artistic control, and allowed the other band members to have a much greater input into this album. While his gesture towards democracy is admirable, it had the same effect as when John Fogerty famously did it with Creedence Clearwater Revival ("Mardi Gras"), and resulted in a noticeably sub-standard offering.

The opening "In disguise" is a decent space/pop rock number along the lines of one of Hawkwind or Amon Duul 2's more accessible songs. The infectious rhythm and bursts of energy make for a straightforward but enjoyable intro. This really is as good as it gets though, the following "Shadow and light" being a decidedly mediocre attempt at mainstream rock. The song has all the tenets of a power rock anthem, but the melody is ordinary and the track as a whole lacks direction.

"Mirador" is a pleasant synth solo which serves as a sort of interlude piece, while "Surrender" returns us to the mediocre pop rock of "Shadow and light". "Heartbeat" sets out as a piece of Jean Michel Jarre synth pop before the 80's pop bouncy vocals take the song in another direction completely. It is actually rather an enjoyable number, even if it is decidedly lightweight. The following "Fools" continues the synth pop motifs, but the song is inferior and unappealing this time. Th track finishes with a nice ELP style synth fanfare.

The album closes with its longest track, "A broken frame", which runs to just over 8 minutes. The band finally rediscover some of their prog credentials here, the track having a more complex arrangement than its peers. There remains a lighter feel to the song than on the earlier epics recorded by the band, but overall this is a rare highlight on the album.

In all, a rather patchy album which is lite on the prog, but sometimes enjoyable. Those who enjoy the music of Eloy should just about find enough here to make this worth acquiring, but it is touch and go.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
3 stars I guess I´m one of the few reviewers here who really enjoyed Perfomance since the very first day I heard it. But since I did it in 2003, it sounded just different, not bad. I do understand, however, who did not like it, especially at the time the album was released. After all, Perfomance was the follow up of two of Eloy´s best CDs ever: Planets and Time To Turn. Compared to those two it really pales. But I still think it is far better than a lot of things that were coming out at the time, prog or otherwise.

Side one of the old vinyl LP starts very well with songs like In Disguise, Shadow And Light and Mirador. They all sound like the previous stuff on Time To Turn, although not really as strong as. In fact, I wouldn´t be too surprised if those would be Planets/Time... leftovers. But most critics were not amused by the last track on this side, Surrender. This a quite different track and its popish tendencies did not favor them much either. Still, I like it, for it´s far from bad. It´s just a matter of taste, I guess. The synthesizers on it are again much more elaborated, elegant and sophisticated than the usual cheese, repetitive patterns used for most pop records on the 80´s.

Side two follows the same pattern: a tune that could have been another rejected track from Planets (Heartbeat), a kind of prog-pop song (Fools) and the real gem of the record, the magnificent A Broken Frame. This latter song is the most inspired and progressive of all in its almost 8 minute duration and should be regarded as one of their best stuff, deserving to be on any best of compilation.

As usual, the perfomances of all musicians are great. I just love Hannes Folberth´s keyboards. They sound fresh, creative and exciting even after all these years. The rest of the band members are not far behind, although the drums sound a bit subdue here. Production is also very good.

Conclusion: all in all, a highly enjoyable album, specially if you like nice melodies. It is ok that the songwriting here is not as powerful and convincing as on previous effords (except for the aforementioned A Broken Frame), but again this is far from being bad. Personally I´d give this CD four stars, since is one of those records I hear from start to end with the same pleasure, but if I have to compare it to their former work, that would be unfair. Three star is much more fitting. Good, but not really essential.

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
2 stars 10 seconds of Eloy then the 80s are come. As for the Camel of The Single Factor it looks like Alan Parson's Project has influenced all the once prog bands at the beginning of the 80s. In addition the guitar sounds like a little more electronic version of Mark Knopfler's. Not badly played, but if I want to listen to this kind of music I look to Alan Parsons (honestly I don't do it often). There are still echoes of the old Eloy, specially in Frank Bornemann's voice that's a band's trademark. The chords are also quite typical but the arrangement is between Parsons and Dire Straits. This is all I can say of "In DIsguise". The keyboard final is the only quite good thing of this track.

"Shadow And Light" starts like Trevor Rabin was in the band...there are connections between this album and 90125 (that's an album that I love), and this track does what "Changes" does on 90125. A most proggy moment in a somewhat pop album. Thinking better, the link between this album and the 80s YES is not so thin.

"Mirador" starts with bass and drone drums. They, together with the keyboards remind me another album of the same period: "ZEE:Identity" of Richard Wright and Dave Harris, but also "Mason and Fenn". The difference is that the keyboards sound more jazzy than on the Floyds solo albums.

"Surrender" sounds like the Genesis of Abacab. It's like Eloy have totally absorbed the influence of the 80s. The result is not totally bad, specially if you think to the crap albums of that period. Being one who was buying vinyls in that period I can say that this album was surely not the worst.

"Heartbeat" with that bass and that keyboard is mimic of Mammagumma. Who likes Alan Parsons surely likes this song, too. I'm not in this list. However, there are still hints of the old band, but the choir with the vocoder is unlistenable.

"Fools"...I agree. As many prog bands, Eloy have tried to make a radio friendly danceable song. A mistake that other artists did in these years. This meant losing the old fans without conquering new ones. It's a barely listenable pop song which makes me think to "Manic", one of the worst Camel's songs from "The Single Factor".

"A Broken Frame" is the longest track and also the closer. It's the only track on this album which really deserves to be listened to. The only true "Eloy" track, even with the standardised 80s arrangement. A good song which still has prog elements. It lacks the Gilmourish guitar solos of the past and is closer to the Genesis of the period, but is good enough.

Not a totally bad album, it still has some good moments but if I should write a story of this band I would probably forget this one.

A collector's item.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Eloy's "Performance" is ironically their worst performance coming out during the turbulent years in 1983 with a revolving door policy of membership. Really the only good thing about it is Bornemann's guitars and occasionally his vocals sound like vintage Eloy. The songs are mediocre and it is replete with filler songs and throwaway material. Not everything is a complete waste of course as the band have so many ideas and great melodies. The stand out tracks are obvious with the great power rock of 'Disguise', although the tinny production of synth drums and too many keyboards is very dated. 'Shadow and Light' is another terrific track with some fine guitar riffs and even the keys are not as cheesy; Bornemann's vocals are wonderful when he is fired up like this.

'Mirador' is a forgettable keyboard driven instrumental that is 3:44 too long in length. There are pink Floyd riff offs such as the driving rhythm guitar and synth of 'Heartbeat'. The intro is sparkling keys that are too bright to remain interesting after a few listens, and the melody is fairly ho hum. 'Fools' is a rock song that the band loved to do live, and it just rocked along, but you won't find any prog here. For that matter it is difficult to find any prog at all on the entire album.

'A Broken Frame' ends things on a better note with atmospheric spacey keys and cool Blade Runnner drone. Bornemann's vocals are gentle and well executed at first. It is a lengthy song with many things going on. It locks into a steady rhythm with some effective keyboard motifs, but it never gets out of that rhythm for variation's sake. The lead guitar break is dynamic and one of the best on the album so all is not lost.

Overall this is an album with about 3 tracks that are worth savouring, the rest is a bit of a hodge podge of dated 80s synth mush, only a tad under par from the disappointing "Metromania". It is what it is and of course Eloy went onto better albums. They survived amidst the turmoil of the 80s along with Rush and Yes, who also felt the pressures, though remained enthusiastic under critical fire, and their sound suffered as badly as Eloy. 2 stars awarded for the odd good track, but this is bottom of the barrel as far as Eloy are concerned.

Review by Lewian
3 stars I've got to say that I'm quite keen on the fact that this one is not about journeys between stars and planets, downfall and rescue of humankind etc. Treating some real life issues for once is nice for a change, although I may not be a proper prog-minded person in this respect. Also I respect the artistic motivation to declutter and produce straighter songs. I think it's unfair to blame them for just trying to be commercial here. Artists shouldn't stand still and going with the times is a legitimate move. Bornemann was apparently not happy with this move, at least not in hindsight, but other band members probably were. Fair enough. As always, this is well produced, mostly keyboard oriented but with stronger impact of guitar, bass and drums than before. The bass is fantastic (as Matziol usually is). The drums sound too much like 80s and are a bit too straight, but at least they are precise and driving. Randow is a very good drummer but shows this better elsewhere. Regarding the quality of the songs, this is a mixed bag. In Disguise works very well as a catchy rocker; Shadow and Light and Broken Frame are fine, too, and a bit more complex. Broken Frame is actually one of my Eloy favourites. Mirador is a rather sparse instrumental, which is nice but not all too remarkable, and I can connect less to the remaining three songs. It's a development that I respect, with some highlights and some lesser tracks. And I can enjoy the marvellous bass playing day in day out.
Review by Modrigue
3 stars ELOY turns FM

Curious cover for a curious title. This record is the very last I listened from ELOY. To be honest - and as a big fan of the band - for a long time, I didn't know "Performance" even existed. Is this a live release? No, it's ELOY's 1983 official studio album, in the middle of what can be called their second life. How came I never heard of it before? Let's see...

"Performance" shows the band's musical style turning more radio-friendly. Less progressive, the compositions are now more direct, upbeat and keyboards-dominated. The sound is also more plastic and synthetic, whereas the quality and inspiration have decreased. After the ambitious "Planets" and the effective "Time to Turn", the first listen may be a bit surprising.

The change is perceptible from the opening track, "In Disguise". In fact, once the shock is gone, this is a rather correct punchy song. "Shadow And Light" is also a nice hard space rock moment with its incisive riff and variations. In contrast, "Mirador" is a quite useless and repetitive instrumental. "Surrender" is the weakest track of the record, out of place and cheesy.

The enjoyable "Heartbeat" features a cool bass line and introduces the usage of the vocoder, which is on par with the synthetic musical style. "Fools" is the best track of the record, a catchy rocking ELOY moment with a good guitar solo. The ending song, the 8 minutes "A Broken Frame", is also the longest. Unfortunately, this composition is rather average and does not really justify its length.

Except the first self-titled debut opus, "Performance" is Frank Bornemann's least favorite ELOY record, its songs are rarely played at concerts. However, this is certainly not the germans' worst studio album. Containing no genuine remarkable track (except maybe "Fools"), this opus is surely not great, but not bad either. As the band's least memorable opus of the 1973-1984 period, it contains nice catchy passages worth listening though. The last album to discover from this period, but ELOY still lives...

Latest members reviews

3 stars A big stylistic shift on this release even though the crew remained the same. This is a pop/rock with some prog rock echoes fully rooted in the European 80's world. Instrumental moments are shorter but still dispersed over the record. Vocals are actually quite pleaseant in this music setting. ... (read more)

Report this review (#2954411) | Posted by sgtpepper | Tuesday, September 26, 2023 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I was bored, and I decide to make a review from Eloy, and i was catching by this album because i was hearing a couple of months ago a song called "A broken frame", and I really was amazed by this wonderful piece, it sounds like the style of the 80', amazing chorus and Solo.. and then i have the ... (read more)

Report this review (#266463) | Posted by JgX 5 | Monday, February 15, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars German power pop is all I can say. It's not as good as their releases in 1976-1982, but it's okay for a 1980's pop prog album. The musicianship on most of the album is very good, but the drums do sound a little stiff for most of the time. I can't really give into it an enjoy it as much as o ... (read more)

Report this review (#250836) | Posted by Rushlover13 | Sunday, November 15, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Maybe not so underrated album as it seems to be! After the formidable and majestic planetary saga belonging to the former two albums, Performance did not descend too much, IMO, the progressive sound of the band (even if we can talk about a little more hard-rock sound). The music formed b ... (read more)

Report this review (#195273) | Posted by Sachis | Saturday, December 27, 2008 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of ELOY "Performance"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.