Friday, June 27, 2008

Forgotten Album's: Elf (1972) w/ Ronnie James Dio

Before Rainbow, Black Sabbath and Dio the greatest hard rock singer of all time, Ronnie James Dio was lead singer for the blues-based band called Elf.

The band was formed as The Electric Elves in 1967, but was shortened to The Elves and finally Elf in mid-1970.

Elf's debut album was produced by none other than Deep Purple members Roger Glover and Ian Paice, who saw them audition and invited them to open for Deep Purple on many occasions. The Deep Purple connection would become a constant for Dio for many years. In 1974, Dio was asked by Glover to sing on his solo album The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper's Feast. Dio obviously joined Purple escapee, Richie Blackmore in Rainbow in 1975. (In fact all of the members of Elf simply joined Richie Blackmore to create Rainbow's debut)

Elf's debut is solid blues-rock, heavy on the honky tonk piano, very different from what was to come from Dio, but still featuring his incredibly powerful vocals. If your looking for Dio in metal mode, you will be sorely dissapointed, if you like straight up blues-rock, well, you could do better. This is more of a historical document that a brilliant album, but anything by Ronnie James Dio is worth a listen.

Image: Courtesy Purple Records

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