Elf (band)

Last updated

Elf
Elf MGM 1974.jpg
Elf in 1974
Background information
Also known asThe Electric Elves
The Elves
Origin Cortland, New York, U.S.
Genres Blues rock, [1] hard rock [2]
Years active1967 (1967)–1975 (1975)
Labels Epic, MGM
Associated acts Rainbow
Past members

Elf was an American rock band founded in 1967 by singer and bassist Ronnie James Dio, [2] keyboardist Doug Thaler, [3] drummer Gary Driscoll, [2] and guitarists Nick Pantas [3] and David Feinstein [2] (Dio's cousin). [3] The band was originally called the Electric Elves, [2] but was shortened to the Elves in 1968 and finally Elf in 1972. [3] Elf disbanded in 1975 after recording three albums and after most of the lineup had been absorbed into the newly formed Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow. [2]

Contents

History

The band was formed in 1967 [3] when the members of Ronnie Dio and the Prophets transformed themselves into the Electric Elves and added a keyboard player, Doug Thaler.

In February 1968, the band was involved in an automobile accident which claimed the life of Nick Pantas. [3] The accident forced a shuffling of the band member roles as original keyboardist Thaler moved to guitar (after recovering from his injuries) and the group hired Mickey Lee Soule to take over keyboard duties. [3] Upon leaving the group in 1972, Thaler moved to New York and got a job as a booking agent — Elf was one of the bands he booked.

Elf's self-titled debut album was produced by Deep Purple members Roger Glover [2] and Ian Paice, [3] who happened to see Elf auditioning in 1972. [3] For the next few years, the band enjoyed mild success as an opening act for Deep Purple. [3]

Dio both sang and played the bass guitar until, following the release of Elf's first album, Craig Gruber was asked to join as bass guitarist. [3] In August 1973 Feinstein quit the band and was replaced by Steve Edwards. [3] In 1974, Elf released its second album, Carolina County Ball . That same year Dio was asked by Glover to sing on his solo album, The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper's Feast . [3] Dio's voice gained the attention of Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, who was beginning to tire of Deep Purple and was looking for musicians to record a solo album. Asides guitarist Steve Edwards and drummer Mark Nauseef, he decided in early 1975 to use the musicians in Elf for this album, and the band Rainbow was soon formed. [2] Though Elf had been writing and recording its third album, Trying to Burn the Sun at the same time, following the completion of that album and the Rainbow album, Elf was no more. Trying to Burn the Sun was eventually released in the U.S. in June 1975.

Beginning in the late 1980s, some of the former members of Elf speculated about a potential reunion of the band, however nothing formal ever took place. Three of the band's members have also died: Driscoll in 1987, Dio in 2010, and Gruber in 2015.

Discography

Singles

Studio albums

Compilations and bootleg recordings

Personnel

Timeline

Elf (band)

Related Research Articles

Ronnie James Dio American singer-songwriter and composer (1942-2010)

Ronald James Padavona, known professionally as Ronnie James Dio, was an American heavy metal singer-songwriter and composer. He fronted or founded numerous groups throughout his career, including Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Dio, and Heaven & Hell.

Rainbow (rock band) English rock band

Rainbow are a British rock band, formed in 1975 by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore. They were originally established with Ronnie James Dio's American rock band Elf, but after their self-titled debut album, Blackmore fired the backing members and continued with Dio. Rainbow recorded two more studio albums with Dio—Rising (1976) and Long Live Rock 'n' Roll (1978)—before Dio left the band to join Black Sabbath in 1979.

<i>Ritchie Blackmores Rainbow</i> 1975 studio album by Rainbow

Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow is the first studio album by American/British rock band Rainbow, released in 1975.

James Gang American rock band

The James Gang was an American rock band formed in Cleveland, Ohio in 1966. The band went through a variety of line-up changes until they recorded their first album as a power trio consisting of Joe Walsh, Tom Kriss (bass) and Jim Fox (drums). Dale Peters replaced Kriss on bass for the band's second and third albums. The band had two hit songs, "Funk #49" and "Walk Away", which continue to be popular on classic rock and AOR stations. In 1972, Walsh left to pursue a solo career and would later join the Eagles. The band continued on with a variety of other guitarists and lead singers to replace Walsh, but failed to produce a hit song over the course of six more studio albums and broke up in 1977. Various incarnations have reformed for several reunions since then.

<i>Heaven and Hell</i> (Black Sabbath album) 1980 studio album by Black Sabbath

Heaven and Hell is the ninth studio album by English rock band Black Sabbath, released on 25 April 1980. It is the first Black Sabbath album to feature vocalist Ronnie James Dio, who replaced original vocalist Ozzy Osbourne in 1979.

John Gary Driscoll was an American R&B-style rock drummer who performed in a number of successful bands from the 1960s until his unresolved death by murder on June 10, 1987.

Mickey Lee Soule is an American musician. He was the keyboard player for New York hard rock band Elf and a founding member of Rainbow.

Ian Gillan Band

The Ian Gillan Band were an English progressive jazz-rock band formed by singer Ian Gillan of Deep Purple in 1975.

<i>Carolina County Ball</i> 1974 studio album by Elf

Carolina County Ball is the second studio album by the rock band Elf, released as an LP in 1974 on the MGM label. It was released in the United States and Japan as L.A.59. The album is the first feature bassist Craig Gruber.

<i>Trying to Burn the Sun</i> 1975 studio album by Elf

Trying to Burn the Sun is the third and final studio album released by American rock group Elf, released in 1975.

<i>Elf</i> (album) 1972 studio album by Elf

Elf is the first studio album by Ronnie James Dio's blues rock band called Elf. Produced by Ian Paice and Roger Glover of Deep Purple, the record was released in 1972. In this album, Dio is listed by his birth name Ronald Padavona. Though Dio had used "Padavona" for songwriting credits on earlier singles, Dio explained in an interview in 1994 that he used his birth name on this album as a tribute to his parents so that they could see their family name on an album at least once.

Ritchie Blackmore British guitarist of the band Deep Purple

Richard Hugh Blackmore is an English guitarist and songwriter. He was one of the founding members of Deep Purple in 1968, playing jam-style hard rock music that mixed guitar riffs and organ sounds. Blackmore is prolific in creating guitar riffs and is often noted for his classically influenced solos.

Duck MacDonald American heavy metal/hard rock guitarist (born 1953)

Andrew "Duck" MacDonald is an American heavy metal/hard rock guitarist, who has played in several bands, the most well-known of which being Blue Cheer.

<i>The Best of Rainbow</i> 1981 greatest hits album by Rainbow

The Best of Rainbow is the first compilation album from British hard rock group Rainbow, released in 1981.

Mark Nauseef, in Cortland, New York, is a drummer and percussionist who has enjoyed a varied career, ranging from rock music during the 1970s with his time as a member of the Ian Gillan Band and, temporarily with Thin Lizzy when Brian Downey left for a short time, to a wide range of musical styles in more recent times, playing with many notable musicians from all over the world.

The Rods are an American heavy metal band formed in 1980 by David "Rock" Feinstein, Steven Starmer, and Carl Canedy. After the first two albums, Starmer was replaced by Garry Bordonaro. Feinstein had first come to mainstream attention after playing in Elf with his cousin Ronnie James Dio. The Rods' sound differed considerably from Elf, adopting a more traditional heavy metal sound compared with the blues-rock sound that Elf preferred.

Craig M. Gruber was an American rock bassist, best known as the original bassist in Rainbow. He also played in Elf, consisting of vocalist Ronnie James Dio, keyboardist Mickey Lee Soule, drummer Gary Driscoll and guitarist David Feinstein.

<i>20th Century Masters – The Millennium Collection: The Best of Rainbow</i> 2000 greatest hits album by Rainbow

20th Century Masters – The Millennium Collection: The Best of Rainbow is a compilation album released by Rainbow. Released on 3 October 2000. The tracks were recorded between 1975–1983, before Rainbow disbanded in 1984.

<i>The Very Beast of Dio Vol. 2</i> 2012 greatest hits album by Dio

The Very Beast of Dio Vol. 2 is a posthumous compilation album by American heavy metal band Dio. It is a followup to The Very Beast of Dio, a compilation album released in 2000 featuring tracks from Dio's first six studio albums and live EP. Vol. 2 picks up where the previous album left off, including tracks from the band's seventh through tenth studio albums.

References

  1. Perkins, Jeff (2011). Rainbow – Uncensored on the Record. Coda Books. ISBN   978-1-908538-57-4. Elf was essentially a blues-rock band performing material that gave Dio the perfect opportunity to display his impressive vocal talent
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Prato, Greg. "Elf". Allmusic. Retrieved December 8, 2011.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 "Ronny Dio's Early Years". Pavadona.com. Retrieved December 8, 2011.