Elf (band)

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Elf
Elf MGM 1974.jpg
Elf, 1974.
Background information
Also known as
  • The Electric Elves

  • The Elves
Origin Cortland, New York, United States
Genres
Years active1967 (1967)–75 (75)
Labels Epic Records
MGM Records
Associated acts Rainbow, The Elves
Past members

Elf was an American rock band founded in 1967 [3] 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 Ritchie Blackmore's new group, Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow. [2]

Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United Kingdom and in the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily on the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly on a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.

Ronnie James Dio American singer-songwriter and composer

Ronald James Padavona known professionally as Ronnie James Dio or simply 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.

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

Contents

History

The band was formed in 1967 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]

Deep Purple English rock band

Deep Purple are an English rock band formed in Hertford in 1968. The band is considered to be among the pioneers of heavy metal and modern hard rock, although their musical approach changed over the years. Originally formed as a progressive rock band, the band shifted to a heavier sound in 1970. Deep Purple, together with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, have been referred to as the "unholy trinity of British hard rock and heavy metal in the early to mid-seventies". They were listed in the 1975 Guinness Book of World Records as "the globe's loudest band" for a 1972 concert at London's Rainbow Theatre, and have sold over 100 million copies of their albums worldwide.

Roger Glover Welsh bassist, keyboardist, songwriter and record producer

Roger David Glover is a British bassist, songwriter, and record producer. He is best known as the bassist for hard rock bands Deep Purple and Rainbow. Glover wrote the guitar riff on "Maybe I'm a Leo". As a member of Deep Purple, Glover was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2016.

Ian Paice British drummer

Ian Anderson Paice is an English musician, best known as the drummer and only constant original member of the English rock band Deep Purple.

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. Apart from guitarist Steve Edwards (and percussionist 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.

<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.

<i>The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshoppers Feast</i> 1974 studio album by Roger Glover

The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper's Feast is a concept album and subsequent live rock opera appearing in 1974 and 1975 respectively, based on the children's poem of a similar title. The album cover design is from Alan Aldridge's design for a 1973 book based on the poem.

Ritchie Blackmore British guitarist and songwriter, guitarist of 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 which mixed guitar riffs and organ sounds. During his solo career he established the heavy metal band Rainbow, which fused baroque music influences and elements of hard rock. Rainbow steadily moved to catchy pop-style mainstream rock. Later in life, he formed the traditional folk rock project Blackmore's Night, transitioning to vocalist-centred sounds. As a member of Deep Purple, Blackmore was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2016.

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, and by now three of the band's members have died (Driscoll in 1987, Dio in 2010, and Gruber in 2015).

Discography

Singles

Studio albums

<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.

<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.

Compilations and bootleg recordings

The Elf Albums is a CD compilation released in 1994. It consists of Elf's second and third albums, Carolina County Ball and Trying to Burn the Sun, in their entirety on a single CD. This includes the Carolina County Ball track "Happy", which was left out of The Gargantuan compilation.

Personnel

Members

Timeline

Elf (band)

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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 2011-12-08.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 "Ronny Dio's Early Years". Pavadona.com. Retrieved 2011-12-08.