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Main » 2008 » August » 14 » Elli - 1999 - Elli (60s recordings)
Elli - 1999 - Elli (60s recordings)

Although he only issued one single ("Never Mind"/"I'll Be Looking out for You" [EMI, 1967]), which sold poorly due to "Penny Lane"/"Strawberry Fields Forever" being released on the same day, Elli continued to record demos throughout the rest of the '60s. His plaintive, slightly accented voice and gentle arrangements that sat somewhere between the Beatles and the Zombies have gained a wealth of admiration since Dig the Fuzz records released a mini-album consisting of his single and acetate recordings in 1999.

Elli Meyer was born in Calcutta, India, in 1946, and moved to England during the swinging '60s to start work as a painter and decorator. As early as 1962, he was involving himself in the burgeoning music scene and began to sing in the local London group the Eagles, who went on to record for Pye. He then formed the Nutrons, but walked out to join the Madhatters (who had recently changed their name from the Trendsetters). They held a residency at the 007 Club and played with PJ Proby, the Honeycombs, and the Moody Blues, but split in 1965 when their lead guitarist immigrated to Australia. The ever-active Elli then joined the Infernos, but after one year with them fell seriously ill with diabetes, and had to leave, taking into account his disability. Around this time he met up with two friends (Mike Finesilver and Peter Kerr) who were involved in a charitable organization for young people called the Entertainers. They decided to write a few songs for Elli and brought in Vincent Crane (who later went on to Atomic Rooster) to play piano and Drachen Theaker (who later teamed up with The Crazy World of Arthur Brown) to play drums on a demo version of "Never Mind." Music publisher Malcom Forrester heard the tapes and was very impressed by Elli's sweet voice; he put him into the studio to record his debut single for release on EMI. ("Never Mind"/"I'll Be Looking out for You" was released in February 1967, but bombed due to its misfortune of colliding with the Beatles' latest single. A follow-up was intended but for some unknown reason Elli's A&R man was fired, and the record was never released. He continued to record demos until 1970. ~ Jon 'Mojo' Mills, All Music Guide

 The earliest material compiled here is a demo recording from 1965, that although somewhat lo-fi in sound, is a thumping beat number with some superb piano played by future Atomic Rooster member Vincent Crane. "That's What They Say" would not have sounded out of place on the Zombies' debut and is an impressive start to a solo career. While "Don't Forget," also from 1965, sounds a little rushed, it possesses a garage band vitality. By 1966, a forlorn jazzy and baroque harmony-based feel was beginning to show and "Mister Man" and "My Lady of Love" should have been released by EMI in early 1967, but they were left in the can. A great shame as a maturity and eloquence on par with anything by the Zombies or Left Banke was clearly displayed. And although the acetates "Time Has Come" (which displays some interesting time changes) and "The Children" (which has a similar feel to the early Bee Gees) are not as instant, a fragile talent is heard. Elli's only single "Never Mind" released in 1967 is a wonderful commercial effort marrying jazz time changes with Summer of Love harmonies. Why it was not properly promoted is criminal. The flip, "I'll Be Looking for You," is jolly in a Herman's Hermits manner, but it is the weakest song here. Ending with two efforts from 1970 that should have hit the charts, it is made apparent that the multicultural, inventive unit that was centered around Indian singer Elli was managed badly and left to fall apart instead of being promoted as something special. In an era when India was incredibly fashionable, it would have been wonderful to see Elli become a star, but it was not to be. ~ Jon 'Mojo' Mills, All Music Guide

Out of print and the label seems no longer existing

Category: Psyche/Garage/Folk | Views: 3189 | Added by: Opa-Loka | Rating: 4.7/3 |

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