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Saturday, April 07, 2007

Elf - Elf Ronnie James Dio (1972)



An up and coming rock musician named Ronald Padavona (better known as Ronnie James Dio) had been making rock and roll since the fifties, but unfortunately, he hadn't found any major success. On the good side, the seventies would be the decade that would ultimately bring him the popularity he has had ever since. In the sixties he formed a band called the Electric Elves (he'd had MANY bands prior), later simply called the Elves and even later, just Elf. Even though nearly a decade and a half had passed since Padavona began making music, Elf's first full-length album would be his first truly mainstream release. Read on for my review of the group's first album.

I should probably warn all you potential listeners - if you're looking for hard rock in the vain of Dio's solo, Rainbow, or Black Sabbath material, you're not going to find it here. This isn't hard rock, it's bluesy rock. Likewise, while their first album, this is probably the weakest of the three. For one thing, this is the only album ever recorded on which Dio does vocals AND bass (the band would recruit a separate bassist for later albums so Dio could focus on his singing.) It's also the only Elf album that features Dio's cousin David Feinstein on guitar (he'd go on to form another group, called the Rods, and be replaced in Elf.) The blues rock that the band shells out on this album is very good - Mickey Lee Soule is quite the piano player, and his playing beautifully complements Feinstein's guitar and Dio's vocals. Despite being what is probably the weakest and least-polished Elf album, it's still worthy of a four out of five score in my book.


Unfortunately, all of the Elf albums are long since out of print. Don't count on finding this one in any store - it isn't too likely to happen. You're probably going to have to end up ordering it, along with the others. Accordingly, due to their limited availability, I really only suggest getting them if you're a die-hard Dio fan who wants to see how his mainstream career got started.

Elf's first album is very good blues rock, but the group's latter two albums would be considerably more well polished. The latter albums would feature a separate bass player, as well as the replacement of David Feinstein. If you like blues rock or you just want to see what Dio sounded like before he was popular, by all means check Elf out. Just be warned, their stuff is tough to find.


1. Hoochie Coochie Lady - 5.34
2. First Avenue - 4.24
3. Never More - 3.51
4. I'm Coming Back for You - 3.29
5. Sit Down Honey (Everything Will Be Alright) - 3.49
6. Dixie Lee Junction - 5.11
7. Love Me Like a Woman - 3.49
8. Gambler, Gambler - 4.26

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1 Comments:

At 1:22 PM, Anonymous Serepta said...

Thanks for writing this.

 

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