Eloy enters into the 80’s with a new lineup, with Frank Bornemann (guitar and vocals) and Klaus-Peter Maziol (bass) remaining from the previous line-up. Joining them are Hannes Folberth (keyboards), Hannes Arkona (guitars), and Jim McGillivray (drums). With this new line-up, the band released an album entitled Colours in 1980. Some of the differences with Eloy of the 70’s is a more concise and accessible sound with heavier guitars and more atmospheric keyboards.
Opening the album is an instrumental song entitled "Horizons" (3:22). There are some wordless female vocals that give off an angelic vibe. Musically it reminds me of Alan Parson Project, manly the keyboard parts.
Next is the first vocal track, “Illuminations (6:21) which shows off the new Eloy sound I mentioned previously. There’s some extended instrumentation on this track not as much as the 70’s output. This is one of my favorites off the album as well as the 80’s output of the band.
Following is another lengthy song entitled “Giant” (6:07). This also reminds me musically of Alan Parson Project but with an Eloy twist. Frank’s vocals are in prime form here as with his guitar playing. The rest of the band is in top form and help bring out the new Eloy sound.
“Impressions” (3:10) is one of the shorter vocal tracks on the album. There’s a nice flute solo that reminds me of their 70’s output. Musically it’s not as energetic as the previous tracks but still keeps the listener’s attention. This is another favorite of mine.
"Child Migration" (7:20) begins with the spacey trademark sound that made Eloy famous in the 70’s. This song is probably closely resembles something off the previous album but with a more concise and heavier guitar element. There was an earlier different version of this song featured on the remastered edition of Silent Cries & Mighty Echoes. I prefer the version on Colours much more.
“Gallery” (3:10) is another short vocal based tracks on the album. It has an urgency about it that shows off that newer Eloy sound. This could (and should) have easily been played on American FM stations in the day.
"Silhouette" (7:14) is the final long track on the album and another of my favorites. It reminds me a little of their last album but again with a more updated sound. This can easily be called a classic song as much as anything they ever did in the 70’s and beyond.
"Sunset" (2:55) is a beautiful instrumental, synth dominated piece that ends off the album perfectly, in my opinion. It reminds me of end credits to a classic Western movie. I like that the beginning and ending tracks are instrumentals, much like bookends holding the main body of work together.
On the 2005 remastered edition of the album, it featured two bonus tracks. The first is “Wings Of Wisdom” (4:14) which had a very commercial sound that really didn’t fit on the Colours album. It’s also my least favorite of Eloy’s music. The second is a single edit of "Silhouette" (3:31), which was obviously cut for radio airplay.
So looking back one can see the differences between the 70’s and 80’s output of the band with Colours as a benchmark of a new beginning. This is also one of my favorite Eloy albums, and from what I’ve seen is overshadowed by the previous album, Silent Cries & Mighty Echoes and the Planets and Time To Turn companion albums.
I can’t recommend Colours enough and I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir here. For the uninitiated, this is a very good place to start for the 80’s content. Be sure to get the 2005 remastered edition as the sound is more vibrant.
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on December 17th, 2010