Elli

Elli

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Thanks to serious archivists the world over, unreleased demo and acetate material are now released. Most certainly not all of these efforts are worth it but Dig the Fuzz's mini-album of mainly unreleased Elli material is proof that some very good music has been left unreleased. 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.