Ronnie James Dio was famously the frontman for Rainbow, Black Sabbath/Heaven And Hell and, of course, Dio.
But before he sang in those legendary bands, he fronted Elf (previously Electric Elves), whose rare 1971 tracks now are being released. Described as the work of a "rock/honky tonk/blues band", Elf's forthcoming release, "And Before Elf... There Were Elves", shines a light on Dio's early vocal skills.
Set for an October release via the Niji Entertainment Group, "And Before Elf..." features 12 previously unreleased tracks from 1971, both in the studio and live. The album will feature a lenticular/3D/hologram cover on which, when you turn it, you will see two alternating images: Ronnie from the first Elf LP as well as a vintage group shot from 1971. Longtime Dio engineer wyn Davis remastered the original tapes.
Elf made three albums before Dio left, in 1975, to co-form Rainbow with Deep Purple's guitarist Ritchie Blackmore. Elf guitarist David "Rock" Feinstein (Dio's cousin) would go on to front The Rods.
The tracklisting for "And Before Elf... There Were Elves" is:
01. You Shook Me 02. Stay With Me 03. Four Day Creep 04. Buckingham Blues 05. Wakeup Sunshine 06. Driftin' 07. Smile For Me Lady 08. You Felt The Same Way 09. Simple Man 10. Drown Me In The River 11. Cold Ramona 12. Little Queenie
Thanks for the report to Michael Leonard, Gibson.com