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Elf

Carolina County Ball

Review by G. W. Hill
Here we have a reissue of the 1974 release from Elf. For those who don't know, Ritchie Blackmore basically folded the bulk of Elf into his new band Rainbow for the first incarnation of that group. Ronnie James Dio is the best known of this bunch of guys, though. This album has some Southern rock, psychedelia and even things like jazz in the mix. Yet, there are things that really do sound like Rainbow. It's a classy album with a wide range of sounds.
Track by Track Review
Carolina County Ball

Old school rock and roll and Dixieland jazz seem to merge on this mid-tempo number. It's a bit odd, but also a lot of fun.

L.A. 59
There is a lot more old school rock and roll built into this thing. That said, it's more specifically 70s rock in a lot of ways. This is classy stuff for sure. It's energetic and quite catchy.
Ain't It All Amusing
This high energy rocker is so much fun. I like it a lot. The jam section later in the track includes a fairly cool drum solo. If you've read some of my other reviews, you might find that I'm not a big fan of drum solos. This one, though, has a cool groove to it. I think it goes on a bit too long, though.
Happy
Coming in slow and rather mellow, this has some definite pyschedelia built into the early parts of the cut. It grows out from there to something that's definitely a bit on the jazzy side. This gets more involved as it grows. It's a good tune, but a bit too repetitive.
Annie New Orleans
Now, this is fun stuff. It's high energy and catchy. It's very much a Southern rocker turned hard edged 70s rock. It's one of my favorites here.
Rocking Chair Rock 'N' Roll Blues
This comes in with piano and the vocals bring some real psychedelia to the table. It eventually works to a more powered version of that sound. From there it evolves into more of a classic 70s rock sound. I dig the guitar solo and the whole sound is quite effective by the time it reaches that point. Around the half way point it shifts to a full on bluesy rocker. This section really feels a lot like Rainbow to me.
Rainbow
Southern rock, psychedelia and more are heard on this. In some ways the tune reminds me quite a bit of The Rolling Stones.
Do The Same Thing
Now, this stomping hot rocker isn't far removed from the kind of thing Rainbow did. It's a killer cut with a lot of energy. It's one of the highlights of the set.
Blanche
Now, this is a bit odd. Keyboards start this. The vocals come over the top, and this feels like some kind of psychedelic bubble gum rock. This is the weakest cut of the disc. It's repetitive and just not very good. The album would be much stronger without it.
 
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