Saturday, 1 September 2012

Elli (aka Elli Meyer)

Elli Meyer was born in in 1946 in Calcutta, India and moved to London, England in the late 1950's.  After holding down a job as a painter/decorator for a few years he swapped the paintbrush for a microphone after getting compliments on his fine singing voice.  Meyer found himself singing in several beat bands in the early/mid sixties including The Eagles (UK), The Nutrons and The Madhatters with whom he would provide the support to acts like PJ Proby, The Honeycombs and The Moody Blues.

After a brief stint with The Infernos, replacing Troy Dante, Meyer became ill with Diabetes, a disease which would eventually take his life in 2001.  He decided to leave the Infernos and go solo aided by his new songwriter friends Mike Finesilver and Peter Ker.  Joined by Vincent Crane on Piano and Drachen Theaker on Drums, Meyer and co recorded a set of demos which would impress music publisher, Malcolm Forrester to secure a single release for Parlophone.  The mildly psychedelic "Never Mind" b/w "I'll Be Looking Out For You" was released in February 1967, the same time as The Beatles "Strawberry Fields Forever". Guess which single EMI decided to push.  "Never Mind" sank without a trace but has since been comped on Incredible Sound Show Stories Vol.02 "When The Tangerine Strikes Twelve" and is highly regarded a minor classic by UK psych collectors.

EMI were set to release a follow up single "Mister Man" b/w "My Lady Of Love" but Meyer's A&R man was fired thus leading the single to be forgotten about.  Chances are that the single would've bombed the same way as "Never Mind", but that doesn't stop it from being a prime slice of British popsike and can be found on Incredible Sound Show Stories vol.06 "Plastic & Rubber Lovers Of Life".

Elli Meyer continued to record demos with the help of Finesilver and Ker up until 1970, but these recordings would not be released until 1999 when Dig The Fuzz records released an album, "Elli". collecting all of Meyer's known recordings, a total of ten tracks.  The quality of the songs on this album is very high and prove Finesilver and Ker's songs were the perfect platform for Meyer's sweet, angelic vocals, which sound uncannily like Carlos Guerrero from We All Together.  Hopefully, following the release, Meyer saw some recognition of his talents before he passed away.

Finesilver and Ker went on to put out one killer single, "Happy Miranda" b/w "It" as Excelsior Spring on Instant records in 1968 and would also pen the best songs on Love Sculpture's second album "Forms and Feelings" in 1969.

Enjoy Elli...

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