Early Ronnie James Dio Tracks Being Released


The late Ronnie James Dio was famously the frontman for Rainbow, Black Sabbath/Heaven and Hell and, of course, Dio.

But before then 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:

1. “You Shook Me”

2. “Stay with Me”

3. “Four Day Creep”

4. “Buckingham Blues”

5. “Wakeup Sunshine”

6. “Driftin'”

7. “Smile For Me Lady”

8. “You Felt the Same Way”

9. “Simple Man”

10. “Drown Me In the River”

11. “Cold Ramona”

12. “Little Queenie”

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