Wednesday, December 7, 2022

The Day After The Sabbath 146: HALLO Nr. 1 - DDR Rock part 1

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Welcome to TDATS volume 146: Heavy rock of communist East Germany. This is the first part, as I was able to find around 30 bands that made fitting music for the blog, and part 2 will follow some time in the not-too-distant future!

This is a great collection featuring all-new acts apart from one, Puhdys, who appeared once before on vol 48 (link). In making this set I came across almost exclusively bands that I had never heard before. The quality of the music here is undeniably world-class, with excellent musicianship, as we have come to expect from German rock in general, and surely these bands would have been better-known if they hadn't been playing within the bubble of the DDR. 

The "Lipsi"
A dance invented by the authorities to
replace "vulgar" western rock'n'roll
dancing. Apparently it failed to catch on... 
The musicians of post-war East Germany suffered the same heavily-imposed restrictions and controls that artists of many other communist states did. Some bands like the Klaus Renft Combo (later "Renft") were at one time banned out-right, and their entire back catalogue on the state-controlled "Amiga" record label was deleted from history. There's a concise article at Messy Nessy Chic (link) and I recommend reading that in conjunction with this volume, as it highlights the difficulties of being a rock band in the Deutsche Demokratische Republik (DDR, aka GDR) and also references a few of the bands I used in this and the next DDR volume.

At one point, bands required licenses just to exist and be allowed to play at the government-authorised music venues of the time. Their image and musical / lyrical output was continuously scrutinised by the authorities in order for them to keep the licenses. Many of the bands had to find new and inventive ways to continue making great music with worthy lyrics, while still being permitted to play.

There's a great cross-section of all the styles of rock you'd expect from the period, regardless of point of origin, with some obvious inspiration from western bands of the time, even down to particular song parts, but in this case it shouldn't be regarded as plagiarism. In a way these bands were doing a service for rock fans in the DDR who had difficulty in hearing the originals any other way, as so many western rock records that we take for granted now, were banned.

If you want to go deeper on the scene I must give props to (link), a fantastic DDR rock fan site which has in-depth profiles on all the bands in this volume, plus many more, and just as importantly, many exclusive interviews with members of the bands. 


01. Thomas Natschinski-Gruppe - In Der Vierten Stunde (1972)
                from album Wir Über Uns
02. Electra - Bemuhe Dich (1975)
03. Gisela Dreßler - 48 Crash (1974)
04. Berluc - Hallo Erde, Hier Ist Alpha (1978) 
                single (78) and album Reise Zu Den Sternen (79)
05. SOK - Sok-Oriental (1971)
                from retrospective SOK feat. Anders, Forsthoff, Gumpert, Sommer
06. Karussell - Ehrlich Will Ich Bleiben (1979)
                from album Entweder Oder
07. Stern-Combo Meißen - Hat Der Tag Sein Werk Vollbracht (1975)
                from collection Beatkiste Vol. 6
08. Puhdys - Ikarus (1974)
                from album Die Puhdys
09. Express - Leben, Um Ein Mensch Zu Sein (1973)
                from collection Hallo Nr. 8
10. Reform - Drachentoter (1979)
                from album Reform
11. Lift - Neuer Tag Bricht An (1976)
                from collection Beatkiste Vol. 3
12. Thomas Natschinski-Gruppe - Auf Dem Bau (1972)
                from album Wir Über Uns
13. Joco-Dev-Sextett - Stapellauf (1971)
14. Peter Holten-Septett - Weiter Weiter (1975)
                from collection Beatkiste Vol. 2
15. Klosterbrüder - Lied Einer Alten Stadt (Weimar) (1975)


"Wir Über Uns" LP
Thomas Natschinski-Gruppe - In Der Vierten Stunde (1972)
This is a stately piece of keys-lead prog that makes for a good opener before the heaviness begins, and the band make another appearance in this comp for track 12. Thomas Natschinski's group started out as successful beat band "Team 4", and made 3 LPs on the Amiga label. They morphed into a prog band that played a variety of pop to hard rock. Thomas Natschinski later become a music producer for soundtracks of many movies and TV shows, and has a website (link). More can also be read at deutsche-mugge (link) and ostmusik (link).

Electra - Bemuhe Dich single
Electra - Bemuhe Dich single
Electra - Bemuhe Dich (1975)

Here's an excellent hard-rocker with great guitar. This was a single in 1975 and can be found on the 2004 retrospective "35 Jahre Electra", which has lots of heavy tracks of equal quality. They were also well know for making prog rock adaptations of Classical pieces. The last time the band appeared live was in 2015. One of the longest-running of East German prog bands, they changed completely throughout their history. Established in Dresden in 1969, and although quite popular, they were considered too radical to get an album released, instead they spent much of their time as backing band to various pop singers. 

Their 1974 debut album amounted to an early history of the band, followed by 3 other albums that are considered to be their definitive progressive rock era. In the 1980s they adopted a more mainstream pop rock style and became very popular in the DDR. There's an interview with Bernd Aust of Electra at ostmusik (link). Some more biography can be read at ostbeat (link), deutsche-mugge (link) and ostmusik (link).

Gisela Dreßler - 48 Crash
Gisela Dreßler - 48 Crash (1974)

Here's a fun Suzi Quatro cover. Gisela was a member of the Rainer Bloß Combo and jazz rock group SOK, which also appears in this comp. According to Discogs this single was made in conjunction with Electra, Karl-Heinz Ringel (of Electra and Sander-Formation) has arrangement credits.

Hallo Erde, Hier Ist Alpha
Berluc - Hallo Erde, Hier Ist Alpha (1978)
Here's a track with stomping riffs, from a good hard rock album by Berluc. They derived their name from Berlin and Luckenwalde, the region of East Berlin where they originated. They made three albums of hard rock into the 1980s, and some singles after, but they have continued to play live right up this year, 2022 (youtube). Berluc have a website (link) and some biography can be read at deutsche-mugge (link) and ostmusik (link).

SOK feat. Anders, Forsthoff,
Gumpert, Sommer
SOK - Sok-Oriental (1971)
This is a killer funky jam with the jazzy drumming just making it totally addictive, and the fuzz guitar isn't doing any harm either! The guarantors of the high musical level of the band, founded in 1971, were musicians such as Ulrich Gumpert (of Klaus Lenz Big Band, Synopsis - piano, organ, vocals, composition, arrangements, band leader), Günter Baby Sommer (of Modern Jazz Big Band 65 - drums), saxophonist Helmut Forsthoff (of Klaus Lenz Big Band) and Ernst-Ludwig Luten Petrowsky (of Klaus Lenz Big Band, Synopsis). These musicians had a solid, mostly classical, music education.

Gumpert and Sommer also had their first steps previous acts, such as the Manfred Ludwig Sextett and the groups of Klaus Lenz and Friedhelm Schönfelddid. The founding members also included guitarist Günter Dobrowolski, Gerd Lübke (bass guitar), Robert Tornev (trumpet, violin), Rainer Paschy (saxophone) and Hermann Anders (tuba, composition, arrangements). Lübke and Dobrowolski came from the beat scene. For a time, Hans-Joachim Graswurm also played as a guest musician with SOK. The group presented at Jazz in der Kammer on June 7, 1971.  In 1972 the line-up of the band was supplemented by the singer Barbara "Bärbel" Folz. She was replaced in mid-1973 by Gisela Dreßler, who had a distinctive blues voice. (wikipedia). Some more biography can be read at wikipedia (link) and ostmusik (link).

Karussell – Entweder Oder
Karussell – Entweder Oder
Karussell - Ehrlich Will Ich Bleiben (1979)

Here's another piece of stately prog. Karussell was founded in 1976, from members of the Leipzig amateur band "Fusion" and former members of the band Renft, who appeared in vol136 (link) and will appear again in part 2 of TDATS DDR Rock, who had recently been banned by the GDR authorities. Founding members of Karussell were Wolf-Rüdiger Raschke, "Cäsar" Peter Gläser, Jochen Hohl, Reinhard "Oschek" Huth, Lutz Kirsten, Claus Winter and Bernd Schumacher. In 1978, they became professional thanks to a sponsorship agreement with the central council of the FDJ (wiki), the concert and guest performance directorate (wiki) and the band. The first positive side effect of this change was participation in the "Rhythm 78" festival. For many fans of the banned group Renft, Karussel was the legitimate successor. Some more biography can be read at deutsche-mugge (link) and ostmusik (link).

Stern-Combo Meißen - Hat Der Tag Sein Werk Vollbracht (1975)
Stern-Combo Meißen was founded in 1964 by Martin Schreier, Norbert Jäger and Bernd Fiedler in Meißen, near Dresden. One of the longest-serving bands in Germany, they first performed in 1964 at a party for pensioners in the "Luftbad Meißen-Spaar". In the early years, the band played covers of their influences, including Blood Sweat & Tears and Chicago, which is why three horns played in the group until 1973. Around this time the group turned professional, the musical style changed and influences changed. They now played songs by Pink Floyd, Emerson Lake & Palmer or Genesis and began to write their own songs in this style. Still playing is 2022 as "Stern Meißen", a recent show was reviewed at (link). Some more biography can be read at deutsche-mugge (link) and ostmusik (link).

Puhdys – Die Puhdys 1974
Puhdys - Ikarus (1974)
Puhdys emerged from the Udo Wendel combo founded in 1965. The band name consists of the initials of the original line-up, Peter Meyer, Udo Jacob, Harry Jeske and Dieter Hertrampf. The "ys" was added to the end and Puhdys were born. The group first played songs from their favorite bands Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Uriah Heep and others. Even though the original Puhdys had been active since 1965, the band's concert in Freiberg's "Tivoli" on November 19, 1969 is considered the official founding of Puhdys. This day was celebrated regularly as the band's 'birthday' until the band dissolved in 2016. Puhdys first appeared in vol48 (link) and are one of the most famous DDR rock bands and their earlier albums contain a lot of good hard rock. Some more biography can be read at ostbeat (link) and deutsche-mugge (link).

Gruppe ,Express' Berlin
Gruppe ,Express' Berlin
Express - Leben, Um Ein Mensch Zu Sein (1973)
This Berlin band was active until 1990, but never released an album, and had only a few songs released on single, that were recorded for radio. The band was formed around 1971-2 as an amateur band . They first gained notoriety appearing at the 10th "World Festival of Youth and Students" (link) in 1973 in East Berlin. At the 1974 Workers' Festival in Erfurt, the band was awarded for successful original compositions. In the same year they received the title "Excellent Amateur Dance Orchestra". In 1974, along with Puhdys, they provided music for the film "…Verdammt, Ich Bin Erwachsen" (link). Some more biography can be read at deutsche-mugge (link), ostmusik (link) and wikipedia (link).

Reform - Drachentoter
Reform - Drachentoter LP
Reform - Drachentoter (1979)
When Klosterbrüder (from Magdeburg, appearing at the end of this comp) broke up, two new bands emerged: some of the members founded the group Magdeburg (appearing in the next DDR volume), and guitarist "Matze" Blankenburg founded Reform in 1975. In addition to Jörg Blankenburg, the first line-up included Mike Demnitz on bass, Peter Piele on drums, Werner Kunze as second guitarist/keyboardist, and Frank Schönfeld as singer. Frank was the leader and frontman of Reform until 1977. He was followed by Stephan Trepte (Electra, Lift), who was the band's singer from 1977 until the band broke up in 1986. Some more biography can be read at deutsche-mugge (link) and ostmusik (link).

Lift - band
Lift - Neuer Tag Bricht An (1976)
Lift emerged from the "Dresden-Septett" and gave their debut concert on January 28, 1973 in Dresden. In the early days, the personnel carousel turned very quickly. In 1973 after Wolfgang Scheffler's departure, Franz Bartzsch joined on keyboards, and Stephan Trepte as singer. Bartzsch's affiliation was short-lived and he left the group after only a year and a half to go to Veronika Fischer's Band. Wolfgang Scheffler then returned. Werther Lohse, who is still the only remaining member from the early days, joined Lift in 1974, while guitarist Jürgen Heinrich and singer Christiane Ufholz left. Trepte then left in '76 and formed Reform. Henry Pacholski replaced him. During Scheffler's time in the army from May '75 to 1976, Michael Hausdorf and Peter Sandkaulen (guitar) came in for him first and Michael Heubach for Hausdorf from October '75, during which time the guitarist left and Scheffler, together with Pacholski, rejoined the band from October '76. Lift played recently in 2022, you can read a review of that at ostmusik (link). Some more biography can be read at ostbeat (link), deutsche-mugge (link) and ostmusik (link).

Joco-Dev-Sextett - Stapellauf (1971)
In 1965 founding JDS members Jörg Schenkel and Detlef Lüpke were playing with Conny Hassbach and Dieter Szredzek as the "Joco-Dev-Quartett". Soon there were changes in personnel, partly because Conny Hassbach wanted to study. Jörg and Detlef joined forces with former musicians from the group The Brightles, who had just been banned, and founded Joco Dev.

At the end of the 60's the group got the chance to make songs for radio, and new TV show "Notenbank". This is how the song "Stapellauf" came into being. Lyrics and music were written by Reiner Schubert, and the group developed the arrangement together. The first version of the song did not pass the editor's office because the lyric "Black ships came over the sea" was apparently classified as "reactionary and decadent". The director of Notenbank, Bernd Maywald, contributed alternative lyrics. An interview with Bernd can read at deutsche-mugge (link). The Amiga label released "Stapellauf" as a single in 1971, however, the radio version was not pressed, it was re-recorded for the single. Many Joco Dev members were in the '80s heavy metal band "Formel 1" later. Some more biography can be read at deutsche-mugge (link) and ostmusik (link).

Peter Holten-Septett
Peter Holten-Septett - Weiter Weiter (1975)
Nearing the end now and here's an incendiary track from this group that was founded in 1970 by band leader, singer and keyboardist Peter Grasnick. The band name changed over time: Peter Holten-Sextett, Septett, also the Peter Holten Band. The name Peter Holten was invented, because at the time Peter Grasnick was not allowed to appear as an amateur or professional musician, since he was studying law, and working as a musician was not allowed for students of this discipline.

The first line-up included Grasnick's wife Brigitte (vocals), singer Bernd Bangel, bassist Dieter Wiesjahn, guitarist and singer Victor Heyse, keyboardist Michael Peglau and drummer Bernd Schwitzke. The group used sophisticated lyrics, and was only on the road as a live act for a small proportion of its existence. In 1972 the group made its first radio performances, that were recorded for inclusion in various Amiga period compilations, but unfortunately the band doesn't appear to have had any of its own singles or albums released.

In 1975 almost all the members left the Septett. While the former members founded Babylon in 1975 (appearing in the next DDR TDATS), Peter and Brigitte Grasnick re-formed with newcomers Thomas Friedrich (singer), Wolf-Dieter Bienge (bassist), Julius Krebs (keyboards) and Peter Lucht (drums). In addition, former Joco Dev guitarist Peter Nehls joined, but left in 1978 and was immediately replaced by two new guitarists: Roland Wolter and Michael Otter. The newly formed band could not build on the old successes. There were no more album releases with the band's titles, although the new line-up produced more of their own songs. In 1979 the Holten Band disbanded. Some more biography can be read at deutsche-mugge (link), ostmusik (link) and wikipedia (link).

Klosterbrüder - Lied Einer Alten Stadt (Weimar) (1975)
This is a song that was released via the Amiga label on a split single with Lift, who appeared earlier in this volume. Klosterbrüder existed in various forms from the remnants of early '60s beat band The Big Town Boys. Their religious name (Friars or "monk brothers") and their tendency to draw big crowds seemed to attract unfavorable attention and even performance bans from the authorities and in 1975 they dissolved, with members immediately forming two new bands, Magdeburg (in next DDR volume) and Reform (in this volume). An interview with Klosterbrüder / Reform guitarist Jörg "Matze" Blankenburg is up at deutsche-mugge (link), where there is also an interview with Klosterbruder's Dietrick Kessler (link), and some more biography can be read at deutsche-mugge (link), ostmusik (link) and the band's website (link). 

Thanks for listening, part 2 of DDR rock is compiled and will be out in the new year!
Happy Holidays! Rich

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Sunday, November 27, 2022

The Day After The Sabbath - Best of 2016 > 2022

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Happy Holidays to all. Thanks to everyone who has supported the blog recently, and over the years! In order to celebrate the 13th birthday of TDATS and its return earlier this year, I have put together an end-of-year retrospective "best of" TDATS, something I have not done since 2015.

Here we have a collection of tracks picked from every published volume starting at #128, going to #145 (the most recent), plus a track from the forthcoming volume 146, which will be out soon.

Since the end of 2015 there have been 10 regional volumes: Ireland (131), Irish Punk (132), Macedonia (134), Argentina (137), France (141), Venezuela (144), plus multiple USA volumes covering Southern Rock (139), Ohio (140), Birmingham Alabama (128) and the year 1970 in the USA (142).

We've had another girl-fronted set (129), slide guitar (133), covers and common lyrical themes (130 & 138), a tribute to German producer Dieter Dirks (135), Guest band-curated (136) and extra long tracks (145).

In this time there has also been an Interview with Dan Keady, guitarist of Boston heavy psych band Fort Mudge Memorial Dump (link), and an interview / music special with leader of French band Arsenic, Bertrand Repellin (vol 143)

A few random stats covering the blog since it started: There are now around 1,650 artists included, in 2,014 songs which have a combined play-length of almost exactly 6 days. The best year for hard rock is proven beyond much doubt to be 1971, with 327 of the 2,014 tracks being from 1971, runners-up: 1970 with 292 tracks and 1972 with 264 tracks. 


01. Crimson Tide - Turning Back (1978)
            from v128: Sweet Home Birmingham, Alabama
02. Duck - Buried Alive In The Blues (1972)
            from v129 Mother Trucker [Girl-fronted bands]
03. Melvin McRae Band - Evil Woman (1976)
            from v130 Bad Bad Woman
04. Eire Apparent - Here I Go Again (1968)
            from v131 Land Beyond The Wave [Irish Special]
05. Cobra - Graveyard Boogie (1978)
            from v132 Punk Rockin' Granny [Irish Punk Special]
06. Terry Stamp - Itchy Feet (1975)
            from v133 A Lot Of Bottle [Slide Guitar Special]
07. Madrigali - Imeto naše e Madrigali (1977)
            from v134 Macedonian Special
08. Tea - Cool In The Morning (1974)
            from v135 Der Herrscher [Dieter Dirks Tribute]
09. Essjay - Twins Of Evil (1971)
            from v136 Mainline Riders [Guest Band-Curated]
10. Contraluz - La Sarna Del Viento (1973)
            from v137 Tierra del Fuego [Argentina Special]
11. The Blackburds - Get Out Of My Life Woman [Instrumental] (1967)
            from v138 Get Out Of My Life Woman
12. Wits End - Tribute (1979)
            from v139 Busted In Georgia [Southern Rock Special]
13. Myth Band - Cold Wind Blows (1976)
            from v140 Greetings From Ohio [Ohio 45s]
14. Joël Daydé - Can I Live My Life (1971)
            from v141 Le Démon du Rythme [France Special]
15. Raymond Louis Kennedy - Miss Goody Two Shoes (1970)
            from v142 Sweet Marie [The USA in 1970 Special]
16. Arsenic - Mister X's Dream (1978)
            from v143 Arsenic Band Music & Interview
17. La Fe Perdida - Lady Lola (1971)
            from v144 La Sayona [Venezuela Special]
18. Sweet Pain - Joy (1970)
            from v145 Come All Ye Faceless [Long Tracks]
19. Electra - Bemuhe Dich (1975)
            from v146 HALLO! DDR Rock part 1 [Preview for v146]

Crimson Tide self-titled LP 1978
Crimson Tide - Turning Back (1978)
We kick off with a killer track from Crimson Tide. Although their 1978 self-titled debut had a couple of harder cuts on it, and "Turning Back" is one of those, their second LP, "Reckless Love", is the most consistent. The kingpin of the outfit was guitarist Wayne Perkins (wiki), who started out as a session player in his teens, and in '60s Birmingham bands like The Vikings. After working in the famous Muscle Shoals scene, and a stint working in the UK in Smith Perkins & Smith, who made a record in 1972, he wound-up back home in The Alabama Power Band (originally started by his brother Dale, who was the drummer). They had changed name to "Crimson Tide" by the time of signing with Capitol.

The playing is impeccable through-out with nice slide guitar, but the band didn't last long after their second record. Wayne's session career continued as before, he made his first solo record in '95 and throughout his career has played for everyone from Don Nix to Bob Marley.

It's not too easy finding the whereabouts of the remaining guys, but keys-man Richard "Wolfie" Wolf is a Los Angeles-based music producer, remixer and composer, with numerous film, television credits too.

Alabama Record Collectors Association - "Wayne Perkins, through the help of drummer Jasper Guarino, became a session guitarist at a studio in Muscle Shoals owned by Quin Ivy at $100 a week. He later formed a band, Smith, Perkins and Smith for a very short time. He then was a member of several different bands, including the Gap Band. Wayne was even considered at one time to join the Rolling Stones, but was decided against because he wasn’t British, but did play on one of their albums in 1974.

Crimson Tide - Wayne Perkins center

One day Wayne Perkins went to hear his brother Dale's band, Alabama Power. "They had a great band and no songs," he says. "They had the vehicle and I had the gasoline. I had the connections in Hollywood after all these years." Perkins says that lawyers for the Alabama Power Company were not pleased with the band's name, so the group changed it to Crimson Tide. "I much preferred the name Alabama Power to Crimson Tide because that's sacrilege, to me. Crimson Tide is a great name but [the University of Alabama] was already using it." Crimson Tide released two albums on Capitol Records, the self-titled Crimson Tide in 1978 which provided the single “Love Stop,” and Reckless Love in 1979 and a single of the same name, the latter produced by Donald "Duck" Dunn, bassist for Booker T. and the MGs, with the MGs' Steve Cropper contributing guitar parts.

Crimson Tide became the house band at the Crossroads Club in Roebuck for a couple of years in the late '70s, where well-known acts such as Yes, Joe Cocker, or Rick Derringer, if they had performed elsewhere in town that day, often showed up to sit in. "That's one thing about the Crossroads Club. You never knew who would show up," Perkins says. Crimson Tide split up in 1979. Perkins later released a pair of solo CDs, Mendo Hotel in 1995 and Ramblin' Heart in 2005, as well as having his songs included on soundtracks for several films and TV shows. The members of the band were: Dale Perkins, Wayne Perkins, Greg Straub, Bobby Delander and J.J. Jackson. By the second album, Richard Fox, who played keyboards on both albums, was an official member."

Duck - Buried Alive In The Blues (1972)
 was an Aussie mob fronted by Bobbi Marchini, and also had bassist Teddy Toi of The Aztecs, and guitarist Russel Smith of the Renee Geyer Band. Many of the players also played on the pretty cool John Robinson "Pity For The Victim" LP which is worth a listen. They open this with a blistering cover of a Paul Butterfield band track, "Buried Alive In The Blues". Bobbi's name appears soon after Duck on the Sven Libaek ‎record, "Grass - A Rock Musical". Libaek is a Norwegian who settled in Australia after touring there in The Windjammers.

Melvin McRae Band - Queen Of Hearts (1976)

Melvin McRae Band - Evil Woman (1976)
Melvin MacRae Band was Melvin McRae (guitar, vox), Rauni Osterman (drums) and Hannu Takala (bass) which is the same as the final lineup of another Finnish band which came before, Yellow, minus Helge Koskela. Melvin was apparently from the UK but so far I've drawn blanks on how he ended up in Finnish bands and what happened to him afterwards. There's a few great tracks on the album "Queen Of Hearts" (1976) which is a mix of hard rock and boogie rock.

Eire Apparent - Here I Go Again (1968)
Eire Apparent started out in Belfast as the final 1960s incarnation of 'The People', including Henry McCullough. After moving around (reportedly sharing a farmhouse near Blackpool at one time with Lemmy's early band The Rockin' Vicars) they found significant success in Dublin, and sought greater success by relocating to London. While there they got co-signed by Soft Machine manager Mike Jeffery and Hendrix manager Chas Chandler, after a performance in the famous UFO club. This landed them a support slot on a Hendrix/The Move/Pink Floyd tour.

Hendrix befriended them, producing and playing on their only album, 1968's 'Sun Rise', which was put out by US label Buddah Records after they made a name there supporting Hendrix, Soft Machine, The Animals etc. The band appears to have had problems caused by it's fanbase being spread too thinly and failed to really nail it in either the UK or US. After personnel changes, they disbanded in 1970. Various members would go on to play with acts such as Freedom, Sam Apple Pie, T.Rex, Pretty Things, Wings and others. My favourite track is a b-side which was not on the album, 'Here I Go Again', and that is what appears here!

Cobra - Graveyard Boogie (1978)
Cobra from Belfast. The final band that were on the 'Belfast Rock' album, Graveyard Boogie is the b-side to the 'Looking for a Lady' single. Both sides of it are great, not so much punk really, they could even be described as one of Northern Ireland's first entries in the NWOBHM.

Third World War - A Little Bit Of Urban Rock
Terry Stamp - Itchy Feet (1975)
Next up is Terry Stamp's solo record from 1975, cryptically called 'Fatsticks'. I'm sure i'm being dense as usual but answers on a postcard if you know what that means, the drummer's preferred tool of his trade maybe? Singer/guitarist Terry was in Third World War, which many of you will know as that rather cool British proto-punkish band. So Fatsticks was mainly written by Terry, a collection of new and old songs of his, some from before TWW, with some assistance from Jim Avery (The Attack, Thunderclap Newman). Terry had been writing/playing since the early sixties and you can hear two of his compositions on Harsh Reality's 1969 LP, 'Heaven And Hell'.

Fatsticks has an interesting story behind it that can be read at the Terry Stamp/Jim Avery website (link) and I recommend reading it, it's a great example of talented musicians making an album in an off-the-cuff way and going about their business afterwards without thinking about it again, like it was just another day's work for a musician back then.

Terry Stamp - Fatsticks
Terry Stamp - Fatsticks

I may be a bit presumptuous there as I have only heard four tracks from Fatsticks, that's all I can find at the moment. It has not been re-issued (it should be!) and seems to command higher prices than I am prepared to pay at the moment! The four tracks I have heard from it would lead me to think it's a great album, with plenty of the proto-punk attitude that Terry injected into TWW. I have used a track from it called 'Itchy Feet' which displays some absolutely blazing lead and slide guitar work from Peter 'Ollie' Halsall (deceased 1992) who was in Boxer (also TimeboxTempestPatto) later and covered a couple of tracks from Fatsticks with Boxer.

Madrigali - Imeto naše e Madrigali (1977)
Madrigali is a band that is well-regarded in the FYROM (Former Yugoslavian Republic Of Macedonia) but don't appear to have released an official album of their own. They specialise in great guitar harmonies and the track I included, 'Imeto naše e Madrigali', exemplifies that with cool galloping rhythms. It would seem they are still around as in 2013 they collaborated in live shows with Croatian singer Dado Topić, who's career has included bands like Time & Korni Grupa from different regions of the former Yugoslavia.

The best vintage Madrigali recordings I have heard were made during a 1977 TV performance with singer/flute player Cane Nikolovski, that you can watch here:

Tea - Cool In The Morning (1974)
At 8th place on this volume is the Swiss band Tea. When doing the Swiss volume 83 (link) I decided not to include them, but on checking them out again for this, it seems that was a bit of an oversight as they do have some sterling music to offer.

It would appear that German producer Dieter Dierks was closely allied to the band, as its engineer and producer. Also appearing as backing singers for Tea was a Chilean pop band called Santiago, who Dierks produced for the BASF label (even the omni-present Rainer Marz showed up playing guitar on Santiago LPs).

More info from "Tea is a heavy progressive rock band formed in 1971 in Switzerland. The founding members were drummer Roli Eggli, guitarist Armand Volker, and bassist and vocalist Turo Pashayan. The band's name is derived from these three member's first initials. In 1972, the band augmented their lineup with lead singer Mark Storace. The band heavily toured in Switzerland and France, earning a name for themselves before they had even released any material, which led to them landing a spot on television, unheard of for many bands in their day, in 1973. In 1974, the band finally began to release music, beginning with a few singles that led up to, although they were not included on, the band's debut self-titled album in 1974. After the album's release, they even toured with international superstars Queen as the band's "special guests".

1975 saw the band's second album, "The Ship," The album protracted a similar positive buzz as the first album, with many positive reviews published about the album. The band again toured across Europe. In 1976 the band released their third album, "Tax Exile." Yet another European tour commenced, which even included singer Storace's native Malta. Although the band had enjoyed great success up to that point, Tea played their last concert in 1977.

In 2007 however, Eggli, Volker, and Storace began thinking about a reunion. The band began rehearsing as a trio, as Keinholz declined to be included in the band and Pashayan was discovered to be in a German prison due to fraud charges. 30 years after the band dissolved, they released their fourth album "Reloaded," which was a retrospective album that included lesser known works & non-album tracks. The band began to play shows again in December of 2009."

Essjay - "Twins Of Evil"
Essjay - Twins Of Evil (1971)
London's 'psych face-melters' Purson suggested a rare 45 from 1971 called 'Twins of Evil' from TDATS #136. Bandleader Rosalie Cunningham has this to say about it: "I could listen to this sinister slice all day, it’s so groovy!

It's a rearrangement of the orchestral theme for the Hammer Horror film of the same name. It was released as a single by ‘Essjay’, a pseudonym for composer Mike Batt who also wrote the Wombles TV theme!"

Contraluz - "Americanos"
Contraluz - "Americanos"
Contraluz - La Sarna Del Viento (1973)
Contraluz opens firing on all cylinders with the next track, they made an album in 1973 called "Americanos" which has a diverse mix of plaintive folk-tinged prog with flutes and some heavy blasters with really fierce guitar credited to Carlos Barrios.

"La Sarna Del Viento" rages along with impassioned vocals from Alvaro Cañada, it's about as heavy and foreboding as anything from 1973. The break-down at the half way point is pure over-driven heavy metal and this whole track is an absolute delight that builds and builds. Contraluz has made occasional re-appearances and recorded a new album as recently as 2011.

The Blackburds

The Blackburds - Get Out Of My Life Woman [Instrumental] (1967)

France's The Blackburds appear to have played with pop star Johnny Hallyday, and they made an EP in 1967 called "Play the Bugaloo" which this groovy instrumental is taken from.

Wits End
Wits End - Tribute (1979)
Wits End from Garland, Texas are here with an absolute barnstormer of a track in 'Tribute'.  Mike Franklin (drums), Karl Lois (lead guitar, voc), Harvey Martin (bass, voc) and Michael 'Bitch' McSpadden (guitar, voc) make up the band and they put together a strong album recorded in Dallas called 'Rock and By God Roll'. The album has a lot of rocking tracks, and aside from a few ballad-like ones which were not so much their forte, they all have funky, tight and fast guitar with shared vocal duties. 'Tribute' is the stand-out which distils all their skills into four minutes of pure rock bliss. They were apparently a christian band but the lyrics don't particularly show it.

Myth Band - Cold Wind Blows (1976)
A layered production and late-'70s sound is welcomed in this excellent track. There's still plenty of energetic riffing to enjoy, along with atmospheric keys and studio effects. I can find no further information on Myth Band, beyond what's mentioned on Discogs etc. A shame, as this is a highlight of the set and worthy of any famous band's repertoire. The flipside to this has a cool name, "Satan's Sorrows", but is a country affair of less interest here...

"Daydé" LP
(Joël) Daydé - Can I Live My Life? (1971)
Here's a slice of heavy blues with Hendrixy guitar. Joël Daydé was in the early lineup of Zoo, who have appeared in the blog before and will again in this comp. He made a series of solo albums in the '70s and this track is taken from 1971's "Daydé". His albums traverse many styles of electric & acoustic blues. with progressive and hard rock touches. According to FR wikipedia (link) he had his biggest early success with a single called Mamy Blue (yt) and his singing has been compared to other gravel-voiced front men like Joe Cocker and Roger Chapman of Family.

Raymond Louis Kennedy
Raymond Louis Kennedy
Raymond Louis Kennedy - Miss Goody Two Shoes (1970)
Here’s a killer track with everything you could want from a fuzzy stomper. ‘Miss Goody Two Shows’ starts perfectly, over-driven guitar playing a simple, driving riff, then the funky drums cut in, and the throat-shredding vocals complete the trifecta of heavy perfection. The rest of his 1970 LP is extremely solid country rock in the vein of CCR, which I can happily recommend in entirety, if that’s your thing. Philadelphian Ray Kennedy only made two solo albums, but that's because his day-job was behind the scenes and he has various technical/instrumental credits on over 160 records, including singing for Brian DePalma’s cult film Phantom of the Paradise. There’s a bunch more to read about Ray on his wikipedia page (link).

Arsenic - Mister X's Dream (1978)
hen researching French bands for the recent TDATS volume 141 (link), I discovered a number of good late-'70s bands that fused hard rock, garage rock and a little new-wave punk attitude. Many of these bands originated in Lyon and the surrounding area, and one of the best was Arsenic, who made a single album that had intriguing cover art. Judging by the name of the band and the album cover, I had a gut-feeling I was going to like this record. There was very little useful information that I could find about Arsenic aside from the printed album details, so after purchasing the album and making some investigations, I made contact with original guitarist and singer of the band, Bertrand Repellin.

La Fe Perdida
La Fe Perdida
La Fe Perdida - Lady Lola (1971)
Here's an excellent slice of heavy, doomy psych. I love the swagger of this track and it is certainly up there as one of the best heavy songs from the country in the early '70s. This band created just a few singles. The singer and guitarist is Frank Quintero from Caracas, who later went on to success in jazz and world music, and is still performing now. Drummer Iván Velásquez played with many underground acts such as Gladys and Vytas Brenner. Keyboardist Rafael Medina played with acts such as Joseph and Una Luz, and supervised the 1971 scene compilation “2001 Juvenil”, on which the Tsee Muds track in this volume appeared. Frank Quintero made a youtube interview in 2022 (link).

Sweet Pain
Sweet Pain - Joy (1970)
This is a groove-monster with a dance-able beat throughout, and a nimble, almost flemenco feeling accompanying the lively pace at times. It's quite a distinctive track and the drummer (Marty Foltz) is excellent, holding the full 9 minutes of addictive jams together, along with the blistering psychedelic guitar leads coming in and out frequently.

California's Sweet Pain had a tough-guy cover photo on the LP that this track is taken from, but in truth the music only touches on hard rock occasionally and this record is mainly an attempt at chart-friendly pop rock. There was a second Sweet Pain album in 1973, but it seems the band lineup had changed so much by then they were basically a different band, and moved even further from hard rock.

Electra - Bemuhe Dich (1975)
Here's an excellent hard-rocker with great guitar. This was a single in 1975 and can be found on the 2004 retrospective "35 Jahre Electra", which has lots of heavy tracks of equal quality. They were also well known for making prog rock adaptations of Classical pieces. The last time the band appeared live was in 2015. One of the longest-running of East German prog bands, they changed completely throughout their history. Established in Dresden in 1969, and although quite popular, they were considered too radical to get an album released, instead they spent much of their time as backing band to various pop singers. Their 1974 debut album amounted to an early history of the band, followed by 3 other albums that are considered to be their definitive progressive rock era. In the 1980s they adopted a more mainstream pop rock style and became very popular in the DDR.

Happy holidays and festivities for the end of 2022! Rich

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Wednesday, November 2, 2022

TDATS 145: Come All Ye Faceless [Long Trips #2 - Hard Rock and Prog 1970 - 1977]

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Firstly a couple of news updates; Blogspot removed its own 'subscribe by email' service some time ago so I have just added a substitute, a popular free email subscription service provided by "Follow.IT". You'll now see the subscription box in the right-hand panel of this blog, where you can get notifications of my new volumes and posts by email. You'll also see I've added a chatbox, where you can live-chat with myself or other followers within the blog, if that's useful to you.

Welcome to volume 145! We have 6 tracks from 5 new names to the blog, plus the well-deserved return of a band that first appeared on TDATS many years ago in the first Scottish volume. Joining them are a variety of aural cosmonauts from the UK, Germany and USA. This is a continuation of the idea I had for v122 (link) where I would include long jams and the type of 10+ minute extended head-trips that require a little more time and investment to appreciate than the usual 2 - 4 minute rockers I usually elect to include, so this is another one for those late-night, dark room, headphone sessions...

The cover art used for this volume is borrowed from a new comic that has just started a first-run fundraiser (link 1, link 2).

NB. as with #122, this volume is guaranteed free of five minute drum solos :D


01. Bodkin - Aunty Mary's Trashcan (1972)

            from album Bodkin

02. Terry Manning - Savoy Truffle (1970)

            from album Home Sweet Home

03. Zarathustra - Past Time (1972)

            from album Zarathustra

04. Bachdenkel - The Settlement Song (1973)

            from album Lemmings

05. Sweet Pain - Joy (1970)

            from album Sweet Pain

06. ID - Where Are We Going (Part 2) (1977)

            from album Where Are We Going

The Lineup

Bodkin - original 1972 cover
Bodkin - Aunty Mary's Trashcan (1972)
We start with a gargantuan cut from this Scottish group, Bodkin has appeared on the blog once before, way back in vol 25 (link). They are on the heaviest end of prog, sometimes reaching Sabbath or Night Sun (link) levels of blusey doom, and their sole album is excellent throughout.

The album remained in bootleg limbo for many years, with multiple unofficial releases with various made-up cover arts. As far as I can tell the original record was released in very small numbers on a private label with a very simple cover as shown on the left. The archival label Seelie Court has just released it on vinyl in 2021, maybe this is the most legitimate re-pressing so far?

Bodkin band
Here is a snippet of Discogs user black-shuck's comments on the record: "99 copies of bodkin were made. Six had original stenciled blue/white sleeves and 3 or 4 are known to survive. 38 unsold copies were advertised for sale in the NME or Melody Maker by the producer and bought by a German dealer, he made the new covers which are not original to the pressing, this backfired and devalued the LP at the time collectors became suspicious the LP was fake.

The Seelie Court vinyl edition is out now, mastered from the original studio tapes, using the original cover converted to gatefold with lyrics, and with the band's involvement. The Akarma edition is an illegal bootleg, copied from vinyl or the old bootleg CD, and uses totally wrong and inappropriate artwork without the band's consent." (link)

The band is Bill Anderson (bass). Dick Sneddon (drums), Mick Riddel (guitar), Doug Rome (Hammond C3) and Zeik Hume (vocals). 

Terry Manning - Home Sweet Home LP
Terry Manning - Savoy Truffle (1970)
Here's one of the few heavy covers to appear on the blog, one of the other notable ones being Pugh's Place's storming 'Ride My Car' on the Dutch vol 35 (link).

But as with Pugh's Place, it would be a disservice to call this a mere cover, it uses the original as a starting point, then becomes its own huge and brilliant 10 minute trip covering blues, psych, country and even a hint of electronica, impossible to fully describe, you'll just have to hear it!

Terry Manning, from Texas, was in a number of El Paso bands including The Outlaws before moving to Memphis and becoming an engineer / producer for Stax Records and Ardent Studios, eventually working with names like Joe Cocker, Led Zeppelin, ZZ Top, Molly Hatchet and Shania Twain to name a very few. 

He made this solo record 'Home Sweet Home' in 1970, which is a countrified psych delight. Terry has a website with a biography (link).

Zarathustra LP cover
Zarathustra - Past Time (1972)

Here's a hard rock groove-monster from a German band that released one self-titled LP in 1972. Like a lot of German heavy bands at the time, they seem to have been fans of the Deep Purple / Uriah Heep school of power-rock with heavy Hammond and wailing group vocals. The album is solid, standard fare among a host of similar German bands at the time, but if this style is your bag you'll dig it, and this track deserves TDATS' full attention. 

According to releases on Discogs, the member of Zarathustra that appears to have been most successful in music after the band' short existence was singer Ernst Herzner, who went on to Novalis, a reasonably successful band that made many albums up into the 1980s. Ernst even made a few solo singles in the mid '80s.

Bachdenkel - Lemmings LP
Bachdenkel - The Settlement Song (1973)

Recorded in 1970, released in '73 on an album called "Lemmings", a group from Birmingham, then re-located to France. I listened to them ages ago but just listened to this album again and it's got some fantastic tracks, this song for instance is an introspective, "quiet / loud" epic and could easily have been the centerpiece on a classic '90s alternative rock album from the likes of Jane's AddictionStone Roses, Tool or Smashing Pumpkins, seriously.

There's another song on this album called "Come All Ye Faceless" (link) which is equally cool and almost as long, and shares the same distinctively strident, marching riff style, in fact that is the one I almost included, hence the title of this volume. The band have an interesting history, being a non-conformist, art collective type, they played at venues with full psychedelic light shows (link) and relocated to France where they recorded a second album in 1977. 

Sweet Pain
Sweet Pain - Joy (1970)
This is another groove-monster with a dance-able beat throughout, and a nimble, almost flemenco feeling accompanying the lively pace at times. It's quite a distinctive track and the drummer (Marty Foltz) is excellent, holding the full 9 minutes of addictive jams together, along with the blistering psychedelic guitar leads coming in and out frequently.

California's Sweet Pain had a tough-guy cover photo on the LP that this track is taken from, but in truth the music only touches on hard rock occasionally and this record is mainly an attempt at chart-friendly pop rock. There was a second Sweet Pain album in 1973, but it seems the band lineup had changed so much by then they were basically a different band, and moved even further from hard rock.

ID - Where Are We Going LP
ID - Where Are We Going (Part 2) (1977)
And we end on this huge doomy space-rock jam. There were not a lot of extended jam-prog albums like this in the US in the '70s, I've covered a few on TDATS before like Cathedral on v44 (link) and most of them were on private labels, as this album was.

Out of this set, this is the most obscure band, with sketchy information on the net, some claiming them to be from Marland / Baltimore. Discogs lists the players as Kevin Orsie (bass, vox). Ralph Jenkins (Drums, vox). David Oickle (Guitar, lead vox, mellotron), Gary Oickle (lead guitar), Bob Halsal (mellotron) and James Albert (slide guitar), and many of those names also have engineer / production credits on this record too so it really was an all-hands-on-deck type affair. I think this song is going to go down great with all fans of endless guitar solo stoner Jams from the likes of Earthless, and the end has strong echoes of um, Echoes, by Pink Floyd, with the bassist playing a riff similar to Aerosmith's awesome "Round and Round", so all in all, a perfect mind-melter to end on!

That's all for now folks, have a nice trip! 

Related listening:
The Day After The Sabbath 122: Sonata in Z [long tracks #1]
The Day After The Sabbath 87: Do I Look High? [first Space Rock special, feat. Mara Bunta]
The Day After The Sabbath 69: No Troubled Sky [instrumentals]
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