Sunday, March 27, 2011

V.A. - Heimatliche Klaenge vol.57 Prae-Kraut Pandaemonium Vol.9

Heimatliche Klaenge - Native Sounds

Prae-Kraut Pandaemonium Vol.9

1 The Cave-men - Purple Haze
2 The Ragged Men - Love Is A Fight
3 The Shaggys - I'm Shy
4 Mike Warner & The New Stars - Don't Give Me No Lip, Child
5 The Kentuckys - Stupid Generation
6 The Shotguns - Shotgun
7 Shamrocks - Crossbow
8 The Candidates - Bad Bad Baby
9 John Deen & The Trakk - Who Knows
10 The Sheapes - Black Cat
11 Didi & His ABC Boys - Greenback Dollar   
12 Novak's Kapelle - Not Enough Poison   
13 The Slaves - You're The Only One   
14 The Spoon - Hippie Soul   
15 The Counts - I've No Money   
16 The Jay Five - In My Dreams   
17 Ian & The Zodiacs - Why Can't It Be Me   
18 The Subjects - Headlines   
19 Gerhard Dlugi - Gloria   
20 The Wild Gentlemen - Why Can't You Be
21 The Major Shouts - Gammlin' Girl
22 Tony Ritchie - Comin' On Strong
23 The Robots - Soldier Beat
24 The Rippers - Night At The Lagoone
25 The Steadtfasts - Girl Be Steadfast
26 The Echo-Sounds - You Must Be Joking
27 The Empty C - Porky's Blues
28 The Rag Dolls - He Has Gone
29 Wonderland - Boomerang   
30 Thursday's Children - Hey Hey   
31 League 66 - Happened 11:23 p.m   
32 The Shaggys - Okay   
33 Adam & Eve & The Hush - Feelin'   
34 The Batmen - The Batman   
35 St. James'  - Lies   
36 Hide & Seek - The Beggar of St.Pair   
37 The Torturers - Ju Ju Hand   

Welcome back to another collection of unexpected artefacts from the ancient germanic underworld. In order to save your money (and our nerves), we decided to put out a double pack and call it number nine, number nine, number nine... (thanks John, but kkeep resting in peace...).

Initially intended to be a 2-for-the-price-of-1 kind of thing, we soon had to realize that the costs for pressing vinyl have reached a depressing peak (!?!). But as we still rather make friends than money, it will go out for a moderate wholesale price and should reach you considerably cheaper than two seperate volumes.

As you may know, this project is dedicated to various aspects of the teutonic 60's sound (Not all! There has been about as much rubbish around as there is today). Don't expect 37 Pretty Things-clones or 97 minutes of acid leaking psychedelia. Four sides loaded to the limit will hopefully offer a lot to every taste, so use your mind expander. In favour of a decent sound quality we've left away some great, but awfully sizzling sides, hoping to find reasonable copies for future volumes. But don't worry - it's a surface noise time again!

The Cavemen
Why open with a song that's been covered over and over again? Listen and you'll see. No one ever dared playing guitar on a Hendrix tune like this Neandertalmen from Bad Homburg-prototype primitivism with slightly altered "lyrics" from an aptly named band. "Excuse me while I kiss that guy..." (People talkin' but they just don't know and the wind cries ouch).

The Ragged Men
This fuzzy stomper on the flip of a decent version of "Take This Hammer" is the finest moment of ... err... well, this single on the Patria-label seems to be sole sign of life of the Ragged Men. Philosophical views (peeps?) at topic No. 1 lead to the conclusion "I want new lovers here of the careless kind". Yeah, man , those were the days before safer sex!

The Shaggys
Ah, the band that started it all! In fact, it was the irresistible charm of kindergarten-bands like Rene & The 10 Less 5, Ric & The Skyliners, Magic Herbs or Wild Cats that pushed us to the urge of sharing results of our plastic archaelogy with the rest of the world (yes, wrong planet, admittedly). The Shaggys' first 7" always was top of the bill (see # 1 and 2). Rumours of a second single brought us quite a hard time, until we finally tracked it down. Like The Ragged Men's record, it came out on Patria, formerly known as - or offspring of - the R & B-label. While "O.K." sounds like Roy Orbison on laughing gas, "I'm shy" features the immortal line "You know it's hard to say, because I'm many shy". How can they say that there's no German sense of humour.

Mike Warner & The New Stars
Mike also was backed by The Shatters from Stuttgart for a while. This may (or not) be a hint.Though released on a major, Mike's LP was hardly bought with all the exciting new British stuff in competition and the notorious lack of cash in the pockets of us kids. It's many, many rare and expensive nowadays - and a bit overestimated, due to this fact. A great record for 1964, but a collection of cover versions. The most clever and astonishing choice was Dave Berry's "Don't Give Me No Lip". If you're not a hard core British R & B freak and still this one sounds familiar, check your Sex Pistols bootlegs.

The Kentuckys
While back in '66, the generation in question wasn't "my"generation, but "theirs", where do we belong to 30 years later? Lost in time, perhaps, but still refusing to join the stupid generation (knock on wood!). This slap in the face of the (Wuppertal) establishment is the flip of "Old Hangman Is Dead"(# 3). You'll find "Uncle Willy" on Pebbles 24 and "5$ And Saturday Night" nowhere ever. (At least we hope so. It's crap)

The Shotguns
The Tonics from Hamburg recorded under many pseudonyms like The Ravers, The Spots, The Movers and - you guessed - The Shotguns. The singer on this Hippo 7" quite obviously is The Tonics' Tony Tornado. Question is, how did they manage to deliver such a fine, tight and raw Mod-version of Jr. Walker's Motown hit, when ll their other recordings sounded as rude as "Mary Had A Little Lamb"? Well, every dog has its day, but a little side-stepping seems to be a better bet. Question stays: who's the band?

The Shamrocks
Old mates from # 5. This UK-group only recorded and released in Germany. The B-side of their non-LP 45, "Midnight Train", sounds like an outtake from their rough Rhythm 'n' Blues days and can be found on Pebbles 18. "Crossbow" on the other side marked the start of a more chart-oriented career that sadly never happened. Call it Mod, call it Freak Beat, call it anything, this song is strong enough to even excuse a little brass fanfare.

The Candidates
While most of Germans bands, trying to keep up with every new trend, developed a strange variety of styles without ever finding their own, The Candidates were strictly R & B. Pretty good at that, but unfortunately a lazy bunch, they never tortured their brains with writing original material. Good taste anyway, as the Pretty Things, Rolling Stones and the very popular (in Germany) Renegades obviously were their heroes. In '66 they recorded an LP for budget label Baccarola. "Bad, Bad Baby" the continental B-side of the exiled UK-Renegades' greatest hit "Cadillac" gets a short, but great face lift here. A cover version, admittedly, but one that doesn't show up on every second compilation.

John Deen & The Trakk
After a couple of unsuccessful years in England as Johnny Deen And The Deacons, the band (like so many others) went to Hamburg. They recorded for CBS, but the company killed the group commercially by releasing their and The Marmelade's version of "Obladi Oblada" simultaneously. Their last sign of life was the LP "Beat 69" for budget label Europa. Trying to sell Beat in '69 was as good an idea as planting bananas in Alaska and, moreover, the wholething was marred a bit by John's ill-fated attempts to win an imaginary Wilson Pickett-impersonator contest. Towards the end of the record (and your patience) we find this cool and unintentionally psychedelic track called "Who Knows".

The Sheapes
Not much known. Legasthenix of the year. Recorded live in '65 a the Star Club. They later recorded a 7" for Swiss label Layola, but reportedly played a lot in Denmark. Hazy fog of mist, but we're working on it... (And please Mr. Phantom, stop doing the Watusi stomp in your bedroom while recording master tapes!)

Didi & The ABC Boys
Specialized in German sung versions of Beatles hits, this Berlin band usually was underestimated and, like their brothers-in-fate, Drafi & The Magics, filed under "Schlagers" by many. Considering the poor studio standards of '66, their adaption of a great old folk song has tight, sharp production. Most likely they were inspired to give "Greenback Dollar" a try by Barry McGuire's version, a minor hit here in '65.

Novak's Kapelle
Public demand forces us to include the forth and definitely last number that Austria's garage kings recorded for Amadeo in the 60's. Cryptic words from a twisted brain (Oedipus seems to be a kind character in comparison) coupled with acoustic guitars а la "Cocksucker Blues" make up a totally different, but just fascinating song.

The Slaves
The return of the mighty slaves. Paul and Hannes Fischer, Herbert Radakovic, Charlie Ratzer from Switzerland and Austria respectively and German-born Heinrich Behrends on bass. Their 3 singles are among the all-time greats of European (no, didn't say continental this time) 60's R & B. And while "Your The Only One" argueably is their sixth best side only, it still stands tall above a lot of others' complete repertoire.

The Spoon
Straight from the asylum. Nothing to do with Hippies and/or Soul. "Kisuaheli War Chant" might be more appropriate. A private pressing found in Frankfurt.(But who brought it to our planet?)

The Counts
Another empty page in the book. Typical German Beat. You get what you deserve...(and, yes, we'll keep you informed soon as...)

The Jay Five
Recorded for Cornet. Quite a lot and terrible rubbish most of it. 4 LPs and a couple of singles with just two good ones on the profit account. "In My Dreams" takes off like a Paisley Pop classic that could crumble some rubbles to dust, when suddenly the old disease breaks through and you get a taste of the usual Jay Five-sound for half a minute. In a dramatically narrow escape they take the curve just in time to get back on the right track again.Their other recommended song is called "It's Raining". Pouring sweat, I guess.

Ian & The Zodiacs
Liverpool, of course. One of the earliest and most hard working Mersey band hardly left any impression back home. They contributed some songs to the now famous Oriole "Mersey Beat" compilation in '63, but found life much easier in Germany soon after. ThreeLPs and numerous singles for the Star Club label show a "development" from Mersey Beat to Blue Eyed Soul. Moderate Sound, moderate looks, no scandals. Always on the safe side, always on the bill. A nice surprise, and hardly representative for the style of the band, is this '66 German-only 7", a mixture of pop and almost punky hard stuff. Paul Revere & The Raiders aren't too far away.

The Subjects
This isn't the band that recorded the great, sick "German Measels" single. In fact, we're not even sure that they had any releases in Germany, as "Headlines" was found on a Hungarian sampler called "International Beat".But - Krautrock fans,this one'sfor you - they undoubtedly are the Munich group that changed name to Subject Esq. and ended up as Sahara in 1974. The song was written by Michael Hoffmann and a most unusual organ (dare I say) solo, great as it is, gives you anidea about what the guy was doing soon as he could afford to buy a truck load of moogs and mellotrons.

Gerhard Dlugi
Yes and how many versions of "Gloria" must some people stand, before they're forever banned? Yeah, right, and we promise not to do it again. But there still are a handful of native speakers interested in ancient German Liedgut and we guess it's our duty to give this forgotten pearl of teutonic spontaneous poetry on the Duo label a second chance. In typical Kraut masochism, our balladeer meets quite a liberated Gloria, telling him to fuck off. Wonder what Mr. Morrison would think about that. Sic transit gloria mundi...

Wild Gentlemen
With all those bands claiming to be gentlemen, it's hard to lose control. These guys, though releasing records on German labels, probably are of Swiss origin."Why Can't You Be" is a clever mix of Rhythm and Beat based on the "Smokestack Lightning"-riff.

The Shouts
Also known as Major Shouts for a while, but that's about all we have found out.Definitely a German group with no relations to the UK-Shouts that recorded a single for the React label.

Toni Ritchie
The story of this record is a remarkable odyssey. Tony Ritchie and Del Spence were a songwriter team closely connected with Sorrows producer Miki Dallon. Dallon licensed most of his products with considerable success to Deutsche Vogue for release in Germany. Unlike other majors, Vogue's policy was to throw all kinds of everything at the wall, hoping that something will keep sticking. Hundreds of one-offs led to a couple of surprise hits. Soon Dallon was given order to write and produce songs exclusively for the German market. In this case however, Morbus Alzheimer mixed up the mail and the tape went to Crescendo, the US outlet for Dallon's stuff. Having shown good taste by signing The Seeds,Crescendo knew a good guitar solo when they heard one and published this 7" with note label saying especially made for German company. Anyway, the now defunct Vogue never got the tape back and we take the chance a mere 30 years later to give the poor thing what it deserves. A German release.

The Robots
When Polydor dropped The Robots after one flopped single (see # 7), they picked up pieces, recorded the comparatively heavier "Soldier Beat and released it on the totally unknown Ursus label to the same result. And this most likely was it for The Robots, but as this second sign of life comes as a big surprise to those who thought they knew all about obscure 60's plastic (i.e. us)..., who knows

The Rippers
Like The Blackbirds, The Rippers recorded an LP for the Opp label. Opp cooperated with Saga in England. In order to save money, the whole edition in both cases was pressed in the UK and distributed in each country seperately. As covers and labels have "Made in Great Britain" printed on, these records often are mistaken for UK-only releases. The Rippers' LP "Honesty" is a mediocre mish-mash of Soul-Beat you needn't lose sleep about. "Night At The Lagoone" stands out like you'd take the Matterhorn to Holland. And by the way, this is not The Rippers that recorded the quite disgusting Global single "Rape".

The Steadfasts
Probably from Bavaria, The Steadfasts are known among collectors for their '66 CCA single. You can find it on "Visions From The Past # 4". While the mighty beaver doesn't seem to like the band's private-press debut very much, to us "Girl Be Steadfast" sounds superior. But as you meanwhile know, we've got a bias in favour of all things absurd...

The Echo-Sounds
This driving little stomper with free form sax and guitar solo is one of two 45's The Echo-Sounds made for Populaer Records (You'll find the other one on # 5). With every new club demand even for unknown British bands increased in Germany, and this Scotish band left the highlands to settle down here for a couple of years. A hell of a live act reportedly, but totally unknown and without releases back home.

The Empty C
Possibly mispelled by their record company. (Empty Sea seems to make more sense, but talking about sense may be pretty pointless in this case anyway). This moody epic on adolescense and neverending puberty is a perfect proto-type of what exactly is our definition of Prae-Kraut. Though recorded in the mid/late 60's, it already has all the characteristic symptoms of what made German underground so strange and special a little later. Unintentionally funny lyrics with wonderous message, bombastic keyboard-dominated arrangement, no melody and it's a bit too long. Hard to get more teutonic than that.

The Rag Dolls
Ah, at last! An all-girl group and a minor sensation among all these girls in the care-age. On first listening you'd bet you hear the mighty Shaggs. (No, not The Shaggys, who are of similar calibre, but male) Just take that incredible off-all-tracks drum break! 1 1/2 chord pling-pling and irresistibly charming out of tune singing show a nearly identical philosophy of the world. And they didn't have the slightest clue about their sisters-in-spirit on the other side of the ocean...

Time to put some things straight after their hit "Moscow" appeared on various compilations of British Psychedelia. Wonderland were ex-Rattles Achim Reichel, Frank Dostal, and Dicky Tarrach, ex-Tonic Helmut Franke and (oops!) English-born Les Humphries. (Yes, the one who pestered the airwaves with his tra-la-la singers in Germany in the 70's)"Boomerang", their second single, was recorded in '68 and produced, like most of their stuff, by James Last. (Yes, the guy who did the same with his orchestra Schlock all over the world) Paisley perverts of the world unite!

Thursday's Children
Due to the English sounding names in the writers department, this one-off on the Astoria label usually is thought to be a German only by a British band. If so, they're quite obviously not the group that recorded two rather tame Soft Beat singles for Piccadilly in '66. The even better A-side of this mouthharp-driven R & B slowburner can be found on "Diggin' For Gold # 2".

League 66
They're from Amberg/Bavaria. Unknown band on unknown label (APM). Another future case for Holmes and Watson.

The Shaggys
See somewhere up there.

Adam & Eve & The Hush
Adam & Eve were the German equivalent to Sonny & Cher (Slightly different, though. Adam could sing and Eve was in charge with queeky nasals). While Eve was from Poland, the original Adam was eccentric Englishmen John Christian Dee. (Yep, the guy who wrote "Don't Bring Me Down" for The Pretties). On this 45 for the Teledisc label Mr Dee had left to produce The Rainbows or write wonderful songs like "The World Can Pack Their Bag And Go Away". Now Krautrock gourmets take note: both sides of this crazy record were written and produced by Dieter Dierks and we suspect the man to be the one who slipped inside Adam's costume on the occasion. The band that saves these two nuts were The Hush, but we were totally disappointed when we heard their record without Adam & Eve. Paradise lost...

The Batmen
No. No relation to Neal Hefti and/or Link Wray. Quite a heavy original and further evidence that Didi & The ABC Boys were capable of more than most suspected. They actually hide behind the Batman capes and tights.

Star-Ton labelmates of Cool Stove, St. James' managed to unite the impossible. Crossover is a household name meanwhile, but crossing Thirteenth Floor Elevators with Swingle Singers is so far over the top... Crossover, under, sideways down.

Hide & Seek
With this name they should be on another fine series... Anyway, you may remember one of Austria's finest from (yet another fine, har, har...) "Exploding Plastic Inevitable #2" and their pretty drastic description of cold turkey "Riven Street". This song to our homeless brothers on the flip completes a record of remarkable social consciousness. Pretty good Folk Rock too and a voice to send shivers down your spine.

The Tortures
From Ludwigsburg. Sam The Sham's Tex Mex-classic gets a straight Neckar Beat treatment and the singer creates a previously unknown language rather successfully. Most probably he's Little Lord of "I Said Hey"-"fame" (see "Infernal World #2"). He was from Ludwigsburg too and worked with lots of backing bands like The Shatters or The Dynamites.

With all these marvelous (in most cases) compilations popping up like mushrooms after a warm rain, it's getting tougher each day to find new suitable stuff. May take a while, but stay tuned for # 10. We're working
on it.

Errors and Corrections:
Vol. 9: The Sheapes came from Switzerland. The Major Shouts: Correct song title is "Gammlin' Girl".
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