1 The Skins - What To Do
2 The Gentlemen - Let Me In
3 The Silhouettes - Crying Over You
4 The Gamblers - Little Girl
5 The Sound Riders - Come On Back
6 The Scavengers - Animal Station
7 The Richard-Brothers - I Just Wanna Make Love To You
8 The Hideaways - Momma, Keep Your Big Mouth Shut
9 The Uniteds - Lucky End
10 The Poor Things - She's Mine
11 The Dentals - Route 66
12 The Black Points - Don't Forget
13 The Sevens - Run Me Down
14 The Mimes - Drive Me Mad
15 Johnny & The Copycats - The Pain Of Love
16 The Speeders - Time Will Never Change
17 The Evolution - Long John
Same procedure as every year...Another great leap backwards to the most exciting decade of a century that is history meanwhile. Funny how time slips away. Hey, you're listening to classical music right now! Admittedly Germany played 3rd division since Robert Johnson, Hank Williams, John Coltrane, Bo Diddley and Lennon/McCartney took over from Bach, Brahms, Haendel and Mozart. But the number of germaniacs active during the 60's was much larger than we naively expected when we started this project and now the undead ghost of Lord Ulli drove us back into the pow wow tent to evoke the 12th Pandaemonium and keep the spirit alive in the next millenium.
Hard hitting, no-nonsense R&B bands on German stages weren't half as rare as you might think, but in those days we had more unicorns than independent studios in this country. If you were lucky enough to find one, you couldn't afford more than two hours with an engineer specialized in recording marching bands and yodlers. Sure, The Boots and The Monks had groundbreaking LPs on major labels, but - let's face it - they didn't sell, while novelty trash like "Balla Balla" and "Gloryland" made the charts. The most noble mission of company producers was to domesticate the rebellious youngster. Well that was the rule, but if there hadn't been exceptions, there wouldn't be no Prae-Kraut...
The Skins for example. Loud, proud and primitive. In 1966 CBS recorded the "Beat Contest of the City of Frankfurt" and released one of the few real live-LPs (most others had fake applause). If you've ever heard how the Skins shreddered The Kinks' "INeed You" (in spite of the heavy riff a love song after all) you'll know what a Rock'n'Roll suicide is. No Prize, of course. They probably took hostages hostages. By the end of the year they had the LP "Beat Party Nr. 4" out on that label (Actually a split LP with The Black Points. See below). Among ultra-heavy covers of songs you know from The Troggs, The Pretties and The Small Faces (check "Too Much Monkey Business" 2 and 4), we've found "What To Do", which seems to be an original and The Skins' idea of a ballad.
Here comes yet another bunch of Gentlemen, most probably unconnected to all the others and not the Swiss band from Vol.11. They had two 45's on that famous red label and while three of the tracks don't move me (or anybody), this speedy version of The Sorrows' "Let Me In" kicks ass. Although the original never was a big seller, an astonishing number of versions were in the orbit and it wouldn't make much sense to add another one that tries to hit harder than Don Fardon and comrades: The Gentlemen avoid that pit with a rearrangement of an R&B classic that has POWER POP written all over.
The Silhouettes from Neuwied had their Pandaemonium debut some three years ago on Vol. 8 and we somehow simply forgot about the fabulous flip of "Tell Me Baby".(Storz) "Crying Over You" sounds like Hollies in the garage and is an instantly catchy, first class example of moody continental Euro Beat.
Gambler on Layola most likely came from Switzerland. "Little Girl" is a great little R&B stomper and, as far as we know, the group's sole 7". The band bravely resists the singer's dubious ambitions towards Memphis Soul and the axemen counters with a solo on his chainsaw. Lucky punch!
Like The Swinging Blue Jeans and Mike Rat & The Runaways,
The Sound Riders had one of those damn hard to find LPs in the Liverpool Beat-series entitled "Live from the Kaskade Beat Club Cologne". Where they actually came from no-one seems to know, but these recordings from'64 show a very accomplished outfit without the usual language troubles that were so typical for most domestic bands. Their track lists offered a rather schizoid mixture of styles from Down Home R&B via Merseybeat to Chubby Checker's Hucklebuck, all executed in flashing brilliance. While many of these early live-LPs are hardly more than funny, this one is pure fun start to finish. The Riders' lack of own songs seems to be the only problem and a possible reason for their traceless disappearance soon after. They concentrated on Rock'n'Roll standards and B-sides of the newcomers like "Send You Back T Walker" (the flip of the Animals debut) and - our choice - "Come On Back", the tune that garnished the back of The Hollies' "We're Through".
It sounds like 66, but the one and only 45 of The Scavengers from Hannover saw the light of day on the tiny Studio Ton label as late as !968. "Animal Station" is one of these clumsy epics withought the slightest hit potential and a fine example of true Prae-Kraut. Trying to square the circle with weird tempo changes and the stubborn ambition to sound different at any cost, that's what we call significant German virtues (that led to even more adventurous results a little later in bands like Amon Dььl or Faust). And why did they call it "Animal Station"? Is this the first sodomistic love song in Rock history? A shepherd waiting for his favourte lamb to arrive with the next train???
The Richard Brothers from Frankfurt were The Marz Brothers Elmar, Ehrhard and Rainer with one actual Richard Ungerath. Hard to say why they had to appear under pseudonym on the CBS LP "Beat Party in Stereo Vol. 2" (1966), as they had three singles on the same label using their real name, The King_Beats (see Vol. 3). This stunning version of Willie Dixon's Chicago classic is a milestone of German R&B. Many bands have covered "Love To You" since it showed up on The Stones debut LP, but none created such painful tension. They play the verses slower than Muddy Waters and the refrain fasterthan The Shadows of Knight. Brainfried but brilliant.
At first sight, The Hideaways seem to be an odd addition in the context. The sound quality is slightly below our most modest standards and the band reportedly never touched German soil. But - here come the good news - this German -only EP on the EVA label is a minor sensation in vinyl history. Unavailable in record shops, it was a supplement to a book called "Beat in Liverpool", edited by Buechergilde Gutenberg in 1965. The Hideaways, who share the EP with The Clayton Squares, were one of the few R&B bands (as opposed to Merseybeat) in Liverpool. Sure, that style isn't exactly what the city was famous for, but on the popularity scale they were on par with The Roadrunners and The Undertakers and had about as much gigs at The Cavern as The Beatles and more than The Big Three. They obviously had an aversion to travelling and didn't even make it to a studio. These '64 live recordings from the Liverpool Sink Club seem to be all that's left of one of the classic Liverpoodlian groups and I wonder how anyone could even consider to press records from tapes as primitive as this one. Hats off!! The sleeve notes tell us that the "documentary character of distorted noise in vibrating walls with extatic screams of female fans" was more important than "hifi-quality". Good one that one, but the obvious problem is a terrible tape hoss produced by a couple of stomping feet to close to a first generation reel-to-reel machine.File under archaelogic artefact.
After decades in the mine you hardly expect to run into a monsterous nugget that no-one has ever heard of before, but that's exactly what happened when we found yet another 7" on that somewhat ceremoniously named label Dr. Binder Dokumentaraufnahmen.The Uniteds (unconnected to The United 5 on Riwo and The United on MPS) easily make the Top 10 of the German Madness charts with "Lucky End". The free form mayhem these loonies produce with sticks and strings defies description, but if Moe Tucker had been around in Lou Reed's Pickwick-days, The Roughnecks might have had a similar sound.
The Poor Things from Mainz soloidly ruined their reputation with two lousy singles on CBS and our hopes were tiny when we found out about their 67 album. And, yes, again the lion's share reminds of the spastic bullfrog's love call, but right in the middle of all that blue eyed soul-catastrophes you're confronted with "She's Mine", a majestic variation of the "Louie Louie"-riff with an organ solo that cuts like Ripper Jack. The Dentals from Tuebingen had this one 7" on the local HE-label and although their version of Bobby Troup's classic swinger "Route 66" is fine, the essential reason for inclusion are the much funny tongue tricks of these lingo acrobats. As if it wasn't enough that we here in Swabia invented the automobile...The Dentals convincingly demonstrate their revolutionary method of learning English on the loo and prove that it's possible: Arrive without travelling. Next stop Babylon.
The Black Points were active in and around frankfurt and shared the above mentioned Lp with The Skins. They specialized in uptempo R&B and Soul coverversions like all good mods should, with the odd original thrown in for good measure. One such is "Don't Forget", a daring hybrid of Rubber Soul-period Beatles and Caruso on bad acid. Sounds like Mike Tyson chewing some lobes...
Purists called it the desperate attempt to jump the psychedelic bandwagon, but "Run Me Down", a non-LP single on Layola and the swansong of The Sevens, much much rather sounds like the other side of that "Play With Fire" still was ringing in their ears when "Emotions" was their Stones and Pretties-addiction to us. A rare combination of cello and tambourine as lead instruments makes perfect sense when you imagine released some weeks after the first Velvet Undergrounde LP in 67. (Yes, Sir, that were quite confusing times with more new waves every two months than during the last decades)
From Switzerland to Austria: The Mimes (Vienna) had at least four singles between 66 and 69. "Drives Me Mad" on Accordia was the first and - due to their enthralling amateurish enthusiasm - finest of a band, that lost most of that charm as soon as they took lessons and learned how to play.
Johnny & The Copycats (not to be confused with The Koppycats a.k.a. Ian & The Zodiacs in disguise) had two singles on the German Cornet label. While the first one, "I'll Never Regret You", is best forgotten, "Pain Of Love" takes your mod soul strutting on rubber soles, if you like it horny, but not brassy. The record undoubtedly is a German production and wasn't released elsewhere, but a UK-only 45 on Norco Records ("I'm A Hog For You") might be a hint at another British crew stranded by the side of the Reeperbahn. This may as well be a totally different band, but why does Johnny sound so suspiciously similar to John Deen, an englishman who recorded in Germany with The Deacons and later The Trakk on Hit House, CBS and Europa...
The Speeders from the Greater Stuttgart area had 45's on Ariola, CBS and Intercord (check Vol.5). Unwilling (or unable) to opt for a stylistic identity, their recorded output ranges from raucous to ridiculous and thus their unexpected excursion to Paisley Psych-territory is a more than pleasant surprise. "Time Will Never Change" is an unreleased studio outtake from 67. If you want to know more about The Speeders and a whole lot of other long forgotten German 60's bands, don't miss the brilliant book "Shakin' All Over", which should be available by the time you read these lines.
All we know about The Evolution is that they're not the German Vampires, who adopted the same name when they decided to stay in Spain for the first half of the 70's and made someWuerstel con Kraut-records there. The 7" of this Evolution was released on Elite at the tail end of the 60's and is a curious mixture of R&B and prog sounds. Every time you expect the howling lead guitar, you get a duell of mouth harp versus organ and I can't help but wonder, what would have happened to The Nice if they had had a little more taste. Emerson, Lake and Little Walter?
Prae-Kraut Pandaemonium Vol.16 - Vol.20:
german sick-teeth underground beat - unterweltenkrachinnenraum - elektrick loosers volume four: