German sixties underground garage psych punk. incroyable!
yeah! underground! yeah! sixties! yeah! germany! yeah! punk! the prae-kraut pandaemonium strikes back and forth with an other compilation of teutonic beat, mayhem and all=too=rare noise! this is not fucking white pride: this is this is this is blatant prae-kraut obscurity: some twenty=eight pieces of "music" no=one has ever heard of. off we go! power pop psych garage punk underground for your pleasure, compiled by the lolly pope and tekknikally subversified by up yours sincerely=one crouter aka west fauster. yeah!
this is what you want and this is what you get:
01) It's All Over Tonight - THE SEVENS (2'14)
02) You Say Yeah - THE ROLETTS (2'30)
03) Every Single Day - THE SCARECROWS (3'10)
04) Someone's Call - THE NIGHTBIRDS (2'52)
05) Otherwise Happiness, Part 1 - THE TOMBSTONES (6'49)
06) I Had Forgotten - LOST GENERATION (3'12)
07) Beggin' Me To Stay - THE SEVENS (1'56)
08) Mad Situation - STEPHEN DEREK (2'25)
09) Milord - THE BLACK LIONS (2'59)
10) I Can't Get It - THE CHEYENNES (3'33)
11) Take A Chance - MATT COLLINS & HIS BEAT BAND (2'14)
12) That Ain't Where It's At - THE SOUL EXPLOSION (2'23)
13) Mr. Busdriver - THE SONIC (2'11)
14) It's All Over Now - THE TONICS (2'48)
15) Kind Of Mine - THE SUBJECTS (3'08)
16) Keep It Out Of Mind - THE LIONS (2'40)
17) The Ghost - THE GHOSTMEN (3'14)
18) She's A Lover - THE SNAPPERS (2'18)
19) TNT - CHARLY & HIS EXPLORERS (2'12)
20) It Will Be Fine - THE GHOOLS (2'18)
21) Every Night - THE SUNBEAMS (2'16)
22) Hold On - THE VAMPIRES (2'17)
23) I'd Like To Go - THE JAILBIRDS (2'12)
24) Mr. Peaceman - THE SCAVENGERS (2'53)
25) It's Nothing - LES SAUTERELLES (2'30)
26) In The City - THE MAGIC RAINBOWS (2'28)
27) Crazy Daisy - THE MOUNTIES (2'11)
28) Nachts in Chicago - THE HUBBUBS (3'08)
and the lolly pope says the following:
<<< No introduction necessary to the fabulous SEVENS from Basel. Switzerland's best R&B-band could not only play the standards rough, tough and frantic, but also had the guts to write their own songs when they went to the studio. In 1966 they had enough material to record an LP of their own numbers, but Layola Rec. considered the result a little too wild and uncommercial, and talked the guys into recording "Don't You Fret" (Kinks) and "I'm Cryin' " (Animals) to make the damn thing a bit more accessible to the average beat fan. The two omitted tracks, "It's All Over Tonight" and "Beggin' Me To Stay" showed up on a tape reel these days, and here they are for our pleasure. (Track 1 & 7)
There's a whole lot of "lyrics" been written by ambitious, but overtaxed young German-speaking hopefuls that unintentionally came close to dadaism, but the Austrian ROLETTS beat them all easily. These lads definitely had a message! But what exactly are they trying to tell us? Nurse, me brain hurts!!! "You Say Yeah" was the first of two singles for the tiny Cosmos label, and we're desperately seeking for the second one.
Just when you thought you had them all... Here's an unexpected find on the famous Paletten-label, an EP by THE SCARECROWS from Lauterbach, Hessia. While three of the tracks are crap of the highest order, "Every Single Day", obviously inspired by The Animals, is a stunning triumph of unknown German beat history.
The Swiss NIGHTBIRDS, who spent the most part of their career in Italy, had a first PKP-appearance on volume 18 with their wild debut single. "Someone's Call" is the fifth and last 7", and the only one on a Swiss label. ( COS, '68) Freak beat ballad, for those who need pigeonholes.
THE TOMBSTONES from Duesseldorf released one of the weirdest German private pressings on Tonatelier W. Schmitz in 68/69. A 13-minute song squeezed on two sides of a 7", and part 2 starts again with a drum solo slowly giving way to some more improvisational noodling, until the singer sets in again for the last minute. Armed with cheap Woolworth guitars and an even cheaper ersatz-wah wah-pedal, this very democratic group takes the time to demonstrate the instrumental skills of each member and then some. And then some more... A great example for the spirit of the transitional (or was it transubstantiation?) phase from Prae-Kraut to Krautrock, with the beat roots well intact. They owe more than a warm handshake to Steve Winwoods "I'm A Man", but who doesn't?
Vienna's LOST GENERATION are, if at all, better remembered for two very funny (if you're able to decode the hilarious hometown dialect) 45s on Philips in the early 70s. The self pressed debut from '67 was one of the best kept secrets of Austrian rock history until our dear friend Matt, the dentist, (to whom we – for hundreds of reasons – are indebted beyond all galaxies) found it in his trawl. "I Had Forgotten" is one of these irresistibly naive, but tremendously charming ballads that always were an integral part of the PKP-idea. It's great to have a garage, but things like these will always find a home here. And a garden to grow...
THE SEVENS - "Beggin' Me To Stay": See Track 1.
Next is a strange and uncategorizable 45 by one STEPHEN DEREK on the Duo label. I only know of two other singles on Duo, and both are by Gerhard Dlugi. (Remember his monsterous German language version of "Gloria"?) As ever so often with German records, it's hard to date the year of release, but if the guy (who may as well be Dlugi himself) chose the pseudonym with the infamous TV-inspector Stefan Derrick in mind, it's probably '69 or '70. And yes, we absolutely love the lead-flutist!
While rumour has it that THE BLACK LIONS from Bern, Switzerland, were a wild R&B band, their only 45 won't raise the roof of your garage. "Milord", a self-payed pressing made by Turloaphone, sounds like '64, but came out in '66. Obsolete by then in every other city of our hemisphere, but quite en vogue in Bern, the proverbial world capital of human snails. Late, but great.
THE CHEYENNES were another unknown Swiss beat band. Their moment of prominence was an anticlimax, as a repro of the cover of their sole 7" ('67, Eurex) was printed on the back of Pebbles 27 (the Swiss edition of the backlashing continent), but they somehow didn't make the cut and were non-present on the record. A real shame, if you ask me, but delay is the sweet pain of reissues, and here comes your chance to listen to "I Can't Get It", a wonderful, moody midtempo creeper.
Whoever MATT COLLINS may have been (he also sings in Italian), the members of his BEAT BAND all have names that hint at Yugoslavian origin. (Laibach/Ljubljana, Slovenia, I guess.) They had an early (approx. '64) German-only LP on Somerset called "It's Beat Time", that consisted of rock n' roll-standards done in a twist routine a la Joey Dee. The standout track is Matt's own composition "Take A Chance".
Center was the budget label of Saba/MPS in Villingen. Most of the releases were happy-go-lucky easy listening or pseudo-jazz big band tunes for dancing schools. One of two notable exceptions was the LP "Soul Fire" by THE SOUL EXPLOSION in '68. There isn't much soul influenced music on the record, and the misleading monicker was stamped on at least two, probably three very different sounding combos, none of them showing any typical German symptoms. Mastermind, producer and writer of all the tunes is one Martin Siegel, and the recordings were made in Germany. Considering the fact that legions of first class jazz musicians were always hanging around at the MPS-studios, who knows who's been making a little extra money here. The singer on our chosen track obviously is a native speaker, and the band must have heard "Blonde On Blonde" already, but who hides behind this incarnation of The Soul Explosion? Guess work... and before you try to get smart: the band with the same name and a 7" on the Tarantel label from Augsburg has nothing to do with this one here.
The second amazing LP on Center is "Original English Beat Company" by THE SONIC (1969). The band, two Scots and two Brits, came over with the second wave of Limey bands in '65 and settled down in Kassel for the next four years. As The Sonics they released a killer single on Paletten (see PKP 4) and a less satisfying, still decent one for Ariola, but while both flopped, they made a comfortable living as a live act of high renown on the German club circuit. When they dropped one "s" and recorded the LP, they covered Dylan, Steppenwolf, Deep Purple, Grapefruit, Simon Dupree et al. in a very individual style, but didn't come up with one original composition. I'm too lazy now to find out where I first have heard "Mr. Busdriver" - more or less a re-write of The Box Tops' "Letter" - but I hope that one of you out there will find out, and leave a message in the comments-department.
Hamburg's TONICS have been the most prolific of all German bands, even if about 75% of their recordings were released on budget labels under aliases like Spots, Pick-Ups, Ravers, Shotguns, Movers, Soho Gamblers, Ginger Rockets and about 20 more. This could have been good news, but trouble is: there's only a handful of remarkable tracks hidden among the enormous output between 62 and 74. One such is their rendition of Bobby Womack's "It's All Over Now" from the 65 Polydor-LP "The Tonics' Hitparade", a straight uptempo beat arrangment quite different from the more familiar Stones-version.
The whole recorded work (three songs) of Munich's SUBJECTS (not to be confused with the "German Measles"-Subjects from Troisdorf) was released on the Hungarian-only V.A.-LP "International Beat" (Qualiton, 68). "Headlines" has already been featured on PKP 9, here comes "Kind Of Mine", another showcase for Michael Hoffmann's skills on keyboards. When Krautrock took over, the band recorded a fine LP as Subject Esq. and after further line-up changes mutated to Sahara.
THE LIONS from Detmold made their recording debut on a harmless, but charming CCA-7" as the backing band of French singer Monique, and followed it with a lame and forgettable instro 45 on the same label. As one of the weekday bands in Herford's Jaguar Club they were invited to record four studio tracks for the V.A.-LP "Beat Parade im Jaguar Club" (67, Hansa). Two were originals, and it's a shame that Hansa, who released a lot of less rewarding one-offs, didn't press singles of these. Something went wrong with the songtitle, which reads "Keep It Out Of Mind", while the band keeps singing "out of sight".
Not much known about THE GHOSTMEN and their sole 45 on Bellaphon. They reportedly came from Gaggenau, and "The Ghost" could have been a hit in '65, but sounded hoplessly dated and passe´ when it came out in '68.
Here's another one from THE SNAPPERS' German-only LP (s/t, 68, Elite Special). For further details see Prae-Kraut vol. 16. It's on this blog. Just scroll down, or click at the "Prae-Kraut"-link at the end of this liner notes.**
Same is recommended for CHARLY & HIS EXPLORERS. "TNT" from "Beat Time" (Vogue/Pop, 65) is a drastically rearranged version of The Nashville Teens' superb flipside to "Google Eyes".
A moody, dramatic, nearly cryptic beach ballad, most likely inspired by "(Remember) Walking In The Sand", but beating this classic shorthanded, written and performed by a band from a country, where they know the sea from hearsay, if at all??? Improbable, but true. THE GHOOLS were a Swiss group with a one-off 7" on Layola in '65. Ghoulish indeed, but nothing else known about The Ghools and "It Will Be Fine".
If we trust the local press, THE SUNBEAMS were the best beat band in Oberhausen '66. Friends and labelmates of the (all-girl) Rag Dolls, they released one of these love-'em-or-hate-'em mumble-stumble typically German beat singles on, yep, Beat Records. It's like abstract art, free jazz or Mo Tucker's drumming. Looks like everybody could do it better, but when you try you fuck it up.
The story of THE VAMPIRES from Schweinfurt, who via Hanau and Hamburg settled down in Spain, where they made it big, and even bigger in the progressive era as The Evolution, has been told thrice here on PKP already. "Hold On", one of four recorded originals, was the third of six 45s they recorded for the Spanish Sesion (sic) label in '66 and '67.
Oops! Here's one starving on the PKP-shortlist since 1994. THE JAILBIRDS from Mainz and their self-edited 45 "I'd Like To Go" ('66) has been treated like a handicapped child. You like them most, but do you really have to show them? How will the neighbors react? Fuck 'em, and let's get sentimental for two minutes!
And, in the mood now, another sick song that haunts my dreams for a decade. Only possible in Germany. THE SCAVENGERS from Hannover and their only 45 on Studio Ton (68) has caused disturbance to some garageheads' minds when the a-side, "Animal Station", appeared on PKP 12. But the flip, "Mr. Peaceman", is even weirder. A far out Curtis Mayfield/Impressions-imitation with a recorder solo, an untightened snare drum and a love&peace-message as enigmatic as The Roletts' (see track 2). How cool can you get before freezing....
LES SAUTERELLES from Zurich were advertised as The Swiss Beatles in their early days, but the most successful Helvetian band were no copycats and had a lot more to offer. If we'd need a catchy comparision, a mixture of The Byrds and The Who would be more appropriate. "It's Nothing" has only survived on a '67 acetate, but an Italian language-version of the song called "Aiuto...va sempre male" has seen the light on Columbia, Italy.
The world is full of wonder! A test pressing without cover on Tonstudio Dortmund GmbH showed up recently, and the label promises "Deutsch-Englisches Amateur Beat-Festival Dortmund 1968". In very small letters we get assured, that all participating groups are from Dortmund and the suburbs. And you better believe it. No English involvement whatsoever. Avanti dilettanti: The Faces, The Voices, The (German) Nice, The Outlaws, The Stagnation, The Emetics, The Flash and THE MAGIC RAINBOWS with a desperate execution of The Who's " In The City" demonstrate their amateur status in all subterranean glory, but the sound engineer is the king of the bunglers here. Incredible record, stay tuned. We don't dare compiling more than one track per volume.
Even more wonders: Now and then you come across a rare and unknown single from the right decade, but hesitate to buy even for spare change. With an unimaginative cover, a songtitle like "Crazy Daisy" and a daft name like THE MOUNTIES..., well, you know, disappointment programmed. But then you take it anyway, because what if... right? Right!!! This 45 on Music Corporation nailed me to the floor. Can't help it, but The Mounties remind me of genius-loonies like The Gods (the American ones on ESP) or our very own Shaggys (no, not the American Shaggs, but then again, yeah, too). And the flip "Only Today" is another winner. The torture never stops...
Before we forget...There are some perverts out there who dig the German sung contributions on PKP the most. For your strange,dubious and pitiable taste: THE HUBBUBS . I've suffered my way through five LPs and about 20 singles of Austrias most prominent 60s-band without finding one decent track among the lame schlager-beat rubbish. (O.k., a handful of listenable Shadows-cloned instrumentals, but, come on...) And then, with zero hope, I found The Hubbubs' debut 45, "Nachts in Chicago" (International, 64). Extremely silly (if you understand German,) sure, but a great sneaker nevertheless. Now I'm searching for the follow-up 45 "Unter einem trueben Strassenlicht" from the soundtrack of the very early sexploitation flick "Geissel des Fleisches" (=Scourge of the Flesh).
That's it for today. 70s Krautrock rarities next time. Urmel et oimel, ego me absolvo. Bless & bliss yourselves... >>>
and now you may download the complete album: cover and liners of course are included: all tracks are here in 256 kbps and you will need 150 mb of free space: