the prae-kraut pandaemonium is an ongoing and everlasting series of compilations exploring german 60s underground music. the first 15 volumes hit your record player as 12-inch vinyl while some of the music (plus additional sounds) was released using compact discs later on. as disposition became awkward we decided to release the latest results of our researches through the world wide web for free and will be continuing to do so. volume 16 of a prae-kraut pandaemonium was our first online-only release and can be found in this-here blog; now we go-go for volume 17 right now. its-a happening!!
Here we go again with our continuing story of the German Beat. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. (talkin' 'bout blogs, of course). The whole damn thing was a non-profit project from the word "go" anyway, but since the market for vinyl and CDs has been crumbling to pieces meanwhile, giving it away for free via thee net seems to be the only way to keep it up without getting broke and homeless nowadays. You know,like Handsome Dick Manitoba used to say: "This is just a hobby!" Hope you'll like it...
listen, learn, read on: 29 bands / projects / artists / tracks were unearthed and compiled for your pleasure: the tracklist will bare a first sight and the following linernotes will display and manifest some more. you can download all and everything as a .rar-file towards the bottom of this post.
Now goes it lose:
a prae-kraut pandaemonium vol. 17
01 - The CT Plus 4 - Salz sollt ihr sein
02 - The Desperados - My Life
03 - The Desperados - You Better Go Home
04 - Prisoners Of Beat - The War
05 - Prisoners Of Beat - I'm Alone
06 - The Rebbels - Monkey Monkey (1st Version)
07 - Jack Ruane - The Pick Up
08 - The Hungry Eyes - Good Bye
09 - The Hungry Eyes - Junkie
10 - The Blizzards 4 - Why You Let Me Alone
11 - Andy Nevison - Shaking It Up
12 - Alec & His Scotchmen - Hey Sound
13 - B. G. System - Why Not For Me
14 - Die Anderen - Neurotic Reaction
15 - The Rocks - Love The Love
16 - Expiration - And The World Will Be A Bird
17 - The Gents - Wet Dream
18 - The Boston Show Band - Wow Wow Wow
19 - Hannes Patek & The Rangers - Lean Jean
20 - The Jet Blacks - Black Tomorrow
21 - The Jets Too Late
22 - Gordon James - House Of Pain
23 - John O'Brien-Docker - Sock It To Me Baby
24 - The Twangy Gang - Vampire
25 - The Beat Cats - Too Expensive
26 - Winy - My Son John
27 - The Jet Stars - What A Situation
28 - Jonah & The Whales - The Day I Met You
29 - The Motives - God Save Our Gracious Cream
Nice opener here, if you get along with the lingo. If not, you still may enjoy this weird message by THE CT PLUS 4 on the MFB label as the only known example of 60's Xian-Punk. Takes a while to get in the heavenly grooves, but then all the angels sing. Oh, and by the way: it translates as something like "you ought to be the salt of the earth, but you never get your asses up." Santo subito!
THE DESPERADOS from Bad Godesberg were an uncompromising R&B-band with a repertoire of well chosen covers from the Chess, Vee Jay et al. catalogues, found on LPs by the usual suspects ( Pretties, Stones, Yardbirds, Animals...) When they recorded their only 45 in '65 (a no-label private release rarer than a Rabbi in Mecca these days), they fortunately decided to write 2 original songs, both presented here. Not quite as wild and snotty as their stage routine, but cool as hell, and one of these nuggets that make the whole ditch digging still worth our while after all these years. (At least one of The Desperados showed up again a little later with Proud Flesh.) By the way: in case you've found a hidden track at the end of Vol. 16.: This is an unreleased recording by The Desperados.
Equally exciting is the 2nd single of THE PRISONERS OF BEAT from Andernach on the Ravenstein label. (Their first, "What Can I Do Without You" is O.K., but nothing to write home about.) You'd hardly guess that this rabid anti-war song was released as late as 1969 if I wouldn't tell you. Even stranger for the time is the hilarious story about the "House in Lou-easy-anna" on the flip. Kraut-bloody-rageous!
THE REBBELS from Koblenz recorded a split-LP with The Jaguars and 2 singles for Bellaphon in '65. (See PKP 3 for their space race-opus "Round The World".) The released version of their debut 45 "Monkey Monkey" sounded a bit lame and disappointing in comparision, but before they signed with Bellaphon, they auditioned for the German branch of EMI-Electrola, and laid down a much sharper version of that little frat rock ditty with a hell of a wild guitar solo. Here's the only surviving acetate.
No clue about who hides behind the name of JACK RUANE. This one-off 7" on German Pye (in this case a subsidiary of Vogue) is yet another anachronism for '69. The A-side is some indigestible Schlager-Schmalz written by Michael Holm & Jo Heider. "The Pick Up" on the other side is meat from a different bone, and probably a leftover from earlier days. Not the same band obviously. Took me weeks to find out where I'd heard that fine dancefloor-filler before. Written by Conway Twitty, it made a European debut in a nice, but less exciting version on the first LP of Cliff Bennett's Rebel Rousers in '64.
THE HUNGRY EYES from Hannover had the reputation of a tough R&B-combo, and were responsible for one of the hardest to find 45s on the celebrated Kerston label in '67. When it finally showed up, "Good Bye" turned out to be more on the soul side of the genre, which isn't half bad for a mod-infected band, even though the strange off-beat hookline is somewhat of an acquired taste. On "Junkie" they perform a combiation of "Green Onions" and Freddie King's "Steppin' Out", a tune they'd probably found on John Mayall's 2nd album. Bye and bye the whole caboodle ends up in some sort of controlled chaos with some free form piano thrown in for good measure.
THE BLIZZARDS FOUR (not to be confused with the Star Club band from Stade) hailed from somewhere in Bavaria. They used to work as Manuela's backing band for a while, and released a more than disappointing 45 on Telefunken during that time. Little did we know until we've found it, that they had a fine amateurish beat effort a couple of years before ('64 or '65) on the tiny Meilton label.
ANDY NEVISON & HIS RHYTHM MASTERS: their 3 hard to find singles for major labels have already been well documented on Prae-Kraut. But that's not all there is to the career of this black ex-GI in Germany. A big surprise – and a 7" the man himself had forgotten about when asked these days – is "Shaking It Up" on the totally obscure Tampicord label from Hamm, Westfalia ('64). Certainly a band in progress, and not up to the monster standard of "Indiano", but a good example of the early sound of the German red light districts on the wrong side of the tracks. On par with King Size Taylor and Bobby Patrick. For those of you who care: Andy Nevison had a 5th and last single (the only one without The Rhythm Masters) on the German label R+B in '67. This was a novelty German version of Ray Charles' "Busted" called "Pleite" b/w "Worried Blues". Funny, but not much more...
More likely than not, ALEC & HIS SCOTCHMEN were exactly that. A bunch of Scots who toured through Southern Germany, and produced and released a 7" in Ludwigsburg (suburb of Stuttgart) at Tonstudio Bauer, the studio with a pressing service, where The Rackets and The Monks (among many others) recorded in the mid- to late 60's. "Hey Sound", recorded late in '64, is a nice example for the British phase of transition, with Alec still insisting on presenting his best possible Cliff Richard-impersonation, while the band already seems to be on the way to Liverpool.
Nothing known about B.G. SYSTEM, who released the superb LP "Sunny Love Affair" on the Swiss based Ex Libris label in '69. A great unknown album with a lot of fine tracks. Possibly a studio group, and rumours of a Mark Wirtz-involvement exist, but nothing so far could be confirmed.
DIE ANDEREN (aka Kannibal Komix in USA and Australia, The Playboys in Greece, and who the heck knows what other pseudos in other countries. Later they changed name to Apocalypse and had an eponymous LP on Ariola, which was also released in Spain under – just to puzzle things a bit further – the title "Kannibal Komix".) Casted like The Monkees, they were Germany's first boy group. Nowadays they are most (and only) famous for having Jogi Drews, meanwhile self-acclaimed King of Mallorca, in their rank and file. (After a stint with the Les Humphries Singers, he tortured the nation with "Ein Korn im Feldbett" and similar cruelties, and at the age of 63 he's still around, getting weirder every day. Younger than yesterday, in his way.) The singles of the band are best forgotten, but their album, the real "Kannibal Komix"-LP (Ariola '69), had a couple of convicing tracks in the pop-psych mould like "Neurotic Reaction". (Their producer was the infamous Giorgio Moroder, who had released a couple of decent Beat singles on Hansa as Giorgio & The Morodians in the mid-60's.)
"Love The Love" by THE ROCKS is a great 45 from '68, released on the totally obscure New Sound Records from Bad Bergzabern. Flower Power with rough edges. Sorry, but that's all we know. ( If anyone out there can cast some light on this, or any other of the acts, don't hesitate to drop a line in the comment department. A good idea anyway, even if you only want to express your appreciation - or the opposite – concerning the quality of the blog.)
THE EXPIRATION from Vienna and their only 7" on VCR already did appear on the last volume (if you couldn't load it down, try again with 4-share. The reported problems have meanwhile been solved.) "And The World Will Be A Bird" is the other, in my book better side of this '68 release, and while their claim to be Austria's answer to Cream still seems to be a little exaggerated, in the much too short solo you can hear, that the guitarist indeed had a listen or two to good old Slowhand.
Not to be confused with the Gents Inc., THE GENTS may have been of Swiss or German origin, as they released this most charming version of one of Max Romeo's most explicit Porn-Reggae hits within a couple of weeks early '69 in Switzerland (on Eurex) and Germany (on Admiral). They quite obviously only had a foggy notion of what exactly they were singing about, and how they kill all touches of the (usually inevitable in Ska) off-beat swing by spasmodic heavy riffing... Sheer grandeur! Babylon churning with anxiety!!
THE BOSTON SHOW BAND (later abbriviated to The Boston) was a prolific 7-men army of Pan–Britannic origin with members from Ireland, Scotland and England. They spent their whole career ('66 to '69) in Germany, where they released 2 LPs and 8 singles for the Cornet label. 95% of these were stiff and pedestrian cover versions of everything from 50's Rock n' Roll to Stax Soul, with surprisingly competent exceptions when they had the chance to do a Small Faces album track like "Song Of A Baker" or Gene Pitney's underestimated mod rock classic "She's A Heartbreaker". One of their best performances however was hidden on the flip of the first single in '67. "Wow Wow Wow" may or may not be one of their very few originals, (credits don't match with members' names), but it's a great, driving number with the brass section reduced to a minimum.
HANNES PATEK was Vienna's King of the Twist (and other dance crazes), and had a couple of extremely scarce 45s in the early 60s, among them one with The Vienna Beatles. On "Lean Jean" (Rex Roval, '65) he is backed by THE RANGERS, a band that might be the first incarnation of the better known V-Rangers, but that's just guess work. Iwonder, whether or not Hannes had yet heard the much tighter version of "Lean Jean 17" as done by The Rattles on the flip of the "Stoppin' In Las Vegas"-single the same year. To my shame I must admit, that I can't quite figire out at the moment, who has done the US-original. (Writers' credits are Lee-Jones-Grande)
THE JET BLACKS most likely were another visiting British group, or at least a German band with English members. Their only sign of life is this '66 single on Kerston, the most collectable German 60s label together with Storz and CCA. A fine pop-psyche effort with all the wonderful backwards tapes collapsing to great, but unintended effect due to the legendary limited qualifications of the Kersten Studio in Hochspeyer and its engineer.
THE JETS from Hamburg's suburb Trittau were active from '66 to '69, and recorded their only single in '67 as a private pressing (Riwo-made) on their own label. Sold at gigs, it made little impression back then with all the international competiton, but nowadays it's a veritable collector's item. You'll find the other side on the CD-compilation "Beat im Norden" (beat the north!)
Another recent find is GORDON JAMES, a rich man's son and DJ from Zurich (real name: Peter Steiner), who had the ambition to get some more attention, and his own place in the spotlight. The better of his 2 singles was "House Of Pain" on the Swiss Label WSP Turicaphon in '67, a dramatic rearrangement of the Howard Kaylan-written track from The Turtles' album "You Baby". He put his "Gordon James Show" on the road to ruin, in which he had to compete with heavyweights like The Creation and The Sevens, and payed his 6-men British band The Injection a small fortune for backing him as "the new male vocalist in Detroit Sound". Three months later he'd gone broke and was "withdrawn" from the scene by his parents.
JOHN O'BRIEN-DOCKER from Ireland was a folk singer, who came to Hamburg in the early sixties and stayed there for about the next 15 years. He was the leader of The City Preachers, and – when they decided to go on without him as Frumpy by the turn of the decade – he formed Brave New World, one of the most experimental, alas shortlived Krautrock bands in '71. Like so many of the Hamburg Mafia, he had his fingers in many a pie, and did most everything from Surf-LPs for cheapo labels to TV-commercials. Just to keep the wolf from the door... In 1970 he recorded some tracks for one of these pseudo-educational sexploitation soft-porn flicks which flooded the shocked nation back then. "Sock It To Me, Baby" (not the Mitch Ryder hit) has been lifted from the unreleased soundtrack of "The secret sexual disires of the German".
Formed in 1960, THE TWANGY GANG was one of Berlin's first Rock n' Roll bands. Unlike many others, they rather changed to Pop than R&B when the Brit Invasion swept old sounds away. Hollies, Bee Gees, Marmelade, Love Affair etc. seemed to be their orientation, and of their three singles on Hansa, Rex and CBS only the last ('68) is worth our attention. "Vampire" was written for the sountrack of "Beiss mich, Liebling" ("Bite me, darling") but was considered as sounding too wild for the main theme. The Twangy Gang delivered the lame instro "Vampire's Sunday Afternoon" instead, but the movie made little impression. The original soft psych "Vampire" with hilarious "lyrics" and all these nice sound effects was released nevertheless, but went back to the coffin unnoticed and without much bloodshed.
The Berlin BEAT CATS and their '67 acetate has been introduced on volume 15. Here comes the promised flip side. Sound quality again a bit on the borderline, but don't expect to find a better copy. This is the last of its kind.
WINY was the nickname of Erwin Klarner, head of the Swiss Angels from Aargau. Though they only released 2 singles,this clean cut combo kept up the Shadows-inspired sound and image decreasingly successful until '68. After the split, Klarner, an ace guitarist and competent singer, kept going as Winy's Team, but covering "Ain't She Sweet" in '69 wasn't exactly the most clever career move. For a last effort he was persuaded to go to London, where he was taken under the wings of the Fletcher-Flett team, who had just produced another flop for The Onyx with "My Son John" b/w "Step By Step". Winy released BOTH sides of this single on Admiral in Germany, and it might well be that he only overdubbed the Onyx instrumental tracks with guitar and vocals. (Just a suspicion, though...) No chart action what so ever, but that wasn't the end of the song "My Sohn John". Another version was thrown on the German market (only), this time on Metronome, done by The Empty Vessels, a band that changed name short after to Wishbone Ash.
THE JET STARS and their two '67 German Decca singles still are a mystery in the vinyl history of this country. The covers have no band photos and there's no usable info on the labels. No releases in other countries known. The choice of material and relatively high standard of performance reminds of the many so-called Indo-bands, emigrants from the Dutch colonies, who – in the footsteps of The Tielman Brothers – came to Holland, but soon after dominated the German club circuit in the early sixties and, after a change of style, managed to stay popular as Top-20 cover bands. But once again: guesswork and any information welcome.
The detailed story of Nuernberg's JONAH & THE WHALES, who mutated to Ihre Kinder in the late sixties, can be found on PKP 15. Here is the flip of their projected, but shelved second single, which showed up in '67 on the Vogue/Pop-label promo-only compilation "Der deutsche Nachwuchs stellt sich vor".
Not quite the British equivalent to The Monks, but still a great discovery: THE MOTIVES were British servicemen of the Rhine Army, stationed in Wildenrath near Moenchengladbach. One of them was Tom Winter, who later played and recorded with Dutch soft-psychers Opus, and in Germany with Abi Ofarim. In '67 they recorded the EP "The World Is A Trapezium" for the tiny Dutch label TELSTAR, just a stone's throw across the border. Two of these tracks were re-released as a single in '70, but sounded pretty dated by then, and went down unnoticed again. (See the "Waterpipes & Dykes" compilation.) The self-explanatory "God Save Our Gracious Cream" is the heaviest of their songs. TELSTAR released a handful of other German acts, but only the (Berlin) Vikinks' "Gloria" 45 is worth your attention.
A Lolly Pope compilation 2008.
(plus some rvd here and there)
(plus some rvd here and there)
a prae-kraut pandaemonium vol. 17
(29 tracks: mp3 / 256 kbps / 150 mb / linernotes / artwork / tracklist / bonus track / add-supported download)
(29 tracks: mp3 / 256 kbps / 150 mb / linernotes / artwork / tracklist / bonus track / add-supported download)