Amon Düül II - Once Upon A Time - Best Of 1969-1999

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Mystic Records
Catalog Number: MYS CD 144
Format: CD
Total Time: 73:42:00

German avantgarde outfit Amon Düül was founded way back in 1968. Needless to say the band's output contains a wide selection of all kinds of music. So it becomes very difficult to put together a sampler of the band's creativity but nevertheless Mystic Records thought they should give it a try.

The opening track of an album should be a very important one and important it is indeed because the album kicks off with ?Phallus Dei? (God's penis!), a song which in fact really starts after four minutes of weirdness and evolves into freeform jazz. Burried under thick layers of psychedelic influences, LSD trips and flower power culture, Amon Düül tried to make their mark onto the unsuspecting public. They went one further and became one big commune attracting fans and groupies to share their vision, their music, their way of life. In ?Soap Shop Rock? the guitar sounds a bit like Steve Howe during his Bodast period. The song evolves into a marriage between Barrett-era Pink Floyd combined with early Hendrix before some great violin is introduced, wrapped into an eastern atmosphere. I love the intro between drums and guitar in ?Archangel Thunderbird? which really cooks! Very powerful!

?Synthelman's March Of The Roaring 70th? is the band's softer approach, almost ending in late sixties Moody Blues. ?C.I.D. In Uruk? kind of gets close to "Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun? era Pink Floyd, slacking off towards the end to deliver a mediocre song. The female vocals on ?All The Years Round? are very weak and will certainly get on your nerves after a couple of spins. If this is singing, why not give my grandmother a chance! Luckily we fare better with the guitar work, although the sound is very dated, harking back to the Wishbone Ash sound of the seventies. If it wasn't for the fact that you know they are singing in English, you'd bet they were a Japanese band singing in their native tongue once you listen to ?Surrounded By The Stars? where Amon Düül tries to sound modern by using a very dry and commercial drum sound and matching bassline. This certainly isn't the kind of music that has made this band legendary!

A classic certainly is ?Wolf City? off the album of the same name. This really holds the authentic Amon Düül signature with a floating sound throughout, an ideal blend of pop with psychedelic overtones. ?Cerberus? goes back to the real "weird" adventurous nature of the band with sounds that go from your left channel to your right almost at the speed of sound. Boy does your head go spinning when you put this little baby on! The final song ?Nada Moonshine #? is lifted from the band's studio album on Mystic and doesn't appeal to me one bit because it is once again a completely different band and not the innovative bunch we have known for nearly thirty years. As a taster for what Amon Düül stands for, I think it remains very difficult to cram everything onto one single disc. For me you should be making several samplers each based around a certain period. In prog listings you will always see people refering to Wolf City, Dance Of The Lemmings and Phallus Dei as being important releases. None will even mention the last five years of their existence where they have delivered "wheelchairgroupiemusic."

Phallus Dei (9:29) / Soap Shop Rock (12:59) / Archangel Thunderbird (3:38) / Syntelman's March Of The Roaring 70th (7:28) / C.I.D. In Uruk (6:34) / All The Years Round (7:14) / Surrounded By The Stars (7:32) / Wolf City (3:14) / Cerberus (5:21) / Nada Moonshine (10:07)

Renate Knaup - lead vocals
Chris Karrer - guitars, violin
Lothar Meld - bass, guitar, vocals
Peter Leopold - drums
Falk Rogrier - keyboards, guitars
John Weinzierl - guitars

Phallus Dei (1969)
Yeti (1970)
Dance Of The Lemmings
Tanz Der Lemminge (1971)
Carnival In Babylon (1972)
Wolf City (1972)
Vive La Trance (1973)
Live In London (1973)
Hijack (1974)
Lemmingmania (1975)
Made In Germany (1975)Pyragony X (1976)
Almost Alive (1978)
Only Human (1978)
Vortex (1981)
Surrounded By The Bars (1993)
Nada Moonshine # (1995)
Eternal Flashback (1995) Kobe (Reconstructions) (1996)
Live In Tokyo (1996)Flawless (1997)
Once Upon A Time - Best of 1969 - 1999 (2001)

Genre: Other

Origin DE

Added: January 22nd 2001
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 1161
Language: english


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