Artist : Necronomicon Country : Germany Album : Strange Dreams Year : 1976 (2009) Style : krautrock, progressive rock
Tracklist : 01. Get The Feeling/Starter 02. Knocker 03. Motorcycle 04. Morning 05. Strange Dreams 06. Roundabout 07. The Donkey 08. Sunday 09. The Well 10. Little Man 11. Amadeus Song 12. Driving Me Mad 13. Gossip
Line-up/Musicians: - Walter Sturm / guitar, vocals - Dieter Ose / keybords, guitar, vocals - Bernd Oppitz / bass - Harald Bernhard / drums, percusion
"Excellent addition to any prog music collection" (progarchives)
Famous for their eponymous album which is sought-after by collectors World-wide, Necronomicon came from Aachen, a city near the borders with the Netherlands and Belgium. They adapted the name Necronomicon from an H.P. Lovecraft novel and built up a spectacular live repertoire during 1971. It featured complex heavy progressive song arrangements with awkward German lyrics that dealt with ecological problems, the threat of a nuclear disaster, the end of mankind and pure despair. A demo recording of a performance at the Mensa, Aachen, 1971, was unearthed by the archaeologists at Little Wing and released as parts one and two of their lavish 4-LP + book Necronomicon-set (LW 1010/11/12/13), released in 1990 in co-operation with the band. Part one consisted of previously unheard compositions and part two of different versions of the songs that later would appear on their only album: Tips Zum Selbstmord. Necronomicon proved themselves to be a band with the same seriousness and sense of large scale works as the most extreme Italian bands. Sadly, the technical quality of these early recordings was on the same level as certain bootlegs and the performance a bit rough in places. Even so this historic document is absorbing.
With the economic support of a friend, Necronomicon set off to a semi-professional studio in the Netherlands to record (in March and April 1972) what has become the ultimate collector's item for purveyors of German progressive rock: Tips Zum Selbstmord, released in a lavish multi fold-out cover, in the shape of a cross. The highly talented drawings were done by Harald Bernhard and pictured tortured bodies and painful faces, building up an intricate whole, reminiscent of some nightmarish Hieronymus Bosch work (but no fantasy monsters!). Few would deny that this is one of the best and most unique German records of the early seventies. The sinister atmosphere of both the music and lyrics are evident:
Uns Geht es besser, als den anderen 84% der Ertbevolkerung 16% der Bevolkerung verbrauchen 80% der Konsumguter 50% der Konsumguter werden in Nordamerika veraussert Auf diese Erde leben 3,4 milliarden menchen, davon: Erleiden 16% hunger, 35% sind unzureichend ernahrt, 33% haben ihr existenzminimum, 16% sind wohlhabend, sind reich! 16% der wohlstandsburger hatten 72 millionen tonnen getreideuberschuss 72 millionen getreideuberschuss wurden 1971 vernichtet Davon konnte ein grossteil der Menschen die jetzt an hunger sterben, ernahrt werden Aber die Wohlstandsburger und ihre kinder legen sich mit vollgefressenen bauchen in ihre betten auf weichen matratzen Haben sie vergessen welche verplichtung sie eigentlich hatten, denn: Ihnen geht es besser als den andern 84% der Erdbevolkerung!
(from "In Memoriam")
There were biting guitar leads throughout, shimmering, painful vocals, a garage organ trying to battle with Bach, sudden shifts of tempos and moods, including passages of more primitive heavy garage rock. For the want of hotter comparisons: imagine the best elements of vintage Uriah Heep with the lyrical awareness of a political rock band like Floh de Cologne. Perhaps this is the music that Wagner would have made if he had lived in 1945 and experienced the bombing raids over Germany, freaked out in the sixties and decided to be a rock musician and then had bad trips for years due to the daily news on TV! Remarkably enough, the album was recorded on just two backs, approximately recorded live in the studio. It was released in a limited edition of 500 copies and is probably THE most hunted German record. The odd copy that turns up sells easily for 1,700 OEM or more. It is cheaper to purchase it as part 3 of the Little Wing 4 LP box! From 1972 to the end of 1973 the group worked on new material with a revised line-up: guitar player Walter Sturm quit to join Rufus Zuphall, Fistus Dickmann was replaced with Dieter Ose and Detlev Hakenbeck replaced by Gerd Libber. Some of the new compositions lasted for sixty minutes! In fact, such material proved to be almost impossible to play live, and the songs were consequently edited down to a length of 10 to 15 minutes. As such, they were recorded live in their rehearsal room in 1974. Walter Sturm had now returned to the band. Little Wing compiled 45 minutes from the only remaining source, a low quality cassette. It's only interesting for collectors as another historic document of their development. The desperation had now faded to mere resigned statements about mankind's cynical nature. As such they were now closer to other refined political rock bands.(Cosmic Dreams At Play)