Band members Related acts
line up 1 (1969-70)
- Rudi Haubold -- drums, percussion
Rudolf Oldenburg -- bass
line up 2 (1970-71)
NEW - Werner Faus -- drums, percussion (replaced
Rudolf Oldenburg -- bass
- The Chaparall Electric Sound (Harry Titlbach -
Harry Unte - Rudolf Oldenburg - Rudi Haubold)
Rating: 3 stars ***
Country/State: Bonn, Germany
Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+
Comments: original German pressing
Catalog ID: 5757
Formed in the late 1960s in Bonn, West Germany, Hairy Chapter featured the talents of drummer Rudi Haubold, bassist Rudolf Oldenburg, lead guitarist Harry Titlbach and singer Harry Unte.
Curiously the quartet seem to have made their recording debut billed as The Chaparall Electric Sound. Released by the German Martim exploito label, that debut came in the form of 1969's "Electric Sounds for Dancing" (Martim catalog number 47 086 NT).
Signed by the Opp label, under the Hairy Chapter moniker the quartet made their debut later in the year with the Dieter Dierks produced "Eyes". The funny thing is that "Eyes" featured the same material as the earlier Chaparall Electric Sound album, though all of the song titles were modified. So what did this hard to find collection sound life? Judging by the nine group-penned numbers these guys had been listening to more than their share of late 1960s English blues and hard rock bands. That comparison probably elicited a big yawn from lots of folks, but the performances were actually quite good; in many cases matching up well against better known British competitors. Unte had a voice that was well suited for hard rock and though he sang with a noticeable accent, it really didn't detracted from the performances. Titlbach was an understated guitarist, but his fills were never less than tasteful, and while the rhythm section of Haubold and Oldenburg may not have been the most dynamic pairing you've ever heard, they kept the program on the straight and narrow. True, nothing here was earth shattering, let alone particularly original, but many of us have paid far more for albums that weren't as good.
"Eyes" track listing:
1.) Bad Dreams (Harry Titlbach - Harry Unte - Rudolf Oldenburg - Rudi Haubold) - 4:30 rating: **** stars
'Bad Dreams' started the album with one of the most conventional selections; kind of a standard blues-rock structure with pedestrian guitar from Titbach and a haphazard harmonica solo. Imagine a Teutonic, second string Black Sabbath and you'd know what to expect on the first two thirds of this one. The last third of the track opened up into a much tougher song, complete with a blazing Titbach solo and some funky studio effects at the tail end.
2.) Pretty Talking Girl (Harry Titlbach - Harry Unte - Rudolf Oldenburg - Rudi Haubold) - 1:27 rating: *** stars
'Pretty Talking Girl' was an unexpected ballad. Surprisingly pretty, the only complaint was that clocking in at under 90 seconds the song ended before it really got going.
3.) Pauline (Harry Titlbach - Harry Unte - Rudolf Oldenburg - Rudi Haubold) - 3:30 rating: *** stars
Kicked along by a funky ! Oldenburg bass line and some of Titbach's best playing, 'Pauline' was one of the album's highpoints. Yeah the song briefly lost it's course midway through, but stumbled back home for the second half.
4.) Illusions (Harry Titlbach - Harry Unte - Rudolf Oldenburg - Rudi Haubold) - 4:21 rating: *** stars
'Illusions' closed side one with a striking rocker. Fantastic laidback number with Unte holding back some of his normal aggressive vocal power to deliver a surprisingly sensitive performance. This one had another nice Oldenburg bass line and chiming Titbach lead guitar. Only complaint here was that the song closed out as a standard blues-rock jam complete with hideous harmonica solo.
'Looking For A Decent Freedom' found the band branching off in a more psych direction. The overall feel was still heavy metal with a nice guitar hook, but Unte's screaming vocals were treated to give the song kind of lysergic feel.
2.) Cry for Relief (Harry Titlbach - Harry Unte - Rudolf Oldenburg - Rudi Haubold) - 4:07
With it's pounding opening, 'Cry for Relief' instantly attracted my attention, but about 20 second in the track abruptly switched tempo becoming a duller, Doors-styled blues-rocker. I will tell you that Titbach turned in one hell of a wah-wah solo on this one.
3.) Thought After (Harry Titlbach - Harry Unte - Rudolf Oldenburg - Rudi Haubold) - 1:26 rating: *** stars
Another atypical number, 'Thought After' offered up an pretty 90 second acoustic ballad. Would have been one of the better tracks if they'd bothered to extend the length.
4.) Life 69 (Harry Titlbach - Harry Unte - Rudolf Oldenburg - Rudi Haubold) - 3:51 rating: *** stars
'Life 69' was a relatively funky blues workout with multi-tracked vocals. It was also one of the few tracks to showcase drummer Haubold.
5.) Big Fat Woman Blues (Harry Titlbach - Harry Unte - Rudolf Oldenburg - Rudi Haubold) - 4:35 rating: *** stars
' Big Fat Woman Blues' closed the album was an okay blues-rocker that showcases Rudolf Oldenburg's bass work.
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