Band members               Related acts

- Helmut Burghardt -- vocals (1968-70)

- Wilfried Kirchmeier -- vocals, bass, percussion (1968-76)

- Klaus Lehmann -- guitar (1972-76)

- Manfred-Josef Schmid (RIP) -- guitar (1968-74)

- Bjorn Scherer-Mohr -- guitar, keyboards (replaced 

  Manfred Schmid) (1975-76)

- Manfred Schlagmuller -- drums (1968-76)

- Hans-Werner Steinberg -- sax (1968-76)



- The Mods (Wilfried Kirchmeier and Manfred Schmid)





Genre: progressive

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  V.C.U.

Company: Bellaphon

Catalog: BLPS-19144

Year: 1973

Country/State: Frankfurt, Germany

Grade (cover/record): VG /V G

Comments: German pressing; creased lower right corner

Available: SOLD

GEMM catalog ID: 4571

Price: SOLD

Cost: $71.89


With a story that includes poor business decisions, quests for personal and spiritual growth and at least one nervous breakdown, these guys could be the poster children for mid-1970s progressive bands ...  


Lily's tortuous roots lie in the mid-1960s German beat group 'The Mods'.   Increasingly frustrated with the lack of opportunity in The Mods, by 1968 bass player Wilfried Kirchmeier and guitarist Manfred-Josef Schmid decided to strike out on their own.  Interest in pursuing a more contemporary sound, the pair quickly recruited singer Helmut Burghardt, drummer Manfred Schlagmuller and sax player Hans-Werner Steinberg to their cause.  As Monsun,over the next two years the band underwent a series of musical and personnel changes (original singer Burghardt left in 1970).  Playing German clubs, their hybrid or rock, jazz and progressive moves generated a small but loyal audience.  The band also recorded a couple of demo tapes, eventually attracting the attention of producer Peter Hauke.  Hauke signed the group to a contract with the German Bellaphon label, rushing the band into the studio to record their debut.


Produced by Hauke, the resulting album was reportedly finished in three days, but before Bellaphon would release it, the label insisted the band opt for a name change - hence 'Lily'.  At least to my ears, 1973's "V.C.U." (we see you) isn't a major surprise.  Musically material such as 'In Those Times' and '' offered up a rather conventional mixture of rock, jazz and progressive moves.  Propelled by Kirchmeier's gruff and heavily accented vocals and the band's somewhat clumsy English lyrics ('Pinky Pigs'), the results were never less than professional with the band turning in some strong jams.  The mix of styles was occasionally quite interesting - particularly when the band tried to match different styles all at once ('Which Is This').  By the same token, there wasn't anything particularly original or exciting here and Steinberg's ever-present sax quickly became a major source of irritation.  


Gawd only knows why, but Bellaphon executives insisted on a weird marketing campaign that saw the band and the album marketed as a glam product.  Complete with a cover photo that saw the band dolled up in makeup, the album was crucified by glam fans, as well as the band's small audience who saw them as having sold out.  With little support from their label, the album quickly disappeared leaving the band to deal with the resulting disappointment.  Schmid began to exhibit increasing signs of mental instability and after a December 1974 incident that saw him destroy Schlagmuller's drums, he was fired.  (Schmid died several years later under rather mysterious circumstances.)  Guitarist/keyboard player Bjorn Scherer-Mohr was quickly brought in as a replacement.  The band struggled on, recording a second unreleased album, before calling it quits in 1976.

"V.C.U." track listing:
(side 1)

1.) In Those Times

2.) Which Is This

3.) Pinky Pigs


(side 2)
1.) Doctor Martin

2.) I'm Lying On My Belly (Including "Tango Atonale")

3.) Eyes Look from the Mount of Flash






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