Lords, The


Band members               Related acts

  line up 1 (1963-64)

- Peter M. Donath -- drums, percussion 

- Ulrich 'Ulli' Gunther (RIP 1999) -- vocals 

- Heinz Hegemann -- bass 

- Knud Kuntze -- bass 

- Klaus Peter Lietz -- lead guitar

- Ranier 'Gandy' Petry -- rhythm guitar

 

  line up 2 (1965-71)

- Peter Max Donath -- drums, percussion 

- Ulrich 'Ulli' Gunther (RIP 1999) -- vocals 

- Klaus Peter Lietz -- lead guitar 

- Ranier 'Gandy' Petry -- rhythm guitar

NEW - Bernd Zamulo -- bass (replaced Heinz Hegemann)

 

  line up 3 (1971-72)

NEW - Gunther Bopp -- bass

NEW - Reinhardt Bopp -- lead guitar

- Ulrich 'Ulli' Gunther (RIP 1999) -- vocals

NEW - Hans Harbrecht -- drums, percussion 

 

 

 

- Hardcake Special (Gunther Bopp, Reinhart Bopp, and

  Hans Harbrecht)

 

 

 


 

Genre: psych

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Ulleogamaxbe

Company: EMI Columbia

Catalog: SMC 74343

Year: 1968

Country/State: Berlin, Germany

Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+

Comments: German pressing; gatefold sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5292

Price: $150.00

 

It seems that by the mid-1960s everyone and his brother was dabbling in psychedelic, so why not a German beat band like The Lords?  It actually sounded kind of funny to say this, but if you could stop laughing and get over the discounted "Satanic Majesties Request"-styled cover, 1968's "Ulleogamaxbe" was actually a surprisingly entertaining album.  Sure nothing here was particularly original, or earth shattering, but on psych-influenced material like the string quartet opener 'And At Night', 'Fire' and the lysergic-tinged 'The World Is Falling Down' (the latter sounding like a Teutonic version of The Easybeats), vocalist Ulli Gunther and company proved themselves at least as capable as many of their better known Anglo contemporaries.  Sure on tracks like 'Feeling Chicago' and the ballad 'Thank You'' their accents were heavy and the English lyrics a bit clumsy, but the performances were never less than energetic and uniformly enjoyable.  In fact, the only real loser here was the dippy 'Good Time Music' where the band reverted to their German cultural roots churning out something they could have played in a beer tent.  Elsewhere, while they weren't given a great deal of leeway, guitarists Klaus Peter Lietz and Ranier Petry were particularly good (checkout their finger picking on the jangle rocker 'Perkinson's Ride'').  Those characteristics were even more impressive when you considered that Gunther and company appear to have learned their English lyrics phonetically.  

 

- Starting out with a chamber orchestra arrangement, 'And At Night' burst into a likeable slice of flower-power pop.  Cute with a catchy chorus and a nice acoustic guitar refrain it was easy to see why the track was tapped as the leadoff single.   rating: *** stars  

- Kicked along by some spooky organ and Reinhardt Bopp's tasty Byrds-styled 12 string guitar, 'Perkinson's Ride' has a distinctive mid-1960s folk-rock sound.  Very cool and one of the more outright psych-ish tunes on the set.   rating: **** stars  

- A straight ahead pop song, 'Feeling Chicago' found Gunther and company getting a little too cute for their own good.  The song was certainly catchy, but came off sounding calculated for radio play.   rating: ** stars  

- The sappy ballad 'Thank You' sounded like they'd been listening to way too much Graham Nash and The Hollies.  Nauseatingly touchy-feely ...   rating: ** stars

- 'Tomorrow' was another slice of pop-psych, though this time the results came awfully close to being schlager ...  What ultimately saved the song was the goofy, jazzy chorus.  Cheesy as all, it was so bad that it was actually good.  Love the way the word 'worst' came out sounding like 'wurst'.  rating: *** stars  

- Complete with treated vocals, fuzz guitar, and pounding bass, 'The World Is Falling Down' found the band jumping head first into full fledged psychedelic.  Easily one of the album's best performance it was ashamed most audiences had already left psychedelic behind.  rating: **** stars  

- To my ears the psych-flavored 'Fire' has always sounded like it was inspired by Arthur Brown's 'Fire' (different song, same title).   The song had a great groove and this weird percussive sound in the right channel.  It took me awhile to figure it out, but I believe the sound was suppose to simulate the sound of a match being lit.  Definitely one of the cooler songs on the collection.    rating: **** stars  

- It's unlikely Gunther had any idea where Philadelphia was, let alone what it was, but that didn't stop them from turning in a charming pop performance.  Killer hook with a xylophone clunking along on the refrain.  It was also fn to hear his sing the word phonetically - 'Phil-aaaaa-del-phi-aaaaaa'.   rating: **** stars

- Yeah, it was sentimental crap, but lyrically 'Poor Chin-Lee' was kind of interesting; apparently a lament about the hardships suffered by an Asian woman ...  First couple of times I heard it I though Gunter was singing 'fortunately'.    rating: *** stars  

- Tapped as the album's second single, 'Good Time Music' may have been marketed as a pop song, but for all intents and purposes it was a slice of German schlager.  Complete with 'la-la-la-la-la' chorus, the only thing missing were the lederhosen.  Pass that beer stein ...   rating: ** stars  

- On 'Lilacs In May' Gunther Bopp's bass line and a killer hook actually managed to turn what should have been a pedestrian pop song into a decent slice of sunshine-pop that actually had quite a bit of top-40 potential.   rating: *** stars  

- Starting out with a pretty harpsichord segment, 'Cut My Hair' quickly morphed into the album's lone garage rocker.  All I can say is the genre was much better suited to these guys that top-40 pop.   Nice performance.    rating: **** stars  

 

A pair of 45s were launched off the album:

- 1968's 'And at Night' b/w 'Fire' (EMI C 23 ???)

- 1968's 'Good Time Music' b/w 'Somethin' Else' (EMI  C 23 892)

 

Nah, it wasn't a German "Sergeant Pepper", but so what ...  a fun album from start to finish.

 

 "Ulleogamaxbe" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) And At Night   (M. Leitz - T. Leitz) -  

2.) Perkinson's Ride   (M. Petry - T. Petry) -  

3.) Feeling Chicago   (M. Leitz - T. Leitz) -  

4.) Thank You   (M. Petry - T. Petry) -  

5.) Tomorrow   (M. Petry - T. Petry) -  

6.) The World Is Falling Down   (M. Leitz - T. Leitz) -  

 

(side 2)
1.) Fire   (M. Leitz - T. Leitz) -  

2.) Philadelphia   (M. Petry - Forester) - 

3.) Poor Chin-Lee   (M. Petry - T. Petry) -  

4.) Good Time Music   (M. Leitz - T. Leitz) -  

5.) Lilacs In May   (M. Leitz - T. Leitz) -  

6.) Cut My Hair   (M. Leitz - T. Leitz) -  

 

For anyone interested The Lords have a web presence at:

 

http://www.thelords.de/

 

 

 

 


Genre: pop

Rating: 2 stars **

Title:  The Lords

Company: SR International

Catalog: 79395

Year: 1970

Country/State: Berlin, Germany

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: lower right corner is creased; name on back cover was 'whited' out

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5237

Price: $100.00

 

By the time "The Lords" was released, these guys had completely lost touch with their initial garage and R&B roots, let alone their more recent brushes with psych.  Admittedly they weren't the only band to shift musical focus in pursuit of creative growth and sales, though in this case the results probably weren't exactly what they were hoping for.  Offering up a mixture of Anglophile covers (including two drawn from "Hair") and a couple of originals separately penned by guitarists Rainer Petry and Klaus Peter Lietz the album appeared to be an attempt to reposition the group to appeal to weekend hipsters with substantial disposable income.  That was reinforced by the cover photo showing the band decked out in tomboy haircuts and matching red velvet suits.  Tracks like ''People Watch' and 'Philadelphia' were probably best described as German sunshine pop, while 'Tomorrow', 'Good Side of June' and 'And At Night' sounded like a German band trying to cash-in on Ray Davies and the Kinks' catalog. Interesting in a weird fashion.  While you couldn't blame them for wanting to cover American and English songs, Ulli Gunther's heavily accented results were frequently amusing and occasionally outright appalling.  'Good Side of June' clearly lost something in the translation; country proved a poor choice of idioms for Gunther ('The Ballad of the Condemned Man), while their stab at Gospel ('Gloryland') and the traditional American tune 'John Brown's Body' (complete with cannon fusillade and bells) were hysterically inept.  Imagine an American Gospel group trying to cover a German schlager song ...  Elsewhere their cover of 'Three-five Zero Zero' sure sounded like it included what most Americans would consider a racial slur.  Perhaps because it wasn't all that different from the original, best of the lot was a remake of their 1966 hit 'Poor Boy'.  Sporting a mild psych flavor, including treated vocals and a nice bass pattern from Bernd Zamulo 'Blue Horizon' was also pretty good. Fascinating in a weird and not totally good fashion ...

 

"The Lords" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) People World   (Jean Glover) - 

2.) Three-five Zero Zero (aus dem musical "Hair")   (Dermot - Ragni - Rado) - 

3.) Tomorrow   (Rainer Petry - Forester) - 

4.) Good Side of June   (Cason) - 

5.) Philadelphia    (Rainer Petry - Forester) -   

6.) Gloryland   (Donegan) - 

 

(side 2)
1.) John Brown's Body   (traditional - Hirschmann - Scenka) - 

2.) And At Night   (Klaus Peter Lietz) - 

3.) Poor Boy   (Klaus Peter Lietz)

4.) The Ballad of the Condemned Man   (Vrijens - Buesen) - 

5.) Manchester England (aus dem musical "Hair")   (Dermot - Ragni - Rado) - 

6.) Blue Horizon   (Collins - Green) - 

7.) When I Was Young   (Keith Emerson - Gary O'List) - 

 

Ah, YouTube has a clip showing the late-1960s band doing a medley of hits including 'Three-five Zero Zero':

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KiLqWTePR0&feature=related

 

 

 

 

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  The New Lords

Company: EMI Columbia

Catalog: C 062 29429

Year: 1971

Country/State: Berlin, Germany

Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+

Comments: German pressing

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5574

Price: $80.00

 

To quote the liner notes: "They ranked with the top bands of the German pop-scene.  For nearly 12 years.  But progressive tendencies in music urged the group to change its styles.  Lord Ulli, leader, singer and 'motor' of the band, realized this development and formed The New Lords ..."  And so it was that 1971 saw lead singer Ulli Gunther return to the musical fray with The New Lords.  With Gunther the only holdover from the earlier band, the new lineup showcased the talents of bassist Gunther Bopp, brother/lead guitarist Reinhardt Bopp, and drummer Hans Harbrecht.  

 

Produced and largely written by Rainer Pietsch (he was credited with penning seven of the ten tracks), 1971's "The New Lords" showcased a clear shift in musical direction for Gunther and company.  For all intents and purposes The Lords had always been a pop band.  Sure, especially in their earlier years they were capable of taking on a slice of R&B, but their primary stomping grounds had always been audience friendly pop. Against that background producer Pietsch and Gunther made a clear attempt to move in a rock direction.  While there was no way you'd confuse this album with something out of the Black Sabbath, or Deep Purple catalogs, songs like '(Theme from) Twilight'', 'Power' and 'Fly Little Jeannie' (the latter complete with synthesizer and wild studio effects) were actually quite heavy.  I'd always liked Gunther's heavily accented English vocals, but much to my surprise he proved quite at home singing harder edged material.  On songs like the power ballad 'Rooster' and their blazing cover of The James Gang's 'Country Fever' he displayed a range and power seldom heard with The Lords.  Add to that the new band were quite impressive - particularly bassist Gunther Bopp.  By the way, for longtime fans, the bubble gummy 'We Go Out In the Sunshine', the horn powered 'Timerace' and 'Linda' were far more commercial and would have sounded right at home amidst The Lords earlier 'psychedelic' catalog.  So all told a nice late-inning addition to The Lords catalog and well worth tracking down.  Naturally EMI pulled the most commercial (if not the best) song for a single:

 

 

- 1972's 'We Go Out In the Sunshine' b/w 'Country Fever' (EMI Columbia catalog number 1C 006 29.939)

 

"The New Lords" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) (Theme from) Twilight   (Rainer Pietsch) - 3:17

2.) We Go Out In the Sunshine   (Rainer Pietsch) - 2:56

3.) Power   (Reinhart Bopp - Ulli Gunther) - 4:36

4.) Rooster   (Rainer Pietsch) - 4:16

5.) Fly Little Jeannie   (Rainer Pietsch) - 4:53

 

(side 2)
1.) Country Fever   (Joe Walsh - Fox - Peters) - 2:41

2.) World of Emotions   (Rainer Pietsch) - 3:46

3.) Timerace   (Rainer Pietsch) - 2:41

4.) Linda   (Wagner) - 2:43

5.) Goodbye Groupie Girl   (Rainer Pietsch) - 4:19

 

 

The New Lords proved a short-lived venture with the Bopp brothers and  Harbrecht reappearing in Hardcake Special (Brain catalog number 1060).  I've never heard the album, but it's supposedly pretty bad.  Seems like it deserves to be checked out !

 

 

 

Gunther remained active in music, participating in various Lords reunions including a couple of hideous late 1970s events.  Be sure to check out their disco-fied remake of 'Poor Boy' (nice outfits there guys):

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_5f2fMsz6A&feature=related

 

Luckily by the late 1980s they'd returned to a more traditional rock performance of the song:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPGsP0vK6ds&feature=related

 

 

                                                                                

 

 

Sadly in October 1999 Gunther fell during a concert performance hitting his head on the stage.  Only 57, he subsequently died from the resulting trauma.

 

 

 

   RIP Ulrich 'Ulli' Gunter

 

 

BACK TO BADCAT FRONT PAGE

BACK TO BADCAT CATALOG PAGE

BACK TO BADCAT PAYMENT INFORMATION