Randy Pie

Band members               Related acts

- Rainer Baumann - guitar 

- Werner Becker -- keyboards (1972-76)

- Frank Diez -- lead guitar (1976-77)

- Peter French -- vocals, rhythm guitar (1976-77)

- Jean-Jacques Kravetz -- keyboards (1974-77)

- Jorchen Petersen -- sax, guitar (1974-76)

- Dicky Tarrach -- drums (1972-)

- Manfred Thiers -- vocals, bass (1972-)

- Bernd Wippich -- vocal, guitar (1972-76)


- Armangeddon (Frank Diez)

- Atlantis (Frank Diez)

- Atomic Rooster (Peter French)

- Cactus (Peter French)

- Emergency (Frank Diez)

- Frumpy (Jean-Jacques Kravetz)

- Gash (Manfred Thiers)

- Ihre Kinder (Frank Diez)

- Ikarus (Jorchen Petersen)

- Karthago (Frank Diez)

- Petards (Bernd Wippich)

- Randy, Pie and Family

- The Rattles (Dicky Tarrach)

- Achim Reichel

- Studiker (Werner Becker)





Genre: rock

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Randy Pie

Company: Polydor

Catalog: PD 6515
Year: 1975

Country/State: Germany

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: US pressing; minor ring wear

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 5549

Price: $15.00


Following a couple of personnel changes that saw the band expanded to a six piece with the addition of ex-Frumpy keyboardist Jean-Jacques Kravetz and former Ikarus sax man Jorchen Petersen, the group released their sophomore collection - 1975's "Highway Driver".   The recording sessions were apparently difficult, as were the post-recording business side of the house.  Originally entitled "Sophisticated", Polydor's UK marketing department rejected the title, instead insisting on a new cover and name - hence "Highway Driver".  


original European cover


Self-produced, at least in theory you wouldn't expect much from an outfit trying to balance pop, funk (or at least what passed for funk if you were a German band), jazz-rock, and occasional stabs at a more progressive sound.  On paper it sounded like a hideous mess and to be honest, parts of the album were an acquired taste (check out the falsetto vocals on 'Winter Song' and the seemingly never ending 'It's a (Civilised) World (That Keeps Folks Like Us Together)').  That said, the overarching results were far better than one would have expected.  The band had a nice ear for melody, as well as for finding a nice groove - imagine the Average White Band had they been German (rather than Scottish).  All hyperbole aside, tracks like 'Super Sid' and 'Sophisticated' were easily as funky as anything AWB ever put out (which may or not have been a compliment).   In case you were wondering, the title track chorus actually recalled Deep Purple's 'Highway Star'.  Still, the set was too probably pop for progressive fans and too progressive for pop fans (the occasional horns were a further distraction for some folks), thereby ensuring that sales were minimal.  


Released in the States the next year, Polydor's US marketing department  decided more changes were required for American sensibilities.  As a result the collection was redubbed "Randy Pie" and slapped it with some of the year's dullest cover art.


"Randy Pie" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Microfilm   (Randy Pie -  John O'Brien Docker)  - 4:03

2.) Super Sid   (Randy Pie - John O'Brien Docker) - 7:23

3.) Highway Driver   (Randy Pie - John O'Brien Docker) - 3:57

4.) Winter Song   (Randy Pie -John O'Brien Docker) - 5:45


(side 2)
1.) It's a (Civilised) World (That Keeps Folks Like Us Together)   (Randy Pie - John O'Brien Docker) - 6:31

2.) Sophisticated   (Randy Pie - John O'Brien Docker) - 4:34

3.) Time Machine   (Randy Pie - John O'Brien Docker) - 7:55


YouTube has a clip showing the band performing material off the LP:



'Highway Driver' - band lipsynching on a German TV show; nice discofied outfits ...