Band members Related acts
line up 1 (1977)
- Kurt Bong -- drums, percussion
- Rainer Dobe -- vocals, guitar, flute, percussion
- Peter Harling -- keyboards
- Willey Ketzer -- drums, percussion
- Wolfgang Otto -- vocals, bass
- Wolfgang Schley -- vocals, guitar, bass, percussion
- none known
Rating: 4 stars ****
Catalog: 064 CRY 32 480
Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+
Comments: German pressing; gatefold sleeve
Catalog ID: 4979
As a teenager I lived in Belgium and what was then West Germany. While most of my time was spent listing the AFN radio, I also listened to local European stations. Germany was one of the bands I stumbled across, though I didn't locate a copy of their album for some 25 years ...
Folks typically think Krautrock when talking about German rock. The fact of the matter is that there are lots of great German pop and rock bands and Germany may be one of the best of the mid-1970s practitioners. The only problem is that I don't know squat about these guys. The brief liner notes indicated they were from "a small place near Hanover, started their musical career in Berlin and now live in Heidelberg." Not a great deal of insight there ...
Produced by Black Horse Productions, 1977's "Germany" was recorded in London's Audio International Studios. Singer/multi-instrumentalist Rainer Dobe was apparently the creative front man as he was credited with co-writing nine of the album's ten tracks (I'm assuming that W. David Elliott either wrote or helped translate the lyrics into English). Musically material like the German single 'Hello Night', 'Air and Earth' and 'No Lies' offered up a first rate set of pop that would have sounded good on any AM radio station. Sung in English, lead singer Dobe's vocals were accented, but not to the point of being distracting and when framed with the band's up tempo commercial melodies, you seldom noticed his accented delivery. Certainly not the most original album of the year, but exemplified by tracks like 'I'm Coming Home' and 'No Lies' anyone who enjoyed a good Hollies-styled melody was liable to find this collection appealing. The set wasn't perfect, with 'Save a Dream' and a couple of the ballads being quite irritating. Still, well worth tracking down if you're into Hollies-styled pop-rock.
"Germany" track listing:
1.) Hello Night (Rainder Dobe - W. David Elliott) - 3:23 rating: **** stars
The opener 'Hello Night' had always reminded me of what a German version of Graham Nash and the Hollies might have sounded like. Yeah, the title refrain was irritating, but in one of those catchy ways that managed to pound itself into your head and then simply wouldn't let go ... Very pop oriented and the English vocals were quite good. The song was tapped as a German single:
- 1977's 'Hello Night' b/w 'Let Me Sleep Some More' (Crystal catalog number 006 CRY 32 664)
2.) Raise Your Head (Rainder Dobe - W. David Elliott) - 2:49 rating: *** stars
As much as I wanted to like the acoustic ballad 'Raise Your Head' I've never been able to get over the bland melody and the uncomfortable lead vocal. This was one of the tunes where the vocalists sounded like they were singing phonetically. On the positive side, the song sported one of the album's better lead guitar solos.
3.) Air and Earth (Rainder Dobe - W. David Elliott) - 4:31 rating: *** stars
'Air and Earth' was a sweet, mid-tempo ballad with some slightly dated hippy-dippy lyrics that would not have sounded out of place on a Donovan album. Anyone know Morse code? Always wondered what they were signaling on the track ...
4.) Requiem (Rainder Dobe - W. David Elliott) - 2:40 rating: **** stars
There wasn't a great deal to the song, but the strumming guitar powered 'Requiem' may well sport the album's sweetest melody.
5.) The Dancer (Rainder Dobe - W. David Elliott) - 4:36 rating; ** stars
English was very good (certainly better than my German), but this one was
worth hearing just for the way the sang the title ...
Another album highlight, 'No Lies' combined a pretty melody with nice vocals and some atypically hard rock guitar.
2.) I'm Coming Home (Rainder Dobe - W. David Elliott) - 3:26 rating: **** stars
Hard to understand how the '60s Merseybeat tinged 'I'm Coming Home' was overlooked as a single.
3.) Taboos of Tomorrow (Rainder Dobe - W. David Elliott) - 4:28 rating: *** stars
I kept 'Taboos of Tomorrow' to exploded into another catchy melody. but it never happened. The song wasn't bad, but just never managed to shift into an upper gear. That said, I've always liked the screeching lead guitar on this one.
4.) Let Me Sleep Some More (Rainder Dobe - W. David Elliott) - 4:28 rating; ** stars
Bland, hyper sensitive ballad that was quickly forgotten.
5.) Save a Dream (Hagan Galatis - W. David Elliott) - 2:43 rating; ** stars
Another pretty, but too fragile for their own good ballad.
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