The Rattles

Band members                              Related acts

  line up 1 (1960-61)

- Herbert Hilderbrandt -- bass

- Achim Reichel -- vocals, guitar 

- Volker Reinhold -- guitar, backing vocals 

- Dieter Sadlowsky -- drums, percussion 


  line up 2 (1961-63)

- Herbert Hilderbrandt -- bass

NEW - Hans Joachim 'Hajo' Kreutzfeld -- guitar (replaced 

  Volker Reinhold)

- Achim Reichel -- vocals, guitar 

- Dieter Sadlowsky -- drums 


  line up 3 (1963-66)

- Herbert Hilderbrandt -- bass

- Hans Joachim 'Hajo' Kreutzfeld -- guitar 

- Achim Reichel -- vocals, guitar 

NEW - Reinhard "Dicky" Tarrach -- drums (replaced  

  Dieter Sadlowsky)

  line up 4 (1966-67)

NEW - Frank Dostal -- vocals (replaced Achim Reichel)

- Herbert Hilderbrandt -- bass

- Hans Joachim 'Hajo' Kreutzfeld -- guitar 

NEW - Hermann "Rugy" Rugenstein -- guitar, vocals

- Reinhard "Dicky" Tarrach -- drums


  line up 5 (1967-68)

- Frank Dostal -- vocals

NEW - Rainer Degner -- guitar, vocals

- Herbert Hilderbrandt -- bass

NEW - Bernd Schulz -- keyboards

- Reinhard "Dicky" Tarrach -- drums, percussion


  line up 6 (1968-69)

- Rainer Degner -- guitar, vocals

- Frank Dostal -- vocals

NEW - Peter "Peet" Becker -- drums (replaced 

  Reinhard "Dicky" Tarrach)

NEW - Kurt "Zappo" Lüngen -- bass, guitar (replaced

  Herbert Hilderbrandt)

- Bernd Schulz -- keyboards


  line up 7 (1969-70)

- Peter "Peet" Becker -- drums

NEW - Henner Hoier -- vocals, keyboards (replaced 

  Bernd Schulz)

- Kurt "Zappo" Lüngen -- bass, guitar

NEW - Georg "George" Meier -- guitar, vocals (replaced 

  Rainer Degner)

NEW - Frank Mille -- guitar, vocals 


  line up 8 (1970-73)

NEW - Herbert Bornhold -- drums, percussion (replaced 

  Peter "Peet" Becker)

NEW - Edna Bejarano (aka Edna B. Jerano) -- vocals, keyboards

  (replaced Henner Hoier)

- Kurt "Zappo" Lüngen -- bass, guitar

- Frank Mille -- lead guitar, vocals 

  line up 9 (1973-74)

NEW - Wolfgang 'Al' Brock -- drums, percussion (replaced 

  Herbert Bornhold)

NEW - Linda Fields -- vocals (replaced Edna Bejarano) 

NEW - Lude Lafayette (aka Jochen Peters) -- vocals, keyboards

- Kurt "Zappo" Lüngen -- bass, guitar

- Frank Mille -- guitar, vocals 


  line up 10 (1974-77)

- Linda Fields -- vocals

NEW - Georg "George" Meier -- guitar, vocals

NEW - George Miller -- drums, percussion (replaced 

   Wolfgang Brock)


  line up 11 (1988-89)
- Herbert Hilderbrandt -- bass

- Henner Hoier -- vocals, keyboards

- Achim Reichel -- vocals, guitar

- Reinhard "Dicky" Tarrach -- drums


  line up 12 (1991-93)

- Herbert Hilderbrandt -- bass

- Henner Hoier -- vocals, keyboards

- Frank "Piggy" Jarnach -- keyboards, vocals

- Manne Kraski -- guitar, vocals

- Reinhard "Dicky" Tarrach -- drums


  line up 13 (1994-96)

- Herbert Hilderbrandt -- bass

- Frank "Piggy" Jarnach (keyboards, vocals

- Eggert Johannsen (aka Martin Storm) -- vocals, rhythm guitar

- Manne Kraski -- guitar, vocals

- Reinhard "Dicky" Tarrach -- drums


 line up 14 (1996-)

- Herbert Hilderbrandt -- bass

- Eggert Johannsen (aka Martin Storm) -- vocals, rhythm guitar

- Manne Kraski -- guitar, vocals

- Reinhard "Dicky" Tarrach -- drums

- Frank Seidel -- keyboards





- Michael Anton and Amok

- Hans Bauer's Orchester

- Bejarano & Microphone Mafia

- Edna Bejarano (solo efforts)

- Brave New World

- Coincidence (Edna Bajarano)

- The Four Renders

- Frankie Dymon Jr.

- Gash (Lude Lafayette)

- The Giants

- Gnadenlos

- The Hamburg Blues Band

- Henner Hoier (solo efforts)

- Edna B. Jerano (solo efforts)

- Karthago (Wolfgang Brock)

- Lude Lafayette (solo efforts)

- Libido

- Lucifer'd Friends

- Moti Special

- Pegasus

- Randy Pie  (Dicky Tarrach)

- Propeller

- Achim Reichel and The Machines

- The Reiner Schone Band

- The Rivets (Henner Hoier)

- The Charly Schreckschuss Band

- The Tonics

- Wolfsmond (Lude Lafayette)

- Wonderland (Achim Reichel)

- The Wonderland Band (Achim Reichel)





Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Greatest Hits New Recording

Company: Star Club

Catalog: 158 023 STY

Year: 1966

Country/State: Germany

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG+ 

Comments: German pressing; apparently signed by two members on back cover

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5944

Price: $100.00


American and English record labels are notorious for releasing material of questionable merit in blatant attempts to capitalize on a band's success. So why not a German label like Star Club?  


By any standard, 1966's Sirgfired Loch produced "Rattles Greatest Hits New Recording" served as a strange career retrospective.  Ranging in chronology from 1963's 'Shimmy Shimmy' to 1966's 'Come On and Sing', eleven of the twelve tracks had been previously released as the 'A', or 'B' sides of singles.  The weird part was that as the album title indicated (in small font), these reflected new recordings of earlier material by what was a revamped band - only bassist Herbert Hilderbrandt and lead guitarist Achim Reichel were original Rattles members (both singer/guitarist Hermann "Rugy" Rugenstein and drummer Reinhard "Dicky" Tarrach joined the band in 1966).  While the performances were all professional, you had to wonder why they'd bothered going back into the studio to redo these tracks.  A couple of the remakes injected a tougher edge to the songs ('Shame Shame Shame'), but for the most part the remakes weren't going to make you forget the originals.  In some cases it was hard to even tell the differences.  As for the lone new track, showcasing Rugenstein, their cover of James Brown's 'I'll Go Crazy' was suitably energetic, but again, nothing to rock your world.  


- Their remade cover of Clarence Paul's 'La La La' wasn't half bad and was actually one of the tracks that seemed to benefit from going back into the studio.  Nice slice of German rock with Achim Reichel turning in a crushing lead guitar.    rating: **** stars

- Their cover of 'Mashed Potatoes' didn't come close to the Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs original, but so what ...  With the amazingly complicated lyric, this was another one that generated plenty of energy thanks in large measure of Reichel's lead guitar.  Would have been fun to see these guys in a small club !!!    rating: **** stars

- There aren't a lot of German beat bands that managed to turn in credible covers of American R&B standards.  Here's one of those rare exceptions.  Nice version ...    rating: **** stars

- The first ballad and the first disappointment, their cover of Buddy Holly's 'Cryin', Waitin', Hopin'' just didn't make the cut.  The acoustic guitar solo was nice enough, but the lame vocals sunk this one.    rating: ** stars

- Their cover of James Brown's 1960 top-20 R&B hit 'I'll Go Crazy' wasn't bad.  Obviously it didn't pose a threat to the original, but for a German band that probably had to learn the song phonetically, vocalist Rugenstein and company acquitted themselves well.  Wonder if Brown ever heard their cover version.    rating: *** stars

- Simply because it was such a goofy cover, their cover of Bob Bouber's '(Stopping In) Las Vegas' has always been a personal favorite.  There was just something that brought a smile to your face hearing the accented vocal singing the chorus.  Elsewhere, Reichel turned in some first rate fuzz guitar moves.    rating: **** stars

- Hard to imagine that anyone could take the Allie Wrubel and Ray Gilbert chestnut and turn it into a rock and roll song.  These guys somehow managed to do it.   rating: *** stars

- The 'B' side to a 1964 single, 'Everybody Loves a Lover' sported one of Reichel's best solos.  Unfortunately it was buried in what was otherwise I forgettable slice of top-40 pop.   rating: *** stars

- It was energetic, but their cover of 'Shimmy Shimmy' added nothing to the original.  Very garage band-ish.   rating: ** stars

- One of two band originals (penned by Rechel), the ballad 'Go To Him' had a nice Merseybeat flavor - to my ears the song echoed Gerry and the Pacemakers' 'Ferry Cross the Mersey'.  It also sported one of Rechel's prettiest solos.   rating: *** stars

- The second Rechel composition, 'Come On and Sing' found the band taking a distinctive turn towards top-40 pop.  The song certainly rocked, but was clearly written with an ear to commercial success.  That's not a criticism since it made for one of the standout performances.   rating: **** stars

- You've heard hundreds of Chuck berry rave ups that were as good as their cover of 'Bye, Bye, Johnny' ...   rating: ** stars


Hardcore fans either already own the original singles or would reach into their wallets to buy them, but for the rest of us, this wasn't a bad way to sample the band's early career.  Far from complete, but surprisingly enjoyable.  


"Greatest Hits New Recording" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) La La La   (Clarence Paul) - 2:37

2.) Mashed Potatoes   (Dessie Rozier) - 1:45

3.) Shame Shame Shame   (Jimmy Reed) - 2:33

4.) Cryin', Waitin', Hopin'   (Buddy Holly) - 2:27

5.) I'll Go Crazy   (James Brown) - 1:49

6.) (Stopping In) Las Vegas   (Bob Bouber) - 2:30


(side 2)

1.) Zipp-a-Dee-Doo-Dah   (Allie Wrubel - Ray Gilbert) - 2:27

2.) Everybody Loves a Lover   (R. Allan) - 2:50

3.) Shimmy Shimmy   (B. Massey - A. Shubert) - 2:10

4.) Go To Him   (Achim Rechel) - 2:25

5.) Come On and Sing   (Achim Rechel) - 2:03

6.) Bye, Bye, Johnny   (Chuck Berry) - 2:15



For what it's worth, here's the discography for the original singles found on the compilation LP:



- 1963's 'Mashed Potatoes' b/w 'Hello' (Philips catalog number 345 593 PF)

- 1964's 'The Stomp' b/w ' Zipp-a-Dee-Doo- Dah' (Philips catalog number 345 617 PF)

- 1964's 'Baby's. That's Rock and Roll' b/w 'Everybody Loves a Lover'  (Ariola  catalog number 10 586 AT)

- 1964's 'Bye, Bye, Johnny' b/w 'Sweet Little Sixteen'  (Ariola catalog number 10 698 AT)

- 1965's 'Shame Shame Shame' b/w 'Someone Who Is Just Like You' (Star Club catalog number 148 512 STY)

- 1965's 'La La La' b/w 'There Goes My Heart Again' (Star Club catalog number 148 522 STY)

- 1965's 'Stopping in Las Vegas' b/w 'Lean Jean 17' (Star Club catalog number 148 541 STY)

- 1965's 'Come On and Sing' b/w 'Candy To Me' (Star Club catalog number 148 536 STY)



For anyone interested, You Tube has some television performance clips that allow you to hear the originals for comparison purposes:

'La La La' and 'Come On and Sing'

'Come On and Sing'




Genre: rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Remember Finale Ligure

Company: Star Club

Catalog: 158 031 STY

Year: 1967

Country/State: Germany

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG+

Comments: German pressing; 3" of clear tape along bottom seam

Available: SOLD

Catalog ID: SOLD 5509

Price: SOLD $100.00


1967 found most bands abandoning their creative roots in order to follow the crowd and dive headlong into the psychedelic pool opened by the Fab Four.  Bless their collective souls, but judging by 1967's "Remember Finale Ligure" The Rattles displayed at least some reluctance to mindlessly follow the crowd.   Produced by Siegfired E. Loch, tracks like the Frank Dostal and Herbert Hilderbrandt penned organ-propelled ballad 'I Will Always' displayed a distinctive psych flavor, as did the pounding guitar rocker 'Nurse Elisah' and the bizarre autobiographical title track.  Even after dozens of spins the 'Remember Finale Ligure' plotline leaves me puzzled, though it seemed to have something to do with the band living in and performing in Italy ('Finale Ligure') during the summer holidays.  Couple of beers and I could bop along to the song ...  At the other end of the spectrum the band seemed interested in ensuring a commercial base, hence the decision to balance the set with blue-eyed soul material including Sam Cooke ('Another Saturday Night'), Don Covay ('Souki Souki') and Junior Walker ('Shotgun') covers. Due in large part to the fact the results were so strange, I've always loved these disconcerting performances.  Don't get me wrong, the performances were all quite professional, but there was something about the combination of American soul, psychedelia and Frank Dostal's heavily accented German vocals (his deep voice always reminded me of a German version of Bill Medley) that brings a smile to my face.  For goodness sake, I even liked the Spanish flamenco-flavored 'Rugy's Girl' and the cheesy pop number 'Sweet Dreams'.  A fun album through and through ...



Star Club tapped the album for a 45 in the form of:



- 1967's 'It Is Love' b/w 'Hey Sally' (Star Club catalog number 148 571 STY)


"Remember Finale Ligure" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Is It Love   (Frank Dostal - Herbert Hilderbrandt) - 2:15

2.) Shotgun   (A. DeWalt) - 2:12

3.) I Will Always   (Frank Dostal - Herbert Hilderbrandt) - 3:09

4.) Stay Your Friend   (Frank Dostal - Herbert Hilderbrandt) - 3:09

5.) Souki Souki   (Don Convay) - 2:30

6.) Rugy's Girl   (Rugy Rugenstein) - 1:39

7.) Nurse Elisah   (Frank Dostal - Herbert Hilderbrandt) - 2:10

8.) Remember Finale   (Frank Dostal - Herbert Hilderbrandt) - 4:25


(side 2)

1.) Callboy   (Frank Dostal - Herbert Hilderbrandt) - 2:24

2.) Another Saturday Night   (Sam Cooke) - 1:29

3.) Hold On I'm Coming   (Isaac Hayes - David Potter) - 2:48

4.) Our Way Of Thinking   (Frank Dostal - Herbert Hilderbrandt) - 2:37

5.) Sweet Dreams   (Frank Dostal - Herbert Hilderbrandt) - 3:11

6.) Don't Run Away   (Frank Dostal - Herbert Hilderbrandt) - 2:00

7.) We've Got To Go Now   (Frank Dostal - Herbert Hilderbrandt) - 3:47


Ah thanks to the wonders of YouTube you can actually see a couple of Rattles video clips.  The first one captures them at their pseudo-mod best.  Great clothes.



Genre: rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  The Witch

Company: Philips

Catalog: 6305 072

Year: 1970

Country/State: Germany

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: German pressing; gatefold sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID:5887

Price: $150.00



1970 saw The Rattlesundergo another set of personnel changes with drummer Peter Beckerlead replaced by Herbert Bornhold.  Vocalist Henner Hoier also left, opting for a solo career.  Bass player Kurt Lüngen and lead guitarist Frank Mille turned to an unlikely choice for Hoier's replacement in the form of singer Edna Bejarano.   Prior to joining The Rattles Bejarano had recorded a couple of obscure folky German solo sides, but never really enjoyed much recognition:

- 1967's 'Herz muß Dabei Sein' b/w 'Es Ist Nie Zu Spät' (Decca catalog number D 19 851)

- 1969's 'Für Mich ist Sonntag' b/w 'Gib mir eine Antwor' (CBS catalog number 3534)


Given her musical background Bejarano certainly seemed an odd choice for a band that had never had a female member. Technically she wasn't the most polished singer you'd ever heard, though she certainly had some belting power.  Imagine a German version of Shocking Blue's Mariska Veres and you wouldn't be that far off the mark.  For what it was worth, like Veres, some of her performances (particularly ballads like 'I Will') were heavily accented.  That wasn't necessarily a bad thing, rather just took a little getting use to.  Musically the set was also quite different from their earlier releases, with tracks like 'You Can't Have Sunshine Every Day' and 'Where Is the Friend' marking a distinctive move towards a more commercial, hard rock sound.


Fans of the original line up will probably howl in disagreement, but I'll go on record as saying this is my favorite Rattles LP.   





"The Witch" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) You Can't Have Sunshine Every Day   ( Herbert Hilderbrandt - Winhauer) - 3:00

'You Can't Have Sunshine Every Day' showcased Bejarano's piercing vocals on a weird, but extremely likeable mixture of hard rock and catchy pop.  German television  has a lip-snych performance of the song:

Easy to see why it was picked as a single.  


- 1971's 'You Can't Have Sunshine Everyday' b/w 'Where Is the Friend' (Philips catalog number 6003 095) rating: **** stars

2.) The Mask   (Frank Mille - Kurt Lüngen) - 2:37

Written by guitarist Frank Mille and bassist Kurt Lüngen, 'The Mask' was an even heavier number.  Kicked along by Bejarano's shrieking voice and keyboards, the song had quite a bit going for it, including some a killer chorus.  Very nice.  rating: **** stars

3.) I Will   (H. Boneval - R. Romer - Edna Bejarano) - 4:40

After two rockers, 'I Will' was a surprisingly effective ballad.  Heavily orchestrated, including a pretty flute solo, the song actually served as a nice showcase for Bejarano's softer side.  rating: *** stars

4.) Where Is the Friend  (Edna Bejarano) - 2:20

Penned by Bejarano, 'Where Is the Friend' showcased a truly bizarre, jittery new-wave feel.  Showcasing an almost paranoid vocal with some equally disturbing Mille guitar, it literally sounded like something that could have been released in the mid-1980s.  rating: **** stars

5.) Guy   ( Herbert Bornhold - Frank Mille - Krieger) - 2:16

A raw and blazing rocker, 'Guy' was the kind of song The Golden Earring would have killed to have written and recorded.  With her wild voice Bejarano could have taken out a tank at 200 yards  rating: **** stars.


(side 2)

1.) The Witch    ( Herbert Hilderbrandt - Winhauer) - 2:56

Side two opened up with one of their best known songs.  This was actually a remake; they'd first recorded the track in 1968 with Henner Hoier handling the lead vocal.  With Mille's roaring fuzz guitar and Bejarano's shrieking lead vocal, this psychedelic version was even better than the original.  Simply a great song, the track went top 10 throughout a large chunk of Europe and even managed to hit the US top-100 charts.  


- 1970's 'The Witch' b/w '' (Probe catalog number CP-480)

- 1970's 'The Witch' b/w 'Get Away' (Fontana catalog number 6004 010)


I've always liked this goofy promotional clip for 'he Witch':   There's an equally goofy promo segment from the BBC's Top of the Pops television program.  Its worth seeing just to watch the dancers trying to figure out how to dance to the song:


rating: **** stars

2.) Worm Eaten Wood   (Frank Mille) - 3:28

For a band where English was a second language, 'Worm Eaten Wood' had some surprisingly inventive lyrics.  Mille's jazzy lead guitar was the winning ingredient on this ballad.  rating: *** stars

3.) Virgin   ( Herbert Bornhold - Frank Mille - Krieger) - 2:44'Virgin' found the band dipping back into the hard rock bucket.  This time out the lyric was actually pretty funny with Bejarano repeatedly yelping  'can you imagine I'm a virgin ...'   Not sure how to answer that one.  rating: *** stars  

4.) Rescue   (Frank Mille) - 3:36

Kurt Lüngen's inventive bass took what was a good song and made it even better - in this case the pounding rocker 'Rescue Me' may have been the best song on the album.  Just as propulsive and catchy as 'The Witch' but without the hyper shriekiness ...  Great track.  rating: **** stars

5.) Man    ( Herbert Hilderbrandt - Winhauer - T. Oberdorffer) - 2:46

The breezy, acid-drenched 'Man' was the album's first disappointment.  In spite of tons of percussion the song simply didn't have much of a melody, or rhythm and even though you kept waiting for it to build into something, that never really happened.  rating: ** stars




The album was tapped for a pair of singles:






Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Tonight The Rattles Starring Edna

Company: Philips

Catalog: 6305 176

Year: 1972

Country/State: Germany

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: German pressing

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5886

Price: $80.00


1972's self-produced "Tonight the Rattles Starring Edna" has always been a curiosity to me.  This time out Philips seemed interested in making lead singer Edna Beharano the band's focal point.  As on 1970's "The Witch" she handled most of the lead vocals and was allocated space for  two of her own songs ('You've Got To Get Another Girl' and 'Be My Man').  Looking at the cover art, the packaging was also clearly focused on her.  Judging by the back cover, Phliips marketing didn't mind showcasing the fact Bejarano had a pair of legs that simply didn't quit.  With guitarist Frank Mille and new keyboardist Lude Lafayette (shown as Jochen Peters on the writing credits) responsible for the majority of the nine tracks, the album found the band opting for a slightly more mainstream rock direction.  The album certainly wasn't bad.  The opening rocker 'Devil's Song', the pseudo-progressive 'Visions of Tarzan & Jane' and the Eastern-flavored 'What Do I Care' were all worth hearing.   Elsewhere none of the songs were bad, rather just not something that jumped out at you. 


Not as immediately likeable as "The Witch" but what most folks would call a 'grower'; this one continues to improve every time I listen to it.  While not exactly rare, good luck finding a copy in decent shape.  Also good luck finding an online review of the album.  


"Tonight The Rattles Starring Edna" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Devil's Son  (Jochen Peters - Frank Mille) - 3:50  rating: **** stars

The only track that really recalled the previous album, 'Devil's Son' started out with a guitar riff that recalled AC/DC.  As it evolved the song then displayed a distinctive psychedelic flair before morphing into a more conventional rocker.  Borrowing a little bit of raucousness that made 'The Witch' such a blast, the song served as a nice introduction to Bejarano's interesting voice - raw and occasional shrieky, though with a hard-to-describe sexy edge ...  you'll have to judge it for yourself. 

2.) You've Got To Get Another Girl    (Edna Bejarano) - 3:48    rating: *** stars

Written by Bejarano, 'You've Got To Get Another Girl' was a pretty, mid-tempo, keyboard-propelled ballad.  The downside was that Bejarano's vocal was heavily accented, almost sounding like she had learned the lyrics phonetically.

3.) Will You Pay When I Cry  (Jochen Peters - Frank Mille) - 3:03   rating: *** stars

With an unusual song structure, 'Will You Pay When I Cry' sported some hysterical lyrics ('we had a good time drinking coca cola with rum and ice''). Elsewhere the song's highlight came in the form of Mille's nice Santana-styled guitar solo.   

4.) Alabama   (Herbert Bornhold - Frank Mille) - 3:07   rating: *** stars

Sounding like someone rubbing two pieces of sandpaper together, the train sound effects that opened 'Alabama' were hysterical.  Showcasing some goofy lyrics (blame German to English translations), Bejarano sound shrill and irritating throughout.   Actually the concept of a German band singing a bar rocker entitled 'Alabama' was pretty funny.  Every time I hear it I imagine a band like 38 Special singing a song entitled 'Rhineland-Pfalz'.  Gawd only knows how it became a European hit.   





- 1972's 'Alabama' b/w 'Devil's Son' (Philips catalog number 6003 304)







5.) Make It  (Jochen Peters - Frank Mille) - 4:26   rating: *** stars

Side one closed out with a surprisingly impressive slice of chuggin' Southern rock.  Nice rollicking melody with great organ and guitar solos from Lude Lafayette and Frank Mille.   


(side 2)

1.) Visions of Tarzan & Jane  (Jochen Peters - Frank Mille) - 6:35   rating: *** stars

The only track to feature Lafayette on lead vocals, 'Visions of Tarzan & Jane' was an interesting keyboard and synthesizer-propelled, progressive-flavored number.  I've listened to the song dozens of times and still don't have a clue with respect to the lyrics, but the song had a nice melody that showcased the group's impressive vocal harmonies.   

2.) Be My Man   (Edna Bejarano) - 4:23   rating: *** stars

The second Bejarano composition, 'Be My Man' was a surprisingly funky effort.  Nothing particularly original, but it was kind of strange hearing a German band getting down like this ...   

3.) What Do I Care   (Frank Mille) - 4:19  rating: **** stars

Complete with an Indian flavor percussion, sitar and an acid-tinged vocal, 'What Do I Care' sounded like it had been lifted off of some 1967 release.   Quite different than the rest of the album and quite cool.  Bejarano sounded pissed-off when she yelled out the title chorus.  

4.) Blue Berry Music  (Jochen Peters - Frank Mille) - 3:56   rating: ** stars

With its nonsensical title, 'Blue Berry Music' was a conventional, thumping rocker.  Professional, but not particularly exciting.   





Genre: rock

Rating: ** (2 stars)

Title:  Gin Mill

Company: RCA Victor

Catalog: PPL 1-4016

Year: 1974

Country/State: Germany

Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+

Comments: German pressing; gatefold sleeve

Available: SOLD 

Catalog ID: 4510

Price: SOLD $30.00

Cost: $66.00


It's interesting that The Rattles were/are one of Germany's biggest rock bands, but outside of the country their virtually unknown.  Ask most Americans (including collectors) and you'll get a blank stare.


By the time 1974's "Gin Mill" was released the band had long abandoned their original beat-band sound in favor of a then-contemporary (if largely anonymous) mainstream rock sound.  Produced by guitarist Frank Mille (who also wrote, or co-wrote all ten tracks with keyboardist Lude Lafayette) the album was certainly competent, but simply didn't have much going for it in the way of originality.  Replacing Edna Bejarano, new lead vocalist Linda Fields (I assume she was an American or British expatriot) had a nice, bluesy-styled voice, but under the mistaken belief that louder was better, she tended to turn shrill.  Of course her voice was certainly preferable to Lafayette's heavily accented deliveries.  Mind you, the album had it's small pleasures.  'You've Got So Many Faces' was a pretty ballad (marred by Lafayette's flat vocals), the upbeat 'Hot Banana' was a great song made hysterical by the accented vocals, while 'You Know It Better' would've have been a decent US single.   


RCA Victor tapped the album for a single in the form of:



- 1974's 'Hot Banana' b/w 'Countryman's Blues' (RCA Victor catalog number PPBO-4415)


Needless to say the LP went nowhere Stateside.   


"Gin Mill" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Countryman's Blues   (Frank Mille) - 2:46

2.) You've Got So Many Faces   (Lude Lafayette) - 4:36

3.) Hot Banana   (Frank Mille) - 2:52

4.) Sidewalk Queen   (Lude Lafayette) - 3:26

5.) You Know It Better   (Lude Lafayette - Frank Mille) - 3:33   


(side 2)

1.) Rainbow   (Frank Mille) - 3:03

2.) Give Me More   (Lude Lafayette - Frank Mille)  - 4:16

3.) Sugar Bee   (Lude Lafayette - Frank Mille)  - 2:05

4.) Try To Forget   (Lude Lafayette) - 3:35

5.) Ain't It a Shame   (Lude Lafayette) - 3:22