Heimatliche Klaenge - Deutsche Schallplatten-Labels
Native Sounds - German Record-Labels
ARIOLA Apocalypse (Die Anderen)
The roots of the band Die Anderen (The Others or The Differents), later to be known as Apocalypse, lie in a talent show, the so-called "Beat-Band-Ball", that took place in Kiel's Ostseehalle in 1966. This was where Jьrgen Drews (lead guitar, vocals) met the members of the winning band Chimes of Freedom Bernd Scheffler (drums, vocals), Enrico Lombardi (bass, vocals) und Gerd Mьller (guitar, vocals).
In his excellent book "STARPALAST und Skinny Minny" a documentary of the 60s and 70s Beat Music scene in the Kiel area author Klaus Hдrtel writes of the formation of this internationally famous band from northern Germany.
Jьrgen Drews was born 02.04.1948 in Schleswig. When he was 14 he became a banjo player in a jazz band called Snirpels and discovered beat music through the cover band Monkeys. After the "Beat-Band-Ball" Drews successfully asked to join Chimes of Freedom as their lead guitarist. After a while their manager decided to change the band's sound and name. A German band should have a German name - this was not typical of the times. The name Die Anderen was chosen and contact with record company Ariola's in-house producer Giorgio Moroder followed. Moroder produced 2 albums and some singles for them. The band was notable for having four excellent harmonious vocalists, a keenness to play, originality coupled with a total commitment to making money. But they still had a long way to go and there were problems with differing attitudes about the essence and purpose of their music.
However, Die Anderen got the opportunity to play on "Show Chance 67", a ZDF national television show in the section "singing groups with instrumental backing". This raised the band's profile within their record company after which the company were prepared to fulfil all the band's wishes and gave them a blank cheque. Germany's top producers and arrangers were at their disposal together with the best available session musicians and the best studio - Pye Record Studio in London. It was in the Pye studio in July 1968 they started recording four singles, three of which were written by Mьller and Lombardi.
With pride the four heroes returned home to Kiel from London, Drew reminisces today, and soon realised that it would be difficult to have a career if they remained as they were - different. They were heralded by creative but broke young filmmakers. They sang in a ZDF produced TV film "Zwischen Beat und Bach" (Between Beat and Bach) and in another ZDF programme they were the choir in the Wagner Opera "Meistersinger".
Their album "Kannibal Komix", released in 1968 on Ariola, was a milestone. The US film producer George Moorse, who was living in Munich at the time, got hold of a copy of the LP. Using the album as a soundtrack he produced the ghost film "Das Haus in WeiЯ" (The House in White). The film was as chaotic as the Beatles' "Magical Mystery Tour" and as such reflected the times.
The real kick to their career came in Hamburg's Star Club. A group of American managers travelled to Hamburg hoping to sign a German group. They had the choice of Hamburg band Wonderland with ex-Rattle Achim Reichel and a hitherto unknown musician and ex-US Army sergeant organist Les Humphries or "Die Anderen". The boys got their first US record deal. Collosus Records released the band's debut American record under the name "Apocalypse". The second album, a year later was also released in America. This album will shortly be released as a CD on Long Hair.
The band's US career was over before it could really begin. Colossus Records went bust, things were also not going according to plan. The two albums and five singles were released internationally and while there is no doubt the music was artistically valuable and excellently produced nobody wanted to buy it. On 28.12.1969 the band spilt after a final gig in their hometown Kiel. Jьrgen Drews went to Rome and became a movie actor. He also recorded his first solo single before joining the Les Humphries Singers with whom he enjoyed success for 5 years. Following this he started his solo career with which he is still well received by the media.
Enrico Lombardi was born on 25.06.1945 in Piacenza near Milan and was introduced to music at an early age. His father was a music professor, his mother a singer and dancer. His mother's commitments in Germany brought Enrico to Kiel. 1966 he won a singing competition ahead of 399 other competitors. He played in several local bands until he met Bernd Scheffler and joined his band "Chimes of Freedom" later to become "Die Anderen / Apocalypse". Enrico currently works as a composer and producer in his own studio in Garstedt, north Germany. His work includes eleven singles and three LPs in addition to countless appearances solo and in bands.
Gerd Mьller was born 04.08.1947 in Kiel. He played in many local bands until he met Enrico and later joined "Chimes of Freedom". As composer Gerd had a large stake in the band's sound. After the band split he released German versions of international hits such as T Rex's "Hot Love", Mungo Jerry's "In the Summertime" and ABBA's "Waterloo" as a solo artist. Gerd Mьller is a freelance producer and lives in Nashville, USA.
Bernd Scheffler was born 06.05.1948 in Kiel. His musical awakening came from records by Bob Dylan, Donovan and the Byrds even calling his first band Dylan's Folk. EMI-Elektrola invited the band to Berlin for a test recording session but only Bernd had the courage to record a demo. The result was a single, musically categorised as "schlager" about which he is still annoyed. After Dylan's Folk he started Chimes of Freedom with Enrico and Gerd. This band marked the most creative phase of his musical career. Here he found an ambition for perfection combined with idealism, friendship and a joy in music, combination that he seemed to lose later on with Die Anderen. Disappointed and frustrated he was the first to leave the band. He has never sat at a drum kit or played music since. Bernd has no more ties with the music of the sixties.
Manfred Steinheuer, March 2003Translation: Trevor Wilson
Apocalypse LP 1968
Original Soundtrack Of Cinerama Film "Wunderland Der Liebe"
Gerhard Heinz – Schamlos (1968) / (Heimatliche Klaenge Vol.206)
Published: June 19,
2020 | 22:52
206 Heimatliche Klaenge - Native Sounds
Gerhard Heinz is an Austrian composer, lyricist and pianist, who composed many scores for B- and C-grade comedies and sleazy soft-core action thrillers since the early '60s. He was also highly-sought after for porn soundtracks. His music can be typified as infectious Soul Jazz with Mod, Funk and Disco flavours. Heinz composed over 130 scores for a wide variety of films, including the obscure Seventies soft porn flicks Schamlos, Geissel Des Fleisches and Lolita Am Scheideweg...
The Association was one of the more underrated groups to come out of the mid- to late '60s. Creators of an enviable string of hits from 1966 through 1969, they got caught in a shift in popular culture and the unwritten criteria for significance in that field and never recovered. The group's smooth harmonies and pop-oriented sound (which occasionally moved into psychedelia and, much more rarely, into a harder, almost garage-punk vein) made them regular occupants of the highest reaches of the pop charts for two years -- their biggest hits, including "Along Comes Mary," "Cherish," "Windy," and "Never My Love," became instant staples of AM play lists, which was a respectable achievement for most musicians at the time. That same sound, along with their AM radio popularity, however, proved a liability as the music environment around them changed at the end of the decade. Additionally, their ensemble singing, essential to the group's sound and appeal, all but ensured that the individual members never emerged as personalities in their own right. The Association was as anonymous an outfit as their contemporaries the Grass Roots, in terms of any individual names or attributes, despite the fact that both groups generated immensely popular hits that millions of listeners embraced on a deeply personal level.
The group's roots go back to a meeting in 1964 between Terry Kirkman, a Kansas-born, California-raised music major, proficient on upwards of two dozen instruments, and Jules Alexander, a Tennessee-born high school drop-out with an interest in R&B who was a budding guitar virtuoso. Alexander was in the U.S. Navy at the time, serving out his hitch, and they agreed to link up professionally once he was out. That happened at the beginning of 1965, and they at once pursued a shared goal, to put together a large-scale ensemble that would be more ambitious than such existing big-band folk outfits as the New Christy Minstrels and the Serendipity Singers. The result was the Men, a 13-member band that played folk, rock, and jazz, who earned a spot as the house band at the L.A. Troubadour. The group's promising future was cut short, however, when the group's lineup split in two after just a few weeks with seven members exiting. The remaining six formed the Association, the name coming at the suggestion of Kirkman's wife Judy.
Ted Bluechel, Jr. was their drummer, Brian Cole played bass, Russ Giguere was on percussion, and Jim Yester, brother of Easy Riders/Modern Folk Quartet alumnus Jerry Yester, played rhythm guitar behind Alexander. Each member was also a singer -- indeed, their vocal abilities were far more important than their skills on any specific instruments -- and several were multi-instrumentalists, able to free others up to play more exotic instruments on stage. The group rehearsed for six months before they began performing, developing an extremely polished, sophisticated, and complex sound.
The Association shopped itself around Los Angeles but couldn't do any better initially than a single release on the Jubilee label -- their debut, "Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You," wasn't a success, nor was their subsequent 1965 recording of Bob Dylan's "One Too Many Mornings" on Valiant Records, which was an early folk-rock effort that was probably a little too complex for national exposure -- though it got decent local radio play in Los Angeles. The group came completely into its own, however, with the recording of the singles "Along Comes Mary" and "Cherish."
The recording of those songs was to set a new standard in the treatment of rock music in America. As Ted Bluechel recalled in a 1984 Goldmine article by Marty Natchez, the voices were recorded at Columbia studios, while the instruments -- played by Terry Kirkman and Jules Alexander, plus a group of studio musicians -- were cut in an improvised four-track studio owned by Gary Paxton. Those two songs, and the entire album that followed, revealed a level of craftsmanship that was unknown in rock recordings up to that time. Producer Curt Boettcher showed incredible skill in putting together the stereo sound on that album, which was among the finest sounding rock records of the period. The fact that most of the members didn't play on their records was not advertised, but it was a common decision in recording in those days -- Los Angeles, in particular, was home to some of the best musicians in the country; they worked affordably and there was no reason to make less-than-perfect records. Even the Byrds, apart from Roger McGuinn, had stood on the sidelines when it was time to do the instrumental tracks on their earliest records, although this sense that the Association's music was a "production" rather than the work of an actual band probably helped contribute to their anonymity as a group.
And Then...Along Comes the AssociationConsidering their lightweight image in the later 1960s, the Association made a controversial entry into the music market with "Along Comes Mary" -- apart from its virtues as a record, with great hooks and a catchy chorus, it was propelled to the number seven spot nationally with help from rumors that the song was about marijuana. No one is quite certain of what songwriter Tandyn Almer had in mind, and one wonders how seriously any of this was taken at the time, in view of the fact that the song became an unofficial sports anthem for Catholic schools named St. Mary's. "Cherish," a Kirkman original (which was intended for a proposed single by Mike Whelan of the New Christy Minstrels), was their next success, riding to number one on the charts. Among the most beautiful rock records ever made, the song has been a perennial favorite of romantic couples for decades since. The group's debut album And Then...Along Comes the Association reached number five late in 1966.
RenaissanceIt was just at this point that the exhaustion that came with success and the avarice of their record label, along with a couple of artistic and commercial misjudgments, combined to interrupt the group's progress. Their next single, "Pandora's Golden Heebie Jeebies," was not an ideal choice as a follow-up to one of the prettiest and most accessible rock records of the decade, reaching only number 35, and "No Fair at All," the next single, also fared poorly. Equally important, the group was forced to rush out a second album, Renaissance (produced by Jim Yester's brother Jerry Yester), while they were honoring the burgeoning tour commitments attendant to a pair of huge national hits. It was also during this time that Valiant Records, including the Association's contract, was absorbed by Warner Bros. Records.
A major personnel problem also arose as Jules Alexander, one of the core players in the group, decided to leave. He headed off to India, where he spent most of the next year. He returned in 1967, intending to form his own group, which never got off the ground. In the meantime, the Association recruited multi-instrumentalist Larry Ramos of the New Christy Minstrels to replace Alexander. The group's lineup change coincided with their getting access to a song by Ruthann Friedman called "Windy." Another number one single, it was tougher to realize as a finished work, cut over a period of 14 hours with Friedman and Yester's wife, arranger Cliff Burroughs, and his wife, along with numerous others, all singing with them.
Insight OutInsight Out, their third album, was a tough one to record as well. Initially to have been produced by Jerry Yester, it fell apart after it was half done when the group became unhappy with the sound and shape he was giving it. Instead, they turned to Bones Howe, an engineer and producer (most noted for his work with the Fifth Dimension, among many other popular acts), who finished the album with them. Insight Out was a better album than Renaissance, with pop, folk-rock, and hard rock elements that hold together reasonably well, although its audio textures lacked the delicacy of the group's debut long-player. The album's two hits, "Windy" and "Never My Love," were among their most popular and enduring records and helped drive sales of the 12" platter. The final track, "Requiem for the Masses," which featured a Gregorian chant opening, was a strange song mixing psychedelia and social commentary -- its lyrics were a searing social indictment, originally dealing with the death of boxer Davy Moore (Bob Dylan had written a song, very little known at the time, on the same subject four years earlier).
Immediately prior to the release of Insight Out, the group played the most visible live gig in their history, opening the Monterey International Pop Festival. The group didn't seem absurdly out of place, in the context of the times, on a bill with Simon & Garfunkel, the Who, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Eric Burdon and the Animals, and the Mamas & The Papas. It was an ideal showcase, and as the tapes of the festival reveal, the group was tight and hard that night, their vocals spot-on and their playing a match for any folk-rock band of the era -- Ted Bluechel's drumming, in particular, and Larry Ramos's and Jim Yester's guitars are perfect, and even Kirkland's flute came out well on stage.
BirthdayHad any part of their Monterey set been released, it might've helped correct the image that the Association were rapidly acquiring of being a soft, pop/rock group. Instead, their performance took some 20 years to see the light of day and longer than that for a pair of songs to show up on CD. The group's next album, Birthday, was a departure from its three predecessors, their attempt at creating a heavier sound. It was around this same time that they cut the single "Six Man Band," a very nasty critique of the music business written by Kirkman. The measures that the group took to change its image came too late -- Birthday fell largely on deaf ears when it was issued in 1968, and the singles "Six Man Band" and "Enter the Young," the latter a re-recording of a song that highlighted their debut album, charted only moderately well.
Warner Brothers' release of a greatest hits album in 1969 boosted the group's album sales and consolidated the audience that they had, but did nothing to stop the rot that had set in. By 1969, the sensibilities of the rock audience had hardened, even as that audience splintered. Suddenly, groups that specialized in more popular, lighter fare, usually aimed at audiences outside the 17-25 age group, and especially those with a big AM radio following, such as Paul Revere & the Raiders and the Grass Roots, and the Association were considered terminally out of fashion and uncool by the new rock intelligentsia. If they got mentioned or reviewed in the pages of Rolling Stone, Crawdaddy, or Circus magazine, it was usually for a lark rather than in a fully serious context. They were usually lumped together with bubblegum acts such as the 1910 Fruitgum Company and the Ohio Express and represented the kind of music you left behind (especially if you were a guy) once you got out of ninth grade, if you had any intentions of being considered cool.
Goodbye, ColumbusOne positive development was the return of Jules Alexander to the lineup in 1969, which turned the group into a septet and gave them the services of three talented guitarists. The group's Goodbye Columbus soundtrack album, which included incidental music from the film of that name composed by Charles Fox, was the kiss of death for the group's credibility, regardless of the musical merits of their work. It was one thing for movies like Easy Rider to make use of music by the likes of the Byrds -- that was part of a new wave of filmmaking -- but as a film, Goodbye Columbus was a piece of Hollywood product. Coming out in the same year that Woodstock took place, it spoke volumes about where the Association was in relation to music and audiences.
The Association LiveBy 1970, the group's biggest hits, dating from 1966 through 1968, were safely ensconced as oldies. The very fact that the Fifth Dimension and David Cassidy were to soon enjoy fresh chart success with re-recordings of "Never My Love" and "Cherish," respectively, didn't help their image among rock tastemakers. The Association Live might've redeemed them as a concert act, but for a major miscalculation, recalled by Terry Kirkman in the Goldmine article -- the recording, done in Salt Lake City, UT, without allowing time for the members to adjust to the city's mile-high altitude, resulted in a lot of flat and raw singing (and playing by Kirkland on his recorder and other wind instruments) and, coupled with the inevitable leakages involved in most live rock recording, yielded a very poor body of songs, some which were redone in the studio after the fact. Regardless of the tinkering, this couldn't make a good album and The Association Live wasn't.
Stop Your MotorWarner Bros. released one more album, Stop Your Motor, which reached number 158 on the charts. At around that time, relations between the label and the group's manager deteriorated, and both sides parted company in 1971. Clive Davis, the president of Columbia Records, signed the group to his label. The resulting LP, Waterbeds in Trinidad issued in 1972, peaked at number 194. The group soldiered on, availing themselves of their lingering fame for their early hits, working into the following year.
The death on August 2, 1973, of bassist Brian Cole, as a result of a worsening drug habit, portended the breakup of the original core membership of the Association. Kirkman stepped back from the music business, while Jules Alexander formed a group called Bijou that got one promising single out through A&M Records. Ted Bluechel kept the group going with Jim Yester and Larry Ramos, adding other players like Ric Ulskey. After running out their string on stage, Bluechel, the last original member, began leasing the group name out, thus allowing oldies tour packagers to send out a version of "the Association" without any of the original members to play shows. That ultimately came to haunt the group as those rights proved somewhat hard to withdraw for a time, and bogus versions of "the Association" turned up on and off into the 1980s. The legitimate, original group members, including Kirkman, Alexander, and Bluechel, resumed working together in various combinations on the oldies circuit in the 1980s. In 1981 and 1982, the group even briefly hooked up again with their first producer, Curt Boettcher, to record a pair of singles for Elektra Records. Their work since the early 1980s centered largely on re-creating their classic recordings on stage and in the studio.
The Association's history on CD, at least in America, is virtually non-existent. Warner Bros., which has seen fit to do enhanced digital remasterings of Harpers Bizarre, the Everly Brothers, and Ry Cooder, has only ever issued a poorly mastered domestic CD transfer of the Association's greatest hits album. In Japan, however, all of their Warner Bros. albums (including a much-expanded version of the greatest hits collection) have been released in state-of-the-art high-resolution digital sound, with bonus tracks included, and packaging that recreates the original art and reprints the lyrics.
The soundtrack to the motion picture Goodbye, Columbus is a peripheral title in the Association's catalog, with only the title track (a good song but minor hit for the band) being of particular interest. Only three other cuts involve the Association, one of which is an instrumental version of "Goodbye, Columbus" with wordless vocals. "It's Gotta Be Real" is pleasant but unspectacular, and "So Kind to Me (Brenda's Theme)" is a long, tedious piece with dated lyrics. The remaining album tracks are devoted to Charles Fox's instrumental film score, which consists of pseudo-psychedelic organ-driven pop ("Dartmouth? Dartmouth!") to pretty background passages that will bore anyone not obsessed with the movie. "Ron's Reverie" is a strange bit of audio from the film that is used to fill up the end of side one. Since the song "Goodbye, Columbus" is available on anthologies of the Association, this soundtrack is superfluous to all but completists.
Burt Bacharach's soundtrack to the silly 1965 comedy was highlighted by three familiar songs, cut as singles by stars: Tom Jones' athletic attack on the theme (which was a big hit), Dionne Warwick's "Here I Am" (which was a small hit), and Manfred Mann's "My Little Red Book" (which was an even smaller hit, although Love had a bigger one with their cover). The rest of the album is occupied by instrumental background filler, and while this is much better than another Bacharach mid-'60s soundtrack (After the Fox) -- "High Temperature, Low Resistance," "Downhill and Shady," and "Stripping Isn't Really Sexy, Is It?" have a swinging, bachelor-pad feel -- it's not nearly as good as the actual tunes with vocals and lyrics. Most fans of Jones, Warwick, and Manfred Mann (and indeed most big '60s rock fans in general) will have the three best cuts on easily available reissue compilations, so this disc is only recommended to serious Bacharach/soundtrack collectors. [Some reissues add a neat bonus track: Manfred Mann's "film version" of "My Little Red Book," although this isn't hugely different from (or as good as) the familiar take used on their single.]
Davie Allan And The Arrows - Skaterdater (OST) 1966
Published: January 27,
2020 | 17:15
Based in Los Angeles, USA, this quartet, Davie Allan (lead guitar), Paul Johnson (rhythm guitar), Steve Pugh (bass) and Larry Brown (drums), arrived in the wake of fellow instrumental stylists Dick Dale and the Ventures. Allan’s distinctive, ‘heavy fuzz’ sound was already prominent on ‘Apache ’65’, a feature that remained constant despite a fluctuating Arrows line-up. This exciting single was a regional hit, prompting a hurriedly recorded album of the same name. The set was produced by Mike Curb, who was well known for supplying soundtrack music for the numerous movies emerging from the AIP film studio. Allan contributed to several subsequent Curb-instigated albums, usually as a member of the many pseudo-groups Curb organized around Hollywood-based session musicians. However, the guitarist received full credit for ‘Blue’s Theme’ culled from the 1966 film The Wild Angels. Allan and the Arrows were rewarded with their sole US Top 40 entry when this track was issued as a single. The Cycle-delic Sounds Of Davie Allan And The Arrows captured the group at a creative peak, blending hard riffs and tight melodies with a dash of acid rock. By the end of the 60s Allan’s sound had become passé, but he remains one of the decade’s finest exponents of the guitar instrumental.
Soundtrack From The Motion Picture Skaterdater
Skaterdater is a 1965 film produced by Marshal Backlar, written / directed by Noel Black and distributed by United Artists. It was the Palme d'Or winner for Best Short Film at the 1966 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Short Subject category. It also won first prizes in international film festivals in Moscow and Venice and was the first film on skateboarding.
Skaterdater has had lasting cultural relevance in the film industry. It has been the subject of scholarly articles on cinematography and The Huffington Post included it in a list of 15 films every entrepreneur must see. David O'Russell, award-winning director of Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle and The Fighter, has credited Skaterdater as a reason for his initial interest in Film. The Academy Film Archive preserved Skaterdater in 2010.
The film tells a story with no dialogue about a group of skaters who are suddenly at a turning point after one of them sees a young girl and becomes interested in her causing a rift within the group. The skaters were members of the neighborhood Imperial Skateboard Club from Torrance, California and included Gary Hill, Gregg Carroll, Mike Mel, Bill McKaig, Gary Jennings, Bruce McKaig and Rick Anderson.
The surf rock-esque soundtrack was composed by Mike Curb and Nick Venet.
The Standells - Riot On Sunset Strip & Rarities- 1967
Published: January 25,
2020 | 00:27
For this volume in their series of Standells two-fers, label of reissue Big Beat wisely paired two subsidiary releases, the soundtrack of the 1967 film Riot on Sunset Strip (to which the band contributed two songs) and a brief rarities compilation. The first leads off with the title track, one of the Standells' brightest moments, then proceeds through nine tracks of low-grade yet occasionally intriguing teen-exploitation fare from a cast including the the Chocolate Watchband and the Sidewalk Sounds, plus a band named the Mugwumps that has nothing to do with the Cass Elliot-affiliated conglomeration. The rarities disc has a few interesting moments from the Standells, including the time-signature shifts of "Love Me" and the Dylanesque ambiguities of "Our Candidate," but as expected, doesn't contribute much to their discography. Definitely a collector's release, but general garage fans will want to hear it simply for the period sound and styles.
The Spencer Davis Group / Traffic /Andy Ellison – Here We Go 'Round The Mulberry Bush (OST) 1968
Published: January 24,
2020 | 23:53
Review by Richie Unterberger
Although not a proper Spencer Davis Group album, eight of the fourteen songs on the soundtrack to this silly late-'60s British flick were by the group (most done, alas, just after the departure of Stevie Winwood). There were also three tunes from Traffic, and a nice orchestral-psychedelic oddity from Andy Ellison (lead singer of John's Children). Heard in isolation from the movie, the album tends to highlight just how important Winwood was to the Spencer Davis Group, whose numbers are pleasant, almost stereotypically late-'60s London pop throwaways. "Waltz for Caroline," which does feature Winwood, is an organ-dominated instrumental that is identical to the cut titled "Waltz for Lumumba" on other SDG releases; "Picture of Her" is a ringer for the kind of songs Jack Bruce and Peter Brown wrote for Cream. Better are Traffic's more soulful contributions, especially the title track. The CD reissue has liner notes by scriptwriter (and authorized Beatles biographer) Hunter Davies.