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Faust - Faust CD (album) cover





3.88 | 234 ratings

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4 stars The Sex Pistols were mere amateurs- it was Faust that pulled off the Great Rock and Roll Swindle! Uwe Nettlebeck, their manager and svengali, convinced Polydor Records to bankroll the new German band he was assembling (like the Pistols, the Monkees, Moby Grape and many others, Faust was an "assembled" band). Nettlebeck talked Polydor into refurbishing an old schoolhouse at Wumme into a recording studio/ living space and arranged to have the services of engineer Kurt Graupner around the clock. How did the member of Faust react? By wasting most of the first year smoking dope and staging nude darts tounaments! But when Polydor put the pressure on, they responded with their eponymously titled debut. More than 30 years later, it is still one of the strangest musical experiences in progressive rock. Starting with tiny excerpts of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones set against a sawtooth blast of white noise, "Why Don't You Eat Carrots?" works it's way through Faustian versions of Beethoven piano and James Last oom-pah before settling into a manic horn-led riff that out-weirds Frank Zappa. The music is disrupted by spoken- word tape samples and throbbing electronics. You may not like it... but you'll never forget it. Following this is the relatively gentle "Meadow Meal", featuring finger- picked folkie guitar duetting with fuzzy electronic distortion and a call-and- repsponse vocal featuring some of the oddest English-As-A-Second-Language lyrics you'll ever hear ("You are a fruit fork" sings Jean-Herve Peron sweetly). After two verses, the song suddenly erupts in psychedelic guitar fuzz/fury, settles down for a third gentle verse and ends with an exquisite and beautiful duet between keyboardist Joachim Irmler and a thunderstorm. Nice! The entire second side of the original album is taken up by the extended psych-noise jam "Miss Fortune" with layers of bizarre electronics, distrorted guitars and even an opera pastiche towards the end. It was recorded live in the studio and has a more raw sound than the previous two cuts. The album originally came packaged in a clear plastic sleeve (with an X-Ray of a fist imprinted on it) a transparent lyric sheet and a see-through record, an astounding package which unfortunately cannot be duplicated in CD format. Despite its sketchy origins, this album is highly recommended to fans of Frank Zappa, Sun Ra and Henry Cow (Faust's pals and occasional tourmates). Just don't expect a "normal" listening experience and you will be richly rewarded.
| 4/5 |


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