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Amon Düül II


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3 stars Recorded live from within the Hippie Drome back in 1973, this album documents one of Germany's most obscure and progressive bands. Lead by the warped and psychy vocals of Renate Knaup and double guitar inteplay of Chris Karrer and John Weinzierl, "Live in London" will certainly change your current disposition. Highly experimental music with a certain flare and charm that could only be pulled off by AMON DÜÜL. "Live in London" explores some pretty dark and psychy corners of your mind with sound effects, loads of warbled and distorted guitars, keyboards and bass and drum interplay. Chris Karrer also lends some sax and violin to help aid the psychy live infestations. Although absolutely trippy mind numbing stuff, I love it to death and just wish I was there to have seen this live. A great live album with some lovely improvisation and a definite trip into the depths of your mind.
Report this review (#27834)
Posted Wednesday, March 17, 2004 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars Mostly Stuff from the Lemmings and a bit more from Yeti . Not indispensible as most ADII early record have a live feel to them ( Someone told me that live in the studio) this adds little to the originals. My fave period for this group is the first three so this was an obvious choice.
Report this review (#27832)
Posted Thursday, March 25, 2004 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars A short stop at the Transylvanian brain surgery

In the early 1970's record prices in the UK were pretty much fixed. If you wanted to buy a full priced LP, you knew exactly how much you would have to pay. It was therefore very tempting to buy anything which was priced substantially below full price, regardless of whether or not you had even heard of the band. Bands such as Can, Gong, Faust, ELP, Pink Floyd, etc. all released budget priced albums around this time. Usually these were either live albums, or studio recordings which were not deemed to be worthy of inclusion on "proper" albums. The budget priced releases were intended both to satisfy existing fans and to tempt others to try out the band. Unfortunately, the questionable quality of many of these albums ("The Faust Tapes" being a prime example) meant that in a number of cases, casual listeners were actually put off the bands. ("Faust 4" was subsequently marketed with the slogan "very commercial" in an effort to redress some of the damage done by "The Faust tapes"!) Not all were bad, in the case of ELP and Pink Floyd for example, those releases are of course now classics.

"Live in London" by Amon Duul II was a budget priced album released in 1973, and costing less than a pound (full priced albums around then were about 3 pounds). Unlike a lot of the others, "Live in London" was actually good. The recording quality is not that great, but the quality of the music does come through well. Starting with the blistering "Archangels Thunderbird", reminiscent of Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant song", the casual listener's attention is immediately caught. Renate Knaup-Krotenschwanz's (love the name!) vocals are something of an acquired taste, sounding a bit like Jon Anderson on helium, but instrumentally the band are tight, and entertaining. The vibrato effect is overdone at times, and can become a bit irritating. I suspect some of the audience at the gig must have had tinnitus for days afterwards.

"Improvisation", which closes side one, finds the band suddenly in full Tangerine Dream mode. Presumably the rest of the band had a comfort break while Falk-U Rogner (is that his real name!?) dabbled with his keyboard effects.

The track titles on side 2 are as entertaining as the music. "A short stop at the Transylvanian brain surgery" and "Dehypnotised toothpaste" give an idea of numerous titles to chose from (13 in all!). The final track, "Race from here to your ears" is a lovely, almost ballad track which builds to a storming climax reminiscent of Uriah Heep's live "Circle of hands" ending, and complementing beautifully the opening "Archangels thunderbird".

The album sold well in the UK almost due entirely to the price, but those who bought it must have been impressed by the musicianship and originality on show. Perhaps however the music was not quite accessible enough to tempt the new and inquisitive audience to buy the band's subsequent releases in any great numbers. An album very much of it's time, but enjoyable anyway.

Report this review (#27833)
Posted Sunday, April 25, 2004 | Review Permalink
2 stars Considering how inventive and spontaneous Amon Düül 2's studio recordings were, you'd think they'd produce an incredible live document. Sadly, such never materialized. This single disc recording finds them not free and inventive like I'd hoped. They sounded very constrained, like they were being reeled in, playing perfunctory, cut-down versions of their "greatest hits" (as it were) as though some guy in the wings were constantly motioning at them to "wrap it up, the main act is ready to go on!" When the brief improvised passage does turn up, it can't help but be a letdown. Not what I expected (or wanted) from an AD2 live album at all.
Report this review (#45121)
Posted Thursday, September 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Amon Duul II blast off here with Renate Kanup in full form with her witchy vocals on a prodigal rendition of Archangel`s Thunderbird from the Yeti LP where roughly 50% of the material is taken. Followed by a kalaedescopic barrage of more witchy vocals, scorching guitars, screaming violins and sonic contortions that doesn`t let up until the smoke clears at the conclusion of this searing London set with a rendition of From Here To Your Ears from Tanz Der Lemminge where roughly the other 50% eminates from, it`s more than evident that Amon Duul II are not finished with the psychedelic sixties yet ( titles such as Dehypnotized Toothpaste and A Short Stop At The Transyvanian Brain Surgery are good indicators of this theory!).

Not many connoissuers of their previous studio albums will have any difficulty grooving to the incessant amps turned to eleven freaking out here except for the fact that maybe 42 minutes is not enough considering 2 of their 5 studio albums up to that time were double LPs. Despite the intensity, they reproduce the studio material remarkably well with an improvisational attitude. It must also be remembered that 1973 was a sort of transitional period for Amon Duul II at a time when they were revamping their sound which would discard much of the free form spontnaeity and puissance which characterized their music up to that stage in favour of more structured compositions and arrangements. While foreshadowing of this shift within Amon Duul`s creative collective can be detected here, the galvanizing force of the performance will nonetheless definitely give Kozmische Musik purists something to rave about. Those who prefer the lucidity of Amon Duul`s Vive La Trance LP onwards might want to throw in the towel after the first three more conventional tracks, Archangel`s Thunderbird, Eye Shaking King and Soap Shop Rock here because that`s when the real tripping out kicks in with a short improv that`s followed by all the things that could show up unexectedly during a bad LSD trip.

Amon Duul II delivers all the goods here if you`re into the early phase of their career and it`s just about as dark as they would get before moving on in a more orthodox direction. Play loud for full scare effect.

Report this review (#188909)
Posted Wednesday, November 12, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars I absolutely love live in london it starts with archangels thunderbird which is better than the version on yeti and absolutely brilliant version,and then eye shaking king is a better version as the middle guitar bit is so addictive and played loud sounds excellent you just must hear both of these tracks,then soap shop rock is next which is shortened to 7.36 mins is good to but should of been the same length as the yeti version as its to short but this is all live and sounds good anyway,all the other tracks on the album are a good listen and a must hear in my opinion,i got the mystic records version of live in london which makes me which i got the remastered version,the version ive got has 2 bonus tracks one which is bavarian soap rock rock[17.44 mins]is i cant help but to say what or whoever made the extra bit in this song the extra sound in the song has messed it up as it sounds like the original of yeti with just extra sound in it which is a waste of time[ i could of made a better job on it and i cant play guitar or bass that well],and then improvisation on gulp a sonata at 2.54 isnt to bad but i think if you want to buy live in london buy the reamasted version in stead as i think that is what i will do,till then i,ll play this till the end of paralized paradise and stop after that,this is worth having as its a good live album but i dont think its a whole altogether live album as it would of been nice to hear the talkitive bits between the songs like when they say what songs next this way it would of been better than cutting it,i give it 4 stars.
Report this review (#204384)
Posted Thursday, February 26, 2009 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
5 stars I have the most recent remaster of this album with no bonus tracks and an alternate album cover of a late fifties Fleetwood with AMON DUUL on the license plates. I like it ! Great sound on this one as well. This was AMON DUUL II's first trip to the UK and the week before they played they were guests of ROXY MUSIC who were doing sort of a farewell concert at the same venue before their American tour. AMON DUUL II were a little surprised that they were more popular here than in their own country, and they also met a lot of musicians and bands. Even the music press claimed that next to CAN they were the most important German Rock band. Other than the improv all of the music they played comes from "Yeti" and "Tanz Der Lemminge" (3 tracks each). It was held at "The Greyhound" in London's Croydon District on December 16th,1972. We get that classic lineup with names like Weinzierl, Meid, Karrer, Rogner, Knaup, Fichelscher and Leopold.

"Archangels Thunderbird" along with the next two tracks are from the "Yeti" album. We get the band intro then the drums and a full sound kick in. Love Renate's vocals.Too much ! The guitar lights it up after 2 1/2 minutes. "Eye Shaking King" has an abrasive intro then the guitar leads as the drums pound away. So good. It settles when the vocals arrive as contrasts continue.The guitar cries out before 3 minutes as we get this gorgeous solo. Nice bass from Lother Meid 4 minutes in as the guitar continues and the drums pound. Incredible ! Kicking ass ! The vocals are back after 5 minutes. "Soap Shop Rock" is an uptempo rocker. Vocals just before a minute as it settles back some. The guitar is abrasive like Neil Young. A cam before 4 1/2 minutes and the vocals that join in before 5 minutes are so moving. Male vocals a minute later. The guitar throughout this track is amazing and he's ripping it up after 7 minutes. Atmosphere comes in to end it as it blends into "Improvosation". Sounds come and go as this thick atmosphere continues. Killer ! It's building before 3 minutes.

The last three tracks are from "Tanz Der Lemminge". Up first is "Syntelman's March Of The Roaring Seventies".This is folky at first but it gets heavier as the male and female vocals continue. Great sound after 2 1/2 minutes in this instrumental section. Vocals are back before 4 minutes. We get another excellent instrumental passage after 7 minutes. "Restless Skylight-Transistor-Child" opens with guitar followed by a full sound. A calm with male vocals 2 minutes in then it kicks back in before 3 1/2 minutes. They're jamming now. Violin 6 minutes in. "Race From Here To Your Ears" is laid back with male and female vocals. It's transcendent after 2 minutes.

I know i'm an AMON DUUL II fanboy but I can't give this anything less than 5 stars. It's an incredible document of a band at their best.

Report this review (#585668)
Posted Saturday, December 10, 2011 | Review Permalink

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