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Sahara For All The Clowns album cover
3.86 | 66 ratings | 6 reviews | 20% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1975

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Flying dancer (3:25)
2. The source Part I & Part II (7:12)
3. For all the clowns (11:01)
4. Prélude (1:04)
5. The mountain king Part I & II (13:20)
6. Dream queen (5:05)
7. Fool the fortune (1:19)

Total Time: 42:26

Line-up / Musicians

- Günther Moll / lead guitar, vocals
- Hennes Hering / organ, piano, synth
- Michael Hofmann / Moog, String synth, guitar, flute, vocals
- Stephan Wissnet / bass, acoustic guitar, lead vocals
- Holger Brandt / drums, percussion

- Nicholas Woodland / 12-string guitar (2)
- Meryl Creser / recitation (5)

Releases information

Artwork: Kurt Halbritter

LP Ariola ‎- 89 377 OT (1975, Germany)

CD Ohrwaschl Records - OW 021 (1993, Germany)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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SAHARA For All The Clowns ratings distribution

(66 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(56%)
Good, but non-essential (23%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

SAHARA For All The Clowns reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars After the excellent Sunrise, Sahara will again suffer a line-up change, seeing Woodland leave (I suppose he went to Desertland), then drummer Rosekind followed, thus leaving the Subject Esq. survivors to only three (Hoffman, Wissnet, Pittwohn), with Gunther Moll (guitar) and drummer Holger Brandt (ex-Missing Link) to fill in. Little did the rest of the group know that the two newcomers would leave soon after (and despite!) the release of another excellent album. This album was released late 75 on the mother label Ariola, but came with a bizarre humoristic cartoon-esque B&W artwork, that doesn't fit the music at all. Rather important to the group's sound, Hoffman is not playing sax anymore, but he's on synths (including a Moog) and on guitars, while still fluting around, Wwhile pittwohn seems to have become the manager/producer.

After a dispensable average Flying Dancer, the group plunges into a Crimsonian atmosphere, especially in the riff opening and closing of the two-part The Source track, alternating between dark quiet passages and heavier sombre moments. This track segues without much interruption into the title track, which is just as moody as its predecessor.

Opening the flipside is a Herring piano Prélude, an intro to the remainder of the album, with the two-part Mountain King track, opening on up-tempo riff, soon joined by the flute and some Moog playing, but Herring's organ is much kinder to our ears. The middle section features a jazzy Rhodes and some brilliant electric guitar, the track coming to a stop before the Moog comes back to rekindle the flame and throw the group in a light improve and then a verse-chorus song structure, where the heavy guitar and gentle organ dominate. Dream Queen opens on 12-strings guitar arpeggios and flute, much like an early Genesis song ; but the vocals are bringing you back down to earth, because they're not quite as dream or fantasy-like. Even when the song is fully opened, the flute is taking the front stage, but sounding Tull-ian, now. The closing Fool The Fortune outro is another 12-string guitar arpeggio piece

While this album is again excellent, I personally find it not matching the preceding Sunrise album, but then again many will prefer Clowns and its more symphonic second side. In either case, both Sahara albums are very worthy and essential listening. Unfortunately the group did not record more albums once the two newcomers decided to leave this superb group.

Review by hdfisch
4 stars Their third album, second one and unfortunately last one under the name Sahara did not feature an ambitious and experimental side-long track as did "Sunrise" but should nevertheless be considered inferior to that one because on the other hand it didn't have a rather mediocre first side as did that one and instead here they delivered a more coherent and very fine album in the best tradition of symphonic Prog from that era. The courageous but slightly half-baked mix of styles like jazz fusion, experimental Krautrock and west-coast vocal harmonies from their previous outputs made place for a mature and more polished progressive rock much in the spirit of bands like Genesis, Yes, Gentle Giant and Jethro Tull. Nonetheless Sahara doesn't sound here like a rip-off of any of these bands at all but rather delivered one of the best symphonic rock albums ever done by a German band.

Opening with the appealing but quite straight forward "Flying Dancer" featuring catchy vocal lines this album offers with "The Source", the title song and "The Mountain King" three brilliant Prog pieces almost in a row with running times between 7 and 13 minutes. The music presented is dominated by gorgeous keyboard sound, excellent guitar play (at times by three guitarists) and great vocals by several band members. Especially the title song and "The Mountain King" exemplify very well the change and development of this band. Although I'm usually not a huge fan of twanging moog sounds I find it much appealing how they're combined here with lively flute play, great guitars and nice vocals. The mentioned three tracks are certainly the highlights of this disk but the remaining ones are far from being just filling material. This album should most probably appeal to any fan of symphonic Prog right from the beginning but due to its versatility it's as well an interesting listen for many repeated spins. I'd highly recommend this one as a starting place for this band and I think it's for sure worth 4 stars!

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars Overall I do like this one better than their previous one ("Sunrise") but both are just short of being 4 star records in my opinion. As others have mentioned "Sunrise" has those highs and lows while this one is more consistant and a little better.

"Flying Dancer" has this catchy guitar intro as vocals and drums join in quickly. Synths come and go. A fuller sound after 2 minutes. "The Source Part I & Part II" has this quiet intro, vocals a minute in with light drums. Organ joins in as well. The guitar aftyer 2 1/ 2 minutes is an absolute pleasure to listen to. A change after 4 1/2 minutes then we get a heavier sound after 6 minutes.

"For All The Clowns" is darker to open and the vocals are almost whispered. Mellotron and orchestral sounds follow. A change after 3 minutes as it becomes fuller sounding with the guitar and vocals standing out. Love the way the guitar goes on and on after 8 minutes. Great section ! "Prelude" is a short piano piece. "The Mountain King Part I & II" is uptempo with vocals a minute in. Spoken female words 3 minutes in.The guitar before 5 minutes starts to light it up. Piano follows as it settles. A lighter mood after 8 minutes. "Dream Queen" is fairly mellow with prominant flute. Vocals after a minute. "Fool The Fortune" is the pastoral short closing track with the birds singing along with flute and vocals.

Humerous album cover as well. Easy to recommend this one and their "Sunrise" record. 3.5 stars.

Review by GruvanDahlman
4 stars "For all the clowns" is the third and final effort by Sahara and from my perspective it is their finest hour. Sahara was a highly competent band throughout their career but this album holds a sombre, symphonic tone I find myself very attracted to. I think that there is quite alot of similarities to both Nektar and Gentle Giant on this album. Obviously, it must have been hard not to be influenced.

The opening "Flying dancer" echoes of the sound off their first album, though more up to date, if that is a phrase to use when talking about a nigh on 40 years old album. Anyway, it is good and quite ominous. The next track, "The source part I & II" is really amazing. Opening in a mellow, symphonic way it builds into a fantastic epic. It has no real outbursts of harder sounds, though slightly apparent in the eerie keyboards at the end of the song. I think this song shows a Nektar-ian influence.

Similarities to Gentle Giant can be found in the title track, which, again, is very good. Dramatic, flowing, symphonic and of epic proportions. The spacey keyboards (which can be found a bit everywhere) makes it especially emotive and engaging.

"Mountain king part I & II" (with the track "Prelude" coming right before it) is again a number close to the sound on their first album but holds a clear Jethro Tull sound, circa "A passion play". Great track. Again. The numerous musical visions that comes to life in this one song is flabbergasting. Their jazzy approach comes to the fore here, both in the keyboards and guitar.

"Dream queen" is a beautiful piece, quite ballad-y. The album ends with a little tune called "Fool for the fortune", which reminds me of the renaissance. Birds and gentle sounds of nature makes this a perfect ending to a multi-facetted and varied album of progressive rock.

I think that I have listened to this album more than the other two they made. Simply because it shows their ability all the more clearly than the others. All their albums showed great promise and skill but this is, really, their finest hour. I like it alot and think that the merging of progressive, symphonic, jazz, hard rock and classical really is one fine brew to enjoy.

Four stars.

Review by Progfan97402
4 stars I first heard of Sahara from a website called Tommy's Forest of Progressive Rock back in 2000, the website was ran by someone named Tommy Schönenberg from Norway (I guess he was of German heritage, given the name, and the fact he used an ö rather than ř). The website was later renamed, and it's still available, unfortunately he hadn't updated it since 2008. It doesn't seem Tommy has much of a web presence these days, because he sure reviewed a ton of great albums you need to hear, although I found it strange he didn't include Pulsar's Pollen or anything else from Osanna other than Palepoli. But he did review all the Sahara albums, including the Subject Esq. album, but for some strange reason I never got a hold of anything from them, until now, probably due to tons of other obscurities there were taking higher priority. Not to mention it's not always easy to get a hold of this stuff. But I found an original LP of this, on the Ariola label for a decent price, and glad I did. This was their final album and it's rather obvious that they were taking on a more symphonic approach. The most catchy piece is the first one, "Flying Dancer", and I believe this was released as a single. Great piece, I notice some Gentle Giant influences. One of the keyboardists (there were two) gave quotes from Mussorgsky's "A Night on Bare Mountain". "The Source" is a bit in the Pink Floyd realm, and a short dissonant King Crimson-like passage, although the nasally vocals got me thinking of what Jane were about to do around this time period (Fire, Water, Earth, Air). The title track is nothing short of amazing, ditto for "The Mountain King". You'll notice more Pink Floyd influences, and strangely you'd expect Edvard Grieg to get quoted in "The Mountain King", but that didn't happen. This is basically yer typical Yes, Gentle Giant, Pink Floyd type of prog rock album. While some prefer Sunrise, some prefer this one due to being more consistent. It was their last album, but given prog rock was on the decline after this (disco was already starting to take hold in '75, and punk not too long after, as soon as the Ramones released their debut in the spring of '76). Nice prog, but it's not likely to make my top ten all-time favorites.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Sometimes it takes you to see a band in a concert and read in a local press before you get to know them, especially when the band is unknown in the international space. I managed to miss Sahara this way. While not a gem, it rightfully deserves attention for the two high quality albums - Sunris ... (read more)

Report this review (#2305838) | Posted by sgtpepper | Friday, January 10, 2020 | Review Permanlink

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