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Tyburn Tall

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Tyburn Tall Tyburn Tall album cover
3.13 | 35 ratings | 5 reviews | 9% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1972

Songs / Tracks Listing

01. War games
02. In the heart of the cities
03. I am America too
04. Strange days hiding

Bonustracks GOD-CD:
05. Lost Angeles
06. Bring out your dead

Line-up / Musicians

Stefan Kowa / bass
Hanns Dechant / drums, percussion
Klaus Fresenius / vocals
Werner Gallo / guitar
Reinhard Magin/ keyboards

Releases information

Private release

Cd reissue:Garden Of Delight CD011

Thanks to Sean Trane for the addition
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TYBURN TALL Tyburn Tall ratings distribution

(35 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(9%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
Good, but non-essential (38%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

TYBURN TALL Tyburn Tall reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

Sole album from this Hammond-driven heavy prog, came in a gatefold artwork with a rare copper plate by Merian of the Speyer city in the Renaissance era. This private pressing of 200 copies was produced at low cost, which is rather audible, but there is nothing scandalous either. Their earlier musical direction was very much in the symphonic prog range (The Nice or ELP), but some line-up changes modified that somewhat as incoming organist had a jazzier feeling, more in the Colosseum-vein, especially in the Dave Greenslade sound. The resulting is a symphonic prog that has some Uriah Heep (organ, vocals), Atomic Rooster (Gallo's guitar is inspired of DuCann) and Colosseum (organ).

The four tracks comprising the original album (three of them well above the 10 minutes) are all in the heavy rock domain, dominated by the huge organ sound. Indeed the 13-mins War Games hesitates between Colosseum (Greenslade-like organ twirls) and Uriah Heep (Byron-like vocals, in English, often correctly pronounced), but the whole thing sounds much more symphonic than the average track of those two groups. The 10-mins+ In The Heart Of The Cities is much more guitar-ey, DuCann and Litherland (not Clempson), but the brilliant drums/bass work of the opening track is not as present, and the track ends in a semi-operatic Byron-like yell.

On the flipside, I Am America Too, is a piano & organ piece (the shortest, clocking at 5-mins+) that first takes on Bernstein, before veering hard rock with Heep-like vocals, but you can feel the singer's effort to match Farlowe's range, which of course is too far removed to succeed. The 17-mins epic Strange Days Hiding is pure Hammond galore, Hensley-inspired, unfortunately mared by a long drum solo, which like all of them is terribly boring. The two bonus tracks are both covers of Colosseum, one of them being the famous Lost Angeles, which they manage correctly at best, but certainly no more. The production quality on these tracks is not as good as the rest of the album (therefore they stick out a bit), but again nothing scandalous.

While TT's sole album still benefits from its much sought-after legend, with its wider availability it has lost its must hear or have aura, but can still be seen as an early 70's small unearthed gem, even if by its release, it was already not that fresh-sounding, since their influences had already done their better works. Still definitely worth a listen.

Review by ozzy_tom
4 stars "Tyburn Tall" is a sadly little known German band which was able to record only one studio album during spring time of prog-rock music - year 1972. I'm not overenthusiastic saying that it's one of my favorite albums from this country and definitely aheavy prog gem. Original pressing of this LP had only four but highly entertaining tracks dominated by ultra-heavy and always busy Reinhard Magin's Hammond B3 organ who sounds like clever student of Jon Lord or Ken Hensley.

1. "War Game" - album starts off with truly splendid epic track which is a real highlight here. First few minutes are occupied by magnificent version of J.S.Bach's most famous composition "Fugue & Toccata in D Minor" which is mostly played without any supportive drum beat. I know that this composition was covered by so many other prog-bands, that some people may already feel sick and tired about it, but for my it's one of the best performances out there (along with Trikolon's version). Anyway about 3rd minute this "introduction" is over and Klaus Fresenius shows up with his vocal section. And here starts a first problem 'cos this guy's voice is more then controversial, to be honest it's terribly strange and for some people unbearably goofy. Sounds like wailing of psycho-maniac who used to sing blues but right now he's trying to sound as cocky/rocky as it's possible to please all heavy metal fans. But don't mind him (in fact he's not so bad...after couple of repeated listenings), he's not going to spoil all fan 'cos the real treat of this track is extremely sharp, heavy-as-hell & frenetic organ playing of Mr. Magin. I bet you didn't hear so many & so crazy Hammond solos from a long, long time!

2. "In The Heart of The Cities" - this one is much more vocal-oriented so we can listen to bigger amount of cheesy sounding screams of lead vocalist who seems to have some real problems to keep his voice in-key with the main melodies, but I suppose it's just additional fan of listening to Tyburn Tall... Thankfully in the middle of the song we can witness some long, psychedelic organ & guitar solos. In general it's a rather good track, slightly more guitar-oriented than the rest of these guys material but we still know that keyboardist is the boss here. While the first track reminds me Emerson's formation - The Nice, "In The Heart of The Cities" sounds more like Beggar's Opera inspired.

3. "I Am America Too" - the shortest song on "Tyburn Tall" begins with some busy, up-tempo organ & piano section but soon Klaus Fresenius joins again to scream his head off to convince us that he's America.... Yeah, if you say so... Never mind, the most important is probably best Reinhard's Hammond solo which appears soon after vocal part. Oh man, this is a really cool organ performance, very melodic & clearly classical influenced. ELP, Triumvirat, Collegium Musicum - all of them spring to my mind when I listen to it.

4. "Strange Days Hiding" - the longest track includes only few vocal parts because it's mainly extended rock jam. As usual I really like Hammond solo hear, this time it's very similar to Jean-Jacques Kravetz's style (Frumpy's keyboardist) - wild & gritty. Werner Gallo also presents us some energetic electric guitar solos a la Ritchie Blackmore. However the biggest mistake was including tiresome 5 minutes drums solo which seems to last forever. When I listen to this staff I can clearly imagine that it's early Deep Purple Mark II recording, in the beginning of their career they also used to play such lengthy but truly dynamic instrumental jams.

+ Bonus from CD version:

5. "Lost Angeles" - as a bonus CD edition of "Tyburn Tall" includes 2 covers from Colosseum repertoire. "Lost Angels" begins with 3 minutes instrumental "intro" driven by mad organ chops & psychedelic bass/drums beat. But vocal fragment of the song isn't so satisfying. Klaus Fresenius tries so hard to sound as goofy & unbearable as Colosseum's vocalist - Chris Farlowe and unfortunately he succeeded... But I still think that this version is better then original. Really!

6. "Bring Out Your Dead" - 2nd track originally recorded by Colosseum is a great instrumental composition filled with memorable Hammond B3 leads over very tight, jazz-like rhythm section. Fantastic performance which can be easily compared with original without any shame.

To sum up: Tyburn Tall's sole studio album is a real treat for fans of organ-drenched heavy prog with few symphonic influences. Highly recommended for fans of such bands as Uriah Heep, Deep Purple, Atomic Rooster and Birth Control, but more technical music played by The Nice or Quatermass isn't far away from Tyburn Tall too. If you like such music I can also advise you to check other 70s German bands: Frumpy, 2066 & Then, Trikolon/Tetragon, Murphy Blend and Amos Key.

If not those goofy vocals and 5-minutes, dragging drum solo in "Strange Days Hiding", I'd give 5 stars rating for this effort. But such flaws are quite visible there so I can only give it 4,5 stars. Anyway it really deserves larger recognition in prog-rock world.

Best track: "War Game"

P.S. In 1997 Tyburn Tall re-united for one concert recorded as "Live ... And Passion". But it's not so good as their debut album (not tragic, just average I'd say), so be warned.

Fully deserved 4,5 stars from ozzy_tom

Review by b_olariu
3 stars Tyburn Tall was an obscure heavy prog band from Germany formed in late '60's and releasing one album in 1972 selftitled. The name of the band as the booklet of the CD show us, a reissue by famous Garden of Delights label in 1994+ 2 bonus tracks, was taken from a tall tree that served as a hanging tree in the small English town of Tyburn during the Cromwell era, quite inresting and unusual aswell name. Hammond diven heavy prog album, used by lots of bands in that period, sound if I combine Atomic Rooster with Uriah Heep and here and there some jazzy moments not far from Colosseum. The result is ok, but is not a fantastic release, lenghty pieces, 3 out of 4 are over 10 min long with nice moods and organ interludes ok with guitar, but the sound is to muddy and not very polished , sounds like a live album to me. Also if instrumental passages are ok most ofthe time, the voice of Klaus Fresenius who uses a semi operatic vocal parts not far from famous Byron, but the expectations are mediocre, to much time is almost unpleasent if not boring, just to be checked opening track War game, the weakest piece from here, almost a desaster. The positive and most vibrant tunes are In The Heart of The Cities and the bonus tracks , both Colosseum cobvers, but sounding very ok here in this context. Well, a most of the time a pleasent album, but falls in the category of one or two listnings and is enough for the next decade, at least for me. 3 stars with indulgens.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars German Hard/Progressive Rock band from Speyer.Tyburn Tall originated from the late-60's group The Screamers, where guitarist Werner Gallo, drummer Hanns Dechant and bassist Stefan Kowa played together.The first formation of Tyburn Tall included Hermann Damiantschitsch on flutes and Gunther Goettsche on keyboards, they were replaced in 1971 by keyboardist Reinhard Magin and singer Klaus Fresenius.This formation recorded the band's self-titled debut in 1972, a very rare private LP pressed in only 200 copies, but reissued as CD in 1996 by Garden of Delights.

Tyburn Tall were basically a guitar/organ-driven Hard Rock band with progressive flavors in their music, having a heavy and often demanding sound, influenced by the likes of URIAH HEEP and DEEP PURPLE.Not only the Germans seemed to have been influenced by the British school of Hard Prog, but the vocals are also in English with singer Klaus Fresenius having a high-pitched, screaming style of an acquired taste.Three very long cuts along with a shorter one is the musical content of the original album, quite typical of the style.Hammond organ and guitars are the kings here.Fiery solos, hard grooves, long keyboard runs and stretched jamming passages characterize the approach of the band, split between catchy vocal parts and loose instrumental crescendos of little originality.The sound of the recordings is mediocre and the overall feeling is that Tyburn Tall fell into obscurity, because they had nothing new to add to the German scene, though their music was played with endless amounts of energy and passion.The CD reissue comes with two extra tracks, recorded live and covering two well-known Colosseum tunes.

Things are simple.If you starve for organ-driven Proto-Prog stuff in the vein of DEEP PURPLE or URIAH HEEP, Tyburn Tall is your band.Otherwise you will be hardly impressed by their music...2.5 stars.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
3 stars Interesting Hammond-driven band from Speyer, Germany, that recorded a solo independent album in 1972. I heard they pressed only 200 copies and rumour said half of that number burned in a fire, making it one of the most rare and sought after prog albums of all time. That until Garden Of Delight released it as a CD, with two bonus tracks. But was all that worth it? Well, listening to their music nowadays is a pleasure for sure: it reminds me of other great Hammond organ drenched bands like Atomic Rooster, Colosseum II, Jane and Uriah Heep. Ok, they were well behind those great bands, and came kind of late, for at the time of the release of this LP this style was waning fast. No wonder they did not make it as they were.

Reinhard Magin pretty much calls the shots here, even if the other members of the band were pretty good too. But his Hammond is the main instrument and he is a very accomplished musician. Guitarist Werner Gallo provides some nice solos and licks and the rhythm section is tight. Singer Klaus Fresenius is the weak link here: the man has a good voice but his insistence in delivering high pitched vocals, which is clearly beyond his range, is quite annoying. A real shame since when he stays at the lower registers he sounds much better. The four compositions that were released with the original LP are proof that they could have gone very far: not very outstanding, but nice anyway, with nods to all those aforementioned bands I noted above. The two bonus tracks are Colosseum II covers that do justice to the originals, but donīt add anything special either. In other words, it was a nice, albeit nothing special, start. The only real bad move they did here is the drum solo at the end of I Am America Too. It is understandable in a live album, and they are boring enough, but those on a studio offering were never a good idea, and dated badly. Fortunately it is not a very long one and the remaining music compensates for this mistake.

Rating: 3 stars. This one is recommended for heavy, Hammond-drenched prog lovers who donīt mind the lack of originality. Good, but not essential in any way.

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