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Grobschnitt Grobschnitt album cover
3.92 | 203 ratings | 29 reviews | 33% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1972

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Symphony (13:44) :
- a) Introduction
- b) Modulation
- c) Variation
- d) Finale
2. Travelling (6:50)
3. Wonderful Music (3:40)
4. Sun Trip (17:43) :
- a) Am Ölberg (Mount of Olives)
- b) On the Way
- c) Battlefield
- d) New Era

Total Time 41:57

Bonus track on 1998 remaster:
5. Die Sinfonie (live September 1971 *) (29:40)

Bonus tracks on 2015 remaster:
5. About My Town (live THG Aula, Hagen, July 1971) (10:57)
6. Another Symphony (live Städt. Gymnasium, Gütersloh, Feb. 26th, 1977) (26:06)

Line-up / Musicians

- Stefan Danielak (Wildschwein) / lead vocals, rhythm guitar
- Gerd-Otto Kühn (Lupo) / lead guitar
- Hermann Quetting (Quecksilber) / organ, piano, spinet, percussion
- Bernhard Uhlemann (Bär) / bass, flute, percussion
- Joachim Ehrig (Eroc) / drums, percussion, electronic effects
- Axel Harlos (Felix) / drums, percussion

Releases information

Artwork: Günter Blum

LP Brain ‎- brain 1008 (1972, Germany)
LP Brain ‎- 1008 (2010, Germany)

CD Repertoire Records ‎- PMS 7093-WP (1998, Germany) Remastered with a bonus Live track recorded at Volkspark, Hagen, Germany, previously unreleased
CD Brain ‎- 3765108 (2015, Europe) Remastered by Eroc with 2 bonus Live tracks

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy GROBSCHNITT Grobschnitt Music

GROBSCHNITT Grobschnitt ratings distribution

(203 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(33%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
Good, but non-essential (18%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

GROBSCHNITT Grobschnitt reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by The Prognaut
4 stars One of my all time favorite bands, not one of my favorite prog recordings though. The first album of the German band actually was quite a sensation at the time it was released, but it was clearly overshadowed in time by subsequent productions as "Rockpommel's Land" and inarguably by "Solar Music" as well.

Despite being or not my favorite album ever, I recognize its purity and its almost perfection and I applaud the clarity the English lyrics sound off in this album (they certainly beat TRIUMVIRAT there). This symphonic album has gorgeous, enchanting suites like the very one "Symphony", an almost 14 minutes piece that comes across five levels before taking you to primary ecstasy, before getting you prepared to the next step to take in the album called "Sun Trip" that's also got itself five stages to be enjoyed. The truthful meaning of this album, is absolutely the bonus track previously unreleased, "Die Sinfonie" (contained partly within the "Solar Music" live recording as "The missing 13 minutes" song).

Live recorded at Volkspark, Hagen, Germany, on September 1971 (this apparently meaningless facts may be useful to you one day and you'll think of me then); is the ultimate German symphonic prog rock. Exquisitely composed, perfectly taken to diverse mood levels and fitted particularly to a live performance, gives us that feel of angst, euphoria and emotion never experienced before. Peculiar, strange maybe; "Grobschnitt" is the album for prog rockers always concerned about rediscovering, for the ones preoccupied about the constant changes in music, for those constantly amazed and endlessly defeated by curiosity. This is the album for you. Sit back and enjoy. Wiedersehen!

Review by loserboy
4 stars GROBSCHNITT''s debut album is one the pinnacle undergound Krautrock albums of 1972 and with a bang introduced the world to their "Wonderful Music". This album is very different from that of "Rockpommel's Land" or "Solar Music Live" and really plays more like the underground 70's German stuff that was pouring out of Plank's studio (less symphonic prog). GROBSCHNITT was Stefan Danielak (Wildschwein) -rhythm guitar, vocals, Joachim Ehrig (Eroc) / drums, percussion, electronic effects, Axel Harlos (Felix) / drums, percussion, Gerd-Otto Kühn (Lupo) / lead guitar, Hermann Quetting (Quecksilber) / organ, piano, spinet, percussion and Bernhard Uhlemann (Bär) / bass, flute, percussion. 2 big songs on this album with "Symphony" clocking in at 14 Mins and "Sun Tri"p at 18 Mins and both very memorable and highly captivating songs. This is actually an amazing album and is one I play quite a bit still to this day.
Review by soundsweird
2 stars While their later albums are clearly progressive, influenced by the likes of Yes, Genesis and Jethro Tull, this one has a sound that owes much to the likes of Uriah Heep, Deep Purple and Iron Butterfly. At that time, I was into both "styles", but now I find the latter one tedious and heavy-handed. Strangely enough, the vocal style works better on this album. In fact, the vocal style and the lyrics are the main problems I have with the later progressive albums, since it seems better suited to the kind of music that Spinal Tap later parodied. I apologize to the fans of this album for my holier-than-thou review. If there was just one song on the album that I really liked, that would be enough. Alas, there isn't.
Review by Sean Trane
5 stars Right from the first Teutonic Wagner-like singing until the end of the album (excluding the Live bonus track), you know you will be in for quite a ride. These guys were extra crazy/special and developed in the late 70's a extensive live show that is one of my great regrets never to have seen.

As we open up the album with Symphony, one is confronted by a relatively subdued zaniness, having a fun time keeping track of all the musical events succeeding rapidly. If you can picture vocals sounding like Chris Farlowe (yes, almost that good!) with a Santana -sounding guitar on top of superb organs and a very dynamic rhythm section (Eroc, the drummer is the leader of this group and the second drummer Harlos will leave after this album), you can see how much fun this album can be. This double drummer thing coupled with that guitar sound can remind you also of the absolute masterpiece Caravanserai of Santana but nothing to disturb you. Travelling is also quite fine but the well-named first track of side 2 is totally overshadowed by the others. Side 2 is an almost-side-long suite with many great events throughout its almost 18 mins. This of course is another highlight.

The Repertoire reissue contains a 29 min+ bonus track that represents a first try at their future Solar Music. A great bonus!!! There is this great side of Grobschnitt showing their improvisation skills this sounding once more very Santana but the middle section is relatively less interesting due to different solos and actually a drum DUET (some five years before Collins/Bruford). Grobschnitt is definitely a more of a live band as we will see in Solar Music Live.

By the time they got this album released, Grobschnitt was not yet the popular machine it became by Rockpommel's Land but man is this a great start , foreseeing the future.

You might want to forget the review posted just after mine. Just one thing, Prog-zilla: Nektar was an English band but living in Germany, because that was where they had most success! And the rest of his review is really un-clever almost slandering from someone jumping to conclusion after too few listening of this album.

Highly recommended!!!!!

Review by Progbear
3 stars Most debut albums tend to be rather humble, unassuming affairs, and so it is with Grobschnitt's debut. Like Yes' pre-YES ALBUM material, it seems to be grasping for a grand symphonic sound while still grappling with holdover psychedelic/hippie influences. You can hear the former to the best effect on hard-hitting opener "Symphony" and a bit on the propulsive "Travelling". On the other hand, "Wonderful Music" is a hippie-tinged folk rock number, and the trippy "Sun Trip"-complete with creepy recitation of Biblical verse (in German!)-is out-and-out Krautrock.

The band's token wacky humour was already there, in the whimsical group vocals on "Symphony", notably. But if the band still doesn't sound like the Grobschnitt you know and love, there's a reason. Key players in the sound that came to be known as the Grobschnitt-Sound weren't there yet, here only drummer/comic/electronic effects man Eroc, lead singer "Wildschwein" Danielak and lead guitarist Lupo were present from the "classic" Grobschnitt lineup.

Review by erik neuteboom
3 stars The last months I have played all my Grobschnitt LP's in order to make reviews for this site. I have to admit that some of them disappointed me a bit, like "Merry-Go-Round", "Jumbo" and "Rockpommel's land". They deserve at least 3 stars but in my memory they were more fascinating. This first eponymous album from Grobschnitt delighted me more, I was very pleased with the strong electric guitar work, the creative drums and the powerful organ waves. Most of the compositions sound like a pleasant blend of blues, rock and classic, a kind of embryonal "Solar music" but more bluesrock-based, later Grobschnitt sounded more symphonic featuring more varied keyboard work like on the 2-LP "Ballermann" and their highlight "Solar music live" (I hope that once the 1,5 hour Rockpalast tv show will be on DVD!). Anyway, this first album is one of their better works.
Review by Modrigue
4 stars GROBSCHNITT's debut album is one of the most underrated disc of German progressive rock, and is second only to "Solar Music Live" in the band's catalogue. Heavier and rawer than their later studio albums, the music here is more energetic space rock than symphonic progressive rock and features top-notch krautrock in the vein of early ELOY and AMON DÜÜl II.

The album starts with the mini-epic "Symphony", beginning with a catchy psychedelic rock and finishing with in a beautiful melancholic mood. The second song, "Travelling", reminds me a lot of SANTANA and CAMEL, although this last band appeared only one year after! The symphonic side of GROBSCHNITT is represented here by "Wonderful Music", an enchanting medieval-like tune.

However, the highlight of the disc is "Sun Trip", a 20 minutes long evolving space jam which announces their masterpiece "Solar Music". The introduction guitar pattern is frightening, the song is dark, catchy and very psychedelic. A little gem! The remastered version contains a 30 minutes live version of "Symphony", darker and more experimental than the original.

Very different from "Rockpommel's Land", the first release from GROBSCHNITT reveals their spacey side and inspires foundamental krautrock albums. Strongly recommended to fans of krautrock and space rock, especially PINK FLOYD, ELOY and AMON DÜÜL II lovers!

Review by febus
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam

GROBSCHNITT is another one of those great prog bands that deserve better recognition.All the prog fans who know this band will tell you they were one of the best ever.Had they been British instead of German, they would have been sitting pretty at the pantheon of fame of prog music. 2 or 3 of their best albums would be in the top 20 of the PA list, no less.GROBSCHNITT had a long career spanning almost 20 years from 1970 to 1989.

Everything was different with this band. They didn't use their own names, only going with fantasy one word-nicknames. They were known for concerts lasting 4/5 hours, wearing masks and roadies acting on stage, big lavish pyrotechnics and theatrical plays while performing. They produced later in their career (1977) one of the most monumental piece of music ever recorded live, a fantastic trippy journey of 80mns, the epic SOLAR FIRE which might be for me at least maybe the best prog ever recorded. Or at least throning high in the top 5--depending my mood--. I have no problems with this comment as all prog fans who know this album agree with that. There is NO good prog collection without SOLAR MUSIC.

But i digress as for now as i am going to review their first album the self-titled GROBSCHNITT. The band originating out of Hagen,Germany formed in 1969 under the name KAPELLE ELIAS GROBSCHNITT, a reference to a world war 1 German army march band. Of course, any good manager or productive recording company would have asked them to shorten the name of the band and they actually did as only the GROBSCHNITT part survived.

The main nucleus of the band was drummer JOACHIM ERIG, better known as EROC who will have a very successful solo career later in the eighties, guitarist GERD-OTTO KUHN ,nickname LUPO and rythm guitarist, lead singer STEFAN DANIELAK who goes by the name of ''WILDSCHWEIN'' (boar in English). Also on this first album are playing another drummer AXEL HARLOS, bassist ''BAR'' and keyboardist ''QUECKSILBER''.

GROBSCHNITT first album is one of their best, full of diverse styles but everything mixing together very well going from symphonic to wild groovy jams to melancolic athmospheres and then joyous guitar romps without forgetting this German self deprecating sense of humor. This is a happy band with no message of despair or coming death, not taking themselves too seriously but playing very seriously their music. This album is still full of freshness, even 35 years later, very lively and spontaneous.

There are 4 tracks starting with SYMPH0NY, a 13mns 3 part-suite which happen to be symphonic only in the end. This song starts humorously with funny vocals followed by a very rocking upbeat guitar and groovy percussions. Some reviewers noted some similarities with SANTANA, not that i agree completely but that's very lively full of rythms and scorching guitar like a young Carlos. The singer ''WILDSCHWEIN'' has one of those kind of unique vocals that might throw off some listeners. He has a strong guttural voice well in the style of CHRIS FARLOWE of COLLOSSEUM or DAVID CLAYTON THOMAS from BLOOD SWEAT & TEARS. This is no JON ANDERSON for sure.

After a few joyful groovy minutes, SYMPHONY slows down ,gets ...symphonic, a beautiful part with lush organ and tasty piano before a wonderful guitar solo from LUPO enters the fray, very melancholic, very dreamy that brings you to prog heaven. A magnificent journey for you to experience. Beauty at its best! LUPO is another one of those guitarists like KLAUS HESS from JANE who know how to transmit emotions and deep feelings out of his playing. Heaven, i told you!

TRAVELLING starts with a heavy guitar riff before going ''Santana-esque'' again for a fast paced rock song another German band of the time BIRTH CONTROL -period HOODOO MAN- would have been proud of! This is not spacey Krautrock, this is groovy Germany!!! And once again , a fantastic loose performance of guitarist LUPO who don't shut up one second.

WONDERFUL MUSIC is a short folk/ acid ballad full of acoustic guitars, flute with a classical and medieval touch, but still played with a lot of vivacity and fun. This is somewhat reminiscent of some old JETHRO TULL acoustic songs.

SUN TRIP is the second ''epic'' of the album lasting 18 mns. I don't know if this is a trip to the sun, but this is definitely quite a trip starting with a strong German-accented narration of a Bible part .Then it's time again for LUPO to shine with some great guitar licks in a Collosseum-like frenetic jam before quieting down for a very ''kraut'' spacey/acid athmosphere, old AMON DUUL 2 - PHALLUS DEI period-would have loved. Then LUPO goes again into a majestic symphonic guitar solo full of emotions really looking to play the nice note then accompanying tastefully a plaintive vocal performance of WILDSCHWEIN. SUN TRIP is a perfect example for all this German musical creativity of the beginning of the 70s as a typical spacey psychedelic ''kraut'' jam where different moods can be reached from weirdness to beauty to melancholy to craziness to frenesy, all in one song and performed masterfully.

GROBSCHNITT is a typical German sounding band, but with their ownn personality and a great sense of humor. And the musicianship is no slouch either. They would l produce great albums, some very average. But that's difficult for anyone to keep the fire burning for so long anyway! So belive me, this album the self-titled GROBSCHNITT will look good in your collection. Also woth noting is that the remastered version includes one bonus track, a live rendition of SYMPHONY lasting no less than....30 minutes recorded in concert 2 years before the release of this album.....another wonderful journey into the beautiful and weird world of GROBSCHNITT.


Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars The music offered in this very good debut album is a wonderful kaleidoscope of the most symphonic prog music combined with superb percussion work as well as beautiful guitar solo. Loads of guitar actually.

Surprisingly enough, during the opening and brilliant "Symphony", it is damned true (as Hughes pointed out) that the reference to "Caravanserai" is obvious. During this long song, there is nothing than a devastating orgy of crying guitars offering some sublime moments to the happy listener. Percussion work is absolutely fantastic.

During "Travelling" the great beat and guitar reminds me more of the very early "Santana" (first album). Even the warm vocals have this indefinite feeling. This album is starting superbly and even if the short "Wonderful Music" is not on par; who could blame "Grobschnitt" about it ?

The epic "Sun Trip" has indeed some "trip" oriented movements. What I do not like very much are these short German vocal parts. I have always felt like this; just can't stand them. But fortunately, they are not long enough to ruin this track. Still, it sounds more chaotic, less harmonious than the first two numbers (but these were jewels).

The bonus track available on the remastered version features an ultra long version of "Symphony" and shows the band in a live environment which allows them to demonstrate their musical abilities and perform some great jamming sessions (the great drum solo needs to be heard, believe me). Still you would need some patience to go through the bass solo which has always been one of my least favourite instruments in terms of live solo. The

This is a promising debut album. I am hesitant in terms of rating since I would say seven out of ten.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I knew the band quite late and it was sometime in 2000. But I did not explore further about the band until recently when a friend of mine from Germany whom I knew from this site introduced me to this band. Thanks to progarchives who could make me meeting new progressive friends through this nice site! Having involved with progarchives since 2004 has helped me create new friends not only in-country (Indonesia) but also around the globe. This is terrific. And, having known many friends from various places in the globe I could learn about progressive movements in some countries. Thank you all!

The opening track "Symphony" (13:44) which comprises four movements is a good representation of the band's music, I believe. I would call this track is something like vintage symphonic prog with some flavors of classic rock. The music is energetic in nature and it provides varied styles and tempo changes that reflect what progressive music is all about. The sheer of energy the vocalist brings forward the music indicates how the band put their efforts in making the music as dynamic as possible. Yes, there are some maneuvers of string section during break sessions that make the music is rich in textures. The ambient break ala ELOY is also given at approx minute 7:30 which strengthens the psychedelic nature of the band - especially with the long sustain organ sounds in slow beat. It's an excellent break / musical interlude, I believe. The guitar solo that follows is also stunning. It's the kind of classic track you should not miss at all!

"Travelling" (6:50) explores the theatrical nature of Grobschnitt's music with a long sustain keyboard work at the opening followed with marching drums that represent the musical movement. Yeah, the music moves in crescendo with repeated chords / notes which ends up with long keyboard sound, followed then with guitar solo and a change in music style into upbeat mode. The vocal singing style represents vintage rock music, it reminds me in a way to Nektar. I like the guitar fills while the vocalist sings - it's simple and inspiring.

"Wonderful music" (3:40) represents the song that is very different with the rest of the tracks as it demonstrates great flute playing by Bernhard Uhlemann. In a way, the music style reminds me to Dutch's BRAINBOX especially when they covered "Scarborough Fair". This track by Grobschnitt is very interesting and very enjoyable in terms of melody as well as composition. In addition to flute, acoustic guitar plays important role as well in the overall composition.

"Sun trip" (17:43) is a concluding epic which comprises four parts: a) Am Ölberg (Mount of Olives), b) On the way, c) Battlefield, and d) New era. It moves quite slow in the beginning followed with excellent acoustic guitar fills to accompany a narration. The stormy circumstances of the music have made the song is so powerful. As this is a multi-session music, therefore there are many changes in style, for example the jazzy part at approx minute 4:30 followed by great vocal. I have to admit the band's virtuosity in creating a song with multi parts, and many changes in style but they all lump together into a tight composition. This track should be considered as one of legendary prog rock tracks.

Overall, this is for sure is an excellent addition of any prog music collection. The vintage recording quality has even made this album memorable. Highly recommended. Keep on proggin'.!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by philippe
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars First Grobschnitt and certainly one of their very best with Solar Music Live. This self title album is a very audacious epic-kraut effort that variously infiltrates the grandiose-like pleasure of symphonic progressive rock. Their stylistic approach is well exposed in this ensemble of improvised excentricities and melodic songs. The opening symphony is a superb heavy progressive song featuring an avalanche of guitar leads, vintage Hammond organs. The last five minutes of the song includes a monumental expressive, using acoustic chords sustained by highly emotional and inspired guitar sections. Travelling is a deception, it's a real passable groovy, luminous rockin' song. Wonderful music is an astonishing ballad including folk-ish epic convoluted prog tendencies. The vocals goes like magic on this track. Sun trip really kick ass, this is a tormented, furious but at the same time melodic, tripped out heavy rockin song. It contains ultra groovy vocals, catchy guitar tricks and keyboards. Die Sinfonie seems to be a much more improvised song with a nice stoned-psych touch. Undeniably a little classic.
Review by CCVP
4 stars (Eins, zwei), drei, vier! La la laaaaaaaaaaaaaa, laaaaaa la la laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Grobschnitt's debut is definitely something else. The band managed to put in their debut album the characteristics which would set the pace for the their music since: terrific music, comedy, bad english and a considerable dose of space rock.

The space rock would constantly, in my opinion, define their music, since some songs definitely sound spacey, both in their debut and in their next release, named Ballermann. The name of the songs would also denote the space theme (the last song of this album, named Sun Trip, is a good example of that).

Another interesting characteristic here is the comedy, present in (quite possibly) every Grobschnitt release. Their comic style in their studio songs is really something unique about them, specially in the progressive rock scene, where the music is supposedly taken seriously (with large amounts of self-indulgence and experimentalism). Also in the debut I have noticed something: although the singer does not have a strong accent, there are some grotesque english mistakes in the lyrics in the song Symphony. I do not know if that was intentionally made to fit the band's comic style, but it is still strange anyway.

Grade and Final Thoughts

This is a surprisingly good release. The comical twist really add something unique to Grobscnitt's music. However, I don't think that is enough to transform this album into a masterpiece. The highlights are the two suites: Symphony and Sun Trip.

Review by friso
4 stars Grobschnitt - s/t (1972)

Let's have some fun!

The debut of the German Grobschnitt symphonic/space/related prog band is a record to cheer you up! Let's sit down for this and enjoy this enthousiastic and perfectly recorded Rough Cut. Unlike their second 'Ballerman' and most of their work after that the debut isn't very progressive or symphonic, nor is it spacey like the Solar music suite. This is hard rock heavenly influenced by symphonic rock, but even more by Santana (what?). Yeah Santana. Both the main song themes of Symphony as well as Travelling are Latin-rock like tracks. I would like to add to that: Travelling might be the best Santana song Santana never recorded. Such energy of the drums and guitars and bass player is not seen very often in the studio, however leed vocalist Wildschwein steels the show. This guy seems to be motivated, I never heard something like it before! Happily singing his lines "I'm wanting... to see you!", like great vocalist as early Maiden Paul Di'Anno would do years later. You will get drawn into this! Furthermore both lead gitarists of Grobschnitt know how the handle their six strings very well and the solo's are well composed and played. Especially in the beginning some humor finishes the scene.

I've been covering the energetic side of this record so far, but wait.. what abou this beautiful symphonic rock piece Variation (middle section of Symphony) where Grobschnitt takes it's time to shine some light on extended guitar solo'ing, building up tension on progressive chord progressions! Some nice suble basslines complete the scene and our beloved symphonic atmosphere fills the room with its striking beauty. Also on Side two Wonderful Music has an folk feel and can be seen as an experiment that turned out to be very rewarding. Nice flute. The multi-part song Sun Trip closes the album with an horrible German quotation of the bible of about two minutes. After this things progress as nice as on side one and this act of energy comes to an end.

Conclusion. Well, this is just so well recorded, well composed and rockin'. Turn it on when friends are around or get your girlfriend aroused (choose interpretation of the word yourself). Great record from Grobschnitt, though strictly not very progressive. Grobschnitt uses different elements of hard rock, latin rock and symphonic rock and comes with one of the most energetic albums I own. Four stars, no hesitation here!

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars One of the worse sounding german voices (talking about the one in Sun Trip), unbearable, unfriendly, nasty attack on my musical senses. No offense German friends, but these things contributes to final ratings. And after all, better than if I would hate everything in English, as one of my friends do. And anyway, most German bands sounds in English and also some of these in German language sounds good). After all, if they sing, they sing mostly in English (as many other foreign bands).

This music is good, that's a fact. Because I'm talking about average, as for some it's masterpiece, while others things of this as an average album. My opinion is little big higher, but not so much. Should I rate more prog elements, or how I like it ? Or how would somebody else like it ? Nobody stated how this should be, so I'll stick with my usual. Combination of symphonic prog, with Uriah Heep like (or simply heavy prog) and others which I suppose are German folklore elements. But together, it's something of a beast for me. I would like to rate higher, but I don't feel much good while listening this. It's somehow too weary, lenghty and annoying sound.

3(+), because less would be too low even for me. Sorry, something's broken here.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Grobschnitt's debut album is not a typical symphonic work as those produced in the UK around that time; most of the songs had featured in the live set for a few years and the sound is still rooted in German Kraut rock, taking some of the wild side and psych elements from that scene and mixing it with influences from Santana and some symphonic elements from early Yes and Colosseum.

The opener Symphony is a wonderful composition that sums up this album, featuring heavy organ rock as well as space rock, Latin influences and symphonic arrangements. It creates a very unique and sweeping whole. Due to the eclectic style it won't please everyone, but at least it's not boring. Apart from the bands already mentioned you can also hear echoes from Uriah Heep and Pink Floyd, particularly during the spacey guitar solo.

The following Travelling is equally convincing and impresses with Stefan Danielak ('Wildschwein') commanding power vocals. His singing is a lot more spontaneous and rocking compared to Grobschnitt's later work and he never sounded better. The rousing Santana influenced percussion and soaring guitars turn this into nothing less then a killer track. It is followed by the short Wonderful Music, that starts with a bit of flute fun and shows the band's sense of humor. The song is delicately gentle and innocently tender as only 60s and early 70s rock music could be.

Sun Trip is the second extended prog epic where Wildschwein varies the tender tones of his voice with his tormented gruff baritone. The psychedelic middle section will be too noisy for the pure symphonic public but damn it's fun! The second half is more energetic and melodious again, but not without ruff edges such as VDGG craziness, tormented vocals and harsh psychedelic blues guitar soloing.

Before they turned goofy on us, Grobschnitt made this one terrific 'serious' album, a pure heavy prog masterpiece for me and recommended to lovers of adventurous sympho, heavy prog, psych, kraut and so on.

Hint. If you like this one check out Diagonal's debut from 2008. Or vice versa of course.

Review by Mellotron Storm
5 stars GROBSCHNITT's debut reminds me of ELOY's "Inside" album with that underground flavour. Both bands would change their styles with future albums but those two albums are my favourite studio recordings from both bands. Of course you have to add "Solar Music Live" when it comes to GROBSCHNITT's best albums.There are two long tracks and two shorter ones that make up this album. And thankyou Bonnek for the recommendation.

"Symphony" opens in a psychedelic manner with voices that echo but they soon turn silly as we get outbursts of sound coming and going. It settles in before 2 minutes with the guitar outfront. Vocals follow.Some good organ runs in this one as well. A change before 6 minutes as outbursts come and go. A calm after 7 minutes with organ and deep sounds.The guitar joins in around 9 1/2 minutes. An amazing opener. "Travelling" has this heavy beat and sound that kicks in around 30 seconds. A change before 2 1/2 minutes as percussion and guitar take over.Vocals after 3 minutes. "Wonderful Music" is spacey to start then a flute led passage takes over. It settles with vocals 1 1/2 minutes in then it kicks back in as contrasts continue. I like the vocals on this one.

"Suntrip" is the almost 18 minute closer. It's spacey and experimental early then a beat with guitar takes over and German spoken words join in as well. A change with a heavier sound after 2 1/2 minutes including marching styled drums.The tempo picks up after 4 minutes. Organ and vocals follow. A calm before 7 minutes as it almost comes to a stop.The sound does start to build before 11 minutes as we hear some gun fire and other sounds.The guitar starts to solo then the tempo picks up. It settles again with guitar after 13 1/2 minutes and it's almost bluesy including the vocals that follow. Organ joins in as well.

4.5 stars but i'm bumping it up because of that Krautrock vibe that would soon disappear from future releases.

Review by Warthur
4 stars A strong debut which would eventually be overshadowed by later works, Grobschnitt's first album is still a decent start, a feast of symphonic prog which the band has stamped their unique personality on. Not to say that the music here has no precedents - the flute and acoustic guitar work on Wonderful Music, for example, put me in mind of early Genesis - but the group includes just enough of a space rock influence and a quirky compositional style that's all their own to set their sound apart. The album isn't wall-to-wall goodness - I found the blues-rock conclusion to Sun Trip to be rather pedestrian, truth be told - but it's a hell of a start.
Review by stefro
4 stars Before Grobschnitt conjured up the thick symphonic sound that adorned such classic albums as 'Ballermann'(1974) and 'Rockpommel's Land'(1977) they sported a kind of psychedelic rock style closer in spirit to the likes of Santana than to the British progressive outfit's such as Yes and Genesis that would influence their sound further down the line. A less polished release, this self-titled debut from 1972 was issued on the underground Brain imprint whilst the German group were still trying to find a settled line-up, hence the stylistic difference between this and the rest of their 1970s output. However, this is still recognisably Grobschnitt, only without the glutinous keyboards, overt fantasy themes and surreal teutonic humour that would soon become their trademarks. Instead, Stefan Danielak's piercing guitar is the main weapon of attack here, on an atmospheric and rather lengthy opus featuring just four - albeit extended - tracks, whilst fans of the group will be especially keen on experiencing closing piece 'Sun Trip', an unfinished, eighteen-minute-long space-rock marathon that would constantly evolve over the intervening years, quickly becoming one of Grobschnitt's most enduring and popular compositions(thanks to the fact that it was played in versions lasting upto anb hour long at the end of every Grobschnitt concert) and morphing into the thirty-three minute long super-epic 'Solar Music', an extended re-working that would initially make-up the entire second disc of the follow-up double-album 'Ballermann' before taking on a life all of it's own and eventually becoming an album in it's own right in the shape of the superb, career-defining 1978 double-live offering 'Solar Music Live'. Of course, the version here differs considerably from the (many) later versions, though the basic musical elements and cosmic ambience are already well in place. The rest of 'Grobschnitt' also furrows a similar sonic pathway, with slow-burning, sound-effects filled moments of calm building up to frantic passages of impressive instrumental excess. And the Santana connection is not a tenuous one either. Both the opening gambit 'Introduction' and follow-up 'Symphony' exhibit strong latin-spiced guitar solo's fastened onto psych-rock soundscapes, whilst delicately-played flute runs kick-start the almost medieval-sounding 'Wondeful Music'. Finally, in all it's cosmic glory, we have the album's piece-de-resistance in the form of 'Suntrip'. A powerful, multi-layered epic, 'Suntrip' finds Grobschnitt at their most ambitious, blending hard-rock riffs, strange spoken-word interludes(in thick Germanic tones) and bristling space-rock to almost celestial effect. Part psychedelic odyssey, part prog-rock concept piece, 'Grobschnitt' is a real statement of intent from a hungry young group that more than rivals their later, more famous albums. Blending the sonic sprawl of early Eloy, the fiery passion of Santana and the expansive instrumental scope of Pink Floyd, this is a remarkable debut indeed.


Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Although more associated with their later spacey and loopy cosmic prog, most of the self titled debut album from Grobschnitt is exciting, intelligent and forward-pushing 70's rock in the tradition of the earlier albums by fellow German acts Eloy, Jane and Birth Control, with a healthy dose of the Santana band and Pink Floyd. The music has quite a basic, plodding and repetitive sound, but filled with lengthy structured themes and jam- based parts. The lyrics are grounded in very human concerns like love, peace, romantic obsession and war, which makes the album easy to relate to and connect with. There's also something oddly upbeat and hopeful amongst the more somber moments throughout the album.

Opener `Symphony' has a grand and frequently repeated main theme, with slight Santana band influences in the electric guitar and organ washes, some urgent percussion, gorgeous mournful Rick Wright-styled organ and piano in the moody middle section with restrained and tasteful strings. All this before forceful percussion, commanding bass work and a near five minute extended Gilmour-esque epic guitar solo wrap up the piece amongst swirling electronic and cosmic effects! There's some very amusing fractured English lyrics translations, which I assume were not on purpose? For instance, "I am going, going to get you, trying to get you with my eyes, going to make you with my mind..." is brilliant and sweetly naive nonsense! Not sure if it's the band getting in early with their sense of humour or just badly translated, but it's strange that much of the rest of the album lyrics are fairly grounded!

The intro of `Travelling' has booming and very intimidating drums before heavy guitar strums transform the song into a upbeat and frantic cross between the mediterranean guitar style of Eloy's `Floating' and the screaming guitar runs of the early Santana albums. Shame about the rather abrupt fade out mid solo!

`Wonderful Music' is a hazy and sprightly foot-tapper with a folky acoustic guitar and flute dancing around the warm and heartfelt crooned vocals from Stefan Danielak. Still, there's something slightly haunted and reflective in his voice that gives the track a slightly uneasy feel, too.

Plodding bass and thunderstorm effects swirl around a foreboding bible passage read in German before dirty sprawling metallic riffs and militaristic marching drums stomp in. The piece becomes faster amd more uptempo with melodic guitar runs and passionate yet restrained vocals. "Sky is blue, but rain is whispering..." is a surprisingly lovely but ominous lyric. Shimmering organs before a very effective change of direction, slowing right down to the moody and spacious middle. Like the dark ambience of early 70's Floyd live, the low- key organ, spectral vocals and gentle guitar strums float around sounds of warfare and battle, before snappy percussion and quirky effects kick back in before a hugely emotional long bluesy guitar solo tears it's way through the rest of the piece.

I've been reviewing my LP copy, but apparently the remastered CD comes with a thirty minute bonus track that is a live interpretation of the opening piece with long and heavy improvisation sections. Maybe look into that version.

Really glad I kept at this one after being initially quite uninterested and let down by it. Now after flogging the heck out of it, playing it over and over to let it sink in, I've come to find it a hugely charming and energetic release. It's also become an album I play on drives all the time, so it's always in the car waiting for when I need a quick fix!

An easy four stars.

By the way, I'd love an interpretation of the striking front and back LP covers too, if anyone can offer some opinions!

Review by Neu!mann
3 stars The first Grobschnitt was a different, heavier ensemble than the band that would record the popular "Rockpommel's Land" a half decade down the road. Unlike the textbook Symphonic Prog of that later album, their debut LP was closer to Floydian Space Rock, but it was Space Rock in low Earth orbit at best, never quite achieving the impetus or elevation needed to break free of its own gravitational tug.

In other words, don't expect to find any "Solar Music" here, although you might discern a hint of the band's trademark jam cycle on occasion. A flare or two erupts in the Dave Gilmour-like guitar runs of Gerd-Otto Kühn (alias Lupo), notably during the slow but powerful Variation and Finale sections of the 13-plus minute "Symphony". And the epic Old Testament parable of "Sun Trip" shares even more DNA with the "Solar Music" suite, but only in a very embryonic form, not unlike a hastily molded, rough clay model of a proposed future masterpiece.

At this early stage of their career the line-up was still uncertain. The album lacked the more delicate touch of keyboard player Volker Kahrs (aka Mist, who would join the band for their second studio album in 1974), and the valiant efforts of percussionist / clown Joachim Ehrig (Eroc) were diluted by the superfluous addition of a second drummer.

The emphasis is tilted instead toward Lupo's electric guitar machismo, although I'm guessing the obvious Santana parallels (best heard in the song "Travelling") were coincidental. The similarities are even noted in the CD-reissue booklet, but no direct influence is claimed.

Either way it's a strong first effort, from a young band still trying to find its stylistic feet. Even better, the vaudeville buffoonery of their stage shows was kept (mostly) in check, giving listeners a rare glimpse of what could have been an alternative, less irreverent Grobschnitt.

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
5 stars One of the more successful bands to emerge from the 1970s German Krautrock scene, GROBSCHNITT (translates as "Rough Cut" in reference to a style of tobacco) formed in 1970 Hagen after Joachim Ehrig better known as Eroc left the imploded 60s psychedelic pop band The Crew. GROBSCNITT immediately set itself apart from the typical detachment and seriousness of German bands of the era by providing humorous sound effects and silly lyrics and would develop into one of the more symphonic leaning prog bands in the midst of the classic Krautrock scene.

The band was also notable for delivering exquisite live performances with pyrotechnics, German comedic sketches and quite lengthy live shows that often exceeded three hours thus earning them the reputation as one of the most resilient bands who possessed an amazing stamina. The band was formed in 1970 as an eight-piece band but whittled down to a six-piece that included Stefan Danielak "Wildschwein" (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Gerd-Otto Kühn "Lupo" (lead guitar), Hermann Quetting "Quecksilber" (organ, piano, spinet, percussion), Bernhard Uhlemann "Bär" (bass, flute, percussion), Joachim Ehrig "Eroc" (drums, percussion, electronic effects and Axel Harlos "Felix" (drums, percussion).

GROBSCHNITT released its eponymously titled debut in 1972 on the Brain Records label and exists as an anomaly in the band's canon as it would drift more into a symphonic sound that they are known for before taking a left turn into the New Deutsche Welle genre and pop rock sounds of the 80s. This debut featured the engineering talents of the hot and in demand Conny Plank as well as Frank Mille on production. While the majority of Krautrock bands were more interested in producing the farthest out there trips possible, GROBSCHNITT took on the characteristics of a typical English progressive rock band with an emphasis on exquisitely designed compositions that featured masterful instrumentation, riveting complexities and above all exciting melodic developments that were mined from traditional folk flavors as well as contemporary rock.

This debut was sung in English but featured a few spoken word German poetic prose moments. In the true spirit of progressive rock, the album featured two lengthy 10 minute plus multi-suite compositions that sandwiched two shorter tracks. The opening "Symphony" prognosticated the band's future developments that would take them further down the symphonic prog route and featured an intricate display of clever compositional fortitude that featured crafty instrumental interplay and best of all competent vocal performances of lead singer Stefan Danielak, a trait that wasn't always present in German prog of the era.

The twin guitar effect along with a tight-knit rhythm section and moments of folk oriented flute allowed the musical style to transcend the German scene's Kraut sensibilities and venture into King Crimson textures in conjunct with knotty and pastoral workouts in the vein of Yes, Genesis and other English bigwigs. Laced with beautiful compositional flow, rock star performances and the tightrope act between progressive complexities and melodic standard rock sensibilities, GROBSCHNITT quickly rose to the top of the Kraut heap and became one of West Germany's most popular bands during the 1970s.

The near 18-minute closing "Sun-Trip" is the cream of the crop on GROBSCHNITT's debut as it meanders through myriad musical styles that include folk, rock, funk and symphonic prog nurtured by sizzling guitar riffs and solos, powerful build ups that result in satisfying crescendos and best of all Danielak's strong emotive vocal performances, all of which conspired to make GROBSCHNITT's debut one of the strongest examples of Krautrock that actually focused on musical talent rather than psychedelic meanderings. That is not to say though that his album didn't adopt all those sound manipulations and fancy tricks that Krautrock was famous for, after all Conny Plank was in the house. No, it simply meant that they were used sparingly and in context to the compositional flow. Album #1 is one of the highlights of the entire German 70s. A must for all!

Latest members reviews

4 stars It is difficult to describe or even understand this band. They have infused everything from space rock, symphonic prog, krautrock and even punk into their sound. Most of all, they do not take themselves too serious. I like their attitude. Music is meant to be fun, for Pete's sake ! I also ve ... (read more)

Report this review (#293139) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Monday, August 2, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars How can, after 37 years, this still remain so fresh and wonderful? BECAUSE!!! It's made of the stuff real music is made of: PASSION & PURPOSE. This album really is a wonderful tribute to the early era of the musical spectrum of the times. Fabulous cover, the music fits the imagery. Basic, to p ... (read more)

Report this review (#204176) | Posted by tmay102436 | Tuesday, February 24, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Grobschnitt is one of my favourite bands. Their first album is simply a classic. Great tracks, good production and most of all, sense of humour. There are only four tracks here: 1. Symphony - opening track says it all. It's symphonic and progressive and... well, great track:) 2. Travelling ... (read more)

Report this review (#103860) | Posted by Deepslumber | Wednesday, December 20, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Well, my nick cannot help me here... If I call myself around the world as Grobsch, I even have my own webpage using this nickname, how can I not give five starts for this album?? First of all I must say I'm negative impressed by such small rating of this album because the first Grobschnitt r ... (read more)

Report this review (#83802) | Posted by Grobsch | Saturday, July 15, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A true Groschnitt effort, especially the piece am "Am Ölberg (Mount of Olives)" this piece is very funny. And in many ways totally defines the band. Besides Excellent musicianship, enthusiasm that one can hear, and a wicket sense of humor it offers some very interesting compositions. This is a ... (read more)

Report this review (#19499) | Posted by | Thursday, May 5, 2005 | Review Permanlink

3 stars GROBSCHNITT is one of the many interesting bands from Germany. Their debut album is in the style of hard prog mixed with space rock. This sounds is similar to WISHBONE ASH with added keyboards. It's not overly progressive but they developed their style further on later albums. The vocalist alread ... (read more)

Report this review (#19498) | Posted by terramystic | Wednesday, April 13, 2005 | Review Permanlink

1 stars Don't know why people rate this one so highly. It's very average, and really fails to meet expectation in the way of writing. Take "Symphony" as an example. There is nothing remotely symphonic about it, and the lyrics are pretty banal. Try Nektar's "A Tab In The Ocean" instead, if you want to ... (read more)

Report this review (#19497) | Posted by | Wednesday, April 13, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Hysterical laughter, simulated machine gun fire, a flute & acoustic guitar piece, passages from the bible read in a deep German voice over stormy soundscapes, a rock symphony in 5 movements, effects and synthesizers galore! How much more progressive rock can you get? And if you've ever seen this ama ... (read more)

Report this review (#19491) | Posted by Vibrationbaby | Friday, March 12, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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