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Grobschnitt Jumbo album cover
3.56 | 136 ratings | 15 reviews | 16% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1975

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Jupp (0:13)
2. The Excursion of Father Smith (9:37)
3. The Clown (6:42)
4. Dream and Reality (5:25)
5. Sunny Sunday's Sunset (11:30)
6. Auf Wiedersehen (0:54)

Total Time 34:21

Bonus tracks on 1998 & 2007 remaster:
- German Version:
7. Jupp / Vater Schmidt's Wandertag (9:52)
8. Der Clown (6:49)
9. Traum Und Wirklichkeit (5:26)
10. Sonntag's Sonnabend (11:27)
11. Auf Wiedersehen (0:53)
- Mystery 'Bonus Track' -
12. Auf Wiedersehen '98 (1:17)

Extra bonus tracks on 2007 reissue:
13. Sonnenflug (3:58)
14. Der Clown (single version) (3:36)

Bonus tracks on 2015 reissue:
7. Vater Schmidt / Father Smith (live at Quartier Latin, Berlin / 1981) (11:12)
8. The Clown (live at Städt. Gymnasium, Gütersloh / 1977) (6:56)
9. Sunny Sunday's Sunset (live at Städt. Gymnasium, Gütersloh / 1977) (11:50)
10. The A.F. Lünen (live at Haus Der Jugend, Lünen / 1977) (8:46)
11. Snowflakes (basic version) (4:48)

Line-up / Musicians

- Stefan Danielak (Wildschwein) / lead & backing vocals, rhythm & acousic guitars
- Gerd-Otto Kühn (Lupo) / lead guitar
- Volker Kahrs (Mist) / organ, piano, Mellotron, synth
- Wolfgang Jäger (Popo) / bass
- Joachim Ehrig (Eroc) / drums, percussion, electronic effects, voices

Releases information

English lyrics version (see also - separate - German version)

Artwork: (Petrus) Wandrey's Studio

LP Brain ‎- brain 1076 (1975, Germany)

CD Repertoire Records ‎- PMS 7094-WP (1998, Germany) Remastered by Eroc and including album's German version as bonus, plus an extra mystery track
CD Brain ‎- SPV 49832 CD (2007, Germany) As above, plus 2 extra bonus tracks
CD Brain ‎- 602537651115 (2015, Germany) With 5 bonus tracks

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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GROBSCHNITT Jumbo ratings distribution

(136 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(16%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
Good, but non-essential (26%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

GROBSCHNITT Jumbo reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Proghead
4 stars This third album was originally released in 1975 on the green Brain label. I happen to own the later orange label pressing on LP. This LP really deserves to be sought after by audiophiles because it's by far the best sounding LP I own, the sound quality just blew me away! And there are no advertisements of it being an audiophile recording of any kind, just leading me to believe this is just an ordinary LP (but with unusually great sound quality). Enough on that, let's get with the music. At this point, GROBSCHNITT has turned in to a full-blown symphonic prog rock band. The influences of YES, GENESIS, and even CAMEL are present, with extended compositions, such as "The Excursion of Father Smith". Eroc's twisted humor pops in from time to time. Wildschwein (Stefan Danielak) has one of the more peculiar voices in prog rock, so if his singing turns you off, you might want to avoid their albums. I also have a problem with some of this album, as parts of it are unbearably cheesy. I can see why this album is a bit overlooked compared to the likes of "Rockpommel's Land" or "Solar Music Live". But the album is still worth owning, and if you're in to GROBSCHNITT, this album would be in your collection anyways.
Review by The Prognaut
4 stars "Crash! Blam! Thud! Yaaargh!", GROBSCHNITT is here! From "Jupp" (the perfect prelude to "The Excursion of Father Smith") to the very "Goodbye" (Auf Wiedersehen) song, "Jumbo" is a pretty peculiar piece of work. Right after "Ballermann" this spectacular album came along. If not as perfectly crafted as their first LP and far beyond from what the band proved in "Solar Music", this album's got its sparkly moments. I would say that due GROBSCHNITT's controversial way to explain music throughout their talent, "Jumbo" may be the kind of album you'd only recommend for completionists, but listening to this production is quite a challenge, and I mean that just as a manner of speech. Arguably, at this point of their career, it was said that undoubtedly "Ballermann" was their best work, but I have to say I disagree there. Within "Jumbo" I came across with what I consider one of their best suites ever composed: "Sunny Sunday's Sunset", and hand in hand with "Dream and Reality", I think of this band's third release as one to be remembered during the years to come for symphonic prog rock. Incredible.
Review by loserboy
4 stars "Jumbo" was GROBSCHNITT's reply to "Solar Music" and really was a set up to "Rockpommel's Land" and for may has been incredibly overlooked, but stands out equal to both as a great album. All 5 songs again came from the studio of Conny Plank and for GROBSCHNITT brought a slightly more approachable and concerto-like concept based approach. Of course GROBSCHNITT continue to retain their slapstick humour sustained by Eroc's inane lyrics and uniquely used quirky voices and sound effects.

Musically "Jumbo" is dominated by key song writers with Lupo's talented lead-guitar work and Mist's keyboards. The Repertoire Remastered CD contains both English and German releases of "Jumbo" and offeres fantastic sound reproduction. Musically most of this album is actually reminiscent of themes to be explored in more theatric detail in "Rockpommel's Land" and none finer than the track 'Jupp/The Excursion Of Father Smith' which is perhaps my favourite GROBSCHNITT track from all their albums. The line up on "Jumbo" was Joachim Ehrig (Eroc) - drums, electronics, silly voices, Stefan Danielak (Wildschwein) - rhythm guitar, vocals, Wolfgang Jager (Pepe) - bass, Gerd-Otto Kuhn (Lupo) - lead guitar and Volker Kahrs (Mist) - organ, Mellotron, piano, synthesizer. "Jumbo" is a significant part of GROBSCHNITT's discography and an album I treasure.

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars 3.5 stars max!

Although this album got two different releases one of them in German, the other in English, Grobschnitt is sounding less and less like themselves and more like English copycats. Sadly so IMHO, because the first two albums were definitely holding much promises. Don't get me wrong, here, the average proghead will still find very interesting and some more will consider this one and the following ones the apex of their career. Not false, either.

Only four real tracks, most sounding between Yes, Genesis and Camel and lacking enough personality that I cannot really get involved enough in this concept. The German-sung version does not fare any better IMHO and both versions are included on the Repertoire Record CD. All tracks are full of fine, subtle instrument interplay, constant changes, delicate vocals , everything a proghead wishes for. Only Clowns is rather weaker.

Maybe my problem is that I did not discover Grobschnitt at the time! If I had, I might be speaking about it in another way. I would recommend this album very much to progheads looking for alternatives to mid-to-late-70's Yes , Camel and Genesis. But if you are to discover the guts of this group, you might want to try the Solar Music Live album, which is easily the most essential of their album.

Review by erik neuteboom
3 stars In general we Dutchmen do have the opinion that Germans lack any sense of humor. Well, it seems that German progrock band Grobschnitt was founded to battle this! On their covers and in their music you will find lots of traces from really great humor, for example the weird nicknames of the band members like Pepe, Eroc and Lupo. But back to the music, this album was the successor of the splendid 2-LP "Ballerman" (including the compelling epic "Solar music"). It sounds very pleasant with tasteful and melodic compositions, the strong vocals from Willy Wildschwein (he sings English with a distinctive German accent), inventive guitarwork and warm keyboardplay (lots of delicate strings, some Mellotron and organ). Highlight is the long track "Sunny sunday's sunset" (11.30 minutes) featuring fine shifting moods, great guitarplay (lots of fiery runs and delicate twanging guitars). At some moments it has a bit of the magic from "Solar music". But in my opinion this is no more or less than a good album, Grobschnitt has more moved towards accessible, mainstream prog.
Review by Progbear
4 stars With bassist Wolfgang "Pepe" Jäger now in tow, this is to be considered Grobschnitt's "classic" lineup. Any traces of cosmic "Krautrock" sound were pretty much behind them, this is pure symphonic rock with a comic twist. It's hard to think of another sympho-prog band with their tongue pressed so far into their cheek, "The Excursion of Father Smith" is one of the wackiest "prog epics" ever recorded. "Clown" likewise features moments of great whimsy in the comical background vocal parts. The B-side is a tad more sedate, with the folk-tinged "Dream And Reality" and the moody "Sunny Sunday's Sunset" taking up the bulk of the space, though the comical farewell track, "Auf Wiedersehen" makes sure they're still offering a nod and a wink.

This is no mere imitation Yes anymore. Not just from the profound comical bits, but little touches like Eroc's electronic effects at the start of "Sunny Sunday's Sunset" give this album great distinction. It's really a special album. Just go in with a sense of humour or you won't last very long.

Review by Alucard
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars 'Jumbo' is 'Grobschnitt's' third record and was released in a German- and an English- sung version.While the first 'Grobschnitt' record was more classical-oriented, the second one more psychedelic 'Jumbo' integrates influences of bands like the 'Allman Brothers' or 'Wishbone Ash' and their double guitar play, with long melody lines by lead guitarist Lupo and the rhythm-guitar play of Stefan 'Wildschwein' Danielak. After the short gimmick track 'Jupp' the record starts with 'The Excursion of Father Smith', a long dynamic track served by the trademark Hi-hat playing of Eroc, organ breaks and the double guitar work of Lupo and Wildschwein. 'The Clown' opens with a organ/bass interplay leading into an uptempo groove served again by Eroc's typical hi-hat playing. Both tracks are nicely crafted, but the second side of the record is more interesting. 'Dream and Reality' starts slowly with acoustic guitar, than Lupo adds a melody on the electric and Eroc enters with the hi-hat and establishes a nice medium tempo groove not unlike the 'Allman Brothers'.After a short organ break the track resumes his Westcoast journey. 'Sunny Sunday's Sunset' is the masterpiece of the record . It starts with synthesizer swirling by drummer Eroc (reminding his first solo record) than a melody line by lupo, hi-hat , vocals the track speeds up and leads to a break, after which the track slows down to a slow blues over which Lupo lays a melodic solo in typical Duane Eddy fashion, which works very well. The last track 'Goodbye' is a little tongue in cheek 'thank you' to the listener for having bought the record and a warm goodbye by all band members. 'Jumbo' is the most accesible of the early 'Grobschnitt' records with a nice mixture of Westcoast and german Prog.
Review by philippe
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars An enthousiastic, optimistic symphonic album, full of fantasies and humor. The opening track is an energic, typical Grobschnitt´s Hymn with its captive melodies, stressed vocals, great organ-guitar solos, epic interludes. "The Clown" is a gorgeous, dymanic symphonic composition with constant changing moods and a lot of keyboards variations. The parodic side of the band is always really defined in a few sweety, soft melodies, crazy vocals and lyrics. A good mention to the technical guitar solo parts. "Dream and reality" is a pseudo-romantic, lovely ballad with a melancholic felt. The vocal are very lyrical, the organ and guitar duets punctuate the piece. Chorus and excentric vocals are added into the mix. The solo break put into the fore an epic, symphonic dialogue between synthesisers and organs, then emerges a captivating guitar melody."Sunny Sunday´s sunset" starts with a calm, mysterious keyboard soundscape and circular "clean" guitar apreggios. After a rapid progression the tune finally turns into a fantasy, "heroic" song with theatrical voices, epic keyboards and silent acoustic percussions. Seven minutes past and the track grows into a mellow, romantic ballad. The last track is an humorous, drunked narration. A difficult, complex album. In a minor way this is a classic. Beginners should start with the supreme "Solar Music" or "Ballermann" .
Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars GROBSCHNITT on this album show their great performing capabilities, the sound is perfectly produced and crystal clear, and all the usual elements of "symphonic" style are present. I can even sense a hint of German humour (although not understand) in the opening and closing lyrics. But, I cannot say that this album opened any new ground for my tastes. Nothing essentially new is present here, so it is basically a re-cycling of the old prog ideas. Surely, it is all done in a confident and plausible way. Vocal is energetic but not entirely for my taste.
Review by febus
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam

I do love the band GROBSCHNITT for its spontaneous ''Kraut'' jams, weird songs, monumental space oddysseys, brilliant musicianship! I do love listening to symphonic rock like in ''Hamburger Concerto'', ''Novalis'' ''itcotck'' or other ''Yessongs''.

So grobschnitt playing symphnonic rock, is it a match in heaven? Will i reach my Nirvana? ...Not quite!!

JUMBO is the third GROBSCHNITT album and the first that is rightly classified as a symphonic prog album on PA.I still think GROBSCHNITT excelled in some more ''German'' sounding music leaving room for improvisations, weird and fun songs and long spacey jams. When GROBSCHNITT decided to take the Genesis road, i think they lost a lot of freshness and spontaneity.

Don't get me wrong, JUMBO is still a GOOD album but for me GROBSCHNITT lost a little bit its own personality and craziness of the past. In one word GROBSCHNITT got serious, very serious. This is pleasant music Genesis fans surely may enjoy as everything is planned, well crafted, all instruments are under control but nothing is really sparking.

VOLKER KAHRS ''Mist'' the keyboardist was the main architect on this album and obviously has listened to a lot of TONY BANKS. The same goes for LUPO the guitarist who thinks he is HACKETT now . Just listen to the intro of the 11mns SUNNY SUNDAY SUNSET with its little guitar arpeggios noodling helped by a organ soundscape, that sounds like the Genese for me.Everything is sweet, WILDSCHWEIN tries to sing with emotion , ''feeling'' the song, the guitarist tries hard to reach the majestic notes with MIST doing its BANKS coating in the back, but nothing takes really off. Maybe as i am not a die-hard Genesis fan, that's my problem.

Another issue i may have is the WILDSCHWEIN vocal abilities at singing this kind of music. As i said in another review, his vocals sound something like CHRIS FARLOWE or DAVID CLAYTON THOMAS, a strong deep voice maybe not very suited for this kind of symphonic adventures.

THE EXCURSION OF FATHER SMITH is another mini-epic full of nice orchestrations, nice guitar breaks,nice melody, everything is clean but the musicians are playing with a leash on their necks, especially LUPO the guitarist who forgets to play like the powerful LUPO from the first 2 albums. THE CLOWN and DREAM AND REALITY are the 2 other cute numbers, once again well arranged full of delicate arrangements. There is nothing bad on JUMBO, believe me. Everything is well coordinated, but is it GROBSCHNITT, the real GROBSCHNITT??.

Maybe ardent GENESIS fans like ZOWIE ZIGGY will prefer this Grobschnitt period but i do still prefer GROBSCHNITT playing GROBSCHNITT music , not the music of some other bands. I do like when LUPO plays like himself and try not emulating HACKETT or HOWE. He doesn't need to as he is so good when he plays with its own style and personality.


Review by ZowieZiggy
4 stars What comes next after Solar Music ? Well another very good "Grobschnitt" album!

The extravaganza of the band is still present and it is combined with such great and beautiful symphonic music. One of the central pieces of this album is the magnificent "The Excursion of Father". A devastating, flamboyant and sophisticated song. Sublime guitar work and fantastic drumming (as usual ?). I guess that a band like TFK must have heard this great song.My second fave from this album and a highlight.

"The Clown" is also a very pleasant and melodic song. A wonderful symbiosis amongst the whole band. The sustained beat is so powerful. It really transports the vocals to another high.Deadly, but very short guitar riffs adds such a great touch. Even delicate at times.

"Dream & Reality" features complex vocals and perfect harmonies during the chorus. It reminds me of "10CC" at times but the instrumental are fully "Grobschnitt", don't worry.

The spacey mood of their fabulous "Solar Music" is back for the longest number of this short album : "Sunny Sunday's Sunset" is rather hypnotic. The guitar work during the intro is not alien to the one of Fripp, but less powerful. This song is a superb balance between the most melodic and quiet vocals and the most grandiose keyboards parts you could think of.

During certain moments, it is very emotional and , yes. I like it an awful lot. Probably the sweetest "Grobschnitt" number so far. A symphonic orgy which culminates at the highest levels during the bombastic and frenetic finale.

For the first time so far, I like a "Grobschnitt" album from start to finish. The last short track highlights again their fantastic sense of humour. During "Auf Wiedersehn", the band is saying hello to the listener in a similar and irresistible way that they were greeting their fans during "Sahara" on their previous effort.

Four stars.

Review by kenethlevine
3 stars This review is based on the English language version of the album, which is the only one I have. "Ballerman" had proposed two possible directions for the band, symphonic a la YES/GENESIS and space rock, sort of a la FLOYD. Arguably, the space rock approach was more distinctive in Grobschnitt's case, but with Jumbo they make their decision to move further into well worn symphonic territory.

While the approach is well implemented, pieces like "The Clown" and much of "Dream and Reality" are generally somewhat less appealing than those in the first part of "Ballerman", even if mellotron sprigs are strewn liberally about, beginning on "The Excursion of Father Smith". The highlight is definitely "Sunny Sunday's Sunset", also the longest cut, which evolves from a hypnotic start into Grobschnitt's most perfectly realized circus-like meter and beyond, not unlike, but superior to, that which NEKTAR tentatively explored on "Down to Earth". The vocal histrionics and the pedal guitars in the denouement are also skillfully integrated. Eroc really masters the skins here and won't let up on them.

So while "Jumbo" is not the giant that was "Ballerman", and is rather skimpy on quantity, it is certainly worth hearing if you enjoyed the predecessor. 3.5 stars rounded down.

Review by stefro
3 stars Sandwiched between 'Ballermann' and 'Rockpommel's Land', 'Jumbo' is seen by many as the weakest album from Grobschnitt's 1970's progressive period. Featuring an incredibly short- running time, 'Jumbo' is more like a mini-album, with both the opening and closing tracks lasting less than a minute each, therefore leaving the listener feeling a little short-changed. The remaining three tracks are typical Grobschnitt, featuring fluid guitars, lush keyboards, jocular lyrics and fantasy trimmings, but it's hard not to feel let down after the heroics of 'Ballermann'. Of the three longer tracks 'The Clown' is probably the standout, with it's catchy chorus and uplifting tempo, whilst 'Dreams & Reality' contains some nicely ethereal keyboards. Entertaining then, but far too short. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010
Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Grobschnitt's third finds them further refining their Yes Album meets Foxtrot sound. So they beat Anglagard to that with 20 years. That's the most positive news to be told, as the songwriting and certainly the vocals fail the band here.

The songwriting is a mixed bag. The instrumental core of the songs is certainly solid, the band plays with fluency and spontaneity. The vocals however spoil the experience for me. Wildschwein's voice is warm and full but he has adopted a very contrived way of singing, very different from the spontaneous power on the band's debut.

But the main reason is not the voice but the melodies. Wildschwein took a lot of inspiration from his country's crooner tradition, German Schlagers! Take the music away and you are left with very mainstream pop melodies that can't please me at all. Maybe it is all meant as a pastiche, but as it goes with pastiches, if you end up creating exactly the same type of melodies as those you meant to mock, then what's the added value for the listener? Traum Und Wirklichkeit and Der Clown are painful examples of that. Vater Schmidt and Sonntags Sonnabend suffer less from it and are two songs I've come to like a lot.

An album with lots of potential that I could rate 4 stars if I would find a way to mix out some of the vocals. As it stands, the vocals are very upfront here and there are songs where I don't dig them at all. If you are lucky enough not to suffer from the same resistance, you'll get yourself a solid symphonic album. 3.5 stars

Review by Warthur
3 stars Retaining the comedic elements of the previous album but presenting them somewhat more appetisingly, Jumbo wraps them in a musical direction that moves away from Grobschnitt's more original space rock style towards a heavily Yes-influenced sound - the bass sound in particular regularly comes to resemble Chris Squire's, as on The Excursion of Father Smith. Other classic prog acts also rear their heads - The Clown sounds a lot like Foxtrot-era Genesis, for example - and it's all competently done, but fans of the band may find that they miss the classic Grobschnitt sound (as expressed on the likes of Solar Music). Plus the vocals are still really jarring.

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