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Grobschnitt The History Of Solar Music Vol. 1 album cover
4.46 | 17 ratings | 4 reviews | 41% 5 stars

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 2001

Songs / Tracks Listing

Disc one: (60:53)
1. I Walk The Line (0:46)
2. Solar Music Warburg '78 (55:44)
3. Zugabe (4:23)

Disc two: (67:51)
1. Solar Music Münster '79 (27:01)
2. Merry Go Round (7:27)
3. Solar Music Studio '74 (33:23)

Toatl Time: 128:44

Line-up / Musicians

- Lupo / guitar
- Wildschwein / guitar & vocals
- Eroc / drums
- Mist / keyboards
- Popo Hunter / bass (1978 & 1979)
- Toni / vocals (1979)
- Der Baer / bass (1974)

Releases information

Wolkenreise WOL 8998

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and to avestin for the last updates
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GROBSCHNITT The History Of Solar Music Vol. 1 ratings distribution

(17 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(41%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(47%)
Good, but non-essential (12%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

GROBSCHNITT The History Of Solar Music Vol. 1 reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by loserboy
5 stars This first 2 cd volume pays tribute to the band's signature piece "Solar Music" which was performed and celebrated in many different versions during GROBSCHNITT's 20 year's of history from 1969 to 1989. The 2 CD 139 minutes set studies 3 different versions of the classic track "Solar Music" which I would rank as one of my all time favourite epic tracks along with "Suppers Ready" and "Close To The Edge". Without a question when GROBSCHNITT played "Solar Music live" it was different each time. Over the years I was pretty use to hearing the original live album version which has remained a treasured album in my collection, but these volume sets bring new dimensions to the song. "Solar Music" is captured here from a live performance in 1978 Warburg, 1979 in Munster and 1974 in Studio. The sound is quite good considering the age of these recordings and are a fantastic way to spend your Friday evenings. For those who do not read German then the book will be fine for the photos only, but you can try to figure out the content as the music plays. Generally this is 2 CD's full of music and contain very little GROBSCHNITTian audience induced chit chat (aka Volle Molle)... again a good thing for me as I unfortunately don't speak a drop of German. Thanks EROC for the collections... amazing and highly recommended.
Review by ZowieZiggy
5 stars If you would ever think that Mike Oldfield has won the gold medal in re-using one concept ("Bells"), you'll have to revise your judgment.

"Solar Music" has already passed several lives before this history. And the journey only starts.

In my review of "Ballerman" their double album which features the original and studio version of "Solar Music", I conclude that it was a five star track. So, on this first "History", you get no less than three different versions!

But there are some other songs non related with "Solar Music" as well.

The opener highlights their incredible sense of humour. It is a cover version of an old Jamaican song "Banana Boat Song". Absolutely hilarious. One has the impression to listen to Mercury launching his "Day-o; Day-ay-ay-o". Irresistible (but not essential of course).

The only interesting track of these is "Ausgabe" (which could be translated as addition or bonus track). It sounds pretty much as some tracks from their first album ("Symphony" or "Travelling"). There is a strong relation with "Santana" music in here. Great percussion work and fantastic guitar play.

"Merry Go Round" is mainly a band's presentation. Not a big deal, but the studio track was not extraordinary either.

Now, three "Solar Music" versions!

My preferred one of all of them is probably the one recorded in "Warzburg" in 1978. You really need to listen to this if you are ever interested in space-rock music. There are a lot of ambient sections but most of all, so many passages are so poignant, emotional and truly symphonic as well.

This Work (yes, capital W), is a true masterpiece. One of the greatest song in the prog rock repertoire. This interpretation is magnificent. Truly sublime. To all "Solar Music" maniacs (n'est-ce pas Antoine - Febus), I can only recommend this version from this double CD set. It is such a jewel. Almost an hour of pure happiness. Splendid, really.

The second version we get here is much shorter (only 28'21"). I lack the long and spacey moments available from the Warzburg masterpiece. But still, it is a pleasant version.

The third version is a remastering of the original studio album. For more details about this jewel, I would refer you to my review (and lots of other reviewer's ones) in the appropriate entry.

Be prepared for a superb adventure. The quest for excellence has been rewarded. "Grobschnitt" has brought us there. Thanks to Eroc who has remastered them so brilliantly. The sound is perfect and makes it a wonderful musical experience.

I guess that you know the rate.The highest one for my 1,300th review.

Review by Guldbamsen
4 stars Paper balloons

One of my favourite writers on PA just reviewed Grobschnitt's legendary Solar Music Live, and today I thought I'd pitch in in order to help this magnificent piece of work gain some new listeners. Now normally I don't do compilation albums, mostly because they contain tracks that already feature elsewhere in the given artist's catalogue. Yet this monster of a double cd sports 3 different versions of a killer track, and no-where does it feel like too much. In no way whatsoever. As a matter of fact, I can listen to this stuff all day long.

Solar Music is like the love child of Grobschnitt. It is a track that has evolved from a few chord progressions back on their debut, (and I believe even earlier still there were signs of this psychedelic masterpiece) - to the studio version featured on Ballerman, and then again to the hour long live performance it suddenly transformed into. Personally I feel it's like watching a kid grow up, and on these releases - you can actually spot the differences, the pimples, the adolescence and a certain maturity unfold right before your very ears.

On this compilation you get an astonishing version of the track during their famous 78 tour of Germany. This one spans nearly 56 minutes, and it quite simply takes your breath away. On top of that you also get a half hour version from the following year, that is every bit as vibrant and heartfelt. Then you are treated to a long overdue remastering of the original track off Ballerman, which sounds crisp and organic - yet without ever loosing the feel of the real thing. Some times these remastering geniuses manage to erase that special something that made the original track what it was, but luckily so this is not the case here. Finally we catch a glimpse of the humoristic side of the band, such as the opening cut I Walk the Line(?!!!?). This little ditty always makes me chuckle a bit. Just like their colleagues Guru Guru there was a smile and a smirk - a pitch black humour connected with them. Somehow starting the show with a Johnny Cash classic for then to launch into a nuclear musical space shuttle theme - was like second nature to these guys, and I kind of like that facet of them as well.

Alright, that's about it. But what about the music you say? Well if you've never heard Solar Music before, then imagine a sexual meeting between Bobby Beausoleil's Lucifer Rising, Pink Floyd's Embryo, Steve Hillage and perhaps the gentleness of the Soon bit from Yes' Gates of Delirium. 9 months later this psychedelic freak of nature pops out of momma's baking oven!

Together with Popol Vuh's Einsjäger und Siebenjäger, this track is perhaps the closest you'll ever get to symphonic Krautrock. It conjures up these massive grandiose musical structures with blistering guitar solos, wavering wafting keyboards and a frantic locomotive- like rhythm section, that you at times are in limbo between the psychedelic jam element and the towering musical inferno likening to a symphony orchestra. Somewhere in the middle you find this band - and especially this track. It shifts and alters its presence many times during its life - often reduced to these soft slow passages with ethereal keys and fragile soothing guitar mumblings that together amount to an unspeakable beauty.

Another important thing about this kind of music is the dynamics involved. Much of what makes this improvisational space rock flow the way it does is down to long and twisting build ups. I'd go as far and say that nearly half of the music is based upon the slow gradual increase and decrease in sound. I've heard many bands utilize the same sort of approach, but none with such an impeccable and imaginative impact. Whether it's tiny ricocheting bullet drum rolls from ring leader Eroc, or polyphonic synth washes suddenly popping up in the most wonderful way - these wandering sections between the sonic fireworks are every bit as fantastic and beautiful as the actual climaxes. I guess a lot of the modern post-rock bands work within the same spherical approach, but I've honestly never heard anyone walk this musical path as successfully as Grobschnitt did.

If you've ever watched those spectacular ceremonies from Asia, where you place a lit candle in a square paper balloon and watch it float away - then apply this image to music. Hundreds upon hundreds of these wafting light creatures filling the skies creating a living burning organism of light up there in the clouds. This is what Solar Music feels like to me. It's like floating upwards in one of those paper balloons aiming straight for the stratosphere.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars GROBSCHNITT are a band I place a notch down from my favourite Krautrock bands simply because they are more in the Symphonic realm as opposed to say AMON DUUL II and the like who play more of an underground psychedelia. Still I do really like this band and consider their debut a masterpiece. They do play a spacey and somewhat jamming style that I like. Many consider their "Solar Music Live" record from 1978 to be the greatest live album ever recorded. For me it's a 4 star recording much like this one. This release has an almost 56 minute version of "Solar Music" plus another two versions of that song on disc two both around the 30 minute mark. And if you know this band you know they have released a lot of archival material including many versions of "Solar Music" which might seem redundant except they seem to change that song everytime they perform it.

"I Walk The Line" is a short instrumental nod to Mr. Cash. While the closer on disc one called "Zugabe" kicks in quickly with drums and organ. Love the organ here. The guitar starts to solo 1 1/2 minutes in then the piano replaces the guitar. Vocals and guitar lead 3 minutes in. In between these two tracks I just mentioned is the sprawling "Solar Music Warburg '78" recorded the same year as their famous live album but at a different time and place. They have borken this down into 7 songs I guess to make it easier to find certain sections but the music all blends together. This one kicks in right away and turns heavier with some ripping organ. A calm follows as they seem to meander and we get samples of birds singing and dogs barking. It picks up as the guitar starts to solo. Great sound here. Synths then take over with some prominant bass as well. The next section has this coughing and speaking reminding me very much of Calvert's "Captain Lockheed & The Starfighters" album. Funny stuff. The music kicks into gear and the guitar proceeds to light it up. The final section is my favourite as the guitar takes a prominant role at times.

If your a big GROBSCHNITT fan you must be in heaven with all of the double cd releases of older material that keeps coming out. Without question I do recommend you get your hands on this one.

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