Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


Amon Düül II


From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Amon Düül II Vive La Trance album cover
3.23 | 122 ratings | 17 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 1974

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. A Morning Excuse (3:19)
2. Fly United (3:33)
3. Jalousie (3:27)
4. Im Krater Blühn Wieder Der Bäume (3:08)
5. Mozambique (7:40)
6. Apocalyptic Bore (6:38)
7. Dr. (3:00)
8. Trap (3:35)
9. Pig Man (2:38)
10. Mañana (3:20)
11. Ladies Mimikry (3:18)

Total Time: 43:36

Bonus tracks on 2000 remaster:
12. Lilac Lillies (Alt take) (4:55)
13. Dancing On Fire (5:21)
14. Cerberus (Alt take) (4:20)

Bonus tracks on 2002 remaster:
12. Mozambique (Single Version) (3:58)

Bonus tracks on 2007 reissue & 2009 remaster:
12. Hands Up Fool (6:18)
13. Pink Purple (7:09)
14. Look (4:58)
15. Bomb (4:11)

Line-up / Musicians

- Renate Knaupz / lead & backing (1,5) vocals
- John Weinzierl / acoustic & electric guitars, bass (2,10,11), vocals (7,9)
- Chris Karrer / electric & 12-string (6) guitars, violin (6,11), saxophone (2,8,9,11), Mellotron & maracas (10), vocals (1,6,10,11)
- Falk Rogner / organ (4-6,8), VCS3 synthesizer (1,4-8), harmonium (6)
- Robby Heibl / bass (1,3-9), electric (1,2) & 12-string (2) guitars, violin (6,7), cello & backing vocals (1), gurke (5), lead vocals (2,7,9)
- Peter Leopold / drums, percussion (10), grand piano (1,5)

- Desmond Bonner / lead (6) & backing (5) vocals
- Lothar Meid / backing vocals (5)
- Peter Kramper / grand piano (2,3)
- Keith Forsey / percussion & backing vocals (5)

Releases information

Artwork: Falk Rogner & Gena Zimmermann (photo) with Jürgen Rogner (design)

LP United Artists - UAS 29 504 (1973, UK)

CD Mantra Records - MANTRA 062 (1991, France)
CD Gammarock Records - GRR 83 804 (2000, Germany) Remastered with 3 bonus tracks
CD Repertoire Records - REP 4988 (2002, Germany) Remastered by Eroc with a bonus track
CD Revisited Records - REV 079 (2007, Germany) With 4 bonus tracks
CD Belle Antique BELLE 091495 (2009, Japan) Remastered by Tohru Ohta with same 4 bonus tracks

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy AMON DÜÜL II Vive La Trance Music

More places to buy AMON DÜÜL II music online

AMON DÜÜL II Vive La Trance ratings distribution

(122 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(28%)
Good, but non-essential (45%)
Collectors/fans only (12%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

AMON DÜÜL II Vive La Trance reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Peter
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars 1974's VIVE LA TRANCE is a solid album from German psychedelic/prog pioneers Amon Duul II. The band's roots extend back to the early days of the progressive movement, in a late 60s political/musical commune in Munich. At first known simply as Amon Duul (from the ancient Egyptian sun god, and the Turkish word for "moon"), the band -- much like early Pink Floyd -- specialized in extended live "freak-out" jams. At decade's end, the musical part of the commune split to concentrate solely upon the music, the "II" was added to the name, and more structure was imposed upon the output. Amon Duul II's earlier albums (like the excellent WOLF CITY and CARNIVAL IN BABYLON) are more overtly "progressive," but VIVE LA TRANCE is nonetheless one of my favourites from this group.

The songs on this recording tend to be shorter (averaging around three and-a-half minutes), and more conventional in structure and subject-matter, but there is an overlay of electronics and psychedelic effects that keeps the music within the progressive realm. All lyrics are in English, and the band members are seasoned and accomplished musicians, singers, and songwriters. (The guitars, violins, keyboards, and percussion are especially effective.) I like every song on this disc, but those I find to be particularly worthy include the acerbic "A Morning Excuse," the "far-out" instrumental "Im Krater Bluhn Wieder der Baume," the powerful anti-imperialism anthem "Mozambique" ("The white beast is in the villages, dealing only in death. With his soul left behind him, he is the raper of women, mutilator of children, murderer of men."),the spacey, laid-back "Apocalyptic Bore," the infectious "Trap," the Latin-flavoured "Manana," and the hard rocking "Ladies Mimikry."

This album served as my introduction to Amon Duul II, and those who don't know their music would be well advised to listen to the song download here, then (for starters) buy a copy of either WOLF CITY, or the equally great VIVE LA TRANCE. Fine German progressive, from an important band -- well worth checking out!

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Lost in the trance-lation

While the title may have come about some years before the "Trance" genre came into being, there is indeed a hint of what we now know as trance in this 1973 album. I'm not a "fan" of Amon Dull II, and therefore know relatively little about them, so I'm taking this album at face value.

There was virtually nothing in the way of sleeve notes with my LP, but there appear to be 2 or three lead vocalists, including a female singer and the unique voice of Renate Knaup-Krotenschwanz. The vocals are more varied than on the "Live in London" album (my only other reference point for the band).

There are similarities with the music of Hawkwind in some of the tracks ("Mozambique's thumping ending, "Pig Man's" jazz based chanting etc.). The tracks are generally short, which means little room for lengthy instrumental breaks, and a bit too much in the way of straightforward pop structured songs. Given that the song-writing is not particularly strong, and the English language vocals are sung rather phonetically, it might have been wiser to rely more heavily on their undoubted instrumental abilities.

There's certainly something for every one here. For me "Fly United" and the female vocal led "Jalousie" are the best tracks. The diversity of styles however also means that for most there is much to give a wide berth to, and the list of those falling into that category is longer than I care to print!

One only for those who know what to expect for Amon Dull II and want it anyway.

Review by Progbear
3 stars You can hear a bit of mainstreaming of their sound here-cabaret stylings on "Jalousie", straight-ahead pop-rock on "Pigman", Latin stylings on "Mañana"-but it's the exception rather than the rule still. "A Morning Excuse", however short, can hardly be called "normal", what with the eccentric vocals and weird synthesizer noises, and probably would scare off most mainstream listeners.

The longer tracks clearly are the high points. "Mozambique" is utterly harrowing, with one of Renate's most powerful vocal performances. Chris takes the lead for "Apocalyptic Bore", which is laden with soaring Floydian guitarwork. Both these tunes are good enough to justify the purchase.

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Wolf City" may be arguably described as the last of the "classic" AMON DUUL II albums, which were known to have long improvisational psychedelic jams. On its follow-up "Vive la Trance" it is possible to notice the turn towards more song-structured compositions and generally shorter tracks. Yes, even the listening experience is slightly more accessible to uninitiated listeners. In other words, if you are new to AMON DUUL II, or the Kraut-rock in general, you may want to start listening from here (Ah, I said that already when reviewing "Wolf City", but then I did not listen to "Vive la Trance"!). That said, it must be noted that "Vive la Trance" is still an excellent record, even if it traded psychedelic experiments with sometimes "poppy" structure of songs. It is also amazing that a careful listener can trace rudimentary forms of basic sound with simple chords, jangly guitars and even danceable rhythms that was to characterise much of the New Wave sound of the early 1980s; just listen to bass and guitar on the closing "Ladies Mimikry" - it sounds almost like GANG OF FOUR. Renate Knaup gives wonderful vocal performances in "Fly United", "Jalousie" and "Mozambique", which are among the best tracks on the album. Music is, although somewhat simpler, still filled with strong and precise guitars and violins, while the use of synths is more prominent than before. The last 3 or 4 songs are loosing content quite a bit, so it is obvious that the band's creative energy during making of this album was rapidly diminishing . Overall this album is very good and if you would like to get used to German progressive "Kraut" rock scene of the 1970s but you are reluctant to listen to sometimes excessively experimental, noisy and psychedelic stuff, then you should try this one. I would give 3,5 stars for not being quite strong for "any prog collection".
Review by kenethlevine
3 stars Back in the mid 70s my friends would refer to some music as being "acid rock". I thought they overused the term, but if they had used it on Amon Duul II, I would not have argued. Indeed, "Vive la Trance" epitomizes whatever this ambiguous term might have meant, or at least one of its potential definitions. This is uniquely lively and frenetic song oriented music for the most part, with vocals at best half sung in accented English by several singers, the most notable being Renate.

I hear sounds that would later influence other German bands, in particular Jane on the instrumental "Im Krater Blühn Wieder Die Bäume", which reminds me of their "Age of Madness" period. While the music is often innovative if chaotic, I do hear some 60s influences, especially in the Dylan-esque but charming "Apocalyptic Bore". Renate's "Jalousi" provides a break from the pace and makes me wonder if Kate Bush might have followed this band in her younger years. And just when I think they are getting boring and repetitive, from left field comes a cool fiddle solo in "Dr". And "Manana " is as close as you get to a lovely song, with innovative guitar work.

Not to say everything has interest - "Trap" and "Pig Man" show ideas running out as the album draws to a close. But if you really listen, almost everything here provides some redemption no matter how much you might want to dismiss it.

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Drugs, the German underground, far-left politics, lion costumes.

What more could anyone want? Seriously though, I was somewhat put off by Amon Duul in one period of my youth, wondering how anyone could enjoy all this absurdist stoner nonsense that friends of mine claimed was great rock. As with Zappa, Gong, Syd, or Lydia Lunch, I just had reservations about certain artists who would inject too much insanity or absurdity into their music. Well I eventually awoke from my stupor and lightened up with some of it at least, although sometimes Gong can still irritate me first thing in the morning. German counterculture freak-rock veterans Amon Duul 2 released this boisterous album at the end of what many fans consider their peak. It is not their most representative nor their most daring work but deserves attention for the things it does get right rather than being written off for not being their masterpiece. There is still much here to fly your freak flag above.

Web reviewer The Seth Man from Head Heritage sums up nicely by noting "it was very odd indeed that no less a band from West Germany would be getting in on the act of tarting up and showcasing their own insane take on current trends through the well-honed and well-horned guitar-based moves of glam rock as it smacked straight up against their remaining acid-anarchic flashbacks. But then again, Amon Düül II were a freewheelin', expressive band that were too crazy to give up the ghost just yet and "Vive La Trance" was their very last stand of freakery (a particular department that the original Düül Eins were responsible for starting way back in '68.) Tenacious enough to sustain continual personnel transfers while assimilating a variety of contemporary fads while collecting it into an LP where they dished out one hella cannibalized assemblage of progressive rock, ballads, acid rock and even reggae and pre-punk moves as it hurtled recklessly through that air-locked, numbing corridor of mid-seventies stasis already on the rise. And while "Vive La Trance" is a stylistic mess, it was an enthusiastic one perfectly rendered into a robust offering." [The Seth Man]

"A Morning Excuse" starts off strong with a colorful rocker with nice wah-wah and smart-aleck lyrics. During the chorus they throw some violin over it for nice effect. "Fly United" recalls the Airplane with male/female shared vocals and plenty of hippie rock guitar especially in the wailing closing solo. "Jalousi" gets really interesting with the captivating Renate Krotenschwanz-Knaup delivering a simply delicious vocal over wonderful piano melody-Ken Levine pegged this well wondering if Kate Bush heard this, compare this track to...perhaps "In the Warm Room" from Lionheart and see if you recognize the resemblance. In any case it's a great song with a memorable vocal. "Im Krater Bluhn Wieder Die Baume" is a nice mixture of keys, bass, and acoustic guitar in a majestic feel eventually adding some lead electric licks over the top. "Mozambique" is the heaviest piece both musically and thematically. There is a long intro with bongos and rhythmic vocals. Then the band shifts to some very heavy jamming passages accompanied by angry vocals dealing with violence and oppression. The track drags too much in my opinion with not enough of interest to sustain the repetitive fuzzed-out "Freebird" ending but the first half is great. "Apocalyptic Bore" starts by unleashing a spoken narration to harsh your buzz but soon slips into a trippy folk-rocker as comfortable as your old slippers with crisp drumming and bass, acoustic strumming and more acid-rock leads. "Dr." is similar to the last track but a notch more aggressive with some nice drum fills by Peter Leopold. "Trap" is a delightfully upbeat pop song with Bowie overtones and perhaps a bit of the pre-punk feel mentioned by The Seth Man above. Renate's playful vocal gels well with the punchy play of the dual guitars and rhythm section. "Pig Man" is an outright country blues rocker that could be considered Beatleish or West Coast, not sure who their influence was, but with some raunchy sax thrown on top just to mess things up. "Manana" is a lightweight throwaway pop track but has some nice warbled guitar at the end. "Ladies Mimikry" finishes on a strong note with rather tense waves of violin, voice, and sax joining the guitars and no-frills rhythms to produce a trance like effect, perhaps a clever nod to the album's title.

"Vive La Trance" is actually a pretty solid album. It gets knocked around a bit for embracing traditional song structures and perhaps appealing to straights but there's nothing inherently wrong with that. It's not uncommon for bands that spent several albums reaching for the hallucinogenic cosmos to take a break and make a more straight-forward rock album. (Not that this is really "straightforward" for anyone but AD!) The question is how well they balance their unique band character with the new approach. I think Amon Duul have succeeded reasonably well in delivering and album that still contains a bit of mind haze, rocks when it needs to, and even embraces some accessible pop music moments. It's not a masterpiece to these ears but I have to say it is thoroughly enjoyable whether you choose to get "inspired" or not. Just remember, don't take any a-bomb from the dude wearing a Lion costume. Exactly 3.19 stars.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I must confess that Krautrock has always been a conundrum in my ongoing exploration of prog, relying more on the "electronic" section peopled by Eloy, Tangerine Dream, Ashra and Klaus Schulze, as well as some experimental Can and the symphonic Triumvirat. I dabbled a bit in Grobschnitt, a smidgen of Novalis and an occasional Passport but my first and only Amon Düül II album was the lackluster Hijack, purchased in 1974 and the vinyl has sat gathering dust ever since. I guess I need to try out Guru Guru and Kraan before espousing some kind of fair opinion on Krautrock. "Vive la Trance" is somewhat similar to Hijack in formulating more condensed song structures but the overtly naïve lefty politics somehow sounded corny in view of the existence of the neighboring Stasi state (the DDR), as well as the trippy-hippy style that was much more interesting when handled by Daevid Allen and his Gongsters, this just doesn't ring my bell! The overall playing is good without being exemplary and the short tunes sort of flow one after the other, with breezy passages loaded with sweeps of schizoid bizarreness, some fine wah-wah guitar riffs from John Weinzierl. Again nothing really leaps out as the group sought a more direct "rock" approach with only occasional moments of savvy (Chris Karrer's short sax blast on "Fly United" ,Renate's Kate Bush imitation on "Jalousie" or the stunning "Im Krater Blühn.." and its organ /VCS3 work ). The middle section of the menu has two longer pieces in the 6-7 minute range that perhaps better exemplifies the thrill some have for Amon Düül II, the African-flavored Mozambique starts out nice before developing into a full-blown affair the asks to "clap your hands" while showcasing rather simplistic sonic patterns and textures, a bit like a wimpier Hawkwind with heavier lyrics ("mutilator of children, murderer of men", gasp!). "Apocalyptic Bore" is perhaps even more palatable, the violin weaving amid a silly narration that would make Daevid giggle in non- envy, a raunchy guitar splash being the major redeeming asset but an otherwise odd slice of space rock/psychedelia. The five closing tracks are again short, curt and concise, revealing nothing monumental or breathtaking. Its just a little too lightweight for my tastes I guess and I keep pressing the skip button. Particularly dreadful is "Pig Man", a direct swipe at a rather large West German defense minister , saved only an absurd sax fling.

This is an album that simply does very little for me, a perhaps necessary addition to add credibility to my collection but little more. They are certainly deserving of deep respect for starting out a new genre but I will rather stick to my more symphonic German stable. If Phallus Dei, Tanz, Wolf City or Yeti land in my lap I will consider rating this higher in context. In the meantime I can only propose 3 signs of the times

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars By the time of their 6th album, Amon Düül II sounds creatively drained. The preceding Wolf City had shown a turn towards more conventional rock material with art-rock and folk influences. Vive La Trance follows the same way but mostly without the ideas to make it work.

The album starts out excellently though. A Morning Excuse features a fine psych blues riff with low spoken word verses and a very Brian Ferry alike chorus. In fact, the whole song sounds very much like Roxy Music did in 1973. Fly United is an acid folk rock tune. Nothing spectacular but just fine. Jalousie is a very smoky balled with a delicate and very high-pitched vocal from Renate Kaupf. She sounds almost like Kate Bush here. Im Krater concludes the best part of the album with a relaxed instrumental that could have been from Hawkwind. On Mozambique, Renate goes acid-prog-folk again, not a bad tune but it's the last song from the album that speaks to me. Not that the remainder is bad but I'd rather recommend it to fans of Bowie, Eno and Rob Calvert.

After the strong first four songs the album quickly runs out of ideas and the remaining material is of less interest to me as it belongs more to the 70s art-rock school of which I've never been the biggest fan. With around 15 minutes of fresh ideas this is an average effort from a band in decline. 2.5 stars.

Review by Warthur
3 stars Amon Duul II's increasing tendency towards (mildly) less complex and more commercial psychedelic tunes, as witnessed following the triumph of Tanz der Lemminge, is in full effect on this album. Although it does have a few undeniably diverting tracks - Mozambique is a terrifying psyche-folk thrill-ride, and Renate Knaup-Kroetenschwanz's vocals on Jalousie seem uncannily like early Kate Bush at points. But the improvisation that characterised the group's earlier albums has more or less departed, and with it the sense of fun, and it hasn't been replaced with anything compelling enough to make this album a serious challenger to the likes of Yeti or Phallus Dei.
Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars While AMON DUUL II are my favourite Krautrock band I must admit i've avoided this album like the plague and pretty much all the other albums that followed this one. The reason being that of their first five studio albums "Wolf City" is my least favourite simply because they became more conventional with the song structures. I still love that album but had heard over and over again that "Vive La Trance" was a poor man's "Wolf City". Well I finally took the plunge and while there is lots on here I quite enjoy, the fact is that for my tastes this is an album that seems watered down. Even the pictures of the band in the liner notes look like they are taking orders on how to be mainstream with all the smiles and preppy clothes (I have the "Revisited" release with bonus tracks from 2007). So yes this is a little tough to swallow since it was originally released in 1973. Like I said though there is lots to like.

"A Morning Excuse" is certainly one of those songs i enjoy with the relaxed intro that is joined by almost spoken male vocals. It turns more intense with violin then settles back as themes are repeated.

"Fly United" is also laid back as the vocals join in. Piano and sax after 1 1/2 minutes during this instrumental section. Guitar comes in as it picks up. Nice. "Jalousie" simply doesn't work for me on any level and especially Renate's high pitch vocals. "Im Krater Buhn..." is laid back with guitar along with background organ and some depth.It's spacey late.

"Mozambique" is a political track and a good one at that. A catchy rhythm with organ leads the way until it changes 1 1/2 minutes in and the vocals join in. Great sound. Renate sings with passion. "Apocalptic Bore" is spacey with spoken words. A light beat with male vocals takes over. Raw guitar before 2 1/2 minutes. Back to that relaxed sound then it slowly builds. Nice guitar solo before 6 minutes as well. "DR." sounds good when Renate comes in with that raw guitar before a minute. "Trap" has a really good intro then Renate comes in followed by organ and guitar. A good uptempo track. "Pig Man" was released as a single apparently. Not a fan at all. "Manana" is a nice vocal tune. "Ladies Mimikry" is good too.Violin 2 minutes in and sax later.

3.5 stars but if I could remove a couple of tunes i'd bump that up. I'll stick with "Live In London" and the first five studio albums thankyou !

Review by admireArt
2 stars Teenage lust and other apocalyptic boredom stories.

Never been a follower of any of the 3 AMON DÜÜLs indexed in PA's Krautrock sub-genre, I took a plunge into this release by the second reincarnation of this German band AMON DÜÜL II's "Vive La Trance",1974.

In some sense I expected something at least a little bit more ground breaking or at least daring in accordance of the genre and year of this release, but this just does not happen at all.

Closer in spirit to Krautrock are its playfulness and irreverence. Music wise it sounds like an attempt to go mainstream and its possible experimentations and use of contemporary influences (Roxy Music included), are limited or hidden in favor of their market wise ambitions, which are mostly balanced towards the electric guitar HENDRIX like soloings or the focus on the songwriting being radio air-waveable enough .

To cut it short, this is very average Rock n Roll with some quirky synths added up to decorate its songwriting limitations.

I will hardly think of this release as the best way to get aquainted with this band's second coming, therefore I can not rate it above the "uninteresting and kind of boring unless you are a fan" **2 PA stars mark.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Probably the best album of Amon Duul II with "Wolf City". Structurally speaking, this album is finally at the level of other english prog bands during the same time (73-75). The sound is finally clear, instruments are finally mastered by the musicians. Pretty much what Amon Dull II did before " ... (read more)

Report this review (#347661) | Posted by gdelappa | Wednesday, December 8, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Vve la trance is just like wolf city sounding,it starts with a morning excuse which is a good start to the album which i play twice it just could of been a minute longer i think,another song i like on this is apocaliptic bore where chris karrer sounds brilliant on this anmd the guitar is good s ... (read more)

Report this review (#204383) | Posted by davidsporle | Thursday, February 26, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I'll start by expressing my true affection for nearly everything Amon Duul II has released, regardless of the drastic change in style over the years. As far as Krautrock goes, they are a sadly overlooked band in the new millenia (at least in my musical circle). Vive la Trance is, to me, the most ... (read more)

Report this review (#197386) | Posted by Sgt. Smiles | Monday, January 5, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This has little to do with the lp side long psychedelic trips of earlier albums. This points towards a more song based aproach to their music. But that does not go in detriment of the overall quality of this offering which is excellent and still filled with 'prog' moments through out. You can st ... (read more)

Report this review (#78375) | Posted by | Tuesday, May 16, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars "Vive la trance" is a curious object, quite as Amon Duul II. In this year of 1974, the group turned definitively the back in the music Kraut to make an album very rock but always so progressive. The style is varied, with very exotic tones. It does not take itself too seriously, but I find it ... (read more)

Report this review (#45275) | Posted by miedj | Friday, September 2, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars As said in the CD release: "When German rock group Amon Düül II released their sixth album, VIVE LA TRANCE in September 1973, they had already passed the peak of their purely avant-garde phase". Altough all of the tracks on this album isn't progrock, definetively not Krautrock, it's still a very ... (read more)

Report this review (#35885) | Posted by Frasse | Thursday, June 9, 2005 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of AMON DÜÜL II "Vive La Trance"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.