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Guru Guru


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Guru Guru Guru Guru album cover
2.93 | 60 ratings | 8 reviews | 10% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1973

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Samantha's Rabbit (3:02)
2. Medley (13:30) :
- a) Rocken Mit Eduard
- b) Something Else
- c) Weekend
- d) Twenty Flight Rock
3. Woman Drum (4:02)
4. Der Elektrolurch (9:48)
5. The Story of Life (12:08)

Total Time: 42:30

Line-up / Musicians

- Ax Genrich / guitar, vocals
- Bruno Schaab / bass, vocals
- Mani Neumeier / drums, percussion, vocals

Releases information

Artwork: Sharon

LP Brain ‎- brain 1025 (1973, Germany)

CD Repertoire Records ‎- PMS 7056-WP (1997, Germany)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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GURU GURU Guru Guru ratings distribution

(60 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(10%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(25%)
Good, but non-essential (41%)
Collectors/fans only (22%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

GURU GURU Guru Guru reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by hdfisch
3 stars This self-titled album was in fact a very mediocre one by them. I read somewhere else that they've had only a trio line-up here consisting of Mani Neumeier (Percussion, Drums, Keyboards, Vocals), Ax Genrich (Guitar, Vocals) and Bruno Schaab ( Bass, Vocals). So without the keyboarder Conrad Plank listed here, not sure which one is correct, but actually the trio one would fit to the overall sound of the album.

Side one is mainly occupied by a 13 min.+ medley of various rock'n'roll standards probably be meant as a kind of parody which didn't work well unfortunately since they were playing those with very little change of the original versions, apart of a more hardrock vein. This one is framed by two short songs mixing rock'n'roll and mersey beat with a touch of psychedelic and GURU GURU-typical Krautrock style.

It's becoming somewhat better on side two starting with their probably most famous song Der Elektrolurch which means something like "electric frog" and has quite funny nonsensable lyrics, which I won't translate here in detail since they are really not essential. This one is a quite nice and typical one by them reflecting very well their spacey and comedian character. The album finishes with The Story of Life in a rather quiet and psychedelic/spacey mood with a slight floydian touch at times and some strange vocals.

I'm scared to call this album an essential one by them, maybe only for die-hard Krautrock fans. Certainly not a good starting point if you don't know anything from them. As far as I can tell their albums are all a bit different from each other with changing line-ups. My favorite one is the Live album from 78 showing an excellent compilations of their best tracks with great musicianship. I read as well that Dance Of The Flames is a very good jazz- fusion album but since I don't own that one I cannot confirm. Anyway this one here I cannot rate higher than 3 stars!

Review by Certif1ed
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars Diabolica in Musica

"GURU GURU were one of the wildest and most imaginative bands to emerge from the 1970`s Krautrock scene and gave definition to the term."

Not if you listen to this album from 1973 they weren't and didn't...

Fans of Krautrock or those curious to the genre are well advised to look elsewhere, as this offering from Guru Guru is neither wild nor imaginative, and certainly does not define Krautrock. If you want something that better fits this description, I would suggest Amon Duul II's "Phallus Dei".

"Samantha's Rabbit" comes across as a kind of heavy version of something from the "Piper At The Gates of Dawn" outtakes - something that PF might have considered but objected outright.

The Rocking Medley that follows smacks heavily of Spinal Tap - kind of progressive Rock and Roll, beginning with quotes from "Shaking All Over", then a high-adrenaline journey through rock and roll standards that wouldn't be out of place on a Ten Years After album with two major drawbacks; the absence of the brothers Lee. The upshot of this is that the drumming is uninspired and the guitar playing overly meandering, the whole descending into a somewhat lame wannabe Led Zep jam.

The production is great, so the bass particularly shines through nicely, the guitars have a good tone and the percussion is crisp... but it's all too crisp for real rock'n'roll - not nearly dirty enough. When it drops into Eddie Cochran's classic "Something Else", it's frankly embarrassing... and doesn't get better.

"Woman Drum" begins with something approaching the riff from "Sunshine of Your Love", then goes back into the rock'n'roll inspired sound... quite nasty really.

"Der Elektrolurch" begins promisingly enough and is closer to what I would expect from Krautrock - but it's taken an entire side to get here, so I'm not feeling generous. It soon becomes clear that we're back in jam territory again, but at least the rock'n'roll train wreck has been left behind. We move on a decade into something that could easily have come from a number of 1960's garage bands, with hints of popular R&B bands of the early 1960s. We finally kick into something interesting around 3:40 - but absolutely no fireworks and nothing "wild" or "imaginative" until around 5 minutes. Now we're starting to cook... but then the ideas run out and Guru Guru search for inspiration in "Astronomy Domine". Inspiration is not forthcoming, however...

"The Story Of Life" closes the album somewhat insipidly, but with more imagination than anything that has preceeded it. The sudden turn to something approaching fusion around 3:00 is nice, and demonstrates a good handle on the heavy "swing" jazz style it settles into, but GG get bored of it and fade into something approaching the "floating" section of "Echoes". Really, if you're going to plunder someone's style, you could at least do them the courtesy of acknowledging it on the album, or assimilating the style rather than lifting the music almost verbatim. When GG attempt to expand on this, it fails miserably and faffs around improvisationally for a while trying to find its feet. "Echoes" is plundered some more, and GG drag it out to reach the 12:06 mark...

Although there are a few "moments", Guru Guru is tedious and uninspired in general - and only worth the money if you simply must have everything by Guru Guru or are an avid Krautrock collector.

Avoid, or listen once if you don't believe me! There are plenty of great Krautrock albums out there and this is not one of them.

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I have never thought progressive rock'n roll could be possible, until i heard this album. Actually, it is a mix of slightly bluesy progressive rock'n roll with krautrock elements: both are clearly distinct. The musicians put together many catchy inspirations from miscellaneous popular rock'n roll bands of the 60's & early 70's, like The Yardbirds, a less hard rock Jimi Hendrix, Bo Diddley, and even Elvis Presley himself! The result is quite interesting, since the matching is really succeeded and the airs are often changing in an elegant, accessible and pleasant manner. The well played electric guitar sound is pretty sharp for the year, and the solos are quite down to earth, while not being minimalist. The drums are quite elaborated, and they sometimes fall into an experimental krautrock style a la Can. The lead singer has a typical rock'n roll voice, with a slightly marginal touch. The credits mention the presence of keyboards, but it really sounds like there are no keyboards on this record. Unfortunately, the 2 last tracks "Der elektrolurch" and "The story of life" contain disappointing krautrock elements: the first 4 minutes of "Der elektrolurch" is an interesting part of sophisticated bluesy rock'n roll, but the mid part is just a boring manifestation of the dull krautrock style: insignificant guitar sounds and vocals effects. However, the last couples of minutes come back with a more accessible part, slightly reminding Billy Idol's early stuff, at least the Steve Stevens' style on the electric guitars. "The story of life" is really more mellow and less rhythmic: the krautrock style emanates from it, in a bearable way, at least much more than their cousins Can. Since the krautrock parts on this record are less dominant than the progressive rock'n roll ones, I can still rate it high enough to give 4 stars.
Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The fourth studio album of GURU GURU, with the same title, is much weaker than its predecessor. With new bassist Schaab, they tried to offer a satiric take on rock'n'roll standards, but this extended medley is simply boring and hard to sit through. Entire first side of vinyl is actually quite bad and not original at all. On the other hand, the second side contains two excellent tracks. "Der Elektrolurch" with the opening glissando guitars is perhaps the most famous GURU GURU track, while "The Story of Life" is a wonderful spacey psychedelic work with a short showcase of the band's jazz-rock abilities. Too bad the entire album was not conceived on the latter foundations. Overall this is for 3 stars.
Review by Sean Trane
2 stars Retrospectively with Trepte's departure it is now certain that Guru Guru suffered their biggest musical trauma as the group is now settling down into RnR "normality". Replaced by Schaab, Trepte's absence is cruelly felt, as the group is not really being very experimental, contenting themselves of some "basic" rock tunes. The artwork of the sleeve represent an ethnic tapestry detail, being lost somewhere on this planet, but not being able to find its way.

A bit basic RnR as I said so earlier, but deceptively so because there is a Zappa-esque spirit present (will be there for decades to come) and it is not that basic. After the short Samantha's Rabbit (a short RnR), the group enters a Bo-Diddley-like very indulgent jam, but really this is more than boring for the demanding proghead. Woman Drum is again a basic RnR track.

The flipside has the merit of introducing the first version of Der Elektrolucht: there will be many, many more, but this studio version is obviously still in its infancy stage and it takes a while getting to the heart of the song. Easily this album's highlight, it has a lengthy intro that is never played anymore. The last track is the 12-min Story Of Life, doen't offer anyore thab chaos, but this time it lacks any kind of quality. Messy!!

For whatever extra effort the double Guru gives to entertain you, it is a bit of a failure, because the strangeness works sometimes, but the humour doesn't often, either. After this album Schaab will leave calmly as obviously it was not easy to fill Trepte's shoes. Hardly essential, this album could also be easily avoided if the flipside was not saving it from total failure.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The fourth Guru Guru album is hardly their best, there still is some tripping quality but the abundance of rockabilly quotes and silliness can't hide that the strong string of albums released by this band had come to an end.

The first half of the album consists of light rockabilly influenced jams that are fun for once but hardly deserving of a second glance. On Samantha's Rabbit the vocals add a bit of a Canterbury flavor, which works out quite nicely. The 13 minute rockabilly medley that follows only manages to get on my nerves. Also Woman Drum is a goofy rock pastiche.

Fast forward to the second half of the album which shows the band still had some creative juice in the tank. The songs show the band in a brave attempt to combine their trippy qualities with jazzy flavors and spacey experimentation. Both deserve their spot on any Guru Guru compilation. Of course these guys can't contain their 'sense of humor', so also Der Elektrolurch gets its share. But within such a good piece of music it kind of works. The Story of Life also has a bit of everything, dreamy psych pop, parody and a near 10 minutes of pure cosmic bliss.

A mixed bag but one with enough goodies inside to warrant 3 stars.

Review by Tom Ozric
4 stars GURU GURU are a band I've now adored for many years. This was my first purchase of theirs, and darn it, it ROCKS. It rocks in a fun way, practically more so than a 'Zappa fun' way. Truly, IT ROCKS !!!! Side 1 of the record is a blatant nod towards, heck, I don't even know - now, forgive me for my insolence, 50's Rockabilly dudes like Eddie Cochran and the like - all that 'Splish Splash I was Takin' a bath' type stuff. Man, what these Krautrockers have somehow mangled into something that I thoroughly enjoy is totally amazing !!!!! SAMANTHA'S RABBIT is a fun tune with such amusing riffs and structure it cracks me up. It must be their choice of quirky progressions and humourous lyrics that do it. You can definately hear profound musicality and tightness that drives their inspiration here. The 13-and-a-half minute Rock 'n' Roll medley is some of the best fun you can have with your clothes on !! It kicks off with riffs from 'Shakin' All Over' - and morphs into some real adventurous R&R moves that chop and change all the time. What I can say here is that the new bassist Bruno Schaab is solid as ever whilst Mani is extremely inventive with his drumming and guitarist Ax Genrich offers up some blisteringly effervescent lead-guitaring. The highlight of this piece is when Ax and Mani trade a call-and-response series of licks and rolls between them, which is well done and imaginative (at least to this listener) and never ceases to amaze. 'Woman Drum' is similar to the first tune, and is also pretty cool. Side two of the record features 2 lengthy pieces of the ilk that many have come to expect from this troupe of German artistic musicians - the infamous live favourite 'Der Elektrolurch', which on this album is a medley of 'trippy' ideas which are very colourful, but somewhat haphazard compared to the compositions that appeared on the previous KANGURU album - the parts just don't flow/segue together as smoothly, and 'The Story Of Life', which is almost as good, but not as strong as their definitive Krautwerks before. My incessant recommendation is that - forget the R&R fundamentals of this release and enjoy it for what it is - primo Krautrock !! Please try - 4 stars for my tastes.

Latest members reviews

2 stars Now I get the reference to the good old Bo Diddley on one of their previous albums. While that album only included one reference to this late rock'n'roll and genre defining US rocker, this album (Guru Guru) is full of these references. A lot of the music here is not much different from what Bo ... (read more)

Report this review (#617890) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Tuesday, January 24, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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