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Birth Control

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Birth Control Operation album cover
3.67 | 160 ratings | 12 reviews | 22% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1971

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Stop little lady (7:16)
2. Just before the sun will rise (7:35)
3. The work is done (5:56)
4. Flesh and blood (3:27)
5. Pandemonium (6:34)
6. Let us do it now (11:09)

Total Time: 41:57

Bonus Tracks on 1997 reissue:
7. Hope (4:19)
8. Rollin' (3:54)
9. The Work Is Done (4:00)
10. What's Your Name (3:35)
11. Believe in the Pill (3:42)

Line-up / Musicians

- Bruno Frenzel / guitar, vocals
- Reinhold Sobotta / organ
- Bernd Koschmidder / bass
- Bernd Noske / drums, vocals

Releases information

Artwork: Heinz Dofflein

LP Ohr ‎- OMM 56.015 (1971, Germany)
LP Ohr Today ‎- OHR 556015-1 (2008, Germany)

CD Ohr ‎- OHRCD 556015 (1992, Germany)
CD Repertoire Records ‎- PMS 7072-WY (1997, Germany) With 5 bonus tracks, all Single versions from 1970-1972

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy BIRTH CONTROL Operation Music

BIRTH CONTROL Operation ratings distribution

(160 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(54%)
Good, but non-essential (19%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

BIRTH CONTROL Operation reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars My fave from them. More of a Deep Purple vein hard-rock , a very pleasant listen but with very tasteless but sometimes funny sleeves. If you could draw a straight line between DP In Rock and the first album of Wallenstein called Blitzkrieg, one could place this one exactly in the middle.
Review by loserboy
4 stars "Operation" was BIRTH CONTROL's 2nd album and continued with their pattented hard-rock acid based style not unlike that of DEEP PURPLE. Musically, BIRTH CONTROL blend heavy guitar with heavy organ twirls, not unlike early SPOOKY TOOTH in many ways as well. Band lineup included Bernd "Nossi" Noske (drums, vocals) Bernd Koschmidder (bass) Bruno Frenzel (guitar, vocals) and Wolfgang Neuser (keyboards). Songs are genereally pretty heavy with songs like the harder edged anti-Vietnam war song "The Work is done". The second track "Just Beofre The Sun Will Rise" and the last track "Let Us Do It Now" are actually quite symphonic and show why BIRTH CONTROL were leaning in a more progressive vein than others at the time. A great album for sure and one of those albums with nice deep organ and some thundering rhythm.
Review by Progbear
3 stars The first in what would be many, many changes on the organist's stool announced OPERATION's arrival. Hartmut Scheulgens takes over on organ (the album does NOT feature Reinhold Sobotta!) and the band leave the 60's psychedelia in the dust, opting for a (for 1971) modern hard rock sound inspired (obviously) by Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple. As with most early BC albums, there's little here that's particularly "progressive", apart from your usual early 70's classical flirtation (i.e.: the orchestration on "Let Us Do It Now"), as well as the extended jamming that was so in fashion at the time.

As usual, Bernd Noske blows any and all competition away when it comes to hard rock vocalizing. Too bad so few followed his example, opting for the annoying "screech and strain" mould instead. The songs are all resonably strong, but only the anti-war anthem "The Work Is Done" had much of a life beyond this album, becoming a fixture of their live act.

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Operation" was the second album of BIRTH CONTROL, issued in 1971 and is much better work than their debut. The sound is typical of the early 1970s progressive scene, "heavy rock" with long solos by Hammond organ and guitar. VANILLA FUDGE meets DEEP PURPLE. This is the beginning of their more elaborate works and it is evident in closing "Let Us Do It Now", one of their best compositions. It includes orchestral arrangements, brass and hints of "classical" influences. Another highlight is "The Work Is Done", an anti-Vietnam war anthem and powerful heavy prog artillery. This is my fav album of BIRTH CONTROL and I can recommend it to all.
Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars No major changes in their musical style between their debut and this "Operation". Their anti-clerical opinions shone again. Not only the name of the band is deeply inspired, but the sleeve design for this album is pretty much daring for the era (1971). Bravo. I fully share their views and opinions.

Heavy psychedelia like in the good old days. Same comments as for their debut : the Purple influence sits everywhere, but the most noticeably is the organ play. During the energetic "Stop Little Lady" it seems that Reinjhold Sobotta went to some private lessons to Jon Lord's classes (he will leave the band after this recording; Sobottta, I mean). A very good opening.

The rhythm keeps all its frenzy with the great "Just Before The Sun Will Rise". This time, the guitar is even noticeable, but the highlight is of course the extraordinary keyboard play. I mentioned this already in my previous review for "Birth Control", but if you ever have dreamed to listen to a cloning of Lord and Hensley, do listen to this band. It is amazing, even if not fully original.

The band could hardly keep on the same great mood (otherwise this album would have been a masterpiece). "The work is done" and "Flesh and blood" do keep on with the psyche influences but aren't really catchy. Impossible to call them fillers, but they are shy when compared to both opening songs.

The band gets back into better territories with "Pandemonium". Organ play is HUGE. Really on par with the greatest ones. The only problem for this piece is probably the song writing, because the efficiency of the band is never to be criticized.

The closing and longest number "Let Us Do It Now" (one can hardly be more specific) of this album is not really deliver the expectations. The orchestrations are of course a strong minus as far as I am concerned. Totally irrelevant as far as I'm concerned. While I could wonderfully cope with ELO, I believe that a band like "Birth Control" shouldn't cope with this.

Nevertheless, Operation is a good album. Full of great psychedelia.

I strongly advise you to investigate with this band if the typical sound of the late sixties / early seventies doesn't provoke some pimples on your face (or elsewhere).

Three stars.

Review by stefro
4 stars Often bracketed within the paradigms of Krautrock but actually much more of a progressive rock outfit than anything else, Germany's Birth Control enjoyed a prolific period of activity during the 1970's after the release of their conservative-baiting self-titled debut from 1970, a deliberately controversial album whose sleeve design featured a large picture of an oral contraceptive pill. Designed as a deliberate backlash to the recent statement by the then pope Paul VI, who claimed that any kind of contraceptive was evil and immoral, Birth Control were staying true to their counter-culture origins, as each member had previously been part of various radical groups during their student days, a factor which bled into their musical ideas and informed the early part of their careers with great success. Although the first album featured a more gritty, psychedelic bent, it would be their defining second release, the excellent 'Operation', that would grant the group the public exposure and critical kudos needed to really kick-start their careers, not only in their native Germany, but throughout Central Europe as well. Again, at the group's behest, the cover art proved divisive, as the four-piece had opted for a rather gruesome image of a giant cartoon cockroach feasting on helpless - and almost naked - little babies(!), and again West Germany's conservative and religious right howled out loud in derision(some music shops even banned the LP!) However, as in many cases past and present, all the controversy actually did was stir up more media interest in the group than their detractors wanted, and 'Operation' eventually proved a modest success throughout central Europe. Featuring Bruno Frenzel(guitar, vocals), Bernd Koschmidder(bass), Bernd Noske(drums) and Reinjhold Sobotta(organ), 'Operation' showed a real musical transition from the group's rough-hewn debut. Album number two proved to be smarter, tougher and much more musically-complex, with carefully-crafted composition's such as the fiery 'Stop Little Lady' and the genuinely-catchy 'Flesh & Blood' opening up a new phase in Birth Control's evolution. As a group whose line-up would, over the years, consistently chop and change, it is remarkable how much the Berlin band's sound developed throughout the mid-seventies. 'Operation', with it's evil-sounding organ breaks, wiry guitars and intricate progressive passages, showcased a dextrous band playing without constrictions in a deliciously free- form rock style. Follow-up albums, such as the superior and cleaner-sounding 'Hoodoo Man' and the impressive concert album 'Live', would again take the Birth Control ethic even further in symphonic prog territory, with meaty guitars and frenzied keyboards adding new layers to the groups ever-developing sound without compromising their initial ideals. It is on 'Operation', though, where Birth Control would really create their first genuinely- exciting pieces of music, combining elements of cosmic Krautrock with bits and pieces of wildly explorative progressive ingredients to create a darkly-brewed concoction of metallic German rock that stands up as one of their finest albums to date. As the decade continued the line-up would again change, with the 'Operation' line-up eventually fragmenting and the band turning towards a more commercially-orientated sound as the 1980's loomed. Despite this, however, Birth Control will always be remembered for a clutch of brave, taboo- busting albums that dared to challenge the status quo through the judicious - and highly- original - use of ball-breakingly heavy, experimental kraut-prog. They really don't make 'em like this anymore. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2011
Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars BIRTH CONTROL were all about creating controversy and drawing attention to themselves back in the early seventies and they did a great job at both. This is their second album which is similar in style to the debut. Fairly straight-forward rocking music really that has a commercial flavour.

"Stop Little Lady" sounds like a single with that chorus and overall catchy sound. Drums and organ are prominant but the vocals lead the way. A raw guitar solo comes in after 2 1/2 minutes and the organ rips it up 4 minutes in. "Just Before The Sun Will Rise" is uptempo with organ as vocals arrive before a minute. Another good song with a guitar solo before 3 minutes. "The Work Is Done" has female backing vocals on the chorus and is also catchy.

"Flesh And Blood" is a good driving tune while "Pandemonium" continues the toe tapping heavy brand of music. I like the drumming on this one and the heavy guitar too. "Let Us Do It Now" is the closer and the longest track at over 11 minutes. Honestly I think the only time I made it through this song was my first listen. Piano only to start that I don't like at all. Then we get vocals before 3 minutes which are reserved and they only make things worse. Strings 4 minutes in then a beat as the vocals and piano continue. Now i'm shutting it off.

A good album overall but it doesn't measure up to later albums like "Backdoor Possibilities" or "Plastic People". 3 stars.

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Although my first Birth Control album was the later proggy `Backdoor Possibilities', I initially fell in love with the band for their initial proto-prog works. I'm a total sucker for all those Hammond- drenched hard rock albums by bands that would later embrace their prog curiosities, so those early albums by Grobschnitt, Beggers Opera, Atomic Rooster and others - load me up! `Operation' by Birth Control sits alongside those sort of LP's, so we're talking melodic accessible rock with lengthy stretches of instrumental workouts and group jamming usually in the middle of each track. The 6 pieces here also frequently incorporate hard R&B, pop/rockers and even a bit classical grandiosity right at the end.

`Stop Little Lady' is such a classic opener, a stomping and relentless Deep Purple-like rocker that balances a memorable melody and chorus with extended jamming. The verses have a spacey keyboard shimmer that always reminds me of those early Eloy albums, and the insanely catchy chorus sung with manic power by the always charismatic Bernd Noske will be stuck in your head for days! I completely lose my mind during the uptempo instrumental electric piano and searing organ run over scratchy grooving electric guitars in the middle too! `Just Before The Sun Will Rise' has a Genesis-like organ drive throughout backed up by a very propulsive beat, Bernd's bellowing in fine throat-shredding form and there's plenty of dangerous acid-rock guitaring and glistening Hammond too. `The Work Is Done' is almost as good as the opener, a 60's inspired darkly grooving R&B rocker with a female chorus and a thoughtful lyric.

If a little less chugging and heavy, side B's `Flesh and Blood' wouldn't have sounded out of place on a Beggars Opera album, it's a shorter hip-swivelling pop/rocker that's also gently psychedelic. `Pandemonium' is a heavy slab of intimidating plodding rock for the howling vocal sections and prickly unhinged delirious instrumental outbursts for the rest, especially the Hammond plastered over every damn inch of it. Then questionable closer `Let Us Do It Now' takes a left turn and adds some unexpected classical grandeur, bordering on cinematic sophistication. There's constant reflective heartfelt piano throughout, gentle orchestratations and horns to carry the drama, and a restrained and purring crooned vocal from Bernd too. It's not a total success, but I think it just stands out more because it sounds like nothing else on the rest of the disk rather than being no good. For a heavy rock band, there's is no doubt it's very ambitious and surely a sign of the progressive rock leanings they would later take.

Housed in a baffling and attention-getting offensive cover, `Operation' is scorching hot to me. Sure, in many ways, most of the tracks have the same structure (verse, chorus, big instrumental jam, back to verse, chorus), and even the following album `Hoodoo Man' would start seeing them becoming more adventurous and interesting to prog listeners. But I guess I just love the slightly rough sound, and to my ears these kind of riff and burning Hammond-heavy foot-tappers are sweaty, dangerous and damn sexy - even if the final track makes you dress up in your Sunday best and waltz with your lady across the dancefloor instead!

Four stars.

Review by Warthur
2 stars A rough take on the bluesy hard prog that Birth Control would refine further on the subsequent Hoodoo Man - it even shares that album's style in grotesque cover art. Here, however, I feel like Birth Control's sound hasn't yet come together. Reinjhold Sobotta is OK on keyboards, but I feel like Wolfgang Neuser's performance on Hoodoo Man is superior - in fact, it was rather key to my enjoyment of that album, and I'm really feeling his absence here. This is OK if you really like the early Uriah Heep and Deep Purple style, but even then I'm not sure why you would put this album on if you had the better releases by those bands (or Hoodoo Man) to hand.

Latest members reviews

4 stars From the first sounds of Stop Little Lady I knew it would be something exciting. Birth Control on Operation mix hard rock with amazing sound of hammond organ. Some say it's nothing new cos Deep Purple were doing the same. Ok but if you find me on DP albums such great song like Just Before The ... (read more)

Report this review (#214925) | Posted by LSDisease | Monday, May 11, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Of the 2 Birth Control albums I own this is far and away my favourite. The songs are hard hitting and in your face. The organ sound reminds me at times of other bands as diverse as the Doors & Uriah Heep. Suprisingly too Bruno Frenzel doesn't have the obvious European singing English sound so ... (read more)

Report this review (#100466) | Posted by laghtnans | Sunday, November 26, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars One thing, first of all: where did they find the sleeve designer of their records? A good band and a good record for sure, but I expected a more progressive vein. I found instead listenable hard rock. Anyway, if you can't get enough of that '70 sound this could be a good purchase for you, but be war ... (read more)

Report this review (#28896) | Posted by | Sunday, March 14, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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