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SMILE A WHILE

Brainstorm

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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Brainstorm Smile A While  album cover
3.61 | 40 ratings | 10 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1972

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Das Schwein Truegt (4:40)
2. Zwick Zwick (4:40)
3. Watch Time Flow By (1:29)
4. Bosco Biati WeiB Alles (8:59)
5. Snakeskin Tango (2:20)
6. Smile A While (15:34)
7. You Are What's Gonna Make It Last (live) (3:31)
8. Don't Forget (live) (0:25)
9. Thesen & Antithesen (live) (14:01)
10. Einzug Der Elefanten (4:09)
11. You Knock Me Out (3:03)

Total Time: 60:24

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Eddy van Overheidt / keyboards, vocals
- Rainer Bodensohn / flutes, bass
- Roland Schaffer / saxes, clarinet, bass, guitars
- Joe Koinzer / drums
- Harold Wagner / bass on 7, 8 and 9

Releases information

LP Spiegelei 28505 (1972)

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Buy BRAINSTORM Smile A While Music


Smile a WhileSmile a While
Import
Lion Productions 2009
Audio CD$18.25
$12.87 (used)
Smile a While by Brainstorm (2009-12-01)Smile a While by Brainstorm (2009-12-01)
Lion Productions
Audio CD$51.42

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BRAINSTORM Smile A While ratings distribution


3.61
(40 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
15%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(45%)
45%
Good, but non-essential (35%)
35%
Collectors/fans only (5%)
5%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

BRAINSTORM Smile A While reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by loserboy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars BRAINSTORM were a German Canterbury band... that's right kids... a German Canterbury band offering very complex songs dripping with fusion flute and saxophones performances. I would not recommend this album to anyone who does not love fusion as this album is pretty heavy in its core fusion delivery. BRAINSTORM take dimensions of SOFT MACHINE and whip in elements of CARAVAN, John COLTRANE and NATIONAL HEALTH. "Smile A While" was their first release under the name of BRAINSTORM but they were originally know as "Fashion Pink". This album is full of dynamic and inventive jazz influenced progressive rock and membership in the band includes the zainy GURU GURU band Member Roland Schaeffer.
Review by ClemofNazareth
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk Researcher
2 stars This has been featured on a number of ‘worst album cover’ lists over the years, and you can certainly see why. At least The Mothers of Invention had the decency to mostly cover themselves and restrict their photo to the chest up when they had a similar cover. I wonder if this is where the Go-Gos got the idea for their first album cover? One of these guys ended up in Guru Guru, another band known for tasteless album covers, which is not surprising I suppose.

The music is Canterbury, or at least it is as near as I can tell. Sort of a slightly-mad fusion kind of thing going on, which is largely how I hear Canterbury, so I suppose that fits. The musicians seem to have a sort of self-deprecating sense of humor, so I’ll give them credit for that.

According to the band’s notes they were previously known as Fashion Floyd as a sort of sick tribute to Pink Floyd, but changed their names, probably to avoid confusion (not!).

Nothing really to get excited about for the most part. “Bosco Biati WeiB Alles” features a drum solo, which is pretty weird for a fusion album. And the opening of “Snakeskin Tango” sounds like a singer whose crotch is caught in the mic stand grip. There are also a few live tracks which are comparatively more straightforward upbeat jazz with some pretty decent guitar work and a lot more vocals in a rather funky vein.

But overall this is clearly something that hasn’t held up well over time, and is probably best relegated to the collections of fans of the band (if there are any). And yes – I’ll admit I was only interested in this album to hear what kind of music would be covered by such a gaudy picture. Can’t say I’m overly surprised. Two stars.

peace

Review by BaldFriede
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Brainstorm were a German band that played fusion with a sense of humour. This can clearly be heard on this album. They certainly did not take themselves too seriously. While I would not say these guys defined the genre in any new way, one has to keep in mind that it was still a pretty young genre back then. I personally like their second album better than their first; my favourites are Bosco Biati Weiss Alles and the Snakeskin Tango, which has some outrageous vocals at the beginning. The cover is simply hilarious; I don't know about the CD version, but the vinyl version had a lot more photos of them in their costumes on the backside, in which they sometimes assume ridiculous poses. 3.5 stars for this album; since I have the feeling this album has been done some injustice I will round it up to 4.
Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Errors and Omissions Team
3 stars OK, cover of this album is absolutely terrible, we all can agree on this simple fact. But we don't listen prog because of image, right ? And about music, I can say that it's standard prog jazz (or Canterbury if you want), nothing special. With few nasty surprises, Zappa-like (supposed to be like) features and shouts of craziness., but done in a way that I can't admire so much. I wanted, but for that, this music would have to be more deep and interesting, so far, it's just randomly (so even it's not predictable, it's still plain) changing styles.

3(-), no, this is not the way how it should be done.

Review by Dobermensch
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Blooarrghh!

I'm sorry, that was me being sick all over my Mac after looking at the front cover. What on earth were they thinking on??!! Easily the worst record sleeve in the history of music. I mean, for crying out loud, what they're wearing is what I found in my mums washing basket when I was 10 years old. Gross... simply foul.

Luckily for Brainstorm, the music is far,far better, otherwise I'd be running after them with a Panzerfaust. In a funny way it reminds me of 'The Two Ronnies' (which, for Europeans - was a hilarious British TV comedy duo from the mid 70''s). Jazzy Krautrock is the order of the day, but it's played brilliantly. Such a shame. One of the finest Kraut Albums I've heard - yet annihilated by the sleeve.

Every time I look at this album I feel like throwing it in the bin - then when I listen to it - it turns out to be great.

What was a definite 4 star has been downgraded to 3 simply because of the abysmal cover. I mean - can you imagine showing this to your friends?

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I consider BRAINSTORM and EIDER STELLAIRE as my two biggest discoveries of 2011. I must admit that I wasn't expecting much when I purchased BRAINSTORM's two studio albums mainly because of the low ratings on this site, which by the way leave me somewhat baffled. They were a German Jazz / Fusion band who began as FASHION PINK before changing their name to BRAINSTORM. It was a fairly new concept back then this idea of businessmen brainstorming ideas and they liked the meaning of that name in relation to their music. These guys were all virtuosos, playing the most complex passages with ease. It was when they were called FASHION PINK that the guys discovered the music of SOFT MACHINE, Frank Zappa, CARAVAN and the like and so they started to make more complex music. The keyboardist especially liked the sound of Mike Ratledge and Dave Stewart's distorted keyboards and promptly did the same with his.They also used echo effects and decided that what little vocals they did use would be in English. Now the album cover is controversial no doubt about it. It's one thing to dress-up like women ala Frank Zappa and MAX WEBSTER album covers both of which are hilarious, but to dress-up in women's undergarments ? I should mention that Roland the sax player would go on to play with both GURU GURU and EMBRYO.

"Das Schwein Trugt" hits the ground running and you gotta love the distortion. It settles before 1 1/2 minutes as the sax solos tastefully. It kicks back in at 3 1/2 minutes as we get some nasty organ that comes and goes. "Zwick Zwick" opens with the drums, flute and sax standing out. It's just a pleasure listening to each one of these guys play. The distorted organ after 3 minutes brings SOFT MACHINE to mind. "Watch Time Flow By" is a vocal track and he really sounds like his singing has been influenced by Robert Wyatt and Richard Sinclair. A beat with flute helps out. "Bosco Biati Weiss Alles" is Jazzy with prominant bass, sax, drums and more. A drum show 3 1/2 minutes in then some distorted organ 5 minutes in followed by a calm with vocal melodies. Nice. It kicks back in again as contrasts continue. We get an intense finish.

"Snakeship Tango" has some crazy sax then vocal expressions as a catchy soundscape takes over. "Smile A While" has these deep bass sounds with atmosphere to start. It picks up 1 1/2 minutes in and builds with the sax leading then flute. This is great ! Vocals 2 1/2 minutes in are brief then the flute leads again. More fuzz after 6 minutes. Nice. A calm before 8 1/2 minutes then the sax starts to lead. It settles with flute after 10 minutes and we get reserved vocals before 12 1/2 minutes in this laid back section. It kicks in again as he sings "Smile a while" and we get more fuzz late. Killer stuff. "You Are What's Gonna Make It Last" is catchy with vocals and some guitar too. I like it ! "Don't Forget" is the very short closing instrumental. I have to mention the first bonus track called "Thesen & Antithesen" because it sounds amazing and it goes on for 14 minutes.

A very solid 4 stars and one that SOFT MACHINE and MOVING GELATINE PLATES fans might want to check out. Enjoy the cover boys !

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
5 stars It was all the way back in the late 60s that the seeds of BRAINSTORM were planted in when four school buddies in Baden Baden, Germany discovered rock 'n' roll in the late 60s and soon they would form a band called Fashion Pink (after their psychedelic heroes Pink Floyd) where they would nurture all their musical fantasies. First they started out merely as a blues rock band but after future Guru Guru member Roland Schaffer decided to yield his guitar hero worship to indulge in the sax and clarinet, the band focused on a much more aggressive jazzy style of rock with bands like Soft Machine, The Mothers of Invention and Caravan as the main influences. The band also latched on to aspects of the burgeoning Krautrock scene in their native Germany and as a result managed to craft some extremely demanding and exquisitely designed jazz-fusion chops tinged with vestiges of 60s psychedelia lurking around unexpected corners between sizzling sax solos and flirtatious flute melodies.

While still Fashion Pink, the band gained popularity as a stellar live act but one fateful day the band was involved in a serious accident which left them injured and dismayed so of course they decided to change their name to Fashion Prick! With German labels sniffing out new talent the new name was deemed unacceptable when it was at last their turn for a record deal and the new name BRAINSTORM was quickly adopted before the release of their first album "SMILE A WHILE." This album has it all really. "SMILE A WHILE" is one of those rare releases that manages to successfully stew many ingredients into the cauldron and have the end result a musical delicacy that retains its tastiness decades after its release. While heavily inspired by the free jazz greats of the era such as John Coltrane and Pharaoh Sanders, the wild complex polyrhythms bring the top dogs of the jazz fusion era to mind and BRAINSTORM has been rightfully called the German equivalent of France's Moving Gelatine Plates. Add the passion of rock with Hendrix inspired blues rock and the Krautrock influences that incorporate ▄BER bizarre harmonics and you are in for some serious royal treatment with this one.

The sheer diversity of style is the album's strongest attribute with different styles of jazz intermingled with rock, blues and even tango! The Kraut elements are never far behind as slinking 60s organ runs collide with Soft Machine frenzied distorted sax runs and Hatfield and the North styled vocal jazz styles before the supergroup ever came to be (courtesy of Soft Machine no doubt.) The tracks also vary in length from the feisty barely over 2 minute "Snakeskin Tango" to the 15 and a half minute epic Krautjazz title track that goes through no less than six movements. "SMILE A WHILE" is a true gem for the audacious audiophile who loves a good musical workout. With adventurous tight groovy rhythms chock full with 5/8 and 7/8 timings and beyond, the jazzy prog fusion workouts are replete with unpredictable variations in dynamics, tempo and style. It simply amazes me that this brilliant gem from 1972 hasn't been more highly regarded. Yeah, it's the ghastly album cover is to blame i'm sure. Not only do the members don grandma's underwear with a rather bland blank background but the album is filled with other photo ops with the group posing in their ridiculous regalia. For sure i give the album cover artwork a dismal 1/2 star on the dismal scale of doom but the MUSIC is what counts and BRAINSTORM whipped up a veritable musical smorgasbord of rock and jazz fusion like no other. I'm amazed at how much i love this one and can't recommend it enough. Just close your eyes when you reach for it and pull it out of the packaging!

Latest members reviews

4 stars It is a real misfortune that bands like this had such a short life. It is true that this music is not for all ears, jazz rock fusion, very similar to the Soft Machine in the early 70's. One has to be trained in complex music to catch the delights of this album. The members are true musicians, impres ... (read more)

Report this review (#1632249) | Posted by poito | Saturday, October 15, 2016 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Brainstorm were one of the very first German jazz-rock bands i ever knew about-living in Canada, where the band is virtually unknown, having Smile A While was like connecting with a needle in a haystack. But, boy, do i feel lucky I stumbled across this brilliant gem.Though with one of the worst a ... (read more)

Report this review (#874226) | Posted by presdoug | Sunday, December 9, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Really a god job! I was searching for some recordings simillar to music that Soft Machine did in their "classic" years and that was IT. Simillar and still - very innovative. "Smile A While" (actually I did smiled after taking a quick glance on nic kitsch cover) starts with a nice blast of "Das ... (read more)

Report this review (#643011) | Posted by b-side | Wednesday, February 29, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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