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Faust Faust album cover
3.87 | 271 ratings | 27 reviews | 42% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1971

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Why don't you eat carrots (9:31)
2. Meadow Meal (7:30)
3. Miss Fortune (Live *) (13:54)

* Recorded at Wümme, September 21, 1971.

Total Time: 31:24

Line-up / Musicians

- Rudolf Sosna / guitar, keyboards, vocals (2)
- Joachim Irmler / organ
- Gunter Wüsthoff / synthesizer, saxophone
- Jean-Hervé Peron / bass, vocals (2,3)
- Arnulf Meifert / drums, vocals (3)
- Werner Diermeier / drums

- Florentine Papst / vocals (1)

Releases information

LP Polydor ‎- 2310 142 (1971, Germany)
LP Polydor ‎- 535 145-2 (2014, Europe) Remastered at Abbey Road Studios

CD Polydor ‎- POCP-2155 (1991, Japan)
CD ReR Megacorp ‎- ReR F6 (2000, UK) Remastered by Matt Murman

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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FAUST Faust ratings distribution

(271 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(42%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(30%)
Good, but non-essential (19%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

FAUST Faust reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars Well , the original Lp was certainly just that: Original. Not only was the disc in transparent Vinyl (!?!?!) but the sleeve it came in was a sort of X-ray of a hand . Not this sorry excuse of sleeve here above . You can actually have an idea of it by looking at acetate sleeve of the 2 on 1 Cd re-release of 2000 in the discography. As far as the music is concerned , if you are not familiar with the music from Faust , start with the following one called So Far, because you will be in a shock as this is barely listenable at first and it took me quite some time to come to term with this strange minimalist music full of bizarre electronics doodlings. Krautrock probably never got so experimental this going much farther than CAN or NEU!. This is not for the faint hearted or for the neo proghead just starting out.
Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Faust is arguably. arguably?. evidently and unabashedly!!. the most extravagant and multicolored band in the krautrock movement - as the band's biography liner notes for the ProgArchives clearly state, their music is not for the faint-hearted, and so any sympathetic reviewer could reasonably hesitate at giving a 5 (or even 4) star rating to any of their albums. But after the initial hesitation, the fact is that all of us, lovers of Faust music, cannot but admit publicly that their best recordings are essential (while remaining not totally recommendable) in any good prog collection. This is, precisely, the case of their amazing debut album, which serves, most of all, as a manifesto of distorted hard rock, uncompromising psychedelia, radical pastiche, Dadaist humor and electronic avant-garde in a very cohesive progressive amalgam. The fact is that this musical offering preserves its inner myriad of sonic contrasts in a unitary whole. While not having the finesse of Can's musicians nor portraying the raw energy of ART or Guru Guru, the truth is that Sosna, Irmler, Wüsthoff, Peron & Diermaier together make up a very tight ensemble. Each one of the three pieces in the album's repertoire comprises an open field for diversity - two of them are 8+ minute long and the other, 16+. 'Why Don't You Eat Carrots?' starts with brutal slide guitar layers upon which samplers of The Rolling Stones' 'satisfaction' and The Beatles' 'All You Need is Love' appear; then, a semi- chamber grand piano section is accompanied by the sound of an angry man giving orders in an almost Nazi way - go figure! The two main motifs that follow combine the dexterity of jazz-rock and the peculiar joy of circus fanfare, both of them seasoned by Zappaesque vocalizations and more slide guitar effects. I don't know how they managed to do it, but they did: this is an opus of musical aggression that bears no sign nor clear evidence of sheer aggressiveness. 'Meadow Meal' has two distinct parts: the first one is pure late 60s-early 70s psychedelia; the second one consists of eerie dual organ layers surrounded by the sound of rain. 'Miss Fortune' is the suite that fills the B- side of the vinyl edition, and it pretty much reiterates the band's penchant for complex psychedelic rock and unpredictable nonsense as exhibited in the previous two tracks. A specific note regarding this track: the acoustic guitar based coda bears a buoclic beuaty in its simplicity, but it is preveneted from becoming "romantic" by the presence of a double voiced soliloquy. If you're a listener whose aesthetic feel is in tune with Faust's demanding musical ideology, then this is a record that you will surely enjoy and may even find essential (as I personally do). This is also - together with the sophomore "So Far"' - the recommended hit-or-miss try for the listener regarding the music of Faust: either if you ultimately enjoy it or you do not, it is clear to me that your "Faust" (or "So Far") experience will necessarily define your future interest (or lack of) in exploring the band's catalogue further.
Review by con safo
4 stars An insane experience!

A truly original Krautrock album, Faust's first album is one of the most psychedelic and experimental albums ever released, the sounds this band creates are not of this world! Faust sufficiently blends groundbreaking electronic effects and 60's psychedelia into one insane combination. The album packaging was just as weird as the music, the vinyl being clear and a sleeve with an x-ray hand on it. Many bands were experimenting with electronic sounds at the time, but Faust took it farther than anyone else, elevating the traditional psych/hippie-folk song to insane new levels. It isn't exactly and easy listen, and is NOT for the faint of heart. The opening track, "Why don't you eat carrots" opens with heavily distorted slide guitar, dense sheets of fuzzy guitar swell until they are interrupted by some nice piano, but not for long. The song takes another sonic turn and we enter an eerie circus -like jam. The vocals in this one are quite weird, but then again, this is Faust! The music is soon overcome by intense electronic noodling, and what sounds like a conversation. The song ends with electronic experimentation, but the main musical motif returns throughout the chaos. "Meadow Meal" features some very odd vocals, the first part of the song being somewhat normal, some dissonant vocal melodies followed by a traditional psych jam. The second part of the track is sounds of a thunderstorm overheard, soon joined by atmospheric organ that brings the song to a dreamy close. The album ends with the 16-minute opus "Miss Fortune", which again combines the bands love for late 60's psychedelia, and complete insanity. The song opens with a very psychedelic jam, fuzzbox guitar and bizarre electronic noodling make up the first 5 minutes, until the song (in true Faust fashion) falls into utter madness. Unusual vocals accompanie a slow building instrumental, until it takes off in far-out splendor. The minimilast keys create an dense texture alongside odd electronic experimentation.

I wouldn't go as far as to recommend this to new prog fans, but for fans of the Krautrock genre, this can't be missed!


Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars This is another krautrock album. Krautrock is my least favorite progressive rock subgenre and this album still confirms it. The Faust album has VERY little interesting things to offer. On "Why don't you eat carrots", there are some dissonant RIO elements that make this track the best of the 3 ones; one can notice the psychedelic voice similar to the ones on Pink Floyd's "Fearless". Some relaxing piano parts having a very good sound really contrast with the overall gross sound & arrangements. There is a very intimate German conversation between a man & a woman. "Meadow meal" is VERY irritating and disoriented, with TONS of bizarre sounds: from the metal can hit with a spoon to the inoffensive electric guitar having a sound similar to a puff through a filiform leave that you place between your thumbs! The organ-like solo in the end is not bad. Finally, the last track, "Miss fortune", breaks the limits of what is bearable in terms of sounds, voices and effects: this track is VERY, VERY, VERY annoying and irritating: it consists in unprecedented cacophonic random arrangements that go nowhere: there are still the psychedelic voices a la Pink Floyd's "Fearless". I compared this record to the band Can: at least Can is more rhythmic and sustained. On the other hand, Faust are pretty similar to the 2 worst tracks of Can's Tago mago: "Aumgn" and "Peking O".
Review by Bj-1
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It's not easy to find out what this album is really about except for being one of the most bizarre recordings I've ever laid my ear on. After a listen to the ProgArchives sample of the opening cut I ordered this album thinking it would be interesting to hear the whole thing. After the first spin in my CD player (in the middle of the night, mind you) I was left completely puzzled and almost disturbed. It was unlike anything I've heard before it and it blew my mind both sonically and mentally. Very trippy, very psychedelic, very original and very, experimental!

The album is very dominated by electronic and percussive sound effects, used creatively throughout. The music is never predictable, but also suffers slightly from the use of the "cut'n'paiste" technique though it doesn't really matter here and while the whole album was recorder under heavily influence of pot and booze (it says so in the booklet!) the result is strange, but facinating and highly enjoyable in the end. Particular highlights is the wonderfully disturbing "Why Don't You Eat Your Carrots?", which settles the mood perfectly in the beginning before bursting into a deranged series of psychedelic circus music, off the wall chanting and gritty fuzz guitars, and believe me; it sounds completely different than what I described. This album is not for the faint of heart, but definitely for the adventurous listener. 4.5/5

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Well, not much can be said in order to describe this album, you ought to hear it. It is one of the defining moments of Kraut-rock and one of the strangest records out there (along with equally revolutionary work of THE RESIDENTS). A pioneering and groundbreaking work that foresees in many aspects the later work of post punk alternative music. If you like weird stuff FAUST debut is a must.

"A wonderful wooden reason"

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars I would say this is the most experimental record I have ever heard. It is filled with strange electronic sounds and weird spoken vocals. I really believe that the band had the attitude that anything goes,and so they became very inventive and imaginative in the studio and came up with an album that defied description. For this alone they deserve a lofty place in the realm of Krautrock. Only three long tracks on this their 1971 debut. I will also mention that this band is one of the most influencial groups on the planet.

"Why Don't You Eat Carrots" opens with some THE BEATLES and ROLLING STONES references before strange sounds come in. Get used to it. Piano arrives followed by a drum led melody. Vocals with trumpet, drums and spacey sounds 5 minutes in.This is silly and strange. It stops 7 minutes in as odd spacey sounds come and go. We then hear parts of a conversation as the previous melody comes back briefly along with some other sounds. "Meadow Meal" opens with some freaky sounds that are sometimes loud.This is beyond bizarre. Vocals come in that have an echo and speak out words and sentences. Hey we get some music before 3 1/2 minutes in, and it's very good. More spoken words 5 minutes in. Thunder and rain only can be heard as we listen to a storm for a while with no music. Very cool. Organ after 6 minutes to end it.

Miss Fortune" was recorded live, and it's a side long suite. It builds with drums, guitar and spacey sounds. This is incredible ! Bass lines are good 4 minutes in and the scorching guitar is even better. It all stops 5 minutes in as vocal sounds, piano, cymbals and spacey sounds come and go. We get a calm then drums and piano start a melody 9 1/2 minutes in with some weird sounds sprinkled in. A calm follows as a new section comes in with odd vocals and piano. Next up are sounds that are like hearing someone scraping a blackboard with their nails. More weird vocals make me cringe. Acoustic guitar 15 1/2 minutes in with words that are spoken by two members of the group. One says a word, then the other says the next word and so on. Do you know how annoying this (Haha). Absolutely insane !

Review by The Truth
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This is not easy music to listen to in any way shape or form but that is what makes so much RIO (Yes this is rock in opposition not krautrock) so much fun to listen to. The first track Why Don't You Eat Carrots starts with some just plain weird static noises but eventually turns into some nice piano with a catchy beat. This is probably the best song on the album, (Although it may just seem that way to me because it is the most symphonic prog on the album). Meadow Meal is almost as delightfully weird as the first track and although hard to listen to at first winds up being very entertaining. Miss Fortune contains more guitars than the other songs but that does not make it better, it is actually the worst track on the album to me. It gets just plain weird in the end when people start talking, changing who says something every word or so leaving the album with just a sense of awe. Overall I give it a 3 because lets admit it, this is very hard stuff to take in.
Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Faust" is the debut full-length studio album by German Krautrock/psychadelic/avant garde rock act Faust. The album was released through Polydor Records in late 1971. The members of Faust were brought together by leftist-journalist Uwe Nettelbeck (who alledgedly was also associated with the infamous Baader-Meinhof movement), who had been asked by Polydor Records to find a German band, who could rival some of the contemporary commercially successful British artists (needless to say they were not impressed by the outcome). The label provided the band and Uwe Nettelbeck (who acted as producer on the recording project) with enough money and time, for the band to spend most of 1971 writing and recording the album. Actually the story says that the band did very little for the first half year and only started seriously working on the project when the deadline was near. They struggled to write enough material for a full album though and had to go back and use some of the jam recordings they had done in the first part of 1971 and patch them together to form coherent material enough for a full-length release.

The actual recording process took a mere 3 days which is quite an achivement considering the high quality of the material. Faust had a rather interesting and very relaxed approach to the recording process, which is obvious from reading a quote from the liner notes (from the booklet to the 2000 "Collectors Choice" CD release) by drummer Werner Diermaier: "For the first record, the first side was constructed and the second side was where we smoked many hashish and drank much alcohol. In three days, the record had to be ready. It was very funny".

I nearly fell down my chair choking with laughter after reading that. That´s just brilliant and an insight to the early days of Faust. It´s refreshing to read such a statement these days where eveything are usually planned down to extreme detail and everything have to be absolutely perfect before you enter/leave the studio.

As an album "Faust" usually has the reputation that it´s a very difficult and avant garde listening experience, and while that is certainly true to some extent, the sometimes crazy sounding experiments actually work well together and the music isn´t completely devoid of hooks either. The album for instance features several great psychadelic rock parts and to make a comparison I don´t find the music on this album much more inaccessible than the most experimental output by 60s Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention.

In addition to the more "regular" rock parts on the album, the music on "Faust" features lots of studio tricks like tape manipulations and experiments with electronic devices. The vocals on the album which are in English are rather unique. Sometimes almost chanting and other times reciting the lyrics. It sounds like complete madness at times but it´s ultimately very charming. The 31:24 minutes long album only features 3 tracks: "Why don't you eat carrots", "Meadow Meal" and "Miss Fortune". The two former were featured on side 1 of the original LP and the latter was featured on side 2. The album is very short with it´s 31:24 minutes playing time but with music as extreme as this I think it´s a suitable length.

The version I own, which is the 2000 "Collectors Choice" CD release where "Faust" is paired with the second album by Faust titled "So Far (1972)", features a total playing time of 34:08 minutes as the version of "Miss Fortune" is a couple of minutes longer than the original version and the version of "Meadow Meal" is about one minute longer than the original version. The two tracks on side 1 are both structured (I use the word structured loosely here) experimental avant garde rock tracks while "Miss Fortune" is a long experimental jam. While the recording history and the relaxed nature of the band might suggest otherwise, this does not sound like senseless noodling or strange noises put together in random order. Faust appear to know exactly what they are doing and how they want to achive their goals.

The sound production is hands down fantastic. All those sounds collages and tape tricks must have been a real challenge handling in the studio and keeping in mind that the album was recorded in 3 days, there is a time pressure factor here too that makes it an even more incredible achivement. The spontaneity and laid back approach to the recording process that these musicians had could have resulted in a terribly bad and sloppy end product, but as Faust were incredibly talented musicians, they could pull something as bold as this off with conviction. They also fully understood that avant garde rock has to have some degree of accessibility and some memorable parts to be entertaining to the listener and therefore this weird experiment works wonders. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The self-titled debut album from Faust is a surprisingly effective classic of the Krautrock genre. Still, I would't want to give anyone the false impression that this is an essential album that everyone should own in their collections.

I feel that this album deserves a lot more praise from me. Unfortunately it is not easy to enjoy the second side as much as the excellent first one. Why Don't You Eat Carrots is amazing to say the least. This 10 minute composition basically defines the Krautrock-genre for me! Meadow Meal might not have quite as high composition-quality to it but still manages to leave an overall positive impression. Still it's the final improvisational piece called Miss Fortune that completely ruins this experience for me. The track drags on for almost 17 minutes during which there aren't really that many interesting moments.

After saying that I still urge everyone who found what I mentioned to be exciting and is interested in broadening their musical horizons to give this album a spin. Who knows, maybe you will find it a whole lot more enjoyable?

***** star songs: Why Don't You Eat Carrots (9:31)

**** star songs: Meadow Meal (8:02)

*** star songs: Miss Fortune (16:35)

Review by zravkapt
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Some find this album very weird and don't recommend it. I have heard a lot weirder music than what you will find here. However, it must be noted that when this came out, there was almost nothing else like it. This album was a huge influence on later unorthodox rock music (Industrial for example). Sometimes called "Fist" due to the cover being an X-ray of a fist, it was originally released as transparent vinyl. The members of Faust wanted not only the music to be weird as hell, but the packaging as well.

Like Can, these guys do a lot of tape editing and splicing to create their music. Unlike Can's music, you can tell the music has been greatly altered here. Chris Cutler has stated that Faust were a big influence on Henry Cow, and by extension, much of the avant-prog that came after Cow. Whereas a lot of early Krautrock was influenced by British psych, Faust seems to be influenced more by experimental American rock. Specifically, The Mothers Of Invention and The Velvet Underground.

On this album you will find some of the greatest English-as-second-language lyrics you will ever hear. Examples: "You are the fruit-fork"; "A wonderful wooden reason"; "I lift my skirt and Voltaire turns as he speaks, his mouth full of garlic"...etc. I'm guessing this was all intentional. On the CD version, the song "Miss Forune"(misfortune, get it?) is 2-3 minutes longer. I have never heard the original vinyl so I don't know what was added, but it sounds seamless to me.

The album begins with "Why Don't You Eat Carrots", which you can listen to on PA. After some static and feedback you briefly hear the Rolling Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" and the Beatles' "All You Need Is Love." Some piano before a school marching band sound. A weird, evil sounding school marching band. Some weird vocal effects and back to the marching band with a trombone(?) solo. Then a different marching band theme with fuzzy guitars and trippy synthesizer noises. Some singing and handclaps. More trippy synth noises before you hear a man and woman having a conversation in German. Different sounds come in and out while they are talking. More marching band to end it.

"Meadow Meal" begins with the sound of someone blowing in a glass bottle, along with some piano. Weird echoed and speed altered percussion noises follow, then guitar and vocals. Later a great rocking section; this is the most stereotypical Krautrock sounding part of the album. Then the music stops and you hear the sound of a thunderstorm. Some symphonic organ plays over top.

"Miss Fortune" has wah-organ joined by a repeated bass note and some drumming. Then fuzzy guitar. It then goes into a Velvet Underground style groove. Later some spacey electronic sounds. Then piano, cymbals and some oddball almost operatic singing. Fuzzy sounds join in. Drums start to play a steady beat and it almost sounds 'normal' for a brief moment. Later on some almost classical piano and some more weird vocals. Then jazzy piano playing that reminds me of The Residents. Bird-like synth noises and a voice that sounds like Gollum from the Lord Of The Ring movies. Instead of saying "my precious," the voice says "explosion." Weird electronic effects and then the music stops. Then some acoustic guitar with two overdubbed voices saying one word at a time, back and forth creating sentences.

You may have noticed I used the word "weird" a lot. This is indeed very strange music, especially for 1971. But it's not as unaccesible as some would have you believe. It helps to have a sense of humour when you listen to this album. I could see some of the noisier moments turning some people off, but they are few and far between. Like most people, I did not know what to think of this album the first time I heard it. But the more I listened to it, the more I "got it." An album that needs to be fully absorbed to understand it. It may take more effort than some are willing to make. Most people should start with Faust IV, which is a lot easier to get into. I can't give this less than 4 stars because it is a great album, although admittedly is not to everyone's taste.

Review by Dobermensch
4 stars The soundtrack for when you're on a merry-go-round and just about to throw up.

The crazed world of Faust began with this stimulating oddity from '71. A bit like Stockhausen jamming with Can where an assembly of cacophonous sound effects mixed with tortured guitars and vocals make this an album you won't forget.

Clearly the kind of music your mum and dad would loathe even though they're the same age as these guys. Commendably uninspired by American and British music of the same period Faust set out on a path untramelled by any of their predecessors. Isolating themselves in a converted schoolhouse in Wümme probably helped the album along no end, but certainly not their sanity.

The lyrics are meaningless and would have been better off left in German, but the sheer weight of ideas present are enough to fill three albums. Plainly speaking, this makes Beefheart sound top 40.

The strange thing is that it doesn't sound weird for weirdness sake, just genuinely unhinged.

Review by Neu!mann
3 stars The debut Faust album was one of the greatest middle fingers ever directed at a clueless music industry. Did producer / con artist Uwe Nettelbeck really convince Polydor Records that this band of anarchists could be the next Beatles? And did they realize he was rubbing the company's nose in the dung of its own gullibility by including brief snippets of the Fab Four and the Rolling Stones at the top of the album opener, "Why Don't You Eat Carrots?"

You can hear it both ways: as a daring act of musical non-conformity, or just a ploy to use Polydor in the same way the label was no doubt exploiting its other artists, by taking their money straight to the bank. Legend says the group wasted a generous advance of time and cash on drugs and other idle recreations, before making a late attempt at actual music-making. Once the tapes were rolling, however, all bets were off.

There may not have been a kitchen sink in their Wümme studio, but everything else was thrown into the mix, and the end result was a compelling mess of song, noise, dada absurdity, musique concrete, rock 'n' roll exuberance, and free-floating what the f*ck weirdness. Some of it almost sounds (halfway) normal, like the horn melody in between the interruptions of mind-frying cosmic radiation in "Why Don't You Eat Carrots?" or the crude but invigorating garage band jam following the silly nonsense poetry of "Meadow Meal".

But the yardstick of normality was set pretty low to begin with. The side-long assembly aptly (for Polydor) titled "Miss Fortune" sounds like a haphazard collage of leftover rehearsal tapes. And the playful arrangement of the closing narration, recorded word by separate word in alternating left and right channels, was quintessential Faust iconoclasm, like some of the best Krautrock both comic and thoughtful at the same time.

"The idea was not to copy anything going on in the Anglo-Saxon rock scene", said Uwe Nettelbeck afterward: pure Barnum & Bailey B.S. of course. But then again, Frank Zappa wasn't an Anglo-Saxon, was he? The arrival of Faust could almost be seen as the second leg of a long musical itinerary that began with Zappa in late '60s Los Angeles, continued all through Germany at the end of the decade, and eventually came full circle back to California in groups like The Residents and Chrome: two direct descendants of the patchwork Faustian method.

We can only speculate what the Polydor suits must have thought of the band's first album, when they recovered from their collective faint after first hearing it. But give the poor suckers a round of applause for their misguided zeal in signing such an unlikely act, and turning this musical lynch mob loose on an unsuspecting world.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Opening with radio static with the strains of the Stones' Satisfaction and the Beatles' All You Need Is Love fading in and out, Faust's debut album sounds chaotic at first listen, but care and dedicated listening reveals the carefully judged compositional calculations underlying everything. Maintaining a shrewd balance between being undauntingly experimental and keeping the listener's interest, it's a radical release which as well as representing the more disciplined and composed end of Krautrock could act as a sort of RIO manifesto when you consider how the experiments on this album would find echoes later in the works of the likes of Henry Cow.
Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JRF/Canterbury, P Metal, Eclectic
5 stars On the more adventurous side of Germany's Krautrock spectrum, the Hamburg based FAUST took their name not only because it was the name of the classic German protagonist legend who made a pact with the devil but also because it was the German word for "fist" and therefore had a double impact and after experiencing this legendary debut from this highly experimental band that was way ahead of its time, it becomes clear that both meanings of the moniker apply. The band members Arnulf Meifert (drums, vocals), Gunther Wüsthoff (synthesizer, saxophone), Rudolf Sosna (guitar, keyboards, vocals), Hans-Joachim Irmler (organ), Jean- Hervé Péron (bass, vocals) and Werner 'Zappi' Diermaier (drums) all met in 1969 but didn't officially form FAUST until 1971. The second drummer Arnulf Meifert joined for the debut album but then departed.

Despite almost no history of playing together, FAUST was signed immediately to Polydor records due to the rush to cash in on the burgeoning Krautrock scene engulfing the German music scene however the various members had all played in the bands Nucleus and Campylognatus Citelli which apparently was good enough for the label under the Deutsche Grammophon parent company. Despite the band's newbie status, they were given full reign to have complete artistic freedom and were gifted the time, space and money to create anything they desired which sounds almost unheard of by any day's standards. With all liberties any such band could dream of, the members spent a year recording this debut album in a rural studio in the small town Wümme near Hamburg.

The band has stated that they basically wasted six months with alcohol, drugs and partying with only wild experimentation with sound effects emerging and only got their act together in the second half of the year. When it was time to cough up the goods, the band panicked but found a way to patch in all the avant-garde experiments with some more conventional musical output. The result was this bizarre amalgamation of Krautrock, musique concrète, sound collages, industrial noise and an early example of avant-prog many years before bands like Henry Cow took it to new levels. The result of this experimental mishmash was that it sold disastrously but did please the critics who were excited by such bold musical statements. Polydor's disappointment was followed by an equally disastrous tour that only demonstrated that FAUST was unable to replicate these wild antics in a live setting, nevertheless the band gained a cult following and would slowly but steadily gain an audience however not fast enough for Polydor who dropped them after three albums.

While bands like Amon Duul II and Can were going for the psychedelic jugular, FAUST took the surrealist's approach and crafted an album that took a multitude of musical styles, sound manipulations and chaotic displays of progressive rock attributes on steroids and cranked out one of the most demanding musical deliveries of 1971, a year when the progressive rock scene was just gaining full maturity. FAUST eschewed catchy melodies, 60s grooves or any other conventional means (for the most part) of musical expressions and instead constructed a rotisserie of tones, timbres, mood enhancers and playful antics that were cryptic, chaotic, complex and highly creative. The three tracks that constituted the near 36 minute running time consisted of side A delivering two lengthy tracks roughly around 9 minutes each with side B consisting of a single track that was just shy of 18 minutes.

The opening track with its absurd title "Why Don't You Eat Carrots" obviously found some Canterbury scene whimsy that was mostly absent from the nascent Krautrock scene but the music was dark, mysterious and atmospheric. The opener begins with FAUST's famous first impressions of heavy static that sounds as if it's leaping through various frequencies and happening upon popular music such as The Rolling Stones' "I Can't Get No Satisfaction" and The Beatles' "All You Need Is Loving" but the fleeting samples disappear as soon as they are detected and the inter dimensional trip through musical portals leads to new alien soundscapes. "Meadow Meal" continues this avant-garde musical journey into a labyrinth of sonic possibilities and only contains sparse dabbling of "real" music.

The lengthy closer "Miss Fortune" is the closest thing to a contemporary Krautrock track as it has lengthy psychedelic jam sessions interspersed by spastic eruptions of jazz, avant-prog and just plain weird outbursts of creativity. Perhaps my favorite part of this mondo bizarro flirtation with insanity comes from the cleverly recited poem where two members take turns saying a word in different channels while the band plays seemingly nonsensical sounds away in the background. This is where the Strawberry Fields forever blossomed into watermelons and the LSD kicked in full force.

There was literally nothing like this when this album was released and obviously a little too far ahead for many. Of course, Polydor demanded the band tame things down after the commercial train wreck sunk in and for the second album "So Far" the band crafted a slightly more accessible album, however FAUST remained steadfastly untamable and nowhere does that ring more true than this wacky avant-garde musical statement on this debut. The album originally was released with a clear cover of an x-ray of a hand silkscreened on the outer sleeve. The beauty is that somehow this flows from one insane idea to the next so perfectly. A true masterpiece of the avant-garde and the blueprints for both avant-prog and the bleak industrial music scene that followed.

Review by patrickq
3 stars Faust's self-titled debut is experimental, avant-garde, and wacky for the sake of wackiness. The musicians are competent, the singers are passable, the performances are adequate, and the sound quality is decent. But I'm not sure any of that matters. Faust is not comprised of songs in any traditional sense; the two tracks on Side One, for instance, are sound collages. The point - - and I do believe there is a point here - - seems to be the postproduction, not the performances.

The first side is comprised of two studio tracks. The first, 'Why Don't You Eat Carrots,' is the more musical, with a middle section built around a brass vamp. On the other hand, the final two minutes is almost like a medley of weirdness. Then there's the even more experimental 'Meadow Meal.' The stream-of-consciousness vocal section which ends right before the song's halfway mark could be an irreverent stab at a Zappa tune. Like 'Why Don't You Eat Carrots,' 'Meadow Meal' is evidently assembled from divergent recordings, some (probably) sonically manipulated beyond recognition. But unlike its predecessor, the most musical section of 'Meadow Meal' comes at the end. It's an atmospheric passage played on a heavily treated organ - - sounding quite a bit like Klaus Schulze's first two albums (both of which were released after Faust).

Side Two is taken by a live track, 'Miss Fortune.' It stars off like something from Ummagumma, but quickly heads for left field before settling into a trance-y - - but still Ummagumman - - groove for a few minutes before launching into a brief Krautrock freakout. And that's just the first five minutes! Some jamming follows, evolving back into a freakout situation. Then, just when I start to think that 'Miss Fortune' sounds like a different band than the one that performed the first side, the drummer stops, then the guitarist stops, leaving just the piano. Next in the pattern of non sequiturs is a heavily effected vocal duet - - you get the idea: it's almost like a pasted-together piece. And then, a little after thirteen minutes into the track, a squawking tape loop appears, and 'Miss Fortune' actually becomes a studio sound collage - - which is also a bit Zappaesque, come to think of it.

Faust is one of those albums that I appreciate more than enjoy; it succeeds more as art than entertainment. But it's not as successful as, say, Ash Ra Tempel's self-titled album or Tangerine Dream's Electronic Meditation, two other Krautrock debuts from the same period.

Review by jamesbaldwin
5 stars And here's to you Faust!

What a lovely debut!!!

The first song, "Why don't you eat carrots (9:31)": in the beginning Faust mentions the trumpets of All You Need Is Love, and the guitar riff of Satisfaction of the Rolling Stones, then there are other crippled sounds. In the beginning this piece recalls Revolution n. 9 of the Beatles but the substantial difference is that here there is, under the noises, a more organic musical work, then it becomes a crazy stuff by a band of music hall. Despite being in its essence an instrumental song, there are also the vocals of Florentine Papst who sings goliardic choruses. It is avant-garde, very abstract. Rating 8,5/9.

Second song "Meadow Meal (7:30)" This piece is more obsessive than the preious one, and it is based on a rhythmic level and then becomes rarefied and abstract. A kind of noisy symphonic poem. Rudolf Sosna e and Arnulf Meifert particular voices,, and the synthesizer played by Wusthoff and the drums played by Diermeier are essential for this kind of music. Rating 8,5.

End of Side A. Third song, " Miss Fortune (Live *) (13:51) This one starts as a very speedy space rock, then around five minutes becomes a very German martial cabaret (vocals by Peron and Diermeier) , which however has an interesting rhythmic progression with percussion, then around ten minutes it changes again and becomes even more experimental with synthetic sounds that they seem to chirp of birds and then the last part, very noisy, loses a little the paroxysmal charm of the previous one. The question is: "Are we supposed to be or not to be?" Very Strange. Rating 9.

This album, in my opinion, is a little masterpiece of fantasy and inventiveness, where Goethe, Wagner, Stockhausen are just around the corner. Chamber music, experimental music, confusion, noise music, Existential philosophical music developed with the ingenuity of a child.

Small masterpiece. Rating 9. Five stars.

Review by Dapper~Blueberries
3 stars If you broke into my house and told me one band that was a huge factor in the development of experimental, post- rock, electronic, minimalistic, shoegaze, psychedelic, and generally bizarre music; I'd first tell you to get out of my house, and two, I would have to say, Faust. Krautrock is a genre that has influenced the shape of modern music in many ways, whether it be Can's more jammy and illustrious visage or Amon Düül II's great deal of advancing improvisational music. However with Faust, many genres from post-rock, to industrial music, to even shoegaze can be traced with their albums and music, to where I can say that they pretty much are the sole creators of those musical movements. Faust has become the best Krautrock band in my opinion due to the mysteriously mystical aura that they provide in their music. Even with their last great works, they can still manage to hold their own for me with their highly adaptable experimental brand of rock music that was extremely ahead of their time. For me, once you start a Faust album, you can never put it down no matter if you like the music or not. So since their first two albums are now on streaming, I figured to review them, just for fun.

First impressions can make or break a band, and this stays true even with Faust's reputation among the Krautrock community. So how Faust went on to create their first effort, their self-titled album, they were signed to Polydor. Polydor wanted a German group that could rival the likes of The Rolling Stones and The Kinks, so it must've been a pretty weird ordeal to experience the music of Faust via demo tapes and recordings of people washing the dishes. Plus when their debut did release, the cover was transparent, and so was the vinyl, which most likely made a market out of the advent of colored records and interesting uses of album covers. So how does their debut stack up to some of their more critically acclaimed works such as Faust IV or Ravvivando? Well, I can safely say that this album is pretty good, but a prototype for the Faust we know today.

As such, their first song has made quite an interesting impression on me. Why Don't You Eat Carrot is an interesting example of a more Rock-In Opposition type of music, utilizing Avant Garde aspects such as heavy amounts of distortion, jazz, and ambiance. The main standout for this track is the use of sound collage, which is a practice similar to that of most collage art, where the artist takes scraps of something (in this case sound recordings the band took) and works them into the music or remix them to be more bizarre. This could be where the seeds were sown for the practice of sampling, chopping, and skewing, which would be highly influential in more experimental hip-hop artists like Viper, Death Grips, and especially Dälek, who has been a big fan of Faust and collaborated with them on their Derbe Respect Alder album. You can see their work paying off due to their experimental repertoire bleeding into scenes of subcultures that benefit from these styles. I cannot deny that I do like this song, I think it is a weird and fun movement that showcases the band's experimentation, but I do admit it is not their best effort. At this point, the band's sound was still in its infancy, and with that many aspects feel less refined than most. It is a fate many bands go through in their early years, so I can forgive the band for their part in it.

For what it is, though, you can hear remnants of that Faust sound, especially in Meadow Meal, which I wholeheartedly believe to be the best song off this album. It carries the same hammer and chisel that Why Don't You Eat Carrots did, but while that song made the rough draft, Meadow Meal would create the fine details that'd be implemented in future songs such as Jennifer or Du weißt schon. You can still tell that this is in the band's baby years, yet I can still see what they wanted to create. They had clear ideas, and while the executions are rough, the spirit is still there. This song is charming for me due to how rough yet so clear and focused it is. I can say for a fact that this is the band's first truly great song.

In some releases, the last song has varying levels of length. Since I am reviewing the version on Spotify, I'll be focusing on that one due to its availability to most people. The album closes off with the 16-minute epic, Miss Fortune. This is one of the few epics they have made, and closing the album off with one is quite the bold move for a band especially this early in their career, though Can do a similar thing with their first release of Monster Movie, so I cannot deny it isn't too far fetched. While the first two songs revolutionized the ways of sound and music, I think Miss Fortune does allow itself to breathe newer air into the psychedelic music of the era, which was already beginning to phase from the more pop routes of albums as Sgt Peppers and Their Satanic Majesties Request. We get elements that would later become the more jammy side of psychedelic rock and even the more melancholic side of shoegaze. All of it wrapped in with a ton of collaging, and ethereal poetry about a lady going through misfortune after misfortune, sinking deeper into depression at the very end. For me, while not their best epic, not by a long shot, still feels truly like Faust. I may think some things could've been tweaked to be less loose, but I cannot deny the appeal of early Faust, especially when I have decided to revisit their music a lot more closely than ever before.

Not my favorite Faust record, but with the seeds sown we can see aspects that modern music would employ. Faust will always be ahead of their time, creating music that is so bizarre it works in their favor. They aren't just groundbreaking, they are ground-shaping, and I love them for it. I think any of their albums must be listened to, and this is no different. While it is imperfect, and pretty flawed all around, I cannot deny the way this album can shape me and inspire others to experiment with music more closely than ever before.

Latest members reviews

4 stars 4.5, actually. Faust ist Schon! Here is something that really amazes me: I'm not into "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" and "Future Days", yet I'm into this product of freaks of nature. I don't know why, but I got the hang of the album's "musical" logic from the first listen. Everything on it is s ... (read more)

Report this review (#613890) | Posted by Dayvenkirq | Friday, January 20, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Faust is fun! Since a really started to like Captain Beefheart, Frank Zappa and Henry Cow I was looking for more music related to the Rock-in-opposition/ Avant-Garde movement. So I found Faust described as RIO on PA and bought their first record on vinyl. After the first listening I reali ... (read more)

Report this review (#605523) | Posted by the philosopher | Sunday, January 8, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars If you 'get' Revoution 9, youll get Faust. That's the most concise statement that can be made about this most mythical of albums. Rightly considered to be the quintessential krautrock album; it is the innovative, radical and disciplined statement that showcases the genre in its purest most di ... (read more)

Report this review (#249044) | Posted by cohen34 | Sunday, November 8, 2009 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I JUST DON't GET IT ! To my tastes, there are short interludes of music surrounded by large pieces of strangeness that is not really music. I am not a fan of CAN (which this reminds me of) or RIO so if you are then you can freely ignore my opinion. I tried really ! ... (read more)

Report this review (#174129) | Posted by digdug | Monday, June 16, 2008 | Review Permanlink

1 stars This record has a great gimmick, its transparent and so is the cover it also features a skeletal hand. If this was a cover and art work site this record would score very highly. However this is a music review site and this record is just awful. This is not up to the standard of Nue or Can , or e ... (read more)

Report this review (#146362) | Posted by burgersoft777 | Monday, October 22, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars One of the key krautrock albums of the 70's! It's very experimental with some cuts from beatles, rolling stones.. the importance of this work to this genre and to the post-rock and noise rock it's great! A must in every serious prog and rock collection! ... (read more)

Report this review (#111739) | Posted by nico | Monday, February 12, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The best Krautrock, and a true masterpiece(insert your favorite description), and one of the greatest albums of any sort of all time. It's up there with Unit Structures, most of Coltrane's stuff, Mingus, and any other rock, even could stand in the top 100 or so of all time works. The key is ... (read more)

Report this review (#89928) | Posted by LedBerry71 | Monday, September 18, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is a progressive ultimate masterpiece. Presumably the best Faust album - it stands comparisons to Faust Tapes and Rien (those 3 I would consider undisputably as the Faust masterpieces). The most stunnig is the usage of the studio itself as a fully-hired and skilful musician. Altho ... (read more)

Report this review (#38957) | Posted by | Saturday, July 9, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The Sex Pistols were mere amateurs- it was Faust that pulled off the Great Rock and Roll Swindle! Uwe Nettlebeck, their manager and svengali, convinced Polydor Records to bankroll the new German band he was assembling (like the Pistols, the Monkees, Moby Grape and many others, Faust was an "as ... (read more)

Report this review (#32593) | Posted by | Thursday, September 2, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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