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Popol Vuh


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Popol Vuh Aguirre album cover
4.01 | 168 ratings | 12 reviews | 28% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1975

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Aguirre I (7:23)
2. Morgengruss II (2:57)
3. Aguirre II (6:16)
4. Agnus Dei (3:02)
5. Vergegenwärtigung (16:51) *

Total Time 36:29

* - on 1996 and 1999 CD releases track 5 clocks 14:47

Bonus tracks on 1996 and 1999 CD releases:
6. Spirit of Peace (Part 1) (3:34)
7. Spirit of Peace (Part 2) (7:27)
8. Spirit of Peace (Part 3) (9:45)

Bonus track on 2004-2019 CD and LP reissues:
6. Aguirre III (7:16)

Line-up / Musicians

- Djong Yun / vocals
- Daniel Fichelscher / electric & acoustic guitars, drums (4)
- Conny Veit / guitar (1,3) - uncredited
- Florian Fricke / piano (4), spinet (5), choir-organ (1,3,5,6), Moog, arrangements
- Robert Eliscu / flute (?) & oboe (4), pan pipe (1)
- Holger Trülzsch / African & Turkish percussion (6)

Note: These credits are partially unconfirmed

Releases information

Track 1 & 3 are from the 1972 film "Aguirre, Der Zorn Gottes", directed by Werner Herzog;
the rest come from recordings done during the period 1972-74

LP PDU - SQ 6040 (1975, Italy)

LP Cosmic Music - 840.103 (1976, France, quadrophonic version)
LP Ohr - KK 2021275-8 (1982, Germany)

Reissues with track 5 clocking 14:47 and 3 bonus tracks:
CD Spalax Music - 14974 (1996, France)
CD Ohr, Pilz, Ohr Today, Die Kosmischen Kuriere - OHR 70023-2 (1999, Germany)

Reissues with track 5 clocking 16:51 (as on original album) and 1 bonus track:
CD Marquee - MAR 04926 (2004, Japan)
CD SPV Recordings - SPV 085-70142 CD (2004, Germany)
CD Arcàngelo - ARC-7188 (2006, Japan, remastered)
CD Arcàngelo - BELLE 122007 (2012, Japan, remastered)
LP Wah Wah Records - LPS158 (2015, Spain, remastered, limited edition)
CD BMG - 538392332 (2019, USA & Europe)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
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POPOL VUH Aguirre ratings distribution

(168 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(28%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(45%)
Good, but non-essential (23%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

POPOL VUH Aguirre reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by soundsweird
4 stars This is the version to get. I had an earlier release with the same cover, but most of the tracks were not from the soundtrack. I've heard perhaps half of all the Popol Vuh albums listed here, so I can't say it with absolute certainty, but, among those albums I have heard, this is my favorite (along with the 2-on-1 "Hosianna Mantra/Tantric Songs"). Nice guitar work and mellotrons, and even a little Andean music thrown in. It doesn't all work, and the bonus tracks are hit-and-miss, but the best stuff is top-notch.
Review by Sean Trane
3 stars Some fanatics consider this one as their best , but I seem yo loose the thread here. This is one of the first of MANY collaboration with Herzog 's films. I never saw the film so I cannot tell you if the music accompany/fits the images well but without them, I don't see much interest. Not that the musicis bad, but seems pointless. The music is very athmospheric , ethereal , slightly cosmic but never really takes off and reaching for a goal. Yun's japanese super-soprano voice is sometimes a bit hard to like.

As the other reviews points out , this artwork was superimposed on some other tracks and sometimes linked with their second album (Pharaoh) . This is unfortunately common with Popol Vuh releases on cd. Not the best of their work.

Review by philippe
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Aguirre is an absolute masterpiece in the electronic-space genre and in all kind of meditative, celestial music. None other records in popular music can equalize this classic in term of implication in beauty. The choir played on the Moog we can hear on the title track is incredible. It's definitely transcending music, the ascending music to heaven. With the next tracks we come back to the unique and special psych-folk compositions which represents the mark of the band. Very floating and dreamy.
Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I bought myself a vinyl copy of this album reissued by "Think Progressive" in 1997. The adorable album covers do not relate with the film, and also the music is outside from the monumental "Aguirre" theme heard on Werner Herzog's interesting but slightly unbalanced film debut with Mr. Kinski. I understood from some interviews that the device creating massive wall of choir is not Mellotron, but some similar device without the looping time restraints of the legendary tape rolling machine. Though this melody associates powerfully with the film, it is also enjoyable as a separate listening experience. A more confusing detail is the fact that the other tracks with different name than "Aguirre" do not relate at all with the movie. There are even some sequences missing at least from the version I bought, for example the dreamy guitar chords from the scenes of gazing to the swirls of the rapids, and discovering the small mammal which sleeps trough it's whole life. From the other songs, "Vergegenwärtigung" filling the B-side of the LP is most wonderful, building up from three motives for acoustic mantras, flowing with the similar joyful pace as the mid 1970's masterworks of the group. "Morgengruss" and "Agnus Dei" are reprisals of the famous themes, found from Florian's earlier albums, molding the musical obsessions further on the path of creativity.
Review by oliverstoned
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The most famous Popol vuh album, soundtrack of the Werner Herzog "Aguirre" movie.

Popol vuh delivers here a unique music, very contemplative, characterized by a slow and majestic progression, weaving a delicate, floating, ethereal atmospheric mood. Synthe layers help to build a spacey cosmic sound, while background vocals contribute to a grandiose and supernatural feel.

"Aguirre" offers a blend of repetitive and contemplative music, cerebral and lyrical, always inspired and original.

The SPV CD release, despite its average sound, features a good bonus track, actually the main theme's alternate track. A big classic from this essential german prog band.

Review by fuxi
5 stars Perfectly dreamlike soundtrack to one of the dreamiest films ever made: German director Werner Herzog's eerily beautiful yet deeply pessimistic masterpiece.

If you've never seen AGUIRRE, rent the DVD or better still, get the local arthouse cinema to organise a late-night showing! You'll then be able to enjoy the magnificent music AND the images it was composed for. Don't expect a fast-moving story.

Without any doubt AGUIRRE is a masterpiece of 'progressive music', but it bears no relationship to the circus stuff Messrs Wakeman and Emerson were performing on ice-rinks and in gigantic stadiums at roughly the time this was composed. This is music on an entirely different level. I cannot recommend it warmly enough.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars This would be the first of many soundtracks that Florian would do for Werner Herzog.The movie itself is apparently very good by the way. Andy Thompson from "Planet Mellotron" insists that there is no mellotron on this album, what sounds like mellotron is actually choir organ, something that AMON DUUL II also used. I have a different track listing that what is shown here. Florian really contrasts well the light and dark aspects of music here, as well as taking us on some experimental adventures.

"Aguirre I" features these heavenly trancendental soundscapes that seem to take us into the presence of God. Beautiful. "Flote" is a short one minute track of pan pipe playing from guest Robert Eliscu. "Morgengruss II" is the only track that Florian didn't compose as Daniel Ficheischer did this one. We get the sounds of the spinett from Florian and the guitar from Daniel creating wonder. Lots of light and beauty on this one. "Aguirre II" opens with thoses choir-like sounds that come in waves.This continues until the guitar takes over before 3 minutes. Great sound 5 minutes in. "Agnus Dei" sounds amazing when it kicks in around 30 seconds. I like the guitar 2 minutes in as well. Excellent track. "Vergegenwaertigung" is the almost 17 minute experimental closing track.This is where it gets dark with no real melody, just sounds.This is minimilistic to say the least as sounds seem to float in and out of the darkness.

I really like this album a lot. You don't ususally find the stark contrasts of musical styles that are found on this recording, especially from POPOL VUH.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The creative surge in the early 70s in Germany was felt in more areas then just music. Also the German cinema went through an artistic revolution. Both scenes met up on occasion and many of the film directors could be spotted at live gigs or were close friends with musicians. One of those relations was between Werner Herzog and Florian Fricke from Popol Vuh, who would deliver multiple film scores for Herzog's films.

The Aguirre movie dates from 1972, an important fact because it means the actual film score used material from the period when Popul Vuh was still an avant-garde electronic band. Actually, only the title track comes from the movie score. It's a mesmerizing piece with layers of eerie mellotron-alike choirs that goes through slowly shifting melodic patterns. It sounds dark, looming as well as angelic and uplifting.

The album is completed with a collection of songs from the 71-74 era, the acoustic tracks (MorgengruÃ? II and Agnus Dei) were already released on the previous studio albums. The presence of both the electronic avant-garde and the warm pastoral acoustic material makes this album into the ideal Popol Vuh introduction.

Depending on your version of the CD, you might end up with different track listings though. The most common issue you are likely to find now has 3 versions of the title track. The bonus Aguirre III adds moog and percussion and is absolutely stunning, part II doesn't deviate much from part I (except for the acoustic second half). There's also the 17 minute unworldly electronic minimalism of Vergegenwärtigung. The two acoustic pieces complete album.

Then there's a version that only has Aguirre I & II, together the two acoustic tracks and a 14 piece called Vergegenwärtigung that is entirely different from the 17 minute version on the regular CD. In fact that 14 minute version is a compilation of 3 acoustic tracks available on other Popol Vuh albums. By means of compensation you get the marvelous three part piano suite Spirit of Peace.

To make things entirely confusing, there's also a CD of the album which only has Aguirre I, followed by the two tracks from the In Den Gärten Pharaos album and the Spirit of Peace track.

Sorry if I got carried away on the different issues, but it's important because you have to make sure you get the one you want. The 2002/2005 re-issue is my preferred one due to the Aguirre III bonus. The other issues have the superb Spirit of Peace but that track is also available elsewhere. Anyway, one of Popol Vuh's best possible starting points.

Review by Warthur
3 stars A solid soundtrack album from Popol Vuh, though I do think that as an album it doesn't hang together as well as those they composed as an album. With a mixture of music from the film and off-cuts from around the same era, it's perfectly pleasant, and the title track is fantastic with its combination of transcendent Mellotron chords and distorted piping. But at the same time, I think the music here works better in its original context in the film than as something to listen to separately from Werner Herzog's gorgeous rainforest imagery. Still, it's a good purchase for any Popol Vuh fan.
Review by zravkapt
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This album is very confusing due to the different releases of it which feature completely different music. The version I am reviewing is supposedly the 'original soundtrack'; it consists of three versions of the title track (III being a bonus track only available here), two tracks on every release I believe ("Morgengruss II" and "Agnus Dei"), and a 17-minute version of "Vergegenwartigung" that is completely different to the slightly shorter version on other releases. The title track and the "V-song" (for short) were recorded after In den Garten Pharoas and Florian Fricke's work on Tangerine Dream's Zeit but before he sold his Moog to Klaus Schulze. The rest of the music was recorded in the post-Moog period of 1973-74. This soundtrack to the Werner Herzog film was not released until 1976.

Besides this I've only heard the group's first two albums. Apparently some of the songs here appear on other albums. "Aguirre I" is both haunting and beautiful. Often mistaken for a Mellotron, the main instrument here is something called a 'choir-organ'. As far as I know, only the German bands Popol Vuh, Amon Duul II and Embryo ever used it. Some great Moog later on in the song. This is better than any ambient or New Age music. This is what I call "New Age with balls." Classic track. "Morgengruss II" has beautiful acoustic guitars mixed with country- style electric guitar. This makes me want to check out the post-Garten albums.

"Aguirre II" is basically the same as the first part but instead of Moog it goes into an acoustic part with more country-style electric guitar. Most likely these two parts were recorded years apart. "Agnus Dei" starts off in a meditative, post-Garten mood. Mainly piano, drums and some electric guitars. "Vergegenwartigung" is on some releases made up of three songs from other albums. Here is the original version which is an ambient mood piece. The spaciest and most avant thing on the album. This actually sounds like Zeit-era TD. Eventually you hear the choir- organ from the title track get reprised periodically.

"Aguirre III" is, next to the first part, the best track on the album although it's a bonus. Similar to In den Garten Pharoas, it mainly consists of Moog, choir-organ and percussion. This album/soundtrack features some great music but beware the very different versions; some have songs not on this one and vice versa. Some good instrumental music which may not be to everyone's taste. I will give this a 3.5 rounded up to 4 stars.

Latest members reviews

5 stars This is the first work by Popol Vuh I have ever heard. I was really enthralled with Florian Fricke's personal modesty and musical philosophy. But this might not be the only group that used to implement the various all-acoustic instrumentations. In general, Popol Vuh's music is very pure and almost n ... (read more)

Report this review (#613496) | Posted by Dayvenkirq | Thursday, January 19, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A concept albun that when we listen, we go to a imaginary voyage for a few world contexts. In one time, we listen a chorus keyboard in a celestial atmosphere, then we go to Latin America with a pan flute, next we listen a really female chorus singing and in the meedle, we listen some psichedeli ... (read more)

Report this review (#288459) | Posted by João Paulo | Sunday, June 27, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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