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Bachdenkel Lemmings album cover
3.46 | 74 ratings | 9 reviews | 30% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1973

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Translation (4:16)
2. Equals (1:52)
3. An Appointment With The Master (5:19)
4. The Settlement Song (11:23)
5. Long Time Living (2:22)
6. Strangerstill (6:56)
7. Come All Ye Faceless (9:06)

Bonus tracks on 1978 EP & all later reissues:
8. The Slightest Distance (6:08)
9. Donna (4:16)
10. A Thousand Pages Before (6:32)

Total Time: 58:10

Extra bonus tracks on 2007 reissue:
11. Through The Eyes Of A Child (1969) (4:01)
12. An(other) Appointment With The Master (3:42)
13. Strange People (1968) (3:20)

Line-up / Musicians

- Colin Swinburne / guitar, organ, piano, harpsichord, vocals
- Peter Kimberley / 6-string bass, piano (2), vocals
- Brian Smith / drums, vibes (5)

- Karel Beer / organ (7,13), producer
- Bill Hunt / French horn (13)
- Dave Bradley / bass (13)
- Ron Smith / drums (13)

Releases information

Recorded in Paris between 1970-1973

Artwork: Luciano Lanati

LP Philips ‎- 6325 024 (1973, France)
LP + EP The Initial Recording Company ‎- IRC 001 (1978, UK) Bonus EP including 3 tracks from 1970
LP Ethelion ‎- ET 1003 (2019, Europe) With 3 bonus tracks

CD World Wide Records ‎- SPM-WWR-CD-0004 (1990, Germany) With 3 bonus tracks
CD Ork Records ‎- ORK 6 (2007, UK) With 6 bonus tracks

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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BACHDENKEL Lemmings ratings distribution

(74 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(30%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(23%)
Good, but non-essential (37%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

BACHDENKEL Lemmings reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Lemmings is a rather psychedelic album with a slight punk guitar tendency. There are many visceral hard rock parts. The tracks are not very progressive. I do not find the record very good, despite the presence of many good passages: the problem is that those passages do not last for a very long period of time. The value of the record lies between ordinary an good. The music sounds pretty deja vu, since there are no elements that allow Lemmings to be distinguished from a bunch of similar albums. The guitar sound quality is above average, though, and the global sound of the music is slightly comparable to Nektar's. The overall rhythm is surprisingly slow. The keyboards are rather subdued. The compositions often lack some structure and sometimes sound a bit amateurish, reminding a bit a garage rock sound.
Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This album has a kind of religious feeling in it, maybe due the organ driven sound resembling little the tones of Arzachel. It is opened by a very beautiful melancholic chord progression, sad but still full of hope. The mellow hazy hymn slowly gains strength and leads to a more aggressive passage, resembling slightly tamer version of Van Der Graaf Generator's sound maybe. Backward running treatments and folk-oriented motives fit to the of first track, and the whirlpool deepens on "An Appointment with The Master" by march of descending melody harmonies, drawing the listener deeper to the depths of melancholia. Following "The Settlement Song" starts as a quiet hymn for an organ and a voice, transforming to slow guitar chord progressions. The oppressing basis of this song has different parts, constructing a powerful art rock suite. "Long Time Living" is another short ballad, melody sounding little like John Lennon composition. The duller parts start to emerge on the later pieces, sad slow mantras with hazy vocals, and some calm and acoustic marching shimmering with magnificent power. I think the music creates a solid entity pleasing fans of downer music, and it is quite serious and humorless. If you like melancholic British keyboard driven prog, then this might be a worth of checking out. I personally felt the album starting totally wonderfully, but during the spins grows less enthusiastic from its content. Somehow the wonderful elements of the album are not treated in most profitable manner, or there are some contrasts or ideas creating a powerful dramatic curve missing.
Review by Sean Trane
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

Bachdenkel 's French adventures were so different and varied forms that their first album Lemmings, started in 1970, took almost three years to finish and saw the light of day in the summer of 73. By that time (and by living in a remote part of deep southern France), their album sounded quite dated (many traces of 60's psychedelia lingering in the rock), but in all fairness it has aged rather well. The trio, augmented by sound, light, occasional keyboardist and producer Karel Beer played a guitar-oriented prog rock (although both the bassist and guitarist also add some keyboards) that could easily fall under both meaning of Proto Prog

It is clear that the group's roots lay in psychedelia, as the album is filled fuzzed out instruments and vocals, sometimes sounding like a Floydish Beatles (Appointment With The Master), vocally both lead vocalist Swinburne and back up Kimberley sing in late 60's fashion as well. Settlement Song has some slight tinge of the very early Status Quo (Matchstickable Man) but ends in a furious guitar indulgence, the whole group going through a seriesof patterns quite convincingly. A first highlight. With its intro partly pumped on some religious theme, Faceless is probably the heaviest track around on the album and illustrates the back cover artwork with a typical but constantly evolving war-march beat.

The three bonus tracks taken from an EP are more or less in line with the album, and actually melt in the mass of it, so that you barely noticed them after the first few listens other that there a bit wordier and the voices are a bit higher perched.

Although due to its relative lack of notoriety, both their albums have become scarce (no reprints) and sent unreasonably through the roof the prices, but although good, I find Bachdenkel's legend a tad over-rated and would rather direct you towards the more or less legit issues of the Cd, rather than the vinyl (apparently counterfeited

Review by stefro
2 stars A strange one this, by a band with a terrible name with a penchant for complex, King Crimson-lite prog-rock. However, it's not all bad news, as 'Lemmings' is actually a rather good album marred by some rather grandoise themes and ideas that borders on the pretentious. Maybe some of it's earnestness can be atttributed to the fact that it was released in 1970, in the early years of prog's popularity, making this, in the loosest sense of the term, a pioneering studio album in terms of sound and technique. 'Lemmings' is by no means a classic but several tracks do stand out, such as the excellent 'An Appointment With The Master' and the epic 'Settlement Song'. The rest, however, is pretty mediore. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010
Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars I can't believe that I just heard about this band this year.They were formed in Birmingham, England in 1968 and this their debut.These guys play the style of music that really clicks with me. It's melancholic with good contrasts between the mellow and energetic sections.The guitar is raw and in your face but to me the important thing is that these guys simply wrote some great songs here and when played in this style I must admit i'm blown away somewhat. So why the poor ratings ?! Haha, I know it's a matter of taste but for me this is like a lost classic.

"Translation" opens with gentle guitar and floating organ. A light beat then reserved vocals after a minute. Piano follows as this mellow song plays out until it kicks in at 3 1/2 minutes. Oh yeah it does. Killer stuff ! Love the guitar. "Equals" puts the focus on the laid back vocals, piano and acoustic guitar.This short track does get fuller with drums. "An Appointment With The Master" has some intensity to it with vocals.This is so good. A great instrumental section comes in after 1 1/2 minutes and later after 3 minutes with some outstanding guitar.

"The Settlement Song" is another favourite of mine that opens with floating organ and quiet vocals. It kicks in around a minute but then settles back quickly. Contrasts continue and they are kicking ass after 8 1/2 minutes. "Long Time Leaving" is a short ballad-like tune that is melancholic. "Stranger Still" opens with what sounds like two guitars playing along with a beat.Vocals before a minute. A guitar solo comes in before 3 1/2 minutes that goes on and on until before 5 minutes. Nice. "Come All Ye Faceless" is quite uplifting early on then it turns heavy a minute in.Vocals 2 1/2 minutes in. It settles back before 5 minutes before turning heavier again later.

A very solid 4 stars for this one.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars With an adventurous story on their backs, Bachdenkel from Birmingham, UK, evovled from the Psych group U No Who in 1967 with guitarist/keyboardist Colin Swinburne, singer Peter Kimberley, drummer Ron Lee, bassist Dave Bradley and a second singer named Terry Hidland.Slowly developing a cult status within the city's borders, Bachdenkel were among the greatest lesser known Psych/Prog bands of the country, eventually settling in France in late- 60's reduced to a trio of Swinburne, Kimberley and drummer Brian Smith.Between June and August 1970 they recorded their debut ''Lemmings'', but at the time there was no interest by a label to release it.Three years would pass before Phillips gave a shot to Bachdenkel's debut.

The album has a more than evident late-60's British Psychedelic Rock flavor all the way, but comes as a mix of shorter Psych Rock tracks with occasional harder moments and longer, more developed compositions in a Proto Prog/Psych Rock style.While not particularly complex, the album shows hints of a more demanding musicianship in the trend of the time, yet the short tracks retain more of an early-60's mood and a bit dated Rock style with sensitive vocals, strong guitar movements and powerful drumming, while sometimes even some BEATLES-like melodies pop up here and there.However there is a certain attempt by the group on the longer ones to come up with a more inventive sound.Dynamic guitar workouts, heavier use of organs and changes between mellower vocal moments and heavier guitar-based passages, but again the psych elements remain in the forefront.

The Ork Records CD release seems the more attractive of all the album's reissues, featuring three bonus tracks Bachdenkel recorded around the time in a similar vein as with ''Lemmings'' tracks, while there are three extra tracks from the band's late-60's days (among them an early version of ''An Appointment With the Master'') in a great, powerful Psychedelic Rock style, confirming why Bachdenkel were among the most talented groups of the age.

Good and passionate Psych/Proto Prog Rock with an intense British flavor.Fans of the sound will simply love this, but moreover it is recommended to check out ''Lemmings'' for its inner strength and well-crafted atmospheres.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Despite the Germanic-sounding name, Bachdenkel were formed in Birmingham, England in the late 1960's. Their first album "Lemmings" (1970) was far superior to their later album "Stalingrad" (1977). Although "Lemmings" was recorded in 1970, the album wouldn't see release until 1973. The album was ... (read more)

Report this review (#2270060) | Posted by Psychedelic Paul | Tuesday, October 15, 2019 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I listen progressive rock approximately from twenty five years, now I think I know what I like and what not and with the passage of time, the surprises have made increasingly rare. Bachdenkel was a really big surprise. A good surprise! Their sound is very full-bodied, guitar-oriented but not heav ... (read more)

Report this review (#453905) | Posted by Hishmaliin | Monday, May 30, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Bachdenkel was a Birmingham psychedelic rock band, named "U Know Who". they changed their name to Bachdenkel when they early in their carreer moved to France to live and record there. Their debut album was recorded in 1970, but wasn't released untill 1973 (though different sources contradict e ... (read more)

Report this review (#102535) | Posted by tuxon | Monday, December 11, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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