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CAROL OF HARVEST

Carol Of Harvest

Prog Folk


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Carol Of Harvest Carol of Harvest album cover
3.96 | 54 ratings | 11 reviews | 22% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 1978

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Put On Your Nightcap (16:02)
2. You And Me (2:31)
3. Somewhere At The End Of The Rainbow (6:26)
4. Treary Eyes (4:17)
5. Try A Little Bit (9:59)
6. River (2:36)
7. Sweet Heroin (7:04)
8. Brickstone (1:14)

Total Time: 50:08

Lyrics

Search CAROL OF HARVEST Carol of Harvest lyrics

Music tabs (tablatures)

Search CAROL OF HARVEST Carol of Harvest tabs

Line-up / Musicians

- Beate Krause / vocals
- Axel Schmierer / guitars
- Jürgen Kolb / keyboards
- Heinz Reinschlüssel / bass
- Robert Högn / drums

Releases information

CD Reissue Second Battle SB 064 (2001)
The CD contains 3 bonus Live tracks, River, Sweet Heroin and Brickstone.

Thanks to Certif1ed for the addition
and to Fitzcarraldo for the last updates
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CAROL OF HARVEST Carol of Harvest ratings distribution


3.96
(54 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
22%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(61%)
61%
Good, but non-essential (9%)
9%
Collectors/fans only (7%)
7%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

CAROL OF HARVEST Carol of Harvest reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
4 stars Stunning sole album from this very recent discovery even among hard-line collectors, this group is now more reputed but it still has loads to achieve in notoriety to achieve the popularity it merits. This quintet recorded what can be considered a masterpiece of progressive Folk Rock in 1978, when the interest for such a record had been on the wane for a while, which might explain the confidentiality of it (it was also pressed to minimum quantity). Looking back, this album probably sounded quite dated in 78, but I assure you that nowadays this music is timeless and absolutely beautiful.

Brainchild of guitarist Axel Schmierer, who wrote all tracks and English lyrics, this album radiates beauty of groups such as The Trees or Hoelderlin's Traum. Compared to the Trees (most striking comparison) is the beautiful female voice of Beate Krause, but also the large instrument passages which are given even more room than on any tracks of The Trees's two albums. If some progheads have doubt that all f those folk rock groups from the turn of the 70's decade are progressive enough to be on the Archives, here you will have absolutely no doubts: if this folk is not prog, than there can be no such thing.

Lenghty opener (16 min) Nightcap is a pure delight wiçth an acoustic guitar emerging from the winds and adopting a melody that will closely resemble one from Roger Waters on The Wall, and the vocals (Sandy Denny anyone?) takes us quickly to a superb ambiance mixed with KB of the era but played divinely slow to fit the music. Just before the 7 min-mark, the track picks up speed but repeats the previous pattern and Schmierer's soaring solo does you wonders in terms of spine chills before dying out. A sonar tone brings you back to life along with the siren's chant: you must be Ulysses tied to his mast. The tunes picks up speed once again than calms down to the returning sonar and so on. Second (short) track is much more trad folk and closing a stunning first side.

The second side starts very much in the mould of its predecessor (maybe a bit too much) but slightly less expansive on the instrumental side and Treary Eyes is also in that typical mould between Pentangle and The Trees while the 10 min closer brings back some of the majesty of the first side of the vinyl. Most of the lyrics (perfectly sung in English) are not reaching far or have no deep meaning but still positive and charming.

The three live bonus tracks bring little more to the album (the sound quality is average and the songs are unremarkable but have a space rock sound), but they do not interfere with the overall fluidity of the album as well as its enjoyment. Part of the excitement of this album is to discover a great to superb folk prog album that belongs with the best of the decade but was recorded so late that it went unnoticed and can now be seen as a lost and forgotten gem.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#71477) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, March 09, 2006

Review by philippe
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Content Development & Krautrock Team
3 stars Not very famous on the prog folk scene, this little 70's German band deserves certain adulation for those who remains sceptics with kraut/folk eccentricities. "Carol of harvest" is a beautiful, refined and gentle folk rock exploration. The whole recording flows like a unique "dreamy" journey of sounds. The band alternates with a certain talent moods and instrumentations. "Put On Your Nightcap " starts as a calm semi-electric ballad accompanied by guitars arpeggios, the sound of wind and stressed female voices. After seven minutes, the sound goes to something more progressive with discreet symphonic "floating" keyboards. "You and me" is a rather "soft" acoustic ballad dominated y female vocals and a "bucolic" guitar accompaniment. A good melodic folk interpretation but slightly "mainstream". "Somewhere At The End Of The Rainbow" is a moody, inspired folk ballad with a very effective melody. The last minutes of the song contains some keyboards lines...probably the most powerful song of the album. "Treary Eyes" starts with a nostalgic, lonely acoustic guitar interlude. The same theme is taken back with the addition of vocals. "Try A Little Bit" is an other plaintive folk rock composition with very "present" female vocals, much more aggressive (if I can say so, than the others). The track features a nice & intense electric guitar solo break. A pleasant listening experience but personally I regret the "accessible" side and the "Anglophone" accent of their music.

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Send comments to philippe (BETA) | Report this review (#81055) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Review by Eetu Pellonpää
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This is a very serious, sad and emotional record, and it made a very big impression on me. The songs have stunning melodies, and the overall feeling is very psychedelic. The dreamlike surrealistic solutions are also done with a good style, and the band hasn't gave room for any unconsidered stupidities, but still keeping touch to the uncalculated channels to the subconsciousness. The amplified acoustic guitars are often processed through an echo reverbs, and there are also some great moody electric guitar solos to be heard. The production date of late 1970's is revealed only by some more modern sounding synthesizer tones, which could not have been present on late 1960's or early 1970's recordings. There's also quite strong rhythm section in this band, and there are some faster and more complex movements in the compositions. I'm sure that they have studied their classic jazz recordings. Beate Krause's deep voice is truly stunning, and she also pronounces English in a very good manner, this being a quite rare achievement in the underground recordings from continental European countries.

As only small negative aspect of this record I would detect the similarity of some melodic manners being repeated on the songs, so there are no big contrasts on the music. There are three long compositions here, which lengths vary from six to sixteen minutes, and two shorter more conventional folk songs. The opening track "Put on Your Nightcap" rises from ethereal winds or waves, as undistorted amplified electric guitar begins to weave the soothing web of sound. The lyrics criticize war and institutional religion, and during the violent days of our time this is sadly a good song as background music while watching muted television news. The composition is interesting, as it has many different and very beautiful sections in it. "You And Me" is then a traditional folk with acoustic guitar and the lady singer, and it has even few major chords, which are a rarity in this record. "Somewhere at The End of The Rainbow" is another longer stunning psychedelic voyage like the first track, which really hypnotized me whilst listening to it. "Treary Eyes" is another shorter tune, which is followed by the song "Try A Little Bit", which is the last longer tune of the original album, and played with amplified guitar. The last three songs are bonus tracks from a concert, which are only found on the CD reissue. The sound quality of these live recordings is not very good, but they are a nice addition to the record. "River" is a short, instrumental psychedelic rock passage, which works as an intro for the following song "Sweet Heroin". This performance starts with a moody, abstract sound wall, from where mysterious and powerful song rises. The composition has a mellow and calm feeling, where the fast and loud parts emerge from time to time. The vocals are also treated with weird effects during the verses. "Brickstone" is then only a short excerpt from an interesting sounding performance, alas this being faded out after a minute as maybe the tape or band ran out.

The greatest moments of this album are among the most essential musical moments that I have yet founded from the genres of both artistic folk and psychedelic music. Therefore I recommend it warmly to the fans of moody and beautiful art music. Found also as on praised bargain-priced vinyl reissue.

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Send comments to Eetu Pellonpää (BETA) | Report this review (#84369) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, July 21, 2006

Review by ClemofNazareth
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk Researcher
4 stars What an incredible find! This album is a true delight from start to finish, and a great example of the modest and short-lived resurgence of interest in folkish psychedelic music in free Germany in the latter seventies.

Carol of Harvest unfortunately released only one album, and that originally only in the form of a small private pressing. The album was re-released in the nineties, and again on CD several years after that. Prior to these releases this music was pretty much reserved for those who were fortunate enough to pick it up at its original release, or those who had thousands of dollars to invest in an auctioned copy. Today the CD is available for little more cost than that of any modern popular band, and includes three live tracks of unspecified origin.

There is almost no information available on the web or in library archives that gives many clues as to where and why these guys came into existence. Too bad, because I’m quite sure the story is fascinating. I also cannot find any evidence any of them pursued music as a career after the band folded, with the exception of bassist Heinz Reinschlüssel who ended up in the pop-nostalgia band Rey Vulcano, with whom he apparently still performs. Again, too bad: singer Beate Krause has a folk-laced, almost operatic voice that should have graced the grooves of many albums, and guitarist Axel Schmierer’s sound is in the finest David Gilmour / Steve Rothery tradition. Jürgen Kolb’s moog would have placed him well in any number of psychedelic, symphonic, or even hard rock bands of that day; while the rhythm section, though not exactly stellar, is well-suited to their subdued supporting role.

The band’s name is taken from the American poet Walt Whitman’s epic ‘Leaves of Grass’, and specifically from the stanzas where he describes the wasteland of the battlefield strewn with casualties, and where he philosophically posits that carrying-on with life is all that remains to do for the survivors (the CD’s liner notes include an excerpt from Whitman’s poem). This sentiment is similar to Voltare’s idea of “cultivating our garden” in the depressing but hopeful ‘Candide’.

And this is also the sentiment of the band, particularly in the lengthy opening track “Put on Your Nightcap”, in which Ms. Krause croons in hypnotically appealing tones about war and its aftermath. Sandy Denny of Fairport Convention comes to mind, as does the activist/musician Peggy Seeger. But it is important to note this album was recorded in 1978, not a decade earlier though that is what it sounds like. Considering the common musical fare of the late seventies, it’s not surprising this one never made any kind of impression on the masses. Our loss. The opening track starts out sounding very much like an old Fairport Convention, Joan Baez, or Peter, Paul & Mary folk song, but quickly proves its mettle by progressing into a borderline psychedelic work with rangy, soaring guitar by Schmierer and a sporadically heavy rhythm. This is undoubtedly the highlight of the whole album, although the rest is well worth many listenings.

“You and Me” is the track most often played on college radio or obscure compilation albums when Carol of Harvest gets represented. This is probably because it is short, mellow, willowingly upbeat, and more representative of the folk side of the band.

From there the band launched into another extended track with “Somewhere At The End of the Rainbow”, which sounds remarkably like the later British band Mostly Autumn, or maybe even Stream of Passion. This is another track that skirts the boundary between hippy and acid folk, and manages both with equal skill. The almost bluesy guitar solo in the middle is simply beautiful, and also features the only really prominent bass lines on the album.

“Treary Eyes” is another short tune, and like “You and Me” features acoustic guitar and very understated keyboards. This one reminds me quite of a bit of the interaction between Nancy Wilson’s acoustic guitar and sister Ann’s soulful singing on Heart’s ‘Dog and Butterfly’ album, and in fact was recorded around the same time.

The first few guitar chords of “Try a Little Bit” are suspiciously similar to the Animals’ rendition of “House of the Rising Sun”, and the track does manage to stray well into the psych R&B sound of that band almost immediately. The guitar work here is again exceptional, intricate and emotive while at the same time disciplined. Aside from the opening track this is probably the strongest work on the album, and the noodling moog and loose bass line sound much closer to the end of the decade in which is was recorded, as opposed to the rest of the album that sounds like a Woodstock-era throwback.

The final three tracks on the CD are live, which of course begs the question of when and where they were recorded. Not sure, but there is definitely an enthusiastic crowd. “River” and “Brickstone” are heavier and more melodic than the original album, and the keyboardist seems to have traded in his moog for an analog organ of some sort. The recording quality of these tracks isn’t so good, but both songs are energetic and fun to listen to, although not representative of the rest of the album.

The remaining live track is “Sweet Heroin”, which I’m positive is a cover of someone else’s, but I don’t know whose. This is an intensely psychedelic composition with extended instrumental passages, moaning vocals courtesy of Ms. Krause, and overall a Jim Morrison Doors-like feel. This is easily the heaviest work on the album, and the crowd responds enthusiastically. Ms. Krause borders on sounding like Patti Smith as she spits out the vocals in between flights of guitar fantasy. Again, great track, but not consistent with the rest of the album.

So in all this is an outstanding album, with only a couple of very minor quibbles to keep it from being considered a masterpiece. Primarily is this feeling that the band was originally scoping this as a concept album (as evidenced by the band’s name, artwork, and opening track), but for some reason the theme doesn’t seem to quite hold throughout. Also, the lack of any kind of detailed credits or liner notes is a bit disappointing considering the relative obscurity of the band. This is a tack that bands like Godspeed You! Black Emperor and even punk bands could pull off, but it’s just annoying with this band.

Maybe this is a masterpiece anyway, but for now I’ll say it is a solid four stars, and will perhaps revisit that someday.

peace

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Send comments to ClemofNazareth (BETA) | Report this review (#115455) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, March 17, 2007

Review by kenethlevine
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog-Folk Team
4 stars

Carole of Harvest, like Emtidi, Gurnemanz, Ougenweide and Hoelderlin, showed that a psychedelic prog folk scene did exist in Germany in the 70s, but their sole effort came along when the other bands had shifted or disappeared, and therefore the genre was of less interest by then. In fact, one might even ask what the point was. Most of the ideas presented here were long past their expiry date both in their native land and elsewhere, often sounding more like early than late 70s. The instrumentation is sparse and samey, featuring mostly heavily strummed electric or amplified acoustic guitars, with the keys secondary.

Where Carole of Harvest departs from all of the above in a favourable sense is the superb vocals of Beate Krause, who is reminiscent of the singers in the aforementioned groups but also of Jacquie MacShee and Annie Haslam. It is expressive and is in perfect sync with the accompaniment, no more so than in the finale of the original LP, "Try a LIttle Bit", 10 minutes of prog folk bliss with more bite than Pentangle or Renaissance could ever hope to muster. Ms Krause's wordless acompaniment that follows the main part of the song is masterfully expressive and harmonious, and the synthesizers, and perhaps mellotron at the finale, provide just the right augmentation to the basic sound. While drums are present on this track, they are kept low and are not needed, so potent is the basic groove. That is the general trend in the album.

The other major highlight is the longest song, the 16 minute anti war reflection called "Put on Your Nightcap" that opens the album with tentative guitar reflections, unrushed and pregnant with promise, accompanied by the sounds of the wind. The structure and manner of buildup is very progressive, with time given to express the lyrical themes and some impressive synthesizer and lead guitar work, mostly played at a slow pace reflecting the ponderous nature of the theme. A second part is slightly more upbeat with more emphasis on the rhythm, and some prominent bass work.

The other three original songs from the LP are all shorter and decent but not quite to 5 star level, being like more concise but less interesting versions of the two monsters. The bonus material is live, shows a more straightforward rocking side of the band, and sounds quite out of place given the strength and style of the other material.

While the harvest reaped is superficially similar to the usual autumn fare, the album manages to carve a feast for the prog fan with an interest in electric folk, as well as an indelible niche among the many German one-offs in existence. Highly recommended.

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Send comments to kenethlevine (BETA) | Report this review (#155383) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, December 13, 2007

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Neo Prog Team
4 stars A complete German obscurity,Carol of Harvest came from the city of Furth in northern Bavaria and were formed in 1976,led by main composer and guitarist Axel Schmierer.The line-up was completed with female singer Beate Krause, bassist Heinz Reinschlüssel, keyboardist Jürgen Kolb and drummer Robert Högn.Their self-titled debut was released on Brutkasten,a label which have released a fair amount of German obscurities from late-70's to early-80's.The 2001 CD re-issue of Second Battle includes also three live tracks.

A 16-min.long suite on the first side along with a short ballad followed by three mid-length compositions on the flipside see Carol of Harvest blending some typical Acid Psych/Folk with synth-driven instrumental prog in an awesome way.Pastoral folk acoustic explorations and psych-influenced vocal-based trippy musicianship is supported by professional,highly dynamic instrumental parts with an energetic rhythm section and superb synthesizers.The compositions follow mainly a low tempo,often dominated by Schmierer's spacey guitar playing along with some orchesteral mellotron sounds.What however pushes the album to another level is the majestic voice of Beate Krause,one of the most amazing,expressive and psychedelic female voices ever with a dreamy and ethereal voice,who additionally sings in almost perfect English.The three live cuts back from the early days of the band indicate a bunch of musicians playing with high energy,Krause's voice in full shape and the synths replaced by some really great organ waves.

Carol of Harvest disbanded shortly after this release,propably due to the low interest of the public in their music and the upcoming wave of commercial music.However the band left behind a really masterful album of majestic Progressive Folk music,which produces unmet trippy soundscapes.Highly recommended far beyond the typical lovers of Hippie Folk or Acid Psych Folk,the album heads to any serious music lover.

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Send comments to apps79 (BETA) | Report this review (#579044) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Ask most prog fans to guess who Carol of Harvest was, and they'd say something along the lines of "Er... was she an A&R rep at Pink Floyd's record label?". Nice guess, but nope - in fact, Carol of Harvest is an intriguing prog-folk band from Germany. J'rgen Kolb uses his keyboards and synthesisers to weave spacey textures and soundscapes into the delicate folk tapestry woven by the rest of the band, with Beate Krause's fine vocals adding the final embellishment to the mixture. As far as mellow, trippy space-folk goes, it's a very strong release indeed, and it falls into the category of "so-called lost classics that are actually sort of worth the hype".

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#1021357) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Latest members reviews

4 stars It´s been a long time that i don´t listen to such a gordeous record like this one! It´s German prog folk band with a beautiful female vocals performed by the soft voice of Beate Krause.  In fact, the record includes some genres of progressive rock, passing through symphonic mixed with the softne ... (read more)

Report this review (#1078825) | Posted by Luciana Aun | Monday, November 18, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A really nice record here. The sound is reminiscent of bands like Emtidi (Saat) or Holderlin (Holderlin's Traum/Hoelderlin). You get a similar feel, though there is more of a (prog) rock approach. It sounds like it came out of the early 70s too. The music is generally quite melodic, generally melanc ... (read more)

Report this review (#215207) | Posted by listen | Tuesday, May 12, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Hallo all friends of carol of harvest. my name is Axel and I was the composer of all carol of harvest songs. After 30 years I publish a new record, coming out January 2009. Again I found a wonderful new voice singing on the record. The music is not so much different as the old carol of harvest ... (read more)

Report this review (#194662) | Posted by carol of harvest | Monday, December 22, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This is a nice obscurity from late 70s Germany. Honestly, there isn't really much "folk" in this is record, but it is a pleasant slice of mellow prog. The first track, the oddly-named "Put on Your Nightcap", is a sixteen minute melancholic epic full of dramatic synths, soaring female vocals, mel ... (read more)

Report this review (#84155) | Posted by | Wednesday, July 19, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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