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THE PINK MICE

Symphonic Prog • Germany


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The Pink Mice biography
The Pink Mice is a German band of the early 70's clearly Symphonic and often accused of being clones of ELP, something that is not accurate, they were close to being clones of TRIUMVIRAT (Triumvirat is also known as The Rat, so the connection between Mice and Rat is easy to understand) in other words they were almost clones of a so called clone of ELP.

Some people may ask how they could follow TRIUMVIRAT if THE PINK MICE released their debut album in 1971 and The Rat in 1972, the reason is simple, TRIUMVIRAT was formed in 1969 and was already popular in Germany plus they had a lot of radio airplay with a 45 RPM released in January 1971 containing the songs "Dancers Delight" and "Timothy"..

But THE PINK MICE history gets more peculiar, their original lineup consisted of The keyboardist Peter Hetch, Peter Gesslein (Guitar & Vocals), Dieter Horns (Bass & Vocals) and the drummer Joachim Rietenbach is the exact same lineup of an already popular Hard Prog band called LUCIFER'S FRIEND but without the British vocalist John Lawton, seems that the members of LUCIFER'S FRIEND wanted to go for the Symphonic sounds with exclusively German members instead of the aggressive rock music created with Lawton as a member.

Their albums are clearly influenced by Classical Music and they don't hide this fact, the titles of the songs include among others "Capriccio Italien op.45", "Brandenburgisches Konzert Nr.3,1.Satz", "For Elise", Sonata for Klavier, etc.

During their short career they released two excellent albums "In Action" (1971) and "In Synthesizer Sound" (1972) both are highly recommended and a must have for any Symphonic proghead that loves Synth based albums, if you need more historical info about the band, check the page of LUCIFER'S FRIEND in Prog Archives.

Iván Melgar Morey - Perú

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THE PINK MICE discography


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THE PINK MICE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.56 | 10 ratings
In Action
1971
1.33 | 7 ratings
In Synthesizer Sound
1972

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2.09 | 3 ratings
In Action/In Synthesizer Sound
2004

THE PINK MICE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

THE PINK MICE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 In Synthesizer Sound  by PINK MICE, THE album cover Studio Album, 1972
1.33 | 7 ratings

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In Synthesizer Sound
The Pink Mice Symphonic Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

1 stars Unfortunately, I have to agree with reviewer before me. Why unfortunately ? Because I don't like low ratings, but when it's needed, it's needed. I was hoping for innovative approach on classical music, something not necessarily weird, but not just replace dozens of instrument (of orchestra) by synth sounds.

1(+), so value of this record is very little. Especially given that most of these songs are well known (pouring on us from half of TV ads - for butter, for new furniture center, anything), so hearing them like that isn't exactly interesting.

There could be something interesting done from this material, but the result fails quite a lot. One star for "I can at least stay tuned for all 35 minutes, even I started to feel quite weird towards the end.".

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  In Action by PINK MICE, THE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.56 | 10 ratings

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In Action
The Pink Mice Symphonic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

2 stars I am not sure how to describe the concept of creativity. But I am pretty sure this band's outputs is not creativity. I would rather use some other words.

Take some classic music, remove the original instruments and rape the originals with tonnes of keyboards. Add some guitars, bass and drums too just to add some credibility. Creativity ? Not in my version of the Oxford Dictionary. The music is not too bad and miles better than their other album. But still only touch this band's outputs with a bargepole. The Pink Mice has misunderstood what ELP and Triumvirat understood: You have to add your own identity. This album is as bland as a box of paint from B & Q. There is no colours in this music. Just keyboards raping the original compositions. Add some Krautrock to the blend and my only thought is to send in the cat. Not as bad as the other album, but still something at the end of a bargepole. Nuff said.

2 stars

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 In Synthesizer Sound  by PINK MICE, THE album cover Studio Album, 1972
1.33 | 7 ratings

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In Synthesizer Sound
The Pink Mice Symphonic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

1 stars Anyone remember the very annoying ringtone project Crazy Frog ? That project took normal songs and molested them by replacing the normal instruments with synths. Disgraceful and not particular creative. But Crazy Frog was not the first one who used that recipe for musical disaster. The Pink Mice did the same 35 years ago.

The Pink Mice has here taken well known classical pieces and stripped them bare. Then they have added tonnes of keyboards and some guitars. Innovative and creative ? No. Is it symphonic prog ? No. It is elevator music. It is in fact not music at all. It is muzak. There is more creativity and innovation in ELP's rendition of Jerusalem than there is on this album. Just think about it. For example the music in Capriccio Italien op.45 is there. Just fork out some Euros to get a half decent recording of it. Then just take your keyboard and replace the orchestration, note by note. Add some drums and bass too. Just to be a bit clever, add some guitars too. Creative music ? No. Annoying ? Oh yes !

Where ELP, Triumvirat and most of the bands who went down this route added personality, art and creativity; The Pink Mice just replaces stuff. No more than that.

I do not doubt that the musicians is good and does a brilliant job. But the result is muzak; not music. And I cannot stand this album. And that's it, really.

1 star

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 In Action/In Synthesizer Sound by PINK MICE, THE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2004
2.09 | 3 ratings

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In Action/In Synthesizer Sound
The Pink Mice Symphonic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

2 stars This is both their albums on one CD.

The music is some synth adoptations (not the word I would use, but I have to be both kind & informative here)( of old classics from the likes of Beethoven, Grieg, Mozart, Haydn & other classical music composers. It is branded symphonic prog, but I prefer to call it elevator music. Well, if Ekseption is your cup of tea or you have tried hard to find their two albums; this is an album you will love. It is good value for money if this is your cup of tea. I would rather down a mug of bleach, but that is my personal opinion.

And my opinion is that this is elevator music and nothing more. There is no creativity in this music, just adaption with a syntheziser. Therefore two stars.

2 stars

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  In Action by PINK MICE, THE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.56 | 10 ratings

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In Action
The Pink Mice Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

4 stars Outstanding symphonic prog band coming from Germany badly influenced by classical music,I think even more than EMERSON,LAKE & PALMER...Actually this can be named as a side project of the heavy progressive act LUCIFER'S FRIEND without their singer...Seems like the members of this act had a dream of creating a classical music inspired album...

And the result is of extremely high quality...Even you're not familiar with classical music,you will be able to recognize in this effort popular classical music pieces of Bach or Beethoven transformed by THE PINK MICE into symphonic rock anthems in a unique way!...The musicianship is just excellent and for the most port of the album you will listen to beautiful piano and great synths meeting the guitar-,drum- and bass lines sounding like the rock way the giant composers of the past would have created their symphonies if they were able to have a rock instrumentation in their hands...Apart of this the thing doesn't stop here...Here and there you will manage to recognize some fusion/jazzy musicianship under the symphonic anthems...The LUCIFER'S FRIEND influece is also evident in some really complex heavy prog moments...All this package in one album that sounds just great...

I will dare to compare this band with ELP or even better with early BEGGAR'S OPERA in terms of style and equal musicianship despite not being all that famous in prog rock circles...Symphonic maniacs,this was made for you!For all the others,you need to give this album a try,it worths it!...Rating?...Well,this album deserves 3.5 stars the least...But considering its year and country of release (1971,so early and Germany is mostly known for its jazz- and kraut rock bands) I'll rate this one with 4 stars at least without hesitation!

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  In Action by PINK MICE, THE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.56 | 10 ratings

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In Action
The Pink Mice Symphonic Prog

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator Symphonic Prog Specialist

4 stars If the guys from Lucifer's Friend wouldn't told their singer John Lawton to take a vacation and form THE PINK MICE, we would had lost one of the few Symphonic bands that placed all their emphasis in Classical music, it's true that they don't have the most developed Prog style, but lets remember this guys were a Hard Rock band that made a Prog experiment in 1971, when the genre was on dippers, much more in their native Germany.

When a casual listener reads the song list of "In Action", really wonders what are this lunatics doing? All the tracks are written by famous Classical composers (Bach, Beethoven, Haydn and Grieg) and the question is more justified if you know their past as Hard Rock headbangers with leather clothes, but when you listen the good ensemble between this guys and Peter Hetch in the keyboards you can find an explanation, they are doing real Prog Rock.

So lets try to make a song revision:

The album starts with Bach's "Italienisches Konzert-Air", as we could expect, the organ takes the lead from the first instant with a clearly influenced by Keith Emerson style, sober and pompous, completely respectful, but after a couple minutes the guys go crazy and throw us all they have, guitars, drums, fast piano in an orgy of Rock and Jazz, crazy, frantic, almost desperate, but again they return to the sober organ to finish the song with an outstanding piano solo that proves Hetch's virtuosism.

Beethoven's "Fur Elise" is the next track, I was expecting something softer and romantic, but Peter Hetch starts with a very strong piano intro that leads to a vibrant but short instrumental section, and only now, the soft famous melody but hey..Isn't that a distorted guitar in the back? Yes it is, Peter Heisslen is having a bit of fun mixing the unmixable, but....Isn't that what Progressive Rock is about?

At this point the soft melody returns only to lead towards a frenetic ecstasies of Neo Classical Rock with some touches of Fusion. You can accuse THE PINK MICE of being rough, hard, maybe not as clean and aseptic as GENESIS or YES,. But his guys sure can rock.

Haydn's "Konzert Fur Trompete Und Orchester" gets it's turn on THE PINK MICE'S capable hands, again they start respectful but seems that as the songs advance, they get carried and start experimenting, but at the same time they get closer to their roots and start to Rock.

"Anitras Tranz" from Grieg's Peer Gynt is next, and Hetch uses all he has on the keys, perfectly supported by Heisslen in the guitar and Dieter Horns in the bass, again they get carried by the frenetic energy of Rock in a complex cacophony of sounds and styles all mixed together, outstanding piece.

Beethoven is visited once again with PINK MICE'S version of "Pathetique", this time they are much more respectful, even though the fusion of styles and genres is there, their approach is softer and more transparent, the piano flows from start to end and Joachim Rietenbach does an outstanding job keeping the tempo as a human metronome.

But the grand finale is magnificent; they enter completely in Jazz Fusion territory, with a class and style not common in Symphonic musicians.

The album is closed by Bach's Brandenburgisches Konzert (1. & 3.), a version heavily influenced by THE NICE (Not ELP because both bands are coetaneous), the clavichord performance is brilliant and creates a beautiful conflict with the aggressive Rock sections. Radical changes, great performances, odd timings, everything you need to create a Prog masterpiece is here; they just required to polish it a bit, but remember, this was recorded in 1971 by a Hard Rock band playing under an alias.

How to rate this album? Honestly I don't now, it's too rough, like an unpolished gem to give them five stars, but guys who have the courage and skills to re-create, not one or two but six Classical masterpieces, deserve no less than four stars.

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