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FRUMPY

Eclectic Prog • Germany


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Frumpy biography
Founded in Hamburg, Germany in 1970 - Hiatus between 1973-1989 - Disbanded in 1995

The four musicians who formed FRUMPY were all members of Irishman O' Brian-Docker's folkband The City Preachers, which he founded in Hamburg in 1965. The City Preachers played an excellent blend of American and British folk music and had, sometimes, over a dozen people on stage. Discontent with singer Dagmar Krause, drummer Carsten Bohn left the City Preachers in November 1969 and took singer Inga Rumpf, French keyboarder Jean-Jacques Kravetz and bassist Karl-Heinz Schott with him to form FRUMPY. In spring of 1970, FRUMPY started a successful tour of France. The same year, they went on a 50 concert tour with SPOOKY TOOTH, and played with YES, HUMBLE PIE and RENAISSANCE. In autumn of 1970, FRUMPY released the first album "All Will Be Changed" which contained only own material with the exception of a Richie Havens cover. The Following year guitarist Rainer Baumann joined FRUMPY and played on the bands second LP "Frumpy 2", which was rapped in a round plastic bag. In Germany, the album was well received and proved that rock music from Germany could live up to international standard. Their music combines jazz, soul and eastern elements with the keyboards as the most important instrument. FRUMPY topped the Musik Express poll as the most popular German rock group of the year and the newspaper FAZ assisted singer Inga Rumpf to be "the country's biggest individual talent", but a tour of England with MOTT THE HOOPLE failed to attract popularity in Britain. Musical differences with keyboarder Kravetz caused him to leave FRUMPY, in spring 1972, to record a solo Lp with Inga Rumpf singing one song. But he returned for the recording sessions of FRUMPY's third LP "By The Way". But FRUMPY disbanded after a farewell concert on June 26, 1972. Inga Rumpf, Jean-Jacques Kravetz and Karl-Heinz Schott formed ATLANTIS. The year 1990 saw a FRUMPY reunio and a new LP "Now!".

Bio written by ANDREW

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FRUMPY discography


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FRUMPY top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.55 | 72 ratings
All Will Be Changed
1970
3.97 | 120 ratings
Frumpy 2
1971
3.32 | 56 ratings
By The Way
1972
1.92 | 6 ratings
Now
1990
3.00 | 2 ratings
News
1991

FRUMPY Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.41 | 33 ratings
Frumpy Live
1973
3.16 | 6 ratings
Live NinetyFive
1995

FRUMPY Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

FRUMPY Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.67 | 3 ratings
In And Out Of Studios
1973
4.20 | 5 ratings
Attention
1975
4.40 | 5 ratings
Best Of
1997

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

FRUMPY Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 All Will Be Changed by FRUMPY album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.55 | 72 ratings

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All Will Be Changed
Frumpy Eclectic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 stars. The debut of FRUMPY in 1970 certainly put them on the map in Germany. Maybe as much as this album caught the public's attention it was the live shows. And what young guy wouldn't want to see Inga in her leather pants belting it out on stage. As talented as she was, keyboardist Jean-Jacques Kravitz might trump her. I feel like the followup has spoiled me for this one. "2" is a 4.5 star album in my books. They slowed it down with better compositions and adding a guitarist was huge. A lot of the music on the debut here is uptempo to a fault. I just get tired of the relentless organ and vocals after a while. A little samey in that regard but there are some experimental bits on "Floating Part 1" and "Baroque". The band by the way was previously known as THE CITY PREACHERS before becoming FRUMPY. So a really good start by this band and they hit it out of the park with the next one.
 Frumpy 2 by FRUMPY album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.97 | 120 ratings

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Frumpy 2
Frumpy Eclectic Prog

Review by prog_traveller!!

4 stars It is now known that the period between the end of the 60s and the early 70s was marked by the undisputed domination of Great Britain and the United States, but the value of that musical movement born in Germany and soon coined with the name is now equally recognized, by Krautrock.

Substantially within this movement there were groups dedicated to the most avant-garde and futuristic experiments and often almost completely emancipated from what was happening in the rest of Europe or the world or groups that were more blatantly inspired by their British cousins.

The band Frumpy certainly belong to the latter category. The album I'm talking about is their best, characterized by a very hard and dark sound similar to that of the British and their contemporaries Stone the Crows, contains 4 long tracks with abundant instrumental parts on which the French organist Jean-Jacques Kravetz dominates assisted by the soloist contribution of the guitarist Rainer Baumann under whom the bassist Karlheinz Schott and the drummer Carsten Bohn play very well. But what makes the difference is certainly the magnificent voice of the singer Inga Rumpf endowed, in my opinion, with one of the most beautiful and interesting female voices of all time: with a very masculine and biting timbre, the interpretations given in this record are truly top notch. The spearhead of the album is the ride "How the gipsy was born" with an excellent vocal performance and an interesting instrumental part with a very Nordic sound, followed by the excellent and vaguely Spanish "Take care of your illusion" and perhaps a little prolix "Duty" which however has a beautiful melody.

This album was followed by another album in 1972 "By the way" which, however, did not manage to repeat the good levels reached by this one and the dissolution of the group was inevitable due to lack of interest from the public.

 Now by FRUMPY album cover Studio Album, 1990
1.92 | 6 ratings

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Now
Frumpy Eclectic Prog

Review by kornhelius

3 stars Strange discovery I bought an Union CD called Now in 1991. Once I tried lately to extract the tracks to have them on my computer, the Frumpy name appeared. In France, I didn't hear from one or another band and I felt happy to find such an astonishong record. Mostly soul and funk with a touch of something else, prog and very european feeling. The most extra ordinary is the final track, "Now the gipsy is born", one of a kind of a track I encourage everybody to listen to, a masterpiece and a surprising one. The reste of the CD is enjoyable in miscellaneous styles. Three stars for the CD and five stars for "Now the gipsy is born".
 By The Way by FRUMPY album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.32 | 56 ratings

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By The Way
Frumpy Eclectic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

3 stars After disagreements over musical directions of the band, founder member and main character of the band, keyboardist Jean Jacques Kravetz left the band and released a solo album (with vocalist Inga Rumpf singing on one track). This was a major blow, since his heavy Hammond frills were the Frumpy´s trademark up till then. Although he did came back in time for the recording of their third LP his input was minimal in terms of songwriting, Rumpf taking much of the that role herself. The presence of another keyboards-man, Ervwin kani suggests he did not played on all tracks, although there is no way to find out which ones, if that´s the case. Anyway, By The Way is a much more guitar based record than their previous efforts. Strangely on some CD editions guitarist is not mentioned, making some people believe, wrongly, that Inga Rumpf took all the guitar duties (she did played some acosutic guitar on this album though). But all the electric guitar oarts are played by the same Rainer Baumann as before. The difference now is that he had much more room to expand his skills and he does that very well, by the way (no pun intended).

As for the songs, themselves they are a little more simpler and more "radio friendly" (for the time) than their previous works, with Rumpf´s vocals reaching a new level of versatility and range. She does remind me of a german version of Babe Ruth´s great Jenny Haan. But there´s just enough keyboards here to satisfy most old fans. And it kind of showed new paths this band could travel if they had stick together. Unfortunately this was not to be, Frumpy breaking up soon after this album was out. Rumpf, Kravetz and bassist Karl Heinz Schott joining forces for their next project, the equally interesting and good Atlantis (sadly still not here on PA).

Although different from the two previous CDs, By The Way proved Frumpy could manage a very fine record without the "Kravetz sound". All songs are good and there was more experiments (specially on the guitar parts), with songs like Release and Singing Songs proving that they had all the chops and talented needed to be on par with the best hard rock bands of the time. It is only a shame they never realize their full potential as an international act, nor got the recognition they surely deserved.

Rating: if PA was a hard rock site this would be a 4 or even 4.5 stars rate, but as it is I can only give it 3,5 stars, Very good but not really essential in terms of prog music. If do like the style, however, you should check out this forgotten gem.

 Frumpy 2 by FRUMPY album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.97 | 120 ratings

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Frumpy 2
Frumpy Eclectic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Frumpy´s second album was released in 1971 and showed a band expanding to a quintet with guitarist Rainer Baumann joining the group prior to the recording of this disc. The songs were following the same formula as before although the arrangements are a tad more sophisticated than on their debut, with Baumann adding some nice flourishes most of the time, even if it is clearly that keyboardist Jean-Jacques Kravetz pretty much runs the show with his heavy organ riffing. It is also nice to see that vocalist Inga Rumpf is also singing better than ever, her powerful bluesy delivering is surely one of the highlights of the band.

With hindsight is very easy to see why the band was so popular at home but could not break in England or the USA. While Frumpy proved capable of playing a kind of heavy, organ drenched blues rock as good as any of their british or american counterparts, the band was unable to add anything new to the basic format, unlike many of their german peers who were much more bold and experimental. Not that the band were not capable of doing something different: Kravetz sometimes threw a few interesting melodic lines during the instrumental breaks (like in Duty), but it was all too timid, short and retrieved. Most of the time you could not tell them from another british band of the genre. In other words, they lacked a strong musical personality that would set them apart from so many others. In Germany their skilled raw blues rock delivering could be a novelty but elsewhere it was not.

That´s not to say that the songs were bad, on the contrary: they were very good and all band members were excellent. However, this kind of music was waning fast, with most bands becoming more sophisticated and eclectic (like Deep Purple) or simply disappearing from the scene (like Iron Butterfly). Frumpy was in danger of becoming obsolete before they could hit the big time in international terms. And the leaving of Kravetz soon after this album was out would only worse matters.

But they did deliver a fine hard/blues rock album that is a joy to hear. Maybe more enjoyable nowadays than it was then. If you like the bands in the vein of Deep Purple mark I, Atomic Rooster or Colosseum, you should not miss this one.

Rating: 3,5 stars.

 All Will Be Changed by FRUMPY album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.55 | 72 ratings

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All Will Be Changed
Frumpy Eclectic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I had never heard of this German band until recently, when a friend borrowed me their interesting debut album. I was expecting some kraurock ou space rock stuff and instead what I got was a very blues-rock instrumental trio without guitar (only keyboards, bass and drums) backing a unique vocalist. I was quite surprised by their singer Inga Rumpf: her strong, low registered, bluesy vocals could easily pass by as a man´s voice sometimes. The results are quite stunning, although hardly groundbreaking: in fact, if they were american or english they would be just another band in the same vein of Atomic Rooster, Paladin or Chicken Shack. There are some experimentalism thrown in here and there, but quite what was expected from the time, including the infamous drum solo (a short one, fortunately). For most of the time french keyboardist Jean-Jacques Kravetz runs the show with his above average skills on the Hammond organ, but the rhythm section is equally very good and versatile.

The songs are ok, I guess. Not really my cup of tea, but good for the style and sometimes Kravetz adds some classical influenced themes for good measure, which I liked. They were surely different from most that was being produced in Germany. And certainly they had both the skills and knack for writing decent songs to develop their sound much further.

If you like the style, go for it. Frumpy could be on par with the best organ based blues rock bands of the time. Although All Will Be Changed was not a CD that shook my world, it did spur my curiosity enough to try to get its follow up. And the music here is quite enjoyable too. A nice discovery.

Rating: 3,5 stars.

 Frumpy Live by FRUMPY album cover Live, 1973
3.41 | 33 ratings

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Frumpy Live
Frumpy Eclectic Prog

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

3 stars Life (live) keeps going ... just another album which has been a reliable compagnion next to me during the 70's. I was always fascinated by Inga's unique while somewhat raw singing voice. Just given with the same importance it went with, let's say, Renaissance and Annie Haslam or Jefferson Airplane and Grace Slick (though musically of course not really comparable, I know). Just another attraction in general is keyboard wizzard Jean-Jacques Kravetz, who's excelling with his solos during diverse jamming parts.

On a special side note, not joking, most of the songs have been recorded in my close neighborhood. This means 10 respectively 15 kilometers away from my hometown, which is still the same 'til today. Far away from a cultural metropolis. Not that this has been a special attraction to me for a long time actually. But today, yeah, 45!!! years since then, when listening to this again ... I'm wondering, back then, it must be a real thing, that I have attended the gig at Bünde in April 1972 above all. Man, if I ever would have have kept a log about such things.

Anyway, you should know, it's not that unusual when considering the recording era, that the songs are presented in a strong heavy blues rock outfit. Where some of them are rather decent, I'd like to underline Singing Songs at first, a marvelous blues tune which shines with perfect vocals. Duty comes as the album's absolute highlight. It's an 18 minutes lasting joy of playing, with a lot of prominent guitar and hammond interaction. While rich in contrast, provided with way more progressive characteristics, always associated with the band name, my alltime FRUMPY favourite is manifested by Take Care Of Illusion.

Completing the best-of ranks here, finally let me also mention the jamming stand out track Release which shows them experimenting quite a bit. This also includes the obligatory or maybe essential drum solo. Overall the album is not what prog purists are looking for. Fans of rrrrrrocking live performances though can't fail here. I mean those gigs where the band is featuring a lot of prowess and acting very close to 100 percent. Nice remembrance, at turbulent times nonetheless, for diverse reasons. Although being prolific and successful, surprisingly the group was disbanded in 1972 for the first time - 3.5 stars.

 Frumpy 2 by FRUMPY album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.97 | 120 ratings

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Frumpy 2
Frumpy Eclectic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Frumpy were a German heavy psych band in the vein of early Deep Purple and the like; by the time this second album came out, this sort of rough and ready style was already beginning to fade in popularity next to more polished efforts by the likes of Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath or, for that matter, Machine Head-era Deep Purple; nonetheless, despite sounding a bit like they're using second-hand production standards from a few years previous Frumpy manage to make up for this with enthusiastic playing and a raw, dirty sound which makes this an enjoyable product from the fading of the first psychedelic peak era. To paraphase one of my favourite MST3K episodes: "Frumpy, you can do magic things!"
 Frumpy 2 by FRUMPY album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.97 | 120 ratings

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Frumpy 2
Frumpy Eclectic Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars A heavy German band that initially released albums between 1970 and 1972 (with a posthumous live album in '73), Frumpy played in a hard n' heavy adventurous rock style made very distinctive by the gutsy and (dare I say) ballsy lead vocals of female singer Inga Rumpf! There were a few progressive related bands from the time that were fronted by women, but none could compare to the powerful and distinctly `un-feminine' sound Inga delivered. While their music was heavily dominated by sludgy electric guitar riffs and aggressive Hammond organ, the band also included blues, folk and psychedelic touches, with some brief classical elements too. Their second album, simply titled `2' is easily comparable to Nektar, early Pink Floyd, Uriah Heap, Atomic Rooster and Jane (and maybe even a little bit of Beggars Opera with the classical touches), but Frumpy really do sound like no other band!

With a trippy lyric and a shimmering Earth and Fire quality, album opener `Good Winds' drifts along on toasty warm vibes. The piece is bookended with drowsy acid-folk slide guitar similar to the early Floyd psych albums, especially reminding of David Gilmour's `Fat Old Sun'. A lengthy instrumental middle is a slow-build scorching Hammond organ ripple that spirals deliriously around leaping melodic bass and driving drum-work. Inga's English language vocal throughout is reflective during the verses before roaring to life in an almost Ozzy Osbourne manner for the overwhelming chorus. A very powerful opener with plenty of tasty sounds! `How The Gipsy Was Born' has a plodding muscular heavy groove, but also more of a breezy and cool swing to it with a fun (yet still pretty out- there) lyric and sultry vocal. Thick scratchy organ grinds away over bashing drums and wailing electric guitar soloing. An abrupt call-to-arms fanfare in the middle sees the piece move into an early Eloy and Grobschnitt stomp with swirling violent Hammond tearing shreds all around.

The second side begins with the eclectic `Take Care of Illusion.' With a more eerie dark nightmarish lyric, most of the piece is bombastic and frantic, Inga bellowing brimstone fury over thrashing guitars that cut loose and maniacal Hammond organ rumbling. It surprisingly briefly floats into a more ethereal ambient passage in the middle, almost Egyptian motifs woven throughout the music, before attacking intimidating bluster kicks in again and the band make an infernal addictive racket to end on. Getting the lightest of Mellotron veils and a sombre vocal out of the way at the beginning (but with a quick reprise at the end), `Duty' quickly reveals itself to be a Hammond organ masochists wet dream, just wall to wall with the instrument. Very jammy, up-tempo and relentless, it's also overloaded with acid-fried fuzzy wah-wah guitar that alternates between weeping and assaulting, blitzkrieg drum soloing working up an almighty sweat and chunky galloping slab-like bass, altogether sounding very much in the vein of the early Birth Control albums. Quick little classical themes incorporated in recall the first three LP's by Beggars Opera, plus there's a little light orchestration to bring a sweeping grandness.

Fans of the above mentioned bands and those wanting to hear a very distinctive female vocalist should look into this group right away, and ideally fans that liked the tougher female singers of bands such as Sandrose and Ruphus will definitely be interested to hear this album. Lovers of the dirtier and less-fancy German bands, and just maybe even Krautrock fans, and those who dig Hammond soaked early prog rockers, will likely find much plenty to appeal here as well. Full of fire, intensity and kick-ass playing from a red-hot band, Frumpy's `2' is a damn fine German prog- related rock album.

Four stars.

Note: Cheers to my good buddy Tom Ozric who pointed out to me just after I bought the CD that the singer of Frumpy wasn't a fella! See, pays to look at the CD booklet before pressing `Play'!

 All Will Be Changed by FRUMPY album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.55 | 72 ratings

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All Will Be Changed
Frumpy Eclectic Prog

Review by Progfan97402
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Let's just say better now than never when it comes for Frumpy. I've been aware of them for years, and around the same time I was aware of Frumpy, I was also aware of Atlantis, and I did buy a copy of Atlantis' 1973 debut in 1997 (a German swirl Vertigo copy no less), but at the time I didn't make the Frumpy connection (even though my copy did have a sticker on the front cover mentioning Frumpy). Of course, Atlantis was basically a new Frumpy, a more mainstream band. Both featuring Inga Rumpf (as well as Jean Jacques Kravetz). Atlantis did not exactly blow me away, it seemed more tame, the music wasn't great, it wasn't bad either, but wasn't something that I would visit my turntable on a regular basis, on the other hand, I won't part with it. Maybe it was my experience with Atlantis that made me swear off Frumpy. I was lucky to get an original copy of All Will Be Changed, compete with that gimmick plastic chameleon cover, and let me tell you, it's tons better! "Life Without Pain" sounds like hit potential to me. It has a rather gospel-like feel. It's rather straightforward, but they really get adventurous after this, with the wonderful "Rosalie". "Rosalie" is really disguised as three songs, the first part has a blues influence, with a psychedelic feel to it, I really love that organ. The second part is basically a great, extended organ solo from Kravetz before the third part, which is basically more or less how it began. Next two songs are shorter and more straightforward with their cover of Richie Havens' "Indian Rope Man" (at that time already covered by Julie Driscoll with Brian Auger & the Trinity as well as Warm Dust, an early band with Paul Carrack) and "Morning". I really dig that organ work on the latter. "Floating" is another extended piece disguised as three songs, like "Rosalie" bookended by Inga Rumpf's singing, while the middle part is Jean-Jacques Kravetz's spotlight, this time he takes a much more experimental approach, but there is also an extended drum solo. There's even some Mellotron, an M300. This was recorded in Holland at Phonogram Studios, where Earth & Fire and Ekseption had recorded (and they too used the M300, which apparently that Mellotron belonged to the studio). This is not Krautrock like Can, Amon Duul II, Faust, and the likes. Inga Rumpf's influence is in soul and blues, and obvious she wanted to be a white soul singer, but at the same time didn't want to be confined to soul music and instead exploring progressive rock. While the drum solo and experimental passages might be a bit difficult for some to take, this album still has a lot of great material that I can highly recommend.
Thanks to Sean Trane for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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