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SATIN WHALE

Prog Related • Germany


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Satin Whale biography
The German band 'Satin Whale' was founded around 1971 in the region of Cologne by Thomas Brück (bass, vocals), Gerard Dellmann (keyboards), Dieter Roesberg (guitar, sax ,flute, vocals) and Horst Schöffgen (drums). Their first record 'Desert Places' was released in 1974 on the green 'Brain' label, musically a typical example of German Seventies rock not unlike their stablemates 'Grobschnitt' and 'Jane' for the harder edge, with guitar and organ jams.

During a rock contest in 1974 ('Rocksound 74') 'Satin Whale' was elected the most popular German band. For the second release 'Lost Mankind' 1975 new drummer Wolfgang Hieronymi joined and the band changed to the 'Teldec' label, continuing musically in the same direction as their first record, with 'Jethro Tull' inspired flute-work. The band then went on tour as a support act for 'Barclay James Harvest'. This had a direct influence on their music and their third record 'As A Keepsake' was inspired by BJH, less rock and more symphonic influenced pop.

Their consequent tour served for the double live 'Whalecome', which showed the good musicianship of the band, giving room to extended improvisations, especially on the 17-minute long 'Hava Nagila. In the same year 'Satin Whale' released 'A Whale of Time', a good record especially the title track, an instrumental with a great string arrangement. In 1979 the band composed the soundtrack for the German movie 'Die Faust In Der Tasche' by director Max Willutzki. As the film was a popular and with their popularity rising the band released the same year 'On Tour'. In 1980 'Satin Whale' released 'Don't Stop The Show',their last and commercial record, together with Ex Triumvirat singer Barry Palmer and the band split up in 1981.

'Desert Places' ,' Lost Mankind' and 'Whalecome' are recommended.




Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
'Satin Whale' played an interesting mixture of melodic rock and Prog with symphonic elements.




Discography:
1974 - Desert places
1975 - Lost mankind
1977 - As a keepsake
1978 - Whalecome (2LP) Live
1978 - A whale of time
1979 - Die Kündigung / Double Up (7")
1979 - On Tour / Live
1979 - Die Faust in der Tasche (Soundtr.)
1980 - Don't stop the Show

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Buy SATIN WHALE Music


Desert PlacesDesert Places
Import
Lumpy Gravy Records
Audio CD$21.99
WhalecomeWhalecome
Import
Howling Wolf Records
Audio CD$27.99
Desert Places by Satin Whale (2015-10-21)Desert Places by Satin Whale (2015-10-21)
Lumpy Gravy Records
Audio CD$66.98
Desert Places by Satin Whale (1974-01-01)Desert Places by Satin Whale (1974-01-01)
Lumpy Gravy Records
Audio CD$86.56
Lost Mankind by Satin WhaleLost Mankind by Satin Whale
Telefunken
Audio CD$72.80
Satin Whale - Lost Mankind - Nova - 6.22248Satin Whale - Lost Mankind - Nova - 6.22248
Nova
Vinyl$62.98 (used)
Whalecome by Satin Whale (2010-01-01)Whalecome by Satin Whale (2010-01-01)
Howling Wolf Records
Audio CD$65.85
rock in deutschland-vol. 5 LProck in deutschland-vol. 5 LP
STRAND
Vinyl$35.00 (used)
Satin Whale - Whalecome - Nova - 6.28 449Satin Whale - Whalecome - Nova - 6.28 449
Nova
Vinyl$29.99 (used)
Satin Whale - Don't Stop The Show - Polydor - 2417 139Satin Whale - Don't Stop The Show - Polydor - 2417 139
Polydor
Vinyl$149.00
$24.89 (used)
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SATIN WHALE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

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

3.76 | 44 ratings
Desert Places
1974
3.62 | 30 ratings
Lost Mankind
1975
3.00 | 19 ratings
As A Keepsake
1976
3.53 | 17 ratings
A Whale Of A Time
1978
3.17 | 10 ratings
Die Faust In Der Tasche O.S.T
1979
4.00 | 2 ratings
Don't Stop The Show
1981

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

3.29 | 12 ratings
Whalecome
1978

SATIN WHALE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

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

SATIN WHALE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Desert Places by SATIN WHALE album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.76 | 44 ratings

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Desert Places
Satin Whale Prog Related

Review by Progfan97402

4 stars I found an original green Brain/Metronome LP pressing at a Eugene, Oregon record store. I couldn't believe what I was seeing! So I snatched it because it was sold at a rather cheap prince ($20), only to find out copies go for ten times that much, or even more so. This isn't the 2010 reprint, as that was apparently pressed on 180g vinyl, this looks like your typical '70s standard weight, probably 120g, plus it looks to have the usual wear and tear of a 1974 LP. I have heard of Satin Whale for ages (since about 2002) and glad to have bought this.

This is probably the closest to Krautrock they have ever did, but don't expect the experimentation of Can, Faust, Amon Duul II, early Tangerine Dream, Ash Ra Tempel, Agitation Free, etc. Here they often go in the Jethro Tull vein, but often go for extended jams, lots of nice guitar and organ soloing. The vocals are OK, nothing to write home, but at least not bad. Much of the album follows this same path, some short vocal passages, extended instrumental passages. One gripe could be, given its 1974 origins, that this album sounds rather behind the times and sounds more like a 1971 or '72 recording, but then you can say the same thing of Eloy's Floating or even Mythos' Dreamlab. But then from hearing my share of 1974 recordings, I came to the conclusion that the year, musically, seemed to have one foot in the early '70s (the guitar/Hammond organ approach was still commonplace) and the mid '70s (synthesizers were starting to play a bigger role). It's obvious that the Satin Whale was a bit behind the times for synths, as they still didn't use one, or more likely couldn't afford one (of course, they used synths on later albums like As a Keepsake). I don't let the "behind the times" sound bother me, it fits comfortably with your other prog albums released a bit earlier. This album gets a lot of praise in the prog community, and for good reason. It's too bad this was never properly reissued. It did received a bootleg reissue on CD on Germanophon, but it would do so much better had Repertoire been able to get their hands on it (after all, that label had reissued many great titles from the Brain label, it's probably either they can't get the rights to it, or the band members are embarrassed and don't want a reissue, just like Kraftwerk did with anything pre-Autobahn). I'm glad to own a turntable and the original LP, and lucky to find at a real decent price. Great stuff I can highly recommend!

 As A Keepsake by SATIN WHALE album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.00 | 19 ratings

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As A Keepsake
Satin Whale Prog Related

Review by Progfan97402

4 stars OK, so Eugene, Oregon isn't the most prog friendly place on the face of the planet, and that goes for finding used prog LPs, although I have found a few unbelievable finds there, including original Italian Polydor pressings of the first two Latte e Miele LPs (I only bought Papillon at one of the Eugene record stores, as I already owned the original Passio Secundum Mattheum), the original Italian Grog pressing of the Celeste LP, and an original green Brain LP pressing of Satin Whale's Desert Places. For some reason finding unbelievable albums in Eugene seemed to have petered out since then (probably since the record stores felt they were making more money with newly pressed vinyl, and needing to cater to the college student and hipster population). Regardless, so glad to get that Satin Whale LP, then coming home to realize the big money originals are going for (I spent $20, and this doesn't appear to be the recent repress). I also noticed a copy of As a Keepsake at the same time (2012), but skipped it thinking it probably isn't worth my time. Come 2015, same Satin Whale LP still sitting there and I bought it, and I actually find it very good.

Everything else they ever done seems to get compared to Desert Places, and I didn't feel the need to do that. As a Krautrock album, As a Keepsake crashes and burns. As a "crossover prog" album, this rather good, and if you like crossover prog, this comes recommended. It might not have the extended jams of Desert Places, but it had nice songs and nice arrangements. I don't think they sold out, the production and the music is a bit too sophisticated. They go a bit in the Barclay James Harvest route here, which I guess was intentional, as they had toured with them. I even prefer this over the BJH album from the same time (Gone to Earth). This album has several songs I really enjoy including "Holidays", "Devilish Roundabout", "Going Back to Cologne" and "Maree". "Devilish Roundabout" features some nice acoustic guitar passages, plus I really love that vibraphone solo. While I enjoy Desert Places as much as the next proghead, I was surprised to find this enjoyable, and worthy of four stars.

 Desert Places by SATIN WHALE album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.76 | 44 ratings

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Desert Places
Satin Whale Prog Related

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Found in 1971, German band Satin Whale originated from the Cologne area with Thomas Brueck on bass, Gerald Dellmann on keyboards, Horst Schöffgen on drums and Dieter Roesberg on multiple instruments and vocals.The rumors say that they started as an all instrumental group, before adding vocals in their repertoire, then signed with the legendary Brain label and released their debut ''Desert Places'' in 1974.

Despite heading to the mid-70's, Satin Whale played a typical, old-fashioned Kraut/Progressive Rock, a bit like TOMMOROW'S GIFT or EILIFF, with also references to the British scene, mostly because of the English lyrics and the evident bluesy influences.On their debut album they present a rich and energetic Progressive Rock with long tracks, characterized by the extended instrumental themes, the good interplays, the dynamic jams and the powerful rhythmic parts.Their music is based on the strong rhythm guitars, the jazzy rhythm section, the sharp riffs and the constant use of Hammond organ in quite a psychedelic mood.There are also some JETHRO TULL-eque flute bits and more discreet Classical inspirations in some preludes or the use of harsichord, but the main force of the release remain the abstract jamming sessions, the Hard Rock parts and the solid solos on guitars and organ.Surely there are a few sudden surprises to be found in the album, which is heavily influenced by the German monsters of the recent past.But the band delivers some good breaks and ''Desert places'' contains plenty of shifting climates to satisfy the Prog listener.

Consistent and well-performed Kraut Rock with decent performances and lots of psychedelic moments in a Hard Rock enviroment.Not outstanding, but definitely rewarding.There is also another vinyl release out from 1979, again on the Brain label, featuring a different cover.Recommended.

 As A Keepsake by SATIN WHALE album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.00 | 19 ratings

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As A Keepsake
Satin Whale Prog Related

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

2 stars Although it doesn't often produce the greatest results, I'm constantly intrigued by the idea of prog musicians trying to find a balance between progressive technicality and commercial elements. It's a fine line, trying to please your existing fan base who expects something with more substance, and appealing to a new commercial radio-friendly audience - and especially keeping the record label happy.

Sadly, this Satin Whale album doesn't live up to the standard they set on their one true classic, the 1974 debut `Desert Places' . That album rocked with a fury, had endless killer guitar and organ work, and even if the vocals were a little rough around the edges, the actual melodies were very decent. `As a Keepsake', however is often blatantly commercial and undemanding, I'm not sure if this was the band's decision, or the result of pressure from their record label demanding some `hits'. The album is especially ruined by some over the top and unpleasant female backing vocalists. They show up on most tracks and really kill the album. While I guess it gives the band a unique angle, it's really a detriment to the album. They didn't need them for the near classic debut album, and they didn't need them on this.

(I wonder if the three `Chorus' girls credited on the sleeve were actually girlfriends of the band, so the guys put them on the record as a favour? If so, I hope you saw a lot of action, fellas!)

The dramatic intro to opener `Holidays' really gets your hopes up with some nice playing, if a little modeled on Yes with the grumbling bass, Howe like guitar licks and Wakeman keyboards, but it ends up just a straightforward pop/rock song with very slight progressive moments tacked on. Very positive but kind of clichéd lame lyrics about `getting away from it all'. Pretty forgettable, but you can tell the band are great players.

`Reminiscent River' sets the template for much of the poorer elements of the album. A decent band playing an unremarkable commercial arrangement, swamped with a sappy string arrangement and overbearing female chorus vocals. Mostly horrible.

`Devilish Roundabout' is up-tempo and very positive, really gets your foot tapping! Great acoustic playing, cool organ, rumbling bass on this one, thanks to those above-mentioned Yes elements, and there's a strangely effective xylophone solo in the middle! Love it, really makes me smile....until right at the end, those female backing vocalists come in and kill the thing almost dead. Luckily it's brought back around and saved briefly by a short and sweet electric guitar solo and acoustic outro. Not too bad, and probably the best track so far.

`A Bit Foolish, A Bit Wise' has a beautiful atmospheric intro, but gives way to a heavily orchestrated and uninteresting section. The middle does have a lovely synth and flute solo, before being joined by a classy electric guitar solo...and then cut off again by those female singers and a reprise of the male vocal section and strings. Disappointing.

Side B's `Shady Way' sounds almost like a Focus outtake, with plenty of snappy flute fills, solid drum work and a nice wailing guitar solo before the wretched female singers and strings come in. Starting to see a pattern forming here? Beautiful outro, though.

We now hit a brief run of a few tracks where the album picks up and the quality increases quite a bit! It's to be short lived, however.

`Goin' Back To Cologne' has probably the best band vocals on the album, wrapped up in a very accessible and catchy melody. Again, reminds me a lot of Focus with the thick organ, and a killer Wakeman-like synth solo in the middle, with fiery drums. Also, a round of applause please ? NO female backing vocalists! Really good track!

`Kew Gardens' has sweet vocals from Thomas Brueck, with laid-back electric piano throughout the whole piece. The sax solo in the middle sounds slightly schmaltzy, but I'm quite forgiving of this one, as there's no female chorus vocals, and a nice sentimental and reflective lyric to go with it. The few little harmonica interludes here and there are a nice touch, too.

Finally - an instrumental track!! `Maree' is a great upbeat and energetic track, with wonderful thick organ, heaps of keyboard variety, and a great back and forth between the flute and guitar about two minutes in. Very tight arrangement, the terrific bass is really upfront and prominent on this one too. The band really cooks on this. More of this please, fellas!

Then we plummet back to earth badly with the cheesy and commercial `No Time To Lose', which is easily the poorest track on the album. It does have a positive lyric, but it's crippled by overuse of the female backing singers, a lame chorus and even a very slight disco influence. The band don't even get any standout moments on it to justify us listening. Awful!

`As A Keepsake' borders very slightly on AOR, a collection of mostly straightforward rock with progressive elements spliced in. Very well played, with a nice clear production, a number of fantastic parts, but it's all quite undemanding and such a letdown from their knockout debut album. All the great elements from the first album show up in brief little moments throughout this one, but it's wrapped in a number of forgettable commercial tracks and those obtrusive female singers. Just listen to how much the album comes alive in the instrumental sections, and you kind of get an idea of what we missed out on.

Sadly, only two stars - but those couple of tracks on the second side are rather good!

 Whalecome by SATIN WHALE album cover Live, 1978
3.29 | 12 ratings

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Whalecome
Satin Whale Prog Related

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I must admit this was a disappointment. I've been looking for the debut from this band for some time after hearing what a classic it was, but their music seemed to be all out of print until this double live album was re-issued recently. Sure it's a good way to check out the band's sound and style but I was surprised at how straight forward the music is. Straight-up Rock if you ask me although they do have two songs on here where they jam for over 17 minutes.

This was taken from a show in Cologne, Germany in November of 1977. It opens with an orchestral sample on "No Time To Lose" as the crowd cheers. The gentle guitar and vocals that take over 1 1/2 minutes in turn fuller quickly. "Song For Thesy" features flute and chunky bass with drums to start. Vocals after a minute along with guitar. Organ joins in later. "Maree" is an instrumental and one of my favs. The drums, guitar and organ lead as we get some energy. Strings before 2 minutes then an organ solo before 3 minutes. A proggy instrumental. "Desert Places" opens with flute and drums as organ and bass join in too. The guitar comes in and eventually leads. Vocals 3 1/2 minutes in as it settles. This doesn't last for long though.

"Reveree" is a short piece with strings and a classical vibe. "Holidays (By The Seaside)" opens with the crowd cheering and clapping along. They like this one. Vocals before 1 1/2 minutes then we get an instrumental break 3 minutes in but it's brief. "A Bit Foolish-A Bit Wise" has a great sounding intro with prominant guitar. Vocals 2 minutes in. Flute before 3 1/2 minutes and strings too. Nice guitar solo a minute later. "Crossing The Line" ends dics one with organ to start as the guitar and drums join in. Vocals after 2 minutes.

Disc two starts with "Reminiscent River" where the piano and vocals are contrastsed with the heavier sections. This really sounds like a Neo-Prog tune. "Goin' Back To Cologne" also reminds me of Neo but just the synth work. "Hava Nagila" is one of two straight epic tracks. This one picks up 2 minutes in with the drums, guitar and organ standing out. Ripping guitar after 3 1/2 minutes. Frampton-like guitar 5 minutes in. It does settle with piano and drums before 7 minutes. Then we get a prolonged drums solo from 8 1/2 minutes to before 14 minutes. I liked it actually, he was impressive. "Perception" is another long one approaching 19 minutes. What I like about this one is the way they just seem to play and jam and you can tell they're having fun. "Sweet Little Sixteen" is a Chuck Berry cover and I must admit this makes me smile. A lot of joy in this old track.

A low 3 stars from me although fans of this band will no doubt eat this recording up.

 Desert Places by SATIN WHALE album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.76 | 44 ratings

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Desert Places
Satin Whale Prog Related

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Satin Whale was one of those bands that never managed to transcend the 1970s, and because their sound was less original than their more adventurous Krautrock cousins they merit barely a footnote in Prog Rock history.

Which is a shame, because not every German band needed to be as seditious as CAN (to cite the obvious example: both groups hailed from the same vicinity of Cologne). To their credit, Satin Whale would later riff all over the Hebrew folk song "Hava Nagila" on their 1978 live album "Whalecome", which I suppose might be considered almost a daring act in a country notorious for its anti-Semitism, especially when juxtaposed against the old minstrel tune "Camptown Races" (dooh-dah, dooh-da, so forth).

But that would be years later. The band's debut album in 1974 was a hard-hitting, heavy rock effort driven by the blazing guitar of Dieter Roesberg and the Hammond organ grunge of Gerald Dellman, with some breathy flute for added variety. Comparisons to early JETHRO TULL wouldn't be out of order, but any similarity is most likely coincidental.

On its own merits the album is surprisingly vital, perhaps too light on memorable melodies but full of muscular jamming, with the best moments reserved for when the singer takes a back seat and the music is pushed to center stage, as in the 13-minute album closer "Perception". The English language titles and lyrics don't lend it any distinction, however, and the band certainly doesn't sound very German, perhaps the key to their enormous success in their native country at the time. But that anonymity of style works against them in the long run: they might be just about anyone (except maybe Tull).

More than two years have passed since anyone reviewed a Satin Whale record on these pages. It might be another two years before the next review. They were always a band more comfortable in the present tense, following current fashions instead of setting new trends. But that doesn't mean they need to be completely dismissed, and this album in particular is well worth another listen.

 Desert Places by SATIN WHALE album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.76 | 44 ratings

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Desert Places
Satin Whale Prog Related

Review by zedumar

4 stars It is unkwnown, but it should not!

I was impressed when I first listened to Desert Places. This German band deserves more attention from the progarchives members. I would say this album is more a prog folk than prog related or krautrock and I could note the influence of Ian Anderson in many songs, in flute melodies and mostly in vocal style. All the five tracks are very good and I can not write here one or two favorite songs! Maybe I OFTEN WONDERED is the easiest song and the first that came to my memory when I think about this album. Highly recommended for Prog-folk lovers I would rate it 4,5 stars!

 Lost Mankind by SATIN WHALE album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.62 | 30 ratings

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Lost Mankind
Satin Whale Prog Related

Review by Prog_Veteran

4 stars I´m surprised that 70´s wannabe, or in better terms, 70´s inspired bands like Flower Kings and Spock´s Beard gets a big number of reviews, while some of their matrix gets only 2 !? While classic italian progre seems to get the deserved recognization by the cult progreheads , many german and other countries 70´s gems remains obscure, even in the time of internet comunication facilities. For example a 4 1/2 stars german record like the 1975 MISSING LINK has only. 8 reviews here so far ...

Well I was introduced to Satin Whale around 1977 when the complete side 1 of "Desert Places" played in open air Rio de Janeiro legendary radio station ELDO POP. You may not believe, but at that time you could listen here a whole station dedicated to progressive music - at the most complete sense of the term progressive,that includes innovation and research -, the tracks were chosen from the vinyls like picking up diamonds in the Eldorado, I mean the Eldo Pop producers were highly professional music producers !! Some examples of the "hits" we could be delighted tuning Eldo Pop on : Museo Rosenbach, Utopia, Eloy, PFM, Gentle Giant, Íbis, Mandalaband, Trace, Druid, Greenslade, VDGG, Styx, Roxy Music... WOW the list goes almost to infinity. What was important to the producers was music quality. Thanks God, they were unpartial and NOT influenced by famous trademarks, instead they looked for great music. Even if one record had only some good tracks but overall was a weak record, they (Big Boy and friends) picked up the worth . Example : "Los Angeles" a 5 star track of a 2 star "Smogmagica" Le Orme album. But ELDO POP could not resist to the disco era and finished in 1978.

I agree with reviewer ELDO POP of Satin Whale "Desert Places",also when he says "...All the tracks are extremely energetic and well played, but not very complex....". The side 1 of this album was a well known Eldo Pop radio maniacs "hit", but I was recently surprised by the 1975 "Lost Mankind" album I didn´t know it so far. I don´t remember any track of this record playing in Eldo Pop radio, but I was delighted . The reviewer Hdfich says about it comparing to the previous "... but unfortunately they've lost some the power from their debut ...". To me "Lost Mankind" is not so straight driven like "Desert Places", it´s a more lyrical work : In "Lost Mankind" the tracks are more varied, lyrical and subtle, really a great work., it flows nicely to my ears, not heavily. Strong 4 stars album, on the other hand, If you compare with 2000´s Flower Kings and Spock´s Beard efforts, you could give more to "Lost Mankind" as it´s not a wannabe work, it´s a seminal, original well rooted and hystorical 1975 record. Hey, guys put more reviews about Satin Whale. The 1978 double live record is great too !!

 Desert Places by SATIN WHALE album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.76 | 44 ratings

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Desert Places
Satin Whale Prog Related

Review by ELDOPOP

5 stars Satin Whale's Desert Places was a fantastic heavy-prog effort, performing a mix of blues, hard rock and slight jazz, tempered by a stunning guitar, killer swirling organ and hard driven bass and drum. I can find a couple of influences by British and American Rock bands, but their German ascent reveals them own style. All the tracks are extremely energetic and well played, but not very complex. "Seasons of life/ Remember" are the highlights of the album. My rate: 5 stars
 Die Faust In Der Tasche O.S.T by SATIN WHALE album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.17 | 10 ratings

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Die Faust In Der Tasche O.S.T
Satin Whale Prog Related

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

3 stars There was a time when my record library boasted more than one album by SATIN WHALE. But this rare 1978 soundtrack, the long-forgotten swan song by a group once counted among the more popular acts in Germany, is the only one to have survived the misguided vinyl purges of my wayward youth.

And for good reason. The band's airy-fairy Prog moniker may not have aged well, but their final studio effort is still surprisingly vital, more so than what little I can recall of their earlier output. It shouldn't be surprising to learn that the group once toured in support of BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST, another second division symphonic outfit neglected not altogether unfairly by posterity. From what I remember, SATIN WHALE was usually content to swim in similar lukewarm waters.

But at least they quit while at the top of their game. This is a strong album, and more aggressive than you might expect from the quartet of neatly groomed German boys pictured on the back cover. It might have been a sign of the times (1978 found a lot of otherwise even-tempered Proggers flexing their underdeveloped muscles in the wake of The Sex Pistols). Or maybe it was just the scenario of the film they were scoring: a post-"Rebel Without A Cause" tale of teenage alienation and urban motorcycle delinquents (judging from the sleeve art).

Like other movie soundtracks it's a sometimes fragmentary variation of one or two themes, with an orphan guitar riff here and an incidental keyboard melody there, plus a bit of hyperventilating flute reminiscent of IAN ANDERSON (or at least THIJS VAN LEER). The curtain raiser, "Die Kündigung" (rough translation: "The Dismissal"; I'm guessing the hero loses his job in the early scenes and falls in with the wrong crowd), sets the mood with a driving 4/4 beat and lots of macho guitar/synthesizer interplay. And the closing number, "Traum und Wirklichkeit" ("Dream and Reality"), offers a funky space-rock workout over a throbbing bass line and a healthy dose of crunchy "Superfly" rhythm guitar work.

In between are a handful of brief, driving instrumentals, with (thankfully) only one attempt at a legitimate song: "Double Up Your Hands", a trite, up-tempo ballad (sung in awkward English) about following your dreams "...on the road to nowhere". Most of the remaining tracks clock in at less than two minutes long, and the whole thing wraps up well short of a half hour. The miserly running time no doubt helps to preserve the dynamic, full-throttle production job, but may also explain why the album hasn't yet re- appeared on compact disc (it would hardly be a bargain at today's extortionate CD prices).

On the other hand, there isn't a moment of wasted space here. And each cut at least presents something close to an actual beginning and end, even when rushing by in a breathless 45 seconds.

This is an album that (likewise) must have come and gone in an all-too brief but incandescent flash. It may not be the sort of lost treasure valued by diehard record collectors, but I'm grateful just to be able to dust it off for an occasional spin on my (so far) trusty old analogue turntable. Sometimes the music itself is its own reward.

Thanks to alucard for the artist addition.

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