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EMERGENCY

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Multi-National


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Emergency biography
The German based band Emergency was founded in 1970 by Czech musician Hanus Berka, who already had a career as an arranger and sideman in the States among others with Jan Hammer and Miroslav Vitous. The multicultural band consisted of Berka (sax & keyboards) fellow Czechs Jiro Matousek (keyboards), Otto Bezloja (bass) and Dusko Goykovic (trumpet), German drummer Udo Lindenberg and Englishman Barrie Newby on guitar.
The band recorded two jazz-rock records with brass arrangements for CBS. 'Emergency' (1971) and in 1972 'Entrance' with a changed line-up.
In the summer of '72 the band split up, only to be reformed in December of the same year with a complete new line-up: Berka, Peter Bischof (ex-Orange Peel, lead vocals), Richard Palmer-James (ex-King Crimson lyricist, guitar& vocals) Jerzy Ziembrowski (bass), Veit Marvos (ex-2066 &Then, keyboards), Martin Harrison (percussion) and Bernd Knaak (drums). The new line-up secured a record deal with Brain and recorded two commercially oriented records 'Get out To the Country' (1973) and 'No Compromise' (1974) the last again with a changed line-up. Both records present jazz-rock with blues and soul elements. Afterwards the band folded for good.

===Martin 'Alucard' Horst===

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EMERGENCY discography


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

4.00 | 13 ratings
Emergency
1971
4.08 | 13 ratings
Entrance
1972
3.14 | 10 ratings
Get Out To The Country
1973
3.04 | 6 ratings
No Compromise
1974

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

3.00 | 1 ratings
Homage To Peace
2005

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EMERGENCY Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 No Compromise by EMERGENCY album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.04 | 6 ratings

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No Compromise
Emergency Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

No Compromise is the group's fourth album and probably the album whose line-up resembles the most the previous album, although there are still a few changes. As Knaak ceded his drum stool to Corredy and Palmer-James ceded the guitar to Frank Diez, but remained active in writing the lyrics of over half the tracks. Again released on Brain in 74, the tracks were self-produced, but apparently more by individuals than the collective and the stunning but tacky artwork of the gatefold is stunning, but not necessarily in a good way, while the inner gatefold shows pictures of the band live.

The opening 7-mins+ Motown/Stax-like Smilin' track is probably more funk than the whole previous GOTTC album held, but somehow, there is not a wasted moment in it: incredibly tight playing. The almost 6-mins Praise Famous Men is to reminiscent of BS&T material to be taken seriously, Diez pulling a Butterfield, Bischoff pulling a Colomby, Marvos pulling a Kooper and leader Berka pulling an Ian Anderson on the flute, but the bluesy-soul track is too long and end up irritating. From here to NYC is another 6- mins+ affair that pull its influences from 60's US R'nB, proggying it up a bit through some time sigs and flute solos. The same can be said for Time Can't Take It Away, with its great organ solo.

The delicate Hideaway is one of the highlights with its aerial mellotron choirs chords layers, fine guitar solos, etc. as for the mammoth no Compromise, it starts out with a solid brass section pacing, and while Marvos pulls some out-of-this-world synth sounds, Biscoff is sounding a bit like Chris Farlowe and the musicians exchange great licks and obviously enjoy themselves. The closing Goodbye To A Friend is a moody tear-jerker written by new-coming Diez, but Berka intervenes in a emotive sax solo.

As close as possible to BS&T, emergency always managed to avoid to sound as pompous and bombastic (at least in their last two albums, I haven't heard the CBS ones), and while hardly essential to progheads, they might well be worth the detour if you like proggy brass rock.

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 Get Out To The Country by EMERGENCY album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.14 | 10 ratings

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Get Out To The Country
Emergency Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

Of all the brass rock group that started the decade, almost all of them were either UK or US, but the odd exception went for groups like Czechoslovakia's Flamengo's sole album, and in Germany, Missing Link (sounding a bit like Colosseum) and Emergency, who recorded four albums, but the latter group was only German by its base as it was formed by four Czech/Slovaks refugees, one Englishmen and a German.. But its line-up had considerably changed by their second album Entrance. For their third (and presently reviewed) album, the group mostly notably consisted of Richard Palmer-James (ex- Supertramp and future Crimson lyricist) on guitars, Berka on winds, Veit Marvos on keys and Peter Bischof on vocals & percussion and the brass section was reduced to founding member Berka. With an interesting gatefold artwork playing with light filters, Get Out Of The Country was released on the Brain (their new label after their first two on CBS) label in 73 and was self-produced.

The sextet performs a brass rock that comes often close to BS&T's soul-inflected and often insufferably cheesy material, but Emergency stay on the good side of most proghead's tastebuds. Starting out on the mellotron-laden I Know What's Wrong, where the interplay between all is quite impressive and the tempo quick, ending in a mini drum solo. Bischof's vocals are well heard and proper English pronunciation on Palmer-Lames' lyrics. The following Jeremiah is starting out in full dramatics, sort of fooling us, once the tune gets going, a Winwood-type soulish track that hesitates between prog and Spencer Davis Group. Next up is Take My Hand a typical cheese you'd expect from BS&T, that is borderline insufferable if it wasn't for excellent musicianship. Closing up the side is the Palmer-James pop track Confessions, which doesn't bring much to the album, even if you can detect a slight Supertramp tempo.

The flipside has three short tracks and the jumbo title track. Among the ditties, Bischoff's Early in The morning is a delicate semi-60's tracks that the Moodies could've written, the string arrangements and mellotron certainly helping as well. Next up is a the brassiest track of the album, The Flag, where the Winwood-like vocals, mega-horn arrangements and female choirs And RP-J's wahed-out guitars make this more of a Ford/Motown track than BMW/Munich one. The Following Little Marie continues the bad BS&T cheese and is arguably the most irritating track of the album. However, the monster title track starts out like a Colosseum monster (you'd swear this is a bit like Rope Ladder To The Moon), although Bischoff is no Chris Farlowe, but original member Berka's flute is doing wonders to our ears. There are a few lengths and semi-successful bravura moments from most of the musicians, but the Knaak on drums and Bischof on percussion pulls their straw from the lot and RP-J's closing guitar solo gets the last word.

While I'd never say that Emergency produced an album I would call essential, if you like proggy brass rock, they should not disappoint you much, but you've been warned of the cheesy BS&T side of the group. However the proghead shouldn't let not that deter him, because they (Emergency) are not quite as pompous as BS&T either.

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