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ABACUS

Crossover Prog • Germany


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ABACUS is surely a big name for everyone interested in rock music. The band formed in 1971 made their breakthrough at the Germersheim rock festival, where ABACUS drew not less applause from the 300,000 visitors than PINK FLOYD, SANTANA or ELP which appeared on stage as well. Jürgen Wimpelberg takes on himself to play keyboards, guitars, drum programming as well as vocals.

After a lengthy absence from the recording scene, German band are back with a new album, "Fire Behind Bars". They develop Pop melodies into a wide instrumental manner, with gorgeous neo-classical and symphonic sequences. In a vein near GENESIS, GREENSLADE or PINK FLOYD. ABACUS offers a modern and attractive Progressive Rock music.

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Buy ABACUS Music


MidwayMidway
New Music-Green Tree
Audio CD$21.99
Mama Mia: Hits of AbbaMama Mia: Hits of Abba
Time Music 2002
Audio CD$1.53
$0.01 (used)
Fire Behind BarsFire Behind Bars
Import
Musea 2001
Audio CD$13.99
$10.21 (used)
CountercultureCounterculture
CD Baby 1999
Audio CD$10.24
$0.96 (used)
DestinyDestiny
Musea 2010
Audio CD$15.91
Black ThanxBlack Thanx
Airtight
Vinyl$9.62 (used)
My Brazilian Love 12 Inch (12My Brazilian Love 12 Inch (12" Vinyl Single) - Balance Prescription
Balance Prescription
Vinyl$11.98 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
ABACUS ISLAND by Compedia MS-Dos/CD-ROM US $1.99 Buy It Now 9h
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ABACUS EVERYTHING YOU NEED KRAUT PROG PSYCH GREEN TREE AKARMA limited 300 LP US $34.99 Buy It Now 2 days
ABACUS PSYCH PROG KRAUT ROCK KRAUTROCK GREEN TREE RE SEALED US $34.99 Buy It Now 2 days
ABACUS - JUST A DAY'S JOURNEY AWAY - NEW US $26.48 Buy It Now 2 days
FRANK GLOVER - ABACUS [DIGIPAK] * - NEW CD US $14.09 Buy It Now 3 days
Crave and Collapse by Narcissus (CD, Oct-2003, Abacus) US $1.49 [0 bids]
US $1.99 Buy It Now
3 days
People Like People Like People Like Us by Backyard Babies (CD, May-2006, Abacus) US $11.75 Buy It Now 3 days
BURNTHE8TRACK - THE OCEAN (CD, 2004, ABACUS) 12 TRACKS - BURN THE 8 TRACK US $2.79 Buy It Now 4 days
We Never Change * by Clifton (CD, Jun-2006, Abacus) US $0.01 [0 bids]
4 days
Abacus Moon by Don Harriss (CD, Sonic Atmospheres) US $5.99 [0 bids]
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IGNITE - OUR DARKEST DAYS (CD, May-2006, Abacus) Ultra Rare Classic HC/Punk! US $19.99 Buy It Now 4 days
brave little abacus - okumay 7 inch ep US $3.00 [0 bids]
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Ron Trent -Joshua-Abacus -Chez Damier -The Foot Therapy Ep/12" Prescription/Test US $9.99 [0 bids]
5 days
People Like People Like People Like Us by Backyard Babies (CD, May-2006, Abacus) US $14.99 Buy It Now 6 days
Backyard Babies People Like People Like People Like Us (CD, May-2006, Abacus) US $10.99 Buy It Now 6 days
The Juliana Theory - Deadbeat Sweetheartbeat - CD & DVD (Abacus 0019-2) US $14.02 Buy It Now 7 days
Wonderland by Radiation 4 (CD, Sep-2003, Abacus) US $20.69 Buy It Now 7 days
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Reaper of Souls [PA] by Purified in Blood (CD, Jun-2006, Abacus) US $5.00 Buy It Now 10 days
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Devilinside - Volume One [ECD] (CD, Sep-2004, Abacus) US $5.69 Buy It Now 11 days
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Various Artists - Abacus: Listen or Pose CD Promo Sampler Caliban Turmoil Maroon US $9.00 Buy It Now 11 days
The Beginning of the End [PA] by Sworn Enemy (CD, Jan-2006, Abacus) US $7.99 Buy It Now 12 days
Abacus - Destiny CD US $30.09 Buy It Now 12 days
Story to Tell * by désolé (CD, Feb-2006, Abacus) US $1.39 Buy It Now 13 days
ABACUS - Presents Hi:Fi Vol 1 - DEEP HOUSE 12" US $12.99 Buy It Now 13 days
MERCURY LIFT HASTE CD NEW SEALED 2003 Century Media USA post-hardcore Abacus The US $5.93 Buy It Now 13 days
Abacus Moon Don Harriss Cassette No Artwork US $1.49 Buy It Now 14 days
We Are Gathered Here Today [2004] [ECD] by Glass Casket (CD, Feb-2006, Abacus) US $15.99 Buy It Now 14 days
ABACUS Pres African Hi:Fi Vol.1 12" NEW VINYL Re:think US $13.99 Buy It Now 14 days
Insult, Injury, Etc. * by The Goodwill (CD, Mar-2005, Abacus) US $3.24 Buy It Now 15 days
GENESIS Abacus/Who Dunnit 45 RPM Atlantic Records W/PS US $8.00 Buy It Now 15 days
Party Animals by Turbonegro (CD, Aug-2005, Abacus) w/ BONUS DVD US $8.44 Buy It Now 15 days
Abacus : Mamma Mia - the Hits of Abba CD (2007) US $8.66 Buy It Now 15 days
ABACUS-BLACK THANX-ASHLEY BEEDLE/DEEP HOUSE @LISTEN US $8.01 Buy It Now 15 days
AXUS-ABACUS-RIP-COLOUR SYSTEM-SPEED GARAGE-3X12@LISTEN US $10.02 Buy It Now 15 days
AXUS - ABACUS (WHEN I FALL IN LOVE) - 1998 HOUSE CD SINGLE - PART 1 US $3.33 Buy It Now 15 days
The Goodwill Insult Injury Etc PROMO (CD, 2005) Abacus pop punk metal US $4.99 Buy It Now 16 days
JOSHUA/CHEZ DAMIER/RON TRENT/ABACUS - The Foot Therapy EP - 12" US $17.72 Buy It Now 16 days
Maroon Endorsed By Hate PROMO (CD, 2004) Abacus metal haunted US $4.99 Buy It Now 16 days
Mamma Mia - the Hits of Abba by Abacus CD (Brand New) US $4.05 Buy It Now 17 days
BRAVE LITTLE ABACUS OKUMAY 7" EP AND MASKED DANCERS CD US $10.00 Buy It Now 17 days
Glass Casket We Are Gathered Here Today CD 2006 Abacus Reissue ABA0022 Deathcore US $7.99 Buy It Now 17 days
NEW CD Abacus Recordings Record Company DeSole Caliban Flee the Seen Sworn Enemy US $6.75 Buy It Now 17 days
Crave and Collapse by Narcissus (CD, Oct-2003, Abacus) US $3.75 Buy It Now 17 days
LAL Dancing The Same Abacus 12" Vocal Mix 12" Public Tr US $16.73 Buy It Now 17 days
Tim's Dollar Store: Sympathetic Groove by Mark Croft (CD, 2005, Abacus-Music) US $1.00 Buy It Now 18 days
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Sheilbound - Counting On Abacus - Mint US $1.99 Buy It Now 19 days
Deadbeat Sweetheartbeat by The Juliana Theory (CD, Sep-2005, Abacus) US $3.95 Buy It Now 19 days
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GLEE CLUB something in the air 7" b/w hollywood (vyk10) uk abacus 1985 US $10.74 Buy It Now 19 days
Abacus-Midway UK/German prog psych cd 2 bonus tracks US $18.99 Buy It Now 19 days
Abacus-Everything You Need UK/German prog psych cd 2 bonus tracks US $18.99 Buy It Now 19 days
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The Joy Formidable A heavy abacus Promo CD Single US $8.35 Buy It Now 20 days
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Paradise Lost - Paradise Lost CD 2005 Abacus / Dark Element press bonus tracks US $13.95 Buy It Now 21 days
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2 x Nephu Huzzband should have used an abacus, nurse! nurse! Promo Demo CD's US $2.49 Buy It Now 22 days
Don Harriss - Abacus Moon 1989 USA CD New Age #79 US $6.15 Buy It Now 22 days
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ABACUS - EVERYTHING YOU NEED 72 GERMAN ROCK BAND 3rd ALBUM SLD CD +2 BONUS TRKS US $21.95 Buy It Now 22 days
ABACUS - JUST A DAY'S JOURNEY AWAY 1972 GERMAN MELODIC PROG REMAST SLD CD +2xtks US $21.95 Buy It Now 22 days
ABACUS - MIDWAY 74 GERMAN ROCK BAND 4th ALBUM SEALED CD +2 BONUS STUDIO TRACKS US $21.95 Buy It Now 22 days
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Mick Jagger Mick Jagger book UK 0349122881 ABACUS 1974 US $25.51 Buy It Now 22 days
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ABACUS shows & tickets


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ABACUS discography


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

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

3.61 | 37 ratings
Abacus
1971
2.53 | 15 ratings
Everything You Need
1972
3.00 | 11 ratings
Just A Day's Journey Away
1972
2.44 | 21 ratings
Midway
1973
2.11 | 8 ratings
Fire Behind Bars
2001
2.87 | 12 ratings
Destiny
2010

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

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

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

2.77 | 4 ratings
Retrospection: 1971-1982
2004

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

ABACUS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Midway by ABACUS album cover Studio Album, 1973
2.44 | 21 ratings

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Midway
Abacus Crossover Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

2 stars 'Midway' - Abacus (4/10)

I'm beginning to notice a pattern with Abacus and their work. Although each effort following the promising debut have been generally underwhelming, there's always a handful of tracks on a given album to save it at least partially from the dregs of mediocrity. On "Midway", the band's fourth record, this redemption comes most visibly in the form of the ten minute title track Abacus close the album with. Weaving a mid-paced rhythm section with atmospheric leads and a smattering of vocal parts, it's a far cry from the brand of art pop the band had veered towards. While the collection of shorter tunes on "Midway" aren't all duds, it comes across as a dreadfully inconsistent piece of work.

Much like "Everything You Need", Abacus open up "Midway" on its weakest not. "Let's Face the Voices and Dance" may be one of the more memorable pieces on the album, but the unabashed cheeriness of the atmosphere, the happy-go-lucky rhythm and superficial horn arrangement do nothing for me. I get the impression that I would have probably felt better towards the song had it not been placed at the start, however. Most of the tracks follow a much more mellow path, somewhere in between a typical ballad by The Eagles and the familiar psychedelic pop that had been a part of Abacus' sound since the very beginning. While cheesiness is one thing, it's a lesser ill when compared to monotony. Although tunes like "Me and You" and the quirky "Herman the German" are decently penned and performed, there's a feeling towards the middle of the album that Abacus have forgotten the rock aspect of their sound. Luckily, Abacus charge their sound with a dose of caffeine and much-needed innovation with the surprisingly complex and strange track "Be Beholding", a song that takes the calculated dissonance of King Crimson in as an influence along with their more typical inspirations. Unfortunately, by the time "Be Beholding" rolls around, most of the album has been lost already on bland acoustic pop.

One of the things that got me excited about Abacus' self-titled first album was the spotlight on musicianship and keyboard wizardry. While it's conceivable that Abacus didn't suddenly lose their skills, there's little opportunity within the context of the songwriting for them to demonstrate it. Chris Williams' voice has taken a far greater presence in Abacus' sound than at first, and with a voice that's middling at best, it's disappointing that he seems to be the only member whose talents are given room to breathe.

Abacus' debut had me hoping that the German proggers would have ventured deeper into their brand of initially pastoral and jazz-influenced progressive rock. By the point of "Midway", it was clear that Abacus had all but abandoned that side of their sound. Even with their quirky brand of artsy pop, there is some decent potential to be found, but I would have hoped that Abacus would have realized some of that initial promise by the time their fourth album rolled around. As it stands, "Midway" is an album that you could probably do without hearing. The good tracks here are quite enjoyable, but the inconsistency makes it impossible to warrant a wholehearted recommendation.

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 Everything You Need by ABACUS album cover Studio Album, 1972
2.53 | 15 ratings

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Everything You Need
Abacus Crossover Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'Everything You Need' - Abacus (5/10)

A solid second album from a band will typically consolidate some of the best aspects of the debut, giving fans a more focused slice of what they liked the first time around. Although there are certainly bands that have done great things in spite of the 'sophomore formula', I think that there was some fantastic potential worth fleshing out on Abacus' self-titled debut. A marriage of psychedelic pop and pastoral symphonic prog fueled with thick keyboard, "Abacus" had a style that could have made the band far better-known than they ended up being, were it not for an inconsistent songwriting standard. With this in mind, it's a bit disappointing that Abacus decided to shift their sound towards a more melodic, even commercial sound with "Everything You Need". Blending pop with blues rock and an innocuous sidedish of prog, Abacus didn't realize their sound the way I would have hoped they would on this second album, but with that being said, there are elements of this reinvented Abacus that might make it worthwhile to the prospective listener.

For all of the shades and sounds that Abacus' debut brought into play, it all ultimately fell underneath a progressive rock umbrella. Even relatively poppy tracks like "Song for John and Yoko" retained a bit of proggy flair. "Everything You Need" keeps in touch with the prog aesthetic through the conservative use of synthesizers and sparing time signature changes, but there are many times here where Abacus sound more like a standard blues-infused rock band with aspirations of commercial success. Unfortunately, although Abacus attempt to place a far greater focus on the melody and vocals, Chris Williams' vocals have the same limitations as they did on the album prior. Williams (formerly of the band Grail) can hold a melody as long as it doesn't test his range (which it often does), but the nasal tone of his voice might make for an acquired taste for some. "Anyway We Can" starts the album off on a fairly disappointing note, echoing the same sort of bland blues rock that the early 70's were saturated with. Fortunately however, the first side of the album keeps improving with every song. "Ivan Hood the White Knight" is a track with solid keyboards and an interesting lyrical concept about the righteousness of holy warfare. "Thing We Do" is less memorable but feels less kitschy, a trait suffered by much of Abacus' pop-oriented stuff.

I doubt that I'm alone in thinking this, but seeing a twenty minute track at the end of a progressive rock album immediately piques my interest. Particularly with Abacus, the promise of a twenty minute suite was exciting, as they had demonstrated some great potential with the epic form on their self-titled debut with the opener "Pipedream Revisited". Other reviewers' comments about the eponymous epic being little more than a collection of shorter songs have some weight to them, but I don't think it's fair to see the suite in such vague terms. "Everything You Need" (the song) does not enjoy the cohesion I would have liked to hear in a twenty minute rock epic, but it's clear that Abacus have saved their best ideas for last. Finally, "Everything You Need" begins to sound like the progressively-inclined Abacus I first heard on the debut. Keyboard-riddled jazz rock sections and typical progressive rock fanfare are here, including a vocal section that seems like they're trying to mirror Genesis theatrics. The best part of the so-called 'epic' comes at the end with a segment that might only be described with the same vaudevillian terminology as the best work Queen would do some years later; dramatic vocals and a Rhodes piano give a nice touch to a rocky, if not truly convincing epic.

"Everything You Need" shows promise, but with this second album, I would have liked to have seen more of this potential realized. The poppier direction could have worked gracefully for Abacus, but once again, there is the issue of inconsistent, cheesy songwriting to deal with. It's clear however that they have their hearts in the right place; a twenty minute epic is no easy undertaking, and even if it's ultimately a mixed success, it's still an accomplishment to be able to reinvent your sound and dive into your music with a fresh perspective. It's a pleasant listen for the most part, but Abacus remain sounding like a work- in-progress than a fully-realized musical act.

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 Abacus by ABACUS album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.61 | 37 ratings

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Abacus
Abacus Crossover Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Abacus' - Abacus (6/10)

Like Van der Graaf Generator and their lesser-known contemporaries Aardvark, Abacus represented an early 70's wave of prog that tried to bring the keyboards to the forefront, usurping the long-held role of the guitars in rock music. With the use of distortion and thick organ textures in the keyboards however, most of the bands that took this approach never distinguished themselves a great deal from their guitar-based counterparts. While Abacus did not steer away entirely from the use of guitar in their music, they were one of the few bands that really capitalized on the use of rock organ in their music. Released at the beginning of their genre's golden age, Abacus' self-titled debut is a convincing slice of progressive rock, with a welcome dose of jazz and 60's beat pop to add extra colour to the style. As promising as Abacus sounded at this early stage in their career however, some inconsistent songwriting standards kept "Abacus" from the cult classic status it could have had.

Often dainty and at times downright psychedelic, Abacus' sound reflects a transition of styles between the 60's and 70's. The organ-rich performance is filled with the sort of symphonic arrangement and sophistication indicative of the 'classic' 70's progressive rock, but Abacus would not have sounded out of place in the latter part of the decade prior. Although the excellent, pastoral mini-epic "Pipedream Revisited" opens the album on a bit of an exceptional note, most of the tunes here sound like organ-driven renditions of tunes that could be found on a British Invasion compilation. It's no surprise really, given that Abacus were originally a beatpop group called The Fashions. Although other reviewers have noted a Krautrock sound on "Abacus" (and rightly so), much of the band's influence has been certainly derived from British rock tradition. Then again, with a song title like "Song for John and Yoko", this shouldn't come as much of a surprise.

Of these two primary styles (prog and 60's pop), the greatest moments on "Abacus" may almost always be attributed to the progressive end of their sound. "Pipedream Revisited" kicks off the album on a very strong note, weaving psychedelic charm into a keyboard- infused framework, pleasantly fusing classical tradition with pastoral folkishness. The instrumental "Capuccino" is arguably the best thing that the album has going for it, a fast- paced, theatrical and energetic jazz-fusion piece that ends much too soon. From there on, Abacus begin to shift towards their other style, toning down the instrumental sophistication to make room for ex-Grail frontman Chris Williams' vocal contributions. Although "Don't Beat So On the Horses" represents a comfortable mix of the two styles, Abacus' vocal melodies are rarely as endearing as their instrumental prowess. Although William's voice is tuneful enough and echoes the band's Merseybeat-influenced past, the melodies rarely feel like they are worth the diminished instrumental arrangements. "Song for Brunhilde" represents the album's lowest point, eschewing the band's typical rock organ flair for a sitar-tinged piece of hippie folk with a song structure that goes nowhere and lyrics that may cringing from more discerning listeners. "Song for John and Yoko" is a decent tune in the familiar 60's pop style. With "Radhod Blues" and "Chestholder", Abacus return to the style hinted at by the first couple of tracks, but they are not nearly as impressive. "Chestholder" in particular tends to raise an eyebrow from me; although it begins promisingly enough, the album's finale tosses together samples from earlier moments in the album. Although it's clear that the band were trying to wrap up their debut with a quick summary of the album, but the completely chaotic and patchy way this climax is thrown together leaves the album on a fairly weak note.

Abacus' songwriting lulls significantly towards the middle of the album, and although it improves, it never really recovers. It's a shame, because if the first two tracks on the album were any indicator, the album could have been really excellent. Instrumentally, Abacus have a lot going for them on this self-titled debut. While Chris Barutzky's keyboard work is above and beyond the strongest aspect of the band, the musicianship upholds an impressive standard throughout. It's unfortunate "Abacus" didn't manage to fulfill the potential of the band, but then again, how many bands manage to nail it on their first time around? As it stands, "Abacus" is a pleasant album for its style, but the inconsistency keeps it from being a real gem.

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 Abacus by ABACUS album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.61 | 37 ratings

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Abacus
Abacus Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Over 40 years of history (with some breaks inbetween) for this German band from Hamm, which evolved from the 60's Beat band The Fashions.The Fashions had built their career as a supporting group to British bands touring Germany and eventually were heavily influenced by this sound, especially when they were joined by ex-Grail singer Chris Williams, leading to the formation of Abacus.The rest of the crew were guitarist Charly Schade, keyboardist Chris Barutzky, bassist Klaus Kohlhase and drummer Felix Hans.Their self-titled debut was recorded in August 71' and released the same year on Polydor.

This is very good and often complex full-blown Progressive Rock with also some instant melodies, reminiscent of CRESSIDA, SPRING, FANTASY and GREENSLADE, while the closest German comparison would propably be mid-70's BIRTH CONTROL.The sound of the band is strongly driven by the sparkling organ runs and solos of Barutzky and the soft guitar touches of Williams and Schade with the opening track being a highlight of genuine early-70's Progressive Rock, featuring great keyboard exercises and massive guitar hooks along with softer vocal moments, performed under some very demanding musicianship overall.The rest of the album includes heavy organ jams next to fiery grooves and melodic themes with Abacus achieving a nice balance between complexity and accesibility.A couple of tracks like ''Song for Brunhilde'' and ''Song for John and Yoko'' though are quite different, featuring plenty of acoustic guitars, smooth atmospheres and even some sitar, delivering more of a psychedelic than a progressive vibe.

Nice document of early-70's Classic Prog with some fantastic energy and a fair amount of interesting compositions.Anyone into British-styled or organ-driven Progressive Rock should check out this album.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

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 Destiny by ABACUS album cover Studio Album, 2010
2.87 | 12 ratings

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Destiny
Abacus Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars German outfit ABACUS is among the pioneers of the progressive rock genre, issuing its debut album back in 1971 and with three more productions released prior to splitting up in the middle of the decade. After a brief reunion a few years later, they went into an elongated hiatus, reforming again towards the end of the 90's with a new album appearing back in 2001. "Destiny" is the second album by the reformed version of this act, and was released by Musea Records in 2010.

While "Destiny" isn't a production that makes me raise my eyebrows in any way whatsoever, I'd suspect that those who generally find music described as pomp rock to be of interest are ones who should give this disc a spin. Relatively easygoing songs blending hard rock and soft rock themes with art rock flurries on top in the shape of richly layered keyboards is the main course, with two epic-length creations that add a more distinct art rock expression as dessert.

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 Abacus by ABACUS album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.61 | 37 ratings

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Abacus
Abacus Crossover Prog

Review by Seyo
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars I was pleasantly surprised when I recently heard the album "Abacus", given the relative obscurity of this German prog act of the early 1970s. It contains all typical elements of symphonic style: long compositions, change of tempo and dynamics, multi-part suite-like themes and certain "grandeur" feeling.

The best example for this is the opener 9,5-minutes "Pipedream Revisited". Excellent melodies, interesting instrumental passages of organ, guitars and above all bass and effective vocals. Indeed, it is almost impossible to hear any bad music produced back in the year 1971, but "Abacus" is definitely above average. Another personal highlight is acid- folksy "Song for Brunhilde" with beautiful atmosphere underlined with sitar drone sounds, giving it a slight psych touch, which is quite captivating. "Song for John and Yoko" is of course an ode to the pop icon with slight cynical approach. Excellent Hammond and acoustic guitar leads into the song while later fast-stomping part has a healthy dose of pop irresistability.

"Radbod Blues" presents a deformed voice patterns and some drums solo acrobatics, while heavy Hammond sounds a bit like ELP or ATOMIC ROOSTER. There are also improvisational jazzy parts on piano followed by bombastic mechanical laughter device. "Chestholder" invokes bits of SWEET SMOKE laid back jazz jamming and similar vocals, strenghtened by nice Hammond solo.

The outro contains typical symphonic approach with re-cycling the previous themes of the album but also there are signs of experimentation with noise, loops and electronics. This portion reminds us of the current Krautrock scene in Germany from which ABACUS naturally took some elements. All in all, this is a fine, unpretentious album that should be listened to many times. The one deserving much more attention.

PERSONAL RATING: 3,5/5

P.A. RATING: 4/5

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 Midway by ABACUS album cover Studio Album, 1973
2.44 | 21 ratings

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Midway
Abacus Crossover Prog

Review by fusionfreak

1 stars Not so far ago,I was at an auction,spending my time looking for some good old seventies progrock to buy and I came across one of my friends who had nice stuff to sell:Asoka,Flower Travellin Band, Brainticket and so on.This friend was talking with another seller who wanted to trade this Abacus release.My friend was dubious so he played the record and there was light:below average playing all over the disc and the first track not unlike Joe Dassin or Michel Sardou.Don't waste your time and don't think you failed to find krautrock's best kept secret.

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 Abacus by ABACUS album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.61 | 37 ratings

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Abacus
Abacus Crossover Prog

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator Psych/Space Team & Band Submissions

3 stars Are you calculating with abacus?

Maybe ABACUS could be categorized as a krautrock band if only this album is considered. But some other releases followed with a more mainstream rock orientation. This eponymous release consists of blues and heavy rock music with much Hammond organ in the vein of some other german bands at that time. A little bit experimental, not very unique but a good listenable one without a doubt.

Pipedream revisited is the album's centerpiece with a classic inspired Hammond organ but also piano, synthesizer and sitar inclusions. A rough guitar provides some heavy rock moments and the vocals are fascilating a very happy flavour. This song is worth a listen - excellent. It sounds like Deep Purple meets ELP when you're listening to the instrumental Cappucino - one of the better songs not only because of a nice guitar solo. Don't Beat So On The Horses is wellknown for me - I already must have noticed this in the 70s too - but it's one step further to the following mainstream orientation. The same with the songs for Brunhilde (very folky with acoustic guitars) and for Yoko & Ono. Radbod Blues is another track which should be pointed out. Somewhat surprising with deformed vocals, highspeed parts, a short drum solo, american saloon piano - ingredients which are making this song very interesting. The album is closed by Chestholder once more Hammond drenched with a jazzy orientation and happy swinging - nice song which gets crazy 'til the end mixing and confusing some fragments of the other songs.

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 Fire Behind Bars by ABACUS album cover Studio Album, 2001
2.11 | 8 ratings

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Fire Behind Bars
Abacus Crossover Prog

Review by Prog-jester
Prog Reviewer

2 stars I haven't heard other albums from that band - it's a pity because I guess their earlier material was better. Anyway, a huge comeback in Prog circles rarely becomes successful. This is a Pop-Prog album in 80s vein, but not that cute. ELP influence can be clearly heard in keys' work, but the whole stuff is closer to ALAN PARSONS or 80s FLOYDian style. A music for grown-ups - AOR, it seems. It would be at least good album, but it has two killers - "Helping-Hand-Song" and "Loser" - and they both are CHEESY AS HELL! I ain't sure anybody would enjoy them heartfully. Not recommended unless you're a collector/completionist

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 Retrospection: 1971-1982 by ABACUS album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2004
2.77 | 4 ratings

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Retrospection: 1971-1982
Abacus Crossover Prog

Review by ekaton

3 stars A 'best-of-Abacus' for those who don't want to buy all four albums of them. The choice of tracks is arguable, though. The 2 songs of the first album are well chosen but the great instrumental 'Capuccino' is missing. The 2nd album with only one track (yet the best) is underrepresented, though apart from 'Seasong' there aren't more really progressive tracks on it. Unfortunately too many songs from their third album which is their weakest. 'Midway' is well represented with it's titletrack, the best song from that album by far. But what reason is there for including the b-side from their comeback single from 1982? That's pure crap, a terrific mixture between Styx and Bon Jovi....

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