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GROBSCHNITT

Symphonic Prog • Germany


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Grobschnitt biography
Founded in Hagen, Germany in 1970 - Disbanded in 1989 - Reformed on several ocasions since 2007 - Still active as of 2020 (with "Grobschnitt Acoustic Party" show)

Formed in 1970 the band existed till 1989, GROBSCHNITT (which translates to ROUGH CUT) was the best German band from the mid-Seventies (ELOY were then in a more PINK FLOYD... and ambient style). All of the members of the band adopted pseudonyms, namely "Eroc", "Mist", "Wildschwein", "Lupo" and "Popo". The band was created by Joachim "Eroc" Ehrig (drums, percussion), Stefan "Wildschwein" Daneliak (guitars & vocals), and Gerd-Otto "Lupo" Kühn (guitar, vocals). This nucleus was later completed by Wolgang "Popo" Jäger (bass) and Volker "Mist" Kahrs (keyboards, Mellotron, synthesizers). They were best known as a clone of YES (symphonic progressive group), but they also explored other progressive rock styles (either psychedelic prog or more cohesive "Krautrock" with some stunning instrumental passages that will be familiar to anyone into the likes of MAN, AMON DUUL II, WISHBONE ASH and many similar bands). Their sound was characterized by sometimes long suites allowing ambitious composition developments, with intermingled themes, rhythms, climates changes and symphonic passages. A VERY COMPELLING BRAND OF MUSICAL MOODS: haunting melodies, funny voices (by Eroc), wonderful guitar work, great synthesizer sounds, strange drumming/effects man, and sophisticated arrangements. This eclectic German band became one of the most popular live acts in German history.

The group released about fifteen albums and added touches of absurd humor to their records and live shows. Their first five albums are all classics. Vocals are mostly in English, although some albums were released with German vocals for the home market and English vocals for export. "Ballermann" (1974) consisted of two LP's, one filled with symphonic progressive rock, and the other that contained a space rock suite... the original version of "Solar Music". "Rockpommel's Land", the fourth studio album exhibited intricate ensemble work, delicate dual lead guitars and theatrical vocals which dominate the music. A solid concept album in the YES/GENESIS tradition, the record told the story of a boy's adventures in a strange land and ultimately finding some sort of wisdom about human nature, as well as piece of mind. The beautiful cover painting looks exactly like an early Roger Dean cover. "Solar Music Live" (1978) is sometimes considered one...
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GROBSCHNITT discography


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

3.88 | 183 ratings
Grobschnitt
1972
3.72 | 172 ratings
Ballermann
1974
3.54 | 130 ratings
Jumbo
1975
4.14 | 21 ratings
Jumbo (German lyrics)
1976
3.86 | 252 ratings
Rockpommel's Land
1977
3.21 | 70 ratings
Merry-Go-Round
1979
2.82 | 58 ratings
Illegal
1981
1.92 | 38 ratings
Razzia
1982
1.76 | 35 ratings
Kinder + Narren
1984
1.66 | 23 ratings
Fantasten
1987

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

4.59 | 205 ratings
Solar Music - Live
1978
2.59 | 28 ratings
Volle Molle
1980
3.18 | 18 ratings
Sonnentanz - Live
1985
2.44 | 16 ratings
Last Party - Live
1989
4.50 | 16 ratings
The Grobschnitt Story 4 (Illegal Live)
2003
4.21 | 19 ratings
Grobschnitt 2008 Live
2008
3.94 | 16 ratings
Grobschnitt 2010 Live
2010
3.00 | 5 ratings
Live Brunsbüttel 1973 - 1
2012
2.80 | 5 ratings
Live Kassel 1978 - 2
2012
0.00 | 0 ratings
Solar Movie - Rockpalast & Berlin 1978
2016

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

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

4.66 | 16 ratings
Die Grobschnitt Story 1
1994
1.62 | 9 ratings
Die Grobschnitt Story 2
1998
4.46 | 17 ratings
The History Of Solar Music Vol. 1
2001
4.00 | 10 ratings
The History Of Solar Music Vol. 2
2002
4.07 | 10 ratings
The History Of Solar Music Vol. 3
2002
3.00 | 4 ratings
The History Of Solar Music Vol. 4
2003
3.50 | 2 ratings
Die Grobschnitt Story 5
2004
2.04 | 4 ratings
The History Of Solar Music Vol. 5
2004
3.76 | 27 ratings
The International Story
2006
3.33 | 3 ratings
Story 6 - Rockpommel's Land And Elsewhere...
2006
4.00 | 7 ratings
Die Grobschnitt Story 0
2010

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

4.00 | 2 ratings
Another Journey
2008

GROBSCHNITT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The International Story by GROBSCHNITT album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2006
3.76 | 27 ratings

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The International Story
Grobschnitt Symphonic Prog

Review by Squire Jaco

4 stars A live "best of" that satisfies even those that are not big German prog lovers... and that would be me.

Oh, I've listened to some Eloy (good Grobschnitt comparison) and others, but I'm not a big fan...so keep that in mind while reading along here. I like this album, though, for a few good reasons: The vocals (mostly English lyrics) are sung well with a slight accent, the dual guitarists are very good, and there are plenty of lush symphonic prog passages (and close to 160 minutes of music!). There is a theatrical, clownish side to some of their songs at times (think Nektar's "Down to Earth" cd), but those tend to be more the exception than the norm. Nice overview of the band's output, from early 70's thru early 80's - earlier stuff probably appealing more to seasoned prog lovers, while later stuff more for prog-pop enthusiasts. The first disc includes the 57-minute version of "Solar Music", along with two other epics that are equally enjoyable. The second disc starts out with 27 minutes of some excellent samples from the wonderful "Rockpommel's Land" cd, but the 1980's stuff that completes that disc is pretty good too. These cds come in an attractive digipack with an informational 16-page booklet about this band (who's name literally means "rough cut"). Worthy.

 Rockpommel's Land by GROBSCHNITT album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.86 | 252 ratings

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Rockpommel's Land
Grobschnitt Symphonic Prog

Review by Harold Needle

2 stars Here is one of the most brutally overrated albums to be ever featured on Progarchives. Tell you what, if you've ever heard an album by, say, Druid, Starcastle, Albatross, Yezda Urfa, Atmosphera or England, you pretty much heard this one too - except it's much more boring.

On "Rockpommel's Land", Grobschnitt proudly wears its influences on its sleeves, but unfortunetely fails to bring ANYTHING new to the table. The middle-late 70's where the time when progressive rock was being heavily developed and explored. Many new progressive paths were (and still are) yet to be discovered, but some bands simply decided to follow the same old, safe style taken directly from bands like Yes and Genesis. The end result is a record that's not all that bad, not all that good neither - just mediocre to the point of being boring. To add insult to injury, it's not even close to the level of the best masterpieces by the "classic" prog bands. There is literally nothing surprising, new or innovative about this album - it was all done before, and better.

For the hardcore fans of 70's symphonic prog only.

 Solar Music - Live by GROBSCHNITT album cover Live, 1978
4.59 | 205 ratings

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Solar Music - Live
Grobschnitt Symphonic Prog

Review by WFV

5 stars I acquired Rockpommel's Land when I was first getting interested in prog, after I had listened out the Yes and ELP and Genesis albums I could get my hands on. After acquiring Ege Bamyasi and listening that out I decided the Germans were worth investigating. Through those travels I tried Grobschnitt but it never took hold until maybe two years ago. I had read Solar Music is the Cadillac of prog live albums, but I stayed away, hoping the Grobschnitt sound would take hold in my ears. I heard Solar Music I from Ballerman on prog radio and was blown away. Grobschnitt has taken hold and Solar Music deserves all the accolades. I'm maybe forty listens in and it has become like a drug. I'm lucky to have the 2CD remastered edition. The last twenty minutes of the bonus disc is music sent from heaven indeed. I can't give anything but the top mark here and have to disagree with anyone who does. I think this is the first live album I've truly listened to that moves me to the point of picturing the band onstage and fantasizing about witnessing their eccentrically goofy glory.
 Rockpommel's Land by GROBSCHNITT album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.86 | 252 ratings

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Rockpommel's Land
Grobschnitt Symphonic Prog

Review by WFV

4 stars 4.5 Stars. Inspired is how I'd sum up this recording in one word. Eroc and his mates were in the midst of their most creative period here.

In true Grobschnitt fashion the concept and lyrics hit silly and absurd territory. For some unknown reason I always thought this was a symphonic album Frank Zappa would like. The instrumentation seems simple yet flows gracefully from movement to movement and the excitement is generally very high.

For me, the closer is one of the greatest epics in progressive rock. Sublime transitions. Awesome mellotron.

For the average proghead, I'd speculate this would hit the spot after you've played out all your Genesis records. A great cover and a lovely sense of German pothead whimsy provide indelible charm and turn this into a late golden age period symphonic prog classic. I look at it as a children's tale set to incredible progressive music, not too far removed from Lancaster and Lumley's star studded one-off prog take on Peter and the Wolf. Not coincidentally, that's one of my favourites too.

 Ballermann by GROBSCHNITT album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.72 | 172 ratings

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Ballermann
Grobschnitt Symphonic Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

4 stars In the late Seventies I discovered a record store in The Hague (Holland) named Moonlight Records (owned by the Pythagoras drummer Bob De Jong) that turned out to be my Prog Walhalla: for the first time I listened to Krautrock (exported German prog with a 'socalled Krautrock' label on the front cover), like Novalis, Eloy, Jane, Wallenstein and '. Grobschnitt. I bought their 2-LP Ballermann, it was my first musical encounter with Grobschnitt. I was carried away by their unique progrock sound and pretty surprised that Germans could be so humorous! For me Ballerman was a start to buy all their Seventies albums and I am still delighted about the adventurous and very distinctive music.

On this reissue CD we can enjoy Grobschnitt their melodic blend of several styles, embellished with often unusual vocals, tasteful keyboards and bluesrock-inspired guitarwork. The sonor palet in the 7 tracks is very varied: bluesy in Nickel-Odeon, swinging in Morning Song and an intro on Grand piano and harmonic interplay between vocals, guitar and violin-Mellotron in the long and alternating Magic Train. But of course the focus is on the absolute highlight in German progrock history, the epic of all epics, Solar Music Part One and Two (more than 35 minutes): it's a compelling blend of rock, psychedelia, classical and blues. Not a single second it bores, so many great shifting moods and exciting musical ideas. Like the final part of Part One featuring a hypnotizing atmosphere with mindblowing guitarwork and fabulous drumming and Part Two with a strong build-up, from spacey to bombastic delivering fiery, wah-wah drenched guitar and lush Hammond organ, wonderfully concluded with a dreamy part that contains harpsichord-like runs and sensitive electric guitar, breathtaking. It's a perfect example how unique and captivating Grobschnitt sounds!

For me Ballerman is one of the highlights in the German progrock history, and if you have never heard of the epic Solar Music '.. "try before you die"!

 Solar Music - Live by GROBSCHNITT album cover Live, 1978
4.59 | 205 ratings

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Solar Music - Live
Grobschnitt Symphonic Prog

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

5 stars I hear Solar Music

First live album from GROBSCHNITT, "Solar Music Live" is a just one of the shiniest star in the space rock galaxy! Apart from their recent previous releases such as "Rockpommel's Land" and "Jumbo", more symphonic oriented, this record shows the spacey side of the band by extending the "Solar Music" suite from "Ballermann" from 30 to 50 minutes. Let's go straight to the point: this record offers everything a space rock fan could wish for, but also makes interesting incursions into neighboring genres: krautrock, psychedelic jam, 70's hard rock, acid-jazz... However, contrarily to other bands playing these styles, the tracks are varied and features numerous changes. The music flows naturally, is quite accessible and never seems boring, repetitive or messy.

"Solar Music Live" also captures GROBSCHNITT's wilderness and musicianship on stage, their concerts could sometimes last 5 hours! These were total performances, with costumes, theatricality, craziness and pyrotechnics. Mainly instrumental, the recording contains only a few sung parts which are mostly spoken words in German, as well as a couple of surprises scattered over the album, showing the band's sense of humor.

Compared to its studio version, the opener "Solar Music I" has additional sci-fi effects, whereas "Food Sicore" is an immediate departure for space. Its bass driven trippy introduction unveils a calmer ambiance after. "Solar Music II" alternates melancholic and mystical passages with strange sounds. The spacey first half of "Mühlheim Special" uses heroic keyboards and guitars, while its futuristic second half exploits wah-wah effects.

The unreal "Otto Pankrock" has a slight funk feel and contains stellar guitar and synthesizer solos. "Golden Mist" may be the strangest passage with its jazzy variations at keyboards and weird symphonic second part. Don't forget this is GROBSCHNITT after all. "Solar Music III" reuses the theme from the original studio version and possesses a cosmic finale. The trip is now over.

"Solar Music Live" surprisingly acquired a huge success in 1978, during the punk and disco explosion. In Germany, progressive rock was still alive in the late 70's, as also shown by their fellow countrymen ELOY with their live opus released the same year. This performance truly is a genuine journey to the sun, attending to the concert back in the days must have an unforgettable experience. The wide palette of musical styles covered in these 50 minutes should interest proggers from different horizons. The ambiances are varied, the sound quality is very good, and the music is neither demonstrative nor redundant, preventing the listener from losing interest.

Every PINK FLOYD or krautrock fan should possess this record. "Solar Music Live" is GROBSCHNITT's best, and simply one of the greatest space and progressive rock live albums ever! More than just solar music, stellar music!

 Illegal by GROBSCHNITT album cover Studio Album, 1981
2.82 | 58 ratings

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Illegal
Grobschnitt Symphonic Prog

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Although post 'Solar Music Live'-era Grobschnitt doesn't quite match up to the group's classic 1970's offerings, there are still occasional nuggets to be unearthed by those who take the chance. Issued in 1981, 'Illegal' pretty much marks the end of Grobschnitt as a 'progressive outfit', though despite the hardening of the group's overall sound, this still features some crackers in the form of both the awe-inspiring 'Mary Green' and the effects- stuffed title-track, two tracks that swap the symphonic grandeur of 'Rockpommel's Land' and 'Jumbo' for a meatier, rockier and sharper metal-flecked sound that really does leap from the speakers thanks to a supremely-slick production sheen. Fans of 1970's-era Grobschnitt may find it all a bit aggressive at first, though thankfully relief is offered up in the form of the gently-lilting 'Silent Movie' and, in very un-Grobschnitt style, the pretty acoustics of the charming closer 'Raintime'. In fact, give 'Illegal' several listens and it really does grow on you, showcasing the musicians skilful chops and a confident new streak perfectly suited to the new decade. It may not scale the lofty heights of their very best material, though in the grand scheme of things 'Illegal' does prove a rather nice surprise. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2013
 Rockpommel's Land by GROBSCHNITT album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.86 | 252 ratings

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Rockpommel's Land
Grobschnitt Symphonic Prog

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I realize a lot of Grobschnitt fans prefer the band's earlier albums, and argue that exposure to YES cost the group a large measure of individuality. It's a valid criticism, but my knee-jerk counter-argument is two-fold.

Firstly, most of that early individuality never really existed. The debut Grobschnitt albums may have been less derivative, but also had far less character, with no distinct style (original or otherwise) to grab hold of. And secondly, while the band's Prog Rock period may have been (check that: was) influenced by established English role models, they were certainly no Yes clone, even with the second-rate Roger Dean gatefold artwork for this LP.

What the two groups had in common was a musical optimism flying in the face of current events (the late '70s erosion of hippie idealism, so forth), expressed here in a somewhat awkward fantasy narrative about a lonely young boy and the giant pipe-smoking bird who becomes his companion. The escapism of the storyline sounds a little contrived today, but the music survives as a quintessential sampling of Symphonic Prog Rock from the absolute apex of its Golden Age.

The band's newfound melodic flair, originally hatched during the sessions for their 1974 album "Jumbo", reached its full maturity on this project. It's true some of Gerd-Otto Kühn's guitar runs were unmistakably Steve Howe inspired. But there's real magic here, from the uplifting chime of the 12-string album intro to the gorgeous orchestral finale closing the side-long title track. And the CD bonus "Tontillon" adds a fitting epilogue to the saga, with a lovely, loose improvisation of a theme from the song "Ernie's Reise".

That track title is, by the way, the one exception to the convenient Anglicizing of the entire album: a common practice among Continental Proggers at the time. In this case I suspect it was rendered in German because a direct translation ("Ernie's Journey") might have suggested an episode of Sesame Street.

Okay, I guess there's a third point to make after all. Grobschnitt needed to pass through this symphonic portal before they could revisit their epic "Solar Music" jam and nail it in vinyl on stage the following year. The earlier, heavier (and to my ears more ponderous) Grobschnitt showed only one face of a two-sided musical coin, and by exploring another, more delicate aspect of their personality the band was finally able to establish its own holistic identity, and better late (almost too late, by 1977) than never.

 Grobschnitt by GROBSCHNITT album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.88 | 183 ratings

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Grobschnitt
Grobschnitt Symphonic Prog

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The first Grobschnitt was a different, heavier ensemble than the band that would record the popular "Rockpommel's Land" a half decade down the road. Unlike the textbook Symphonic Prog of that later album, their debut LP was closer to Floydian Space Rock, but it was Space Rock in low Earth orbit at best, never quite achieving the impetus or elevation needed to break free of its own gravitational tug.

In other words, don't expect to find any "Solar Music" here, although you might discern a hint of the band's trademark jam cycle on occasion. A flare or two erupts in the Dave Gilmour-like guitar runs of Gerd-Otto Kühn (alias Lupo), notably during the slow but powerful Variation and Finale sections of the 13-plus minute "Symphony". And the epic Old Testament parable of "Sun Trip" shares even more DNA with the "Solar Music" suite, but only in a very embryonic form, not unlike a hastily molded, rough clay model of a proposed future masterpiece.

At this early stage of their career the line-up was still uncertain. The album lacked the more delicate touch of keyboard player Volker Kahrs (aka Mist, who would join the band for their second studio album in 1974), and the valiant efforts of percussionist / clown Joachim Ehrig (Eroc) were diluted by the superfluous addition of a second drummer.

The emphasis is tilted instead toward Lupo's electric guitar machismo, although I'm guessing the obvious Santana parallels (best heard in the song "Travelling") were coincidental. The similarities are even noted in the CD-reissue booklet, but no direct influence is claimed.

Either way it's a strong first effort, from a young band still trying to find its stylistic feet. Even better, the vaudeville buffoonery of their stage shows was kept (mostly) in check, giving listeners a rare glimpse of what could have been an alternative, less irreverent Grobschnitt.

 Grobschnitt by GROBSCHNITT album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.88 | 183 ratings

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Grobschnitt
Grobschnitt Symphonic Prog

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

4 stars Although more associated with their later spacey and loopy cosmic prog, most of the self titled debut album from Grobschnitt is exciting, intelligent and forward-pushing 70's rock in the tradition of the earlier albums by fellow German acts Eloy, Jane and Birth Control, with a healthy dose of the Santana band and Pink Floyd. The music has quite a basic, plodding and repetitive sound, but filled with lengthy structured themes and jam- based parts. The lyrics are grounded in very human concerns like love, peace, romantic obsession and war, which makes the album easy to relate to and connect with. There's also something oddly upbeat and hopeful amongst the more somber moments throughout the album.

Opener `Symphony' has a grand and frequently repeated main theme, with slight Santana band influences in the electric guitar and organ washes, some urgent percussion, gorgeous mournful Rick Wright-styled organ and piano in the moody middle section with restrained and tasteful strings. All this before forceful percussion, commanding bass work and a near five minute extended Gilmour-esque epic guitar solo wrap up the piece amongst swirling electronic and cosmic effects! There's some very amusing fractured English lyrics translations, which I assume were not on purpose? For instance, "I am going, going to get you, trying to get you with my eyes, going to make you with my mind..." is brilliant and sweetly naive nonsense! Not sure if it's the band getting in early with their sense of humour or just badly translated, but it's strange that much of the rest of the album lyrics are fairly grounded!

The intro of `Travelling' has booming and very intimidating drums before heavy guitar strums transform the song into a upbeat and frantic cross between the mediterranean guitar style of Eloy's `Floating' and the screaming guitar runs of the early Santana albums. Shame about the rather abrupt fade out mid solo!

`Wonderful Music' is a hazy and sprightly foot-tapper with a folky acoustic guitar and flute dancing around the warm and heartfelt crooned vocals from Stefan Danielak. Still, there's something slightly haunted and reflective in his voice that gives the track a slightly uneasy feel, too.

Plodding bass and thunderstorm effects swirl around a foreboding bible passage read in German before dirty sprawling metallic riffs and militaristic marching drums stomp in. The piece becomes faster amd more uptempo with melodic guitar runs and passionate yet restrained vocals. "Sky is blue, but rain is whispering..." is a surprisingly lovely but ominous lyric. Shimmering organs before a very effective change of direction, slowing right down to the moody and spacious middle. Like the dark ambience of early 70's Floyd live, the low- key organ, spectral vocals and gentle guitar strums float around sounds of warfare and battle, before snappy percussion and quirky effects kick back in before a hugely emotional long bluesy guitar solo tears it's way through the rest of the piece.

I've been reviewing my LP copy, but apparently the remastered CD comes with a thirty minute bonus track that is a live interpretation of the opening piece with long and heavy improvisation sections. Maybe look into that version.

Really glad I kept at this one after being initially quite uninterested and let down by it. Now after flogging the heck out of it, playing it over and over to let it sink in, I've come to find it a hugely charming and energetic release. It's also become an album I play on drives all the time, so it's always in the car waiting for when I need a quick fix!

An easy four stars.

By the way, I'd love an interpretation of the striking front and back LP covers too, if anyone can offer some opinions!

Thanks to Ivan_Melgar_M for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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