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TIBET

Symphonic Prog • Germany


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Tibet biography
Jürgen Krutszch formed TIBET in 1972, having been inspired by the Eastern experimentation of groups such as the BEATLES and THIRD EAR BAND. Krutszch had spent the latter part of the sixties in cover bands (FINE ART, NOSTRADAMUS), and was interested in putting together a group that played native Tibetan instruments such as the tabla, violin, zither, and flute. He quickly abandoned this idea after recruiting former band mates Karl-Heinz Hamann (FINE ART, TESKE) and Dieter Kumpakischkis (NOSTRADAMUS), as well as drummer Fred Teske and vocalist Kalus Werthmann, but the band did retain a certain pseudo-mystic feel to their music during their nine year existence.

The band toured extensively throughout the seventies, opening occasionally for fellow countrymen and friends of the band KRAAN, but managed to release only a single album, their self-titled 1979 studio release. The tracks for the album were recorded in three separate sessions dating from December 1976 to September 1978,
The band's sound was a complex fusion of astral rock, jazz, classical music and Tibetan sounds, heavily keyboard-driven (Hammond, mellotron) and compared to the likes of ELOY, AMENOPHIS, and even URIAH HEEP, although most of their studio release consists of tracks that are similar in style but more reserved than any of those bands. Lyrics (when present) were primarily in sung English, but the band was known to play longer instrumentals in concert, and three such tracks appear on their studio release.

Rumor has it that when Musea Records decided to release the album on CD in 1994, the original master tapes were nowhere to be found, so the label arranged for the entire album to be re-recorded. It is unclear whether the original band members were the actual musicians who recorded the CD version of the album. The original vinyl release sold somewhere between 5,000 and 15,000 copies and is no longer available.

As an interesting side-note, Garden of Delight Records released a series of sampler recordings of early psychedelic and symphonic bands around the turn of this century, and volume 5 of that collection features two songs credited to TIBET. While the core membership of the band is the same as that one their 1979 studio release, the singer is listed as a 16 year-old girl known simply as Maggie. These tracks were believed to have been recorded by the band very early in their career, and prior to signing Werthmann as their permanent singer. Nothing else is known o...
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TIBET discography


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3.73 | 55 ratings
Tibet
1979

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TIBET Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Tibet by TIBET album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.73 | 55 ratings

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Tibet
Tibet Symphonic Prog

Review by Menswear
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Diamond in the rough, lost gem, obscure record, oddity or criminally underrated; pick one you like it all means the same.

Tibet kicks ass with a high level of musicianship, quirky melodies and a really weird (but likeable) art cover. To be frank, once again it's the cover that brought me to that record. And the cover is telling you pretty accurately what you can expect: fantasy. Is it me or the Egyptian art is perfectly fit for progressive rock? K2 and Ash Ra Tempel find it too I heard.

If you find this record, pick it now. You'll get your money's worth. It's easy to get into and to hum later. The mood is well set for smoke machines (or other instruments) and trippy lights. The vocals are not the strongest part, but many bands like Ramses have the same problem without ruining the mood.The singer has a RPI tremolo, even in english, weird as it seems. On the very plus side, you have a ton load of good keyboard (Peter Bardens style), guitar and bass (a la Eloy). I can easily spot Pink Floyd and Camel here and there, but the Eloy factor is tangible even more. Good news!!

A pleasant surprise that could become one of your favorites fast.

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 Tibet by TIBET album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.73 | 55 ratings

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Tibet
Tibet Symphonic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars TIBET were a six piece German band who released this one album back in 1979. They actually started recording it in December of 1976, returned to the studio in October of 1977 and finished it in September of 1978.The music is very much Symphonic and keyboard driven with mellotron on a few tracks. I completely agree with Kenethlevine's evaluation about the singer who I also find to have a grating voice and without question if this was an instrumental album i'd be giving this 4 stars. The vocals are in English by the way.

"Fight Back" opens with gentle acoustic guitar as synths join in along with some atmosphere. This is good. It starts to build to a climax around 1 1/2 minutes in then changes as the vocals arrive for the first time. Catchy but the vocals are tough to swallow. "City By The Sea" is better at first as we get a beautiful instrumental opening with piano and guitar. That all changes when the vocals arrive and the sound changes. It does settle back but i'm not feeling it with those vocals taking a prominant role. Mellotron after 2 minutes as the vocals stop. Man these guys can be so good. The guitar and mellotron are really good as this plays out. "White Ships And Icebergs" opens with mellotron and i'm thinking GENESIS right away. This is my favourite track and not surprisingly it's an instrumental. This is also the track I sampled that moved me to buy this, I guess I should have listened to more tunes(haha). Love the contrasts of the mellotron laden mellow sections to the uptempo keyboard driven parts. Excellent !

"Seaside Evening" opens with the sounds of waves before the vocals and music come in in rather a laid back style. This one is pretty good as he sings in more of a reserved manner. "Take What's Yours" is the longest tune at almost 7 1/2 minutes. Organ to start and it's close to nasty before the music kicks into an uptempo groove. Vocals before 1 1/2 minutes. Drums and organ lead the way along with the vocals of course. This would have been a good instrumental but as it is we get a prolonged instrumental section. "Eagles" is my second favourite tune and it's also an instrumental. It opens with mellotron and is mellow as the guitar and a beat join in with keys. I like this one a lot. A beautiful section late ends it. "No More Time" is the final track and it's fairly relaxed with vocals. Not bad. It picks up as contrasts continue.

Hard for me to argue with those who rate this highly since it's me who has the problems with the vocals and many don't, but 3 stars is my rating despite the excellent instrumental music. throughout. I should also mention that the band at one time had Eastern influences in their sound so that's why they named themselves TIBET, but there's none of that on this album that I can hear.

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 Tibet by TIBET album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.73 | 55 ratings

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Tibet
Tibet Symphonic Prog

Review by Luciana Aun

4 stars Another great and forgotten German band, Tibet made a heavier symphonic sound with very creative and well-crafted melodies.

Instruments such as Hammond and Mellotron have a beautiful featured throughout on its course. Two essential instrumental tracks are worth this gem, "White Ships And Icebergs" and "Eagles", these tracks remind me clearly the good old days of Eloy and also the german Minotaurs.

The vocals in English also have much quality and promote more energy to the record. A pity that some German bands have not earned much highlighted back in the 70´s and being discovered only now a days by the collectors and Progressive Rock researchers.

Those "one shot" bands from Germany had a suffered and frustranting career, they used to record their albuns at small home studios and played live in local festivals opening concerts for great bands such as Eloy, TD, Grobschnitt and many others.

The record companies and producers were not interested in those bands, which are nowadays, very rare and quite panned by true lovers and researchers from German Progressive Rock.

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 Tibet by TIBET album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.73 | 55 ratings

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Tibet
Tibet Symphonic Prog

Review by Vainer Magnani

4 stars *My first review* A nice surprise! A great "one shot band" of the German symphonic progressive. I consider this album a real gem of the period. The first song we seem to have heard something very similar. Eloy would be? Camel? It can be seen at once the influences of the British progressive as well as the influence of his countrymen Eloy and Novalis. It should be stressed, it is not an album "krautrock" but rather a legitimate pearl of symphonic progressive. Regardless of their influence, we can consider a single and original work, especially the powerful Hammond and an equally powerful bass line. An excellent purchase for all "progseekers." Four stars.

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 Tibet by TIBET album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.73 | 55 ratings

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Tibet
Tibet Symphonic Prog

Review by Atavachron
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Regarding the rumors this Musea reissue is actually a re-recording that may or may not have been made by original members, I think that can be dispelled: the 1994 re-release was taken from a surviving vinyl LP and the sound cleaned-up. Beyond that, the material appears to be the real thing, recorded & mixed in Germany during the autumns of 1976, '77, and '78, and credits all original band members.

Of course after all that trouble, is the music worth it? Well, it ain't bad. Tibet does have the characteristics of a group just a few years behind the rock 'n roll curve with plenty of talent and good ideas but by the time they'd released anything, the whole progressive thing had pretty much run its increasingly tenuous path. Granted, Tibet may not have been interested in outdoing anyone, but you can't blame the general listener who by 1979 were more & more distracted by the likes of Queen, Van Halen, The Police, and Rush. Another introspective, meandering slice of organ-rock wasn't going to start any earthquakes. In fact there are a few moments when this album sounds more like something from the previous decade, with distant but distinct ripples of Jefferson Airplane and early Deep Purple. There is also a rabble-rousing, sports minded, get-up-and-fight attitude from lead singer Klaus Werthmann much like Rob Halford's cantankerous provocations that works well against the tailored music. But at the end of the day, we have a fairly good album that was as passé then as it is now. Normally in Prog archeology that's no curse, and for those still discovering the full spectrum of 1970's progrock - particularly artists as Camel, Birth Control, Babe Ruth, and Eloy - this will be a perfectly fine item. For the rest, well...

'Fight Back' is a reasonable rocker whereas 'City by the Sea' exudes notable pomp and pleasantries from the keys of Kumpakischkis & Ballin, expanding for ocean-worthy 'White Ships and Icebergs' and its familiar progisms. More nautically oriented stuff in melodic 'Seaside Evening', and 7+ minute 'Take What's Yours' is a very good quick-tempo jam in the manner of Santana with the band's percussion knitting well. 'Eagles' builds nicely with organ, Karl-Heinz Hamann's pointed bass lines and Fred Teske's patient traps, and anthem 'No More Time' finishes.

Nearly great, almost original and a few cards short of inspired, Tibet tried very hard, and for that they get my respect.

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 Tibet by TIBET album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.73 | 55 ratings

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Tibet
Tibet Symphonic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars A gem from Germany that goes rather to unnoticed in prog rock circles

Tibet sole album from 1979 selftitles is areal gem of symphonic prog of the late '70's. One of th better albums of that period, with nice and catchy pieces, excellent keyboards and mellotron arrangements that pleases me completly. Besides the pieces with lyrics who are very well played, two intstrumental tracks grace this album: Eagles and White Ships And Icebergs, absolut superb , I wasn't expect to sound so good and so well performed, really, the musicians play so easy, not pretentious, but quite complex and very inventive. The pieeces with lyrics are also very good like: Take What's Yours, . City By The Sea or No more time, excellent musicianship that shows that Tibet was really something in german scene , but without any luck finaly thay disbanded latley in 1980. Tibet is one of the good examples of symphonic prog with many qualities and highlights. So, a worthy album for sure, not necessarly a lost masterpiece, but very strong and very unnoticed in prog cicles, thaey desearve a better view. 3.5 rounded up to 4, because they sound much better then many bands from that era, not only from Germany . Similar with Minotaurus also from Germany , Camel in places or Eloy but less spacey.

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 Tibet by TIBET album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.73 | 55 ratings

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Tibet
Tibet Symphonic Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

3 stars Tibet came and went and left us only the one album, and it is a pretty good one, although it can get lost in the shuffle as there are so many equally good or better German symphonic bands from their era. Their strengths are the strong keyboard and bass backing. Their main weaknesses are the mildly irritating singer, whose somewhat grating style does not suit the nature of the music, and their songs are mostly not particularly memorable.

The band at their best is on display in "Seaside Evening", where Kalus Werthmann's voice is put to best use and the hooks are strong. It seems to presage some of the "next wave" of German prog, such as P'Cock, although common ancestry is the more likely explanation than any direct influence. Another highlight is the fine instrumental "White Ships and Icebergs", with its mellotron opening seguing into some stellar organ playing. While there is a short acoustic guitar break and even some nice lead guitar, this is definitely a keyboard dominated tune and album.

While this isn't a uniformly strong album, and certainly not the classic, lost or otherwise, that it's often touted as, it's worth pointing out how many bands improved after their debut and, unfortunately, how many bands like Tibet were not given that opportunity.

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 Tibet by TIBET album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.73 | 55 ratings

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Tibet
Tibet Symphonic Prog

Review by Prog-jester
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 4.5 stars - another overlooked Prog beauty!

TIBET is another forgotten band from 70s and discovered only now. It's a unique blend of URIAH HEEP and CAMEL, if you can imagine one, but it's never a clone. Played with Germanic drive, it may remind one of ELOY ot NOVALIS. Another honorable influences may include GENESIS ad TAI PHONG. With highlights like "Seaside Evening" (what a ballad!) this album is a real Forgotten Gem from 70s - it's a shame my review is going to be only 7TH ONE!!! Please rate it as it needs more attention! Not to be missed by genre's fans!!! Extremely recommended!

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 Tibet by TIBET album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.73 | 55 ratings

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Tibet
Tibet Symphonic Prog

Review by Dieselhead

4 stars I found myself looking at the reviews of this, Tibets first and only album, after trying to find 'Camel-like' bands. I guess I could be excused for thinking that this album might turn out to be something that could be labelled 'kraut rock' but on aquirering it I found it was nothing of the sort. Singing in good english, these guys really do the business and have produced an album that should be a part of every progheads collection. Always a fan of classic 70's sounding bands, I was delighted to hear the hammond and mellotron sound presented in a laid back style here. The third song on the album, the instrumental White Ships And Icebergs, coming in at over 6 minutes, is a masterpiece. Satisfying changes of pace, those lush keyboards and the spanish guitar interludes makes it a terrific number almost sounding, in places, more like Camel than Camel if that's possible. I'd have to give this album four stars but it really should be four and a half. Do make an effort to get this record if you haven't already. I prefer a nice Analogue sound or digital any day and this gives me that bigtime! Great album.

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 Tibet by TIBET album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.73 | 55 ratings

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Tibet
Tibet Symphonic Prog

Review by elpprogster

4 stars What a nice suprise and the kind of prog rock I like the most: typical 70´s symphonic with lush keyboards with special mention to the beloved Hammond and Mellotron, and quite good synth as well!! A really excellent addition to any prog music collection!!

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