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AMON DÜÜL II

Krautrock • Germany


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Amon Düül II biography
AMON DÜÜL II was born of an artistic and political community called AMON DÜÜL (which recorded during the late sixties a long live session made around collective and free musical improvisations).

The band emerged from the underground German rock scene with a very original and eccentric album called "Phallus Dei" (1969). The musicians who participated to this delirious and psychedelic experience were (among others) Peter Leopold (ex AMON DÜÜL), the front woman and singer Renate Knaup, John Weinzierl on the guitars... with guests as Holger Trützsch who plays tribal percussions (original member of Popol Vuh). Then almost with the same musicians the band recorded the seminal "Yeti" (1970). An album in a similar vein than the previous but more accomplished (with a few structured songs and numerous pieces of epic improvisations). "Yeti" will launch AMON DÜÜL II career outside Germany. The same year the bass guitarist Dave Anderson leaves the band to join HAWKWIND.

"Tanz Der Lemminge" which follows directly "Yeti" is an impressive work with a great diversity of powerful, emotional songs with some folk accents next to long free space jamming. Recorded in 1972, "Carnival in Babylon" announces a slight new musical direction taken by the band. This album is dominated by shorter songs with the omnipresent and beautiful Renate Knaup's vocals. A more conventional work with a few memorable prog-folk ballads. The classical period of the band will end with "Wolf City" (1972) and "Viva La Trance" (1973). After the departure of Renate Knaup who joins Popol Vuh in 1974 and the release of a few albums, AMON DÜÜL II split up. In 1981, with the album "Vortex" Chris Karrer tried without success to reform the band.

: : : Philippe Blache, FRANCE : : :

Special Note - For the album called "Utopia", which is sometimes wrongly credited to AMON DÜÜL II, see the band Utopia (Germany)
The band is also known by the name AMON DÜÜL 2 as mentioned on the band's website



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AMON DÜÜL II - Made In Germany - vinyl LP Atco SD SD 36-119 US edition duul USD $18.89 Buy It Now 1 day
Vive La Trance [Bonus Tracks] * by Amon Düül II (CD, 2007,Revisited (Germany) USD $14.99 Buy It Now 1 day
AMON DüüL II - Hijack - CD ** Brand New ** USD $29.75 Buy It Now 2 days
AMON DÜÜL II - PYRAGONY CD 8 TRACKS KRAUTROCK / POP NEW+ USD $21.83 Buy It Now 2 days
Carnival in Babylon [Bonus Tracks] * by Amon Düül II (CD, May-2007, SPV) USD $14.99 Buy It Now 3 days
Amon Düül II? Surrounded By The Bars USD $17.98 Buy It Now 3 days
AMON DÜÜL II Wolf City LP AUSTRALIA ORIG RARE hawkwind pink floyd psych space USD $40.00 Buy It Now 4 days
1974 Amon Düül II - Vive La Trance LP 1st US VG+/GD United Artists UA-LA198-F USD $20.25 Buy It Now 4 days
Made in Germany [Digipak] * by Amon Düül II (CD, May-2008, Revisited (Germany)) USD $15.99 Buy It Now 4 days
AMON DÜÜL II - Yeti USD $19.70 Buy It Now 5 days
Amon Düül II ?- Wolf City Vinyl LP record 1st original German pressing Gatefold USD $89.00 Buy It Now 5 days
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AMON DÜÜL II 2 LP DANCE OF THE LEMMINGS/KRAUTROCK FIRST LIBERTY USD $335.26 Buy It Now 5 days
Amon Düül II - Hijack - very good promo copy of this Krautrock LP USD $22.50 Buy It Now 6 days
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Wolf City [Bonus Tracks] * by Amon Düül II (CD, May-2007, Revisited, Germany) USD $15.99 Buy It Now 7 days
Amon Düül II: Hawk Meets Penguin Original recording remastered Audio CD USD $5.48 Buy It Now 7 days
AMON DÜÜL II CD - PARA DIESWAERTS / REPERTOIRE DUUL in MINT USD $22.36 Buy It Now 8 days
AMON DÜÜL II CD - MADE IN GERMANY / GARDEN OF DELIGHTS DUUL IN MINT USD $22.36 Buy It Now 8 days
AMON DÜÜL II CD - FLAWLESS / MYSTIC DUUL in MINT USD $22.36 Buy It Now 8 days
Progressive German Pop Experience GER LP 1971 Kraut Prog Can Amon Düül II //1 USD $29.31 Buy It Now 8 days
Live in London [Bonus Tracks] * by Amon Düül II (CD, Sep-2003, Repertoire) USD $16.99 Buy It Now 10 days
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AMON DÜÜL II 2 LP - YETI / GERMAN KRAUTROCK FIRST LIBERTY DUUL in MINT / Mint USD $502.94 Buy It Now 14 days
Amon Düül II ?- Carnival In Babylon cd Captain Trip Records ?- CTCD-033 USD $35.00 Buy It Now 15 days
Amon Düül II ?- Vive La Trance .Captain Trip Records ?- CTCD-036 cd japan USD $21.00 Buy It Now 15 days
Amon Düül II Live In Tokio Label: Captain Trip Records ?- CTCD-047 USD $17.00 Buy It Now 15 days
Amon Düül II - Dance Of The Lemmings 2 LP VG+ UAS-9954 1971 USA Vinyl Record USD $80.00 Buy It Now 15 days
Phallus Dei [Deluxe Edition] * by Amon Düül II (CD, Jul-2006, Inside Out) USD $19.99 Buy It Now 16 days
Amon Düül II - Pyragony X USD $7.00 Buy It Now 18 days
AMON DÜÜL II "PHALLUS DEI" LP VINYL NEW+ USD $26.18 Buy It Now 20 days
Amon Düül II - Made In Germany on Atlantic Records SD 36-199 Stereo, IN SHRINK USD $24.99 Buy It Now 20 days
AMON DüüL II - Made in Germany - CD ** Brand New ** USD $29.75 Buy It Now 21 days
AMON DÜÜL II - Black Pearls Live London 1996 (mini LP/ 2x CD) SBD Nada Moonshine USD $29.99 Buy It Now 21 days
AMON DÜÜL II - Timeless Bridge: Live in Darmstadt DE, 2003 (mini LP / 2x CD) USD $29.99 Buy It Now 21 days
Amon Düül II - Phallus Dei on Sunset Records SLS 50257 British Import USD $49.99 Buy It Now 21 days
AMON DÜÜL II - At The Gates Of Night: Live 69-75 (mini LP / CD) SBD yeti phallus USD $19.99 Buy It Now 22 days
Amon Düül II ? Made In Germany VINYL LP SEALED USD $19.99 Buy It Now 22 days
AMON DÜÜL II - NADA MOONSHINE CD NEW+ USD $25.11 Buy It Now 26 days
Amon Düül II - Anthology 2xLP Comp LP UK Prog Rock Hard USD $39.90 Buy It Now 27 days
AMON DÜÜL II "TANZ DER LEMMINGE" CD ------ 6 TITEL ------ NEW+ USD $24.76 Buy It Now 27 days
AMON DÜÜL II "YETI" CD [ORIGINAL RECORDING REMASTERED] NEW+ USD $25.95 Buy It Now 27 days
AMON DÜÜL II "LIVE IN LONDON" CD ------ 7 TITEL ------ NEW+ USD $19.25 Buy It Now 27 days
AMON DÜÜL II "WOLF CITY" CD ------ 10 TITEL ------ NEW+ USD $24.76 Buy It Now 27 days
AMON DÜÜL II "PHALLUS DEI" CD ------ 6 TITEL------ NEW+ USD $24.76 Buy It Now 27 days
AMON DÜÜL II "CARNIVAL IN BABYLON" CD NEW+ USD $25.11 Buy It Now 27 days
AMON DÜÜL II - HIJACK Ultrarare 1975 New Zealand LP Release! USD $33.58 Buy It Now 28 days

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AMON DÜÜL II discography


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

AMON DÜÜL II top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.02 | 371 ratings
Phallus Dei
1969
4.10 | 417 ratings
Yeti
1970
4.09 | 297 ratings
Tanz Der Lemminge [Aka: Dance Of The Lemmings]
1971
3.56 | 159 ratings
Carnival In Babylon
1972
3.95 | 253 ratings
Wolf City
1972
3.22 | 106 ratings
Vive La Trance
1974
2.71 | 88 ratings
Hijack
1974
3.44 | 86 ratings
Made in Germany
1975
2.48 | 15 ratings
Made in Germany
1975
2.41 | 49 ratings
Pyragony X
1976
2.70 | 42 ratings
Almost Alive...
1977
2.28 | 39 ratings
Only Human
1978
2.83 | 37 ratings
Vortex
1981
3.59 | 31 ratings
Nada Moonshine #
1995
2.17 | 14 ratings
Kobe - Reconstructions
1996
2.50 | 8 ratings
Eternal Flashback
1996
2.75 | 11 ratings
Bee As Such [Aka: Düülirium]
2010

AMON DÜÜL II Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.32 | 44 ratings
Live in London
1973
3.40 | 16 ratings
BBC Radio 1 Live In Concert Plus
1992
2.62 | 15 ratings
Live in Tokyo
1996

AMON DÜÜL II Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Amon Düül II Play Phallus Dei
2003

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

3.72 | 24 ratings
Lemmingmania
1975
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Classic German Rock Scene
1975
0.00 | 0 ratings
5 Years
1980
0.00 | 0 ratings
Rock In Deutschland Vol 1
1980
0.00 | 0 ratings
Best Of
1986
0.00 | 0 ratings
Anthology
1987
3.04 | 4 ratings
Milestones
1989
0.00 | 0 ratings
Castle Masters Collection
1990
1.33 | 3 ratings
Surrounded by the Bars
1993
0.00 | 0 ratings
Luzifers Gholom
1994
3.00 | 3 ratings
The Greatest Hits
1995
3.00 | 2 ratings
3 Jahrzehnte (1968-1998)
1997
3.50 | 4 ratings
The Best Of 1969-1974
1997
3.67 | 9 ratings
Flawless
1998
4.70 | 9 ratings
The UA Years: 1969-1974
1999
3.53 | 6 ratings
Manana - The Complete BBC Recordings
2000
3.96 | 4 ratings
Once Upon A Time - Best Of 1969 - 1999
2001
3.08 | 5 ratings
Anthology
2005

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
Rattlesnakeplumcake / Between The Eyes
1970
2.50 | 4 ratings
Archangels Thunderbird / (Excerpt From) Soap Shop Rock
1970
0.00 | 0 ratings
Amon Düül II and Creedence Clearwater Revival: Archangel's Thunderbird / Run Through The Jungle
1970
3.00 | 3 ratings
Light / Lemmingmania
1971
0.00 | 0 ratings
All The Years Round / The Tables Are Turned
1972
0.00 | 0 ratings
Pigman
1974
0.00 | 0 ratings
Mirror
1974
0.00 | 0 ratings
Don't Turn Too Stone
1979

AMON DÜÜL II Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Pyragony X by AMON DÜÜL II album cover Studio Album, 1976
2.41 | 49 ratings

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Pyragony X
Amon Düül II Krautrock

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

2 stars A year or two ago, I came across Rolling Stone's list of the top 50 prog albums of all time and found at number 41 "Yeti" by Amon Düül II. I marked it down as an album to check out. When I finally did check out it on YouTube, I wasn't convinced. The singing was too discordant with people singing out of tune or not in tune with one another. However, I was still determined to find something decent from this krautrock band. After skipping through different albums and tracks, I thought that there were a couple on "Pyragony 10th" that might be okay and I ordered the album. Only after was I to learn the truth about the band.

Before reaching their tenth album, Amon Düül II had undergone multiple line-up changes and were searching for a new direction for their music. By "Pyragony 10th", few original members remained and the band were really uncertain of how to craft their new sound. The music here sounds very much like a band lacking confidence in recording what they must have felt strongly about when they wrote. The songs have been given attention and care in their construction but the final result is lackluster. One vocalist sounds like a punk singer who has been asked to attempt subtlety while singing along to softer semi-mainstream songs. When "Telly Vision" comes on, I feel like it's a cross between a psychedelic Beatles rip-off and The Toy Dolls.

The album does bravely attempt to tackle a variety of styles with the Oriental "Flower of the Orient", the early Nazareth ("Exercises" era) rock and roll of "Merlin", and the softer synthesizer-guided instrumental track "Crystal Hexagon". The only song that features a part that sounds prog is "The Only Thing" and that happens shortly before the three-minute mark.

The weak production of this album doesn't help. The acoustic guitar strumming has all the life sucked out of it, and when the music actually does bring a punch, the production softens the blow like a wall of tissue paper. But not just the production, as I stated above this seems to be an over-cautious band without confidence. The CD booklet includes this quote from Ingeborg Schober's book "Tanz der Lemminge":

"The mythical and charismatic Amon Düül II known from the sixties didn't exist anymore. Until today the band searched somewhat desperately and chaotically for a new musical identity which made them try the most different styles."

Band member Chris Karrer adds, "It had been the time when the band's music became more and more song-like and the once underground group descended to the songwriter's league." The CD booklet author also points out only half the songs as having any semblance to the old Amon Duul II with the other half being like creations of any mainstream band.

Were it not for the promise of "Yeti" being a much better representation of the band and a classic prog album to boot, I would have stopped my Amon Düül II experience here with this first purchase. But I am curious and I will see what the "Yeti" is keeping that is so special.

 Tanz Der Lemminge [Aka: Dance Of The Lemmings] by AMON DÜÜL II album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.09 | 297 ratings

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Tanz Der Lemminge [Aka: Dance Of The Lemmings]
Amon Düül II Krautrock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

5 stars Through the trials and tribulations that life has to offer comes a vast wealth of inspiration and karmic balance and thus the members of AMON DÜÜL II were collecting their just dessert after having a series of setbacks. One of the most terrifying events was at the Keks Club in Cologne, Germany in 1971 when a fire not only destroyed all of their musical gear but snuffed out four youths in attendance and then soon thereafter their new equipment was ripped off which lacking any insurance and not totally paid, ended up bankrupting the band as royalties for their previous two records were garnished to pay off creditors. As can be expected, such incidents create extreme tensions with members of a fledgling band simply trying to make their way in the cult recesses of the music scene and as a result bassist Dave Anderson was the first to bail and immediately hooked up with Hawkwind while founding member Chris Karrer (violin, guitars) would take off to join Embryo. Meanwhile Renate Knaup who never really left the band, only contributed when she felt like it and pretty much sitting this one out with the exception of the one teeny weeny track "Riding On A Cloud" which she clearly was and found that more interesting. Likewise Falk Rogner stuck around on a part-time basis and as a result organ playing duties are shared.

Such was the rotating door lifestyle of 70s commune life yet all the turmoil resulted in a very different creation process for TANZ DER LEMMINGE than "Yeti" which only came out a year before but sounds light years away in sound and overall feel. No longer were Anderson's signature bass playing style present as Lothar Meid took the helm and had a completely different artistic direction. However, despite all the odds stacked against them, the collective commune that had garnered much attention with their first two albums retreated to the eye of the hurricane and reformed, took a deep breath and still managed to release their second double album in a two year timespan. The very first startling thing you will notice when putting on their third album is how very, very different it sounds compared with the previous two. But despite it all, it wasn't only a bloody miracle that it was created at all but actually stands up as one of the band's most varied, creative and ambitious releases of their entire career. This album came out just months after their series of catastrophes under the German title TANZ DER LEMMINGE but was released in the US as DANCE OF THE LEMMINGS. It also found a repackaging in Italy where it was retitled VIAGGIO IN UN SOGNO ("Journey Into A Dream"), however like all great classic albums that stand the test of time it has been faithfully returned to its original and rather fitting title for modern reissues.

The evolving aspects from "Yeti" to TANZ DER LEMMINGE also reflect the turbulence of early 1970s Germany as idealistic hippie and leftist values turned to full-fledged violent revolutionary attempts to use terrorism in order to protest the state apparatus. The Red Army Faction (Baader-Meinhof Gang) shook the entire country to its core and inevitably the arts and musical culture were equally affected. While "Phallus Dei" and "Yeti" were more free flowing and psychedelic rock oriented with a sense of naive innocence running through their course, TANZ DER LEMMINGE is not only more sophisticated in the musical sense but runs the gamut of the emotional spectrum equally as if the band just like the land in which they resided was facing the most uncertain of futures and in the process were throwing any zany idea possible at the wall to see what would stick. The result of this nosedive into the world of fastidious experimentation resulted in a sprawler of a concept album that contains four progressive rock suites with each offering completely different moods and objectives. While these grails convene to take the listener on a wild roller coaster ride of musical diversity, they all coalesce into a larger sense of creating a surreal and psychedelic narrative of the era.

SUITE ONE: "Syntelman's March Of The Roaring Seventies (15:50)

Anyone expecting a repeat of "Yeti's" heavy psych almost proto-metal approach is immediately disappointed as the first suite or side A on the original vinyl begins with a lysergic swirl of Tangerine Dream meets Klaus Schulze electronica whizzing about but quickly fizzles out and morphs into a more familiar groovy bass line however sans heavy guitar distortion and instead replaced by an acoustic guitar performance that could win over Bob Dylan refugees after he went electric. These folky riffs then alternate consummately with classical strumming talents would make Segovia proud with an intermittent violin that upon first impression made me think of a Teutonic version of Comus who coincidently released their landmark "First Utterance" the very same year. The suite continues the Comus (or perhaps some Jethro Tull-ishness as well) references on the third part of the suite "Prayer To Silence" as it unleashes jangly acoustic folk guitar in erratic time signatures with tribal bongo drumming. Suddenly it changes once again into an organ drenched melancholy that has a fast bass hook and bluesy guitar come and go and create ever increasing tempos that finally find Karrer's vocals join in to musically articulate tall tales of surrealistic lyrical content that leads up to some sort of occult text with references to alien worlds thus offering a more lysergic and imaginative whimsy that could possibly have been influenced by David Bowie's "Space Oddity" and the inevitable consciousness shift of the moon landing.

SUITE TWO: "Restless Skylight - Transistor-Child" (19:33)

Begins as some crazed drug fueled attempt at a blues song and sort of reminds me of a Captain Beefheart riff before completely disappearing and replaced by spaced out footsteps on an alien vessel or something and then like most tracks imperceptibly transitions with this going into the Zappa-esque "Dehypnotized Toothpaste" that not only brings the early avant-rocker's humor to mind but also the quirky jazz-fusion musical madness as well. "A Short Stop At The Transylvanian Brain-Surgery" reverts back to a totally spaced out guitar run with mellotron wails simulating an alien chorus and a sultry sitar dancing like a Bollywood actress around the main rhythm. The three parts to "Race From Here To Your Ears" take a voyage far away to another galaxy as heavy psych guitars find their inner Hendrix and Cream inspired riffs that slowly ignite in a peace pipe while the waif of intoxicating smoke unleashes Chris Karrer's most uninhibited vocal performance as he wails like a madman as tripped out lyrics about everything from little tornadoes and the art of curry, the Bank of Babylon and lion summer's find their way into the theme. I am still totally perplexed by any attempt of meaning of it all. The madness ensues with frantic guitar rhythms, screechy violins and drone bass lines that bedazzle and hypnotize simultaneously as it ends with the evocative "H.G. Well's Take Off."

SUITE THREE: "Chamsin Soundtrack" (33:05)

Pull out your tickets and take the most mind expanding excursion on the album with "The Marilyn Monroe-Memorial-Church" which takes a long 18 minute and 5 second journey and worships all things "Saucerful Of Secrets" which is arguably the Floydian birth pangs of all things Krautrock and improvises a massive psychedelic improvisational attack of the senses that slowly drift in and out of frequency with fuzzed out guitars swirling in and out of stereo through a maddening maze of bluesy guitar riffs, bouncy bass and orgies of keyboards straight out of Berlin School progressive electronic abductions into the twilight zone. After "behaving" for the prior album parts, this monstrous track meanders through the musical universe where notes collide and fuse together as if they were in primeval pools of plasma going through phase changes and then garnering enough nuclear power to transport themselves into other dimensions. Sounds come and go like random schools of jellyfish suddenly thrown off course due to tidal uncertainties and cosmic interferences. And then in complete contrast, the album ends on a heavier hard psych note with the complete freefall over the cliffs with the dancing lemmings which ends Mr Toad's Wild Adventure with the appropriately titled "Toxicological Whispering."

TANZ DER LEMMINGE is most certainly a more thoughtful and provocative album than what came before and will require ample periods of uninterrupted attention with plenty of after time rumination. Upon first listen i was actually disappointed with this album, big time, as i was expecting a clearcut continuation of "Yeti." While i may have put this back on the shelf for a while, it had planted its seeds and summoned my nonjudgmental return. Upon reflection and ample listening time i have fallen under its hypnotic spell as it mesmerizes my restlessness while stimulating my creative cranial cortex. The diversity of sounds, tones, styles and twisted tales of the imagined or not comes off as a playful nerdy paradise of sounds that slinks and swirls in every foreseeable direction of the sonic palette while earning an A+ for tenacity on the trip-o-meter. No you don't need drugs to enjoy this but then again, maybe you do. You without doubt need patience and above all a very open mind. This is certainly a grower as it strives for a 10 on the progometer but really only scaling up to a 9. For 1971 this is some pretty daring stuff. It far outreaches other Krautrock contemporaries. While Can and Faust were limiting their respective sounds to a certain niche market, AMON DÜÜL II were taking the rock approach to the jazzy stellar other worlds of Sun Ra and his Magic Arkestra as if they were abducted by alien beings and implanted with creativity chips. Man, that commune idea really worked for these guys at the time but like all good parties it must come to and end and such is the case with the highest peak of their career as the following albums incrementally became tamer and commercial. TANZ DER LEMMINGE, however was and remains one of the highest peaks of the early Krautrock world.

 Bee As Such [Aka: Düülirium] by AMON DÜÜL II album cover Studio Album, 2010
2.75 | 11 ratings

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Bee As Such [Aka: Düülirium]
Amon Düül II Krautrock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars It's pretty awesome that this band is still making music after all of these years. And the fact that that Krautrock spirit is still alive and well in their music only adds to my admiration for this legendary band. They released this as a digital download only back in 2009 and called "Bee As Such" then it got a physical release in 2014 and they called it "Duulirium" after the title of a bonus track on a "Wolf City" re-issue. Renate and Chris share the vocal duties often on the same track while I would also mention the many intricate sounds found on this recording.

"On The Highway(Mambo Le Liberta)" features sparse sounds throughout and I really like the tone of the guitar. Vocals join in sounding rough like Captain Beefheart. Renate joins in vocally around 2 1/2 minutes. There's a little more intensity after 6 1/2 minutes with the guitar and vocals in particular but the song never does really breakout. "Du Kommst Ins Heim" opens with Renate's vocal melodies along with a beat, violin and some experimental sounds. Lots of intricate and sparse sounds then we get some silly and strange vocals before 5 1/2 minutes. "Standing In The Shadow" starts out with percussion, bass and odd sounds before the male vocals arrive a minute in. Renate starts singing after 2 minutes as the song becomes catchy. Male vocals too as they trade off and also sing together.

"Back To The Rules/ Walk To The Park" is the 26 minute closer and the only reason I'm not giving this a higher rating. For such a long song this does little for me. This is very sparse with percussion to start as faint vocal melodies arrive around 2 minutes in. Renate starts to sing in a relaxed manner. The song seems to come to life 7 minutes in and violin joins in around 9 minutes. More vocals join in at 10 1/2 minutes then there is silence before those sparse sounds return. A catchy beat with guitar and vocals arrives after 12 minutes. Vocal melodies and guitar 17 1/2 minutes in as it continues to be sparse sounding until around the 20 minute mark when fast paced spoken male vocals kick in with guitar, bass and drums. Some nice guitar late.

While this was better than I thought it would be I can't rate this higher than 3 stars.

 Bee As Such [Aka: Düülirium] by AMON DÜÜL II album cover Studio Album, 2010
2.75 | 11 ratings

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Bee As Such [Aka: Düülirium]
Amon Düül II Krautrock

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Comeback albums aren't normally as haphazard as this belated effort by one of Krautrock's essential forefathers: recorded in 2009; offered as a digital download under the name "Bee as Such" in 2010; and four years later finally given a legitimate CD release, with a better title and actual sleeve art...everything except a credible performance, sadly.

In truth the music by itself is fine, and doesn't show a trace of anachronism. All of it was clearly improvised in the studio, but in a more groovy modern fashion than the embryonic freakouts of "Phallus Dei" et al. A cheap comparison could be made to the valedictory CAN album "Rite Time" (1989), a likewise late-in-the-day reunion with a similar (but more successful) vibe, also curiously delayed in post-production.

Maybe the new Düül album should have been considered as a strictly instrumental project. The musical rapport was still there, and surprisingly vital after so many years away. But the vocals by old comrades Renate Knaup and Chris Karrer are - to put it delicately - a calamity: hoarse, abrasive, and fatally off-key.

Krautrock has always been full of eccentric singers able to exploit their amateur lack of training (think of Can's Malcolm Mooney). But there's a big difference between non-professional and plain bad, and that line was emphatically crossed here. I'm reminded of Timothy Leary's cringe-worthy performance on the notorious ASH RA TEMPEL train wreck "Seven Up", something no sane listener ever needs to hear a second time.

The fingernails-on-chalkboard effect reaches its nadir throughout the 26-minute "Back to the Rules/Walking in the Park" (aka "Psychedelic Suite", on the "Bee as Such" version). Here, the attempts at improvising a freeform vocal accompaniment to an already exploratory jam stand out like a mangled (i.e. more than simply sore) thumb.

Needless to say, the new album is no "Yeti"...despite some abominable moments. It's reassuring to know the old-timers still have a pulse, but this session wasn't worth the long wait. Better late than never? Don't be too sure...

 Yeti by AMON DÜÜL II album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.10 | 417 ratings

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Yeti
Amon Düül II Krautrock

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Avant, Crossover & Neo Teams

5 stars We will see the Krautrock light through heavy-guitar-riff-based German psychedelia blended with shabby voices ... a large number of musical (especially of rock) essence can be heard, and this kaleidoscopic sound environment would have got to be one of the starting lines in the Krautrock scene we suggest.

The first heavily swift bullet "Soap Shop Rock Suite", that must grab your soul out, can be called as a masterpiece not only all around their discography but in the whole Krautrock scene. The very beginning of the first movement "Burning Sister" has catchy immersing impressive (but eccentric) phrases created by heavy guitar riffs and strict, deep rhythm section tools. Their repetitive guitar synchronicity could remind the audience of sorta heavy space rock but luckily freak-out shabby voices give us something like mysterious relief. Their energy upon playing is too powerful and too bombastic for us to ignore ... the audience should get immersed apparently.

The following stage "Halluzination Guillotine" sounds like a heavy stone or a bulky bull on the contrary. Deep solid rhythm basis and every space of time are quite hallucinogenic. "Gulp A Sonata" is a short phrase but we can directly touch pretty massive experimental elements diluted with each other. The last "Flesh-Coloured Anti-Aircraft Alarm" is another real Krautrock world launched by a chopping guitar ... at last the refrain sounds a tad twisted and I guess they all would have had comfortable fatigue after finishing 'a big work'. It's quite amazing this suite consists of various material of progressive rock, and "Yeti" can be told completely with this fact.

By the way, every other track features colourful messages respectively. "Archangels Thunderbird" is another hard psychedelic rock keen to absorb hard rock freaks definitely. Powerful female voices are impressive, in the same vein of Rush's Geddy. Ethnic soundscape injection can be heard via "The Return Of Ruebezahl" or "Pale Gallery", the former has black magic religious flame, and the latter enthusiastic tribalism ... this texture is fit for German psychedelia indeed. Contrary to such a rock-ish rock, "Cerberus" reminds me of "Coffee Rumba", filled with South-American atmospheric acoustic guitar whispering. Improvised "Yeti - Yeti Talks To Yogi" combination can be mentioned as an innovative underground psychedelic jam session, kinda comfort, dreamy dream.

Their miscellaneous approaches exert magnificent influence upon younger Krautrock combos (e.g. a Japanese funny funky Krautrock project Omoide Hatoba). In this sense, this album can be called as one of authentic collections in the Krautrock scene. A superb gem really.

 Carnival In Babylon by AMON DÜÜL II album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.56 | 159 ratings

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Carnival In Babylon
Amon Düül II Krautrock

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Avant, Crossover & Neo Teams

4 stars And every Krautrock freak, sorta dramatic Krautrock has got started via AMON DÜÜL II's dreamy, trippy soundscape.

This beautiful / flowery creation "Carnival In Babylon" released in 1972 cannot make the audience feel solid and inorganic like one of their early masterpieces "Yeti" but impressive gorgeous melody / percussion gems can be heard here there and everywhere. Not so complicated nor freakout is their melody line itself but filled with effective percussive psychedelia and dramatic / systemic key changes amongst paragraphs ... this should be drive us crazy into trance.

Soft and smooth combination of female voices and elegant melody lines cannot be heard even via late 60s psychedelic pop. This atmosphere would be considered not appropriate nor acceptable as an authentic Krautrock. However, their German psychedelic initiative should not there but plenty of hidden, subtle psychedelic flavour and taste ... that might be a kind of strategy for kicking the audience into a psychedelic trip without (or a tad with) hallucinogenic agents.

Strongly reminded me of a similar stream like "Hosianna Mantra" released in the same year by POPOL VUH, and strictly notified me eccentric trippy phrase drivin' be not all for Krautrock. Pop, catchy melody lines based upon well-matured, well-calculated subliminal material flooded with ethnicity, tribalism, and colourful percussive sound effects. Such an incredible mixture of sound could be created as one fantastic period in the progressive rock scene, let me say.

 Wolf City by AMON DÜÜL II album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.95 | 253 ratings

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Wolf City
Amon Düül II Krautrock

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Psych City

At first glance, you probably noticed that the cover art does not represent a wolf, but a tiger... a winged tiger... Nonetheless, remember that words such as 'logic' and 'sense' do not exist in AMON DÜÜL II's strange parallel universe, and this album is one of its bright galaxy. After the uneven "Carnival in Babylon", "Wolf City" is the second "accessible" opus from the early period of the band (the best one). Despite shorter compositions, the music is more impacting and creative than on its predecessor, and reuses the psychedelic, heavy and spacey elements that made the first albums so original and lovable. The long jams are definitely gone, but the ideas, audaciousness and multiple faces of AMON DÜÜL II are still present, and that's the most important.

"Surrounded By The Stars" displays a dark haunting psychedelic atmosphere dominated by Renate Knaup's particular singing. "Green Bubbles Raincoated Man" is a soft acid ballad that contains a pre-punk passage in the style of late 70's HAWKWIND! AMON DÜÜL II, you'll always amaze me! The most surprising composition may however be "Jail-house Frog", various different ambiances and styles in only 5 minutes.

The floating title track sounds like a futuristic ritual, ahead of its time. Then comes "Wie Der Wind Am Ende Einer Strasse", a slight electronic calm Indian instrumental, letting the listener breathe before the thundering and trippy "Deutsch Nepal". The only regret concerning this "song" are the sentences pronounced by German actor Ralf Zacher, his tone sounding quite out of place. The folk middle-eastern rock "Sleepwalker's Timeless Bridge" is less remarkable, the only average track of the disc.

Again, as on "Carnival in Babylon", the music is certainly more conventional than on the first three albums, but don't forget this is AMON DÜÜL II, so the compositions still remains adventurous for the average listener. However, contrarily to its predecessor, the songs are much more convincing and memorable, and there are no true weak passages. In conclusion, "Wolf City" is a good balance between accessibility and originality, thus should by no means be rejected by pretending there are no long pieces anymore. This is no argument. The audaciousness and surprises are still here, and this opus is even a little avant-garde by moments.

The best album of early AMON DÜÜL II's second half, maybe the one to start with if you're too intimidated by the two mastodons "Yeti" and "Tanz der Lemminge", or by their experimental debut "Phallus Dei". Very recommended to fans of the band, psychedelic, space rock and, of course, krautrock!

 Carnival In Babylon by AMON DÜÜL II album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.56 | 159 ratings

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Carnival In Babylon
Amon Düül II Krautrock

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Last early Amon Düül II album to acquire

After the psychedelic experimentations of the first three opuses, "Carnival In Babylon" marks a small rupture in the krautrockers' career. Less complex and adventurous than before, the compositions are now shorter and more accessible, but remains pleasant and quite original for the average musical listener. However a question comes to mind: Spirit of AMON DÜÜL II, are you (still) here?

Since the first note, you can perceive the change. Is this a GONG track? "C.I.D. In Uruk" is a pleasant folk song, with a slight mystical feel, however a bit repetitive. Then comes the soft rock "All The Years Round", more nervous and featuring Renate Knaup's particular singing. The heavy finale is very nice. On the contrary, "Shimmering Sand" tries to reuse the collage recipe from "Tanz der Lemminge", but lacks musical direction and is rather forgettable. The last minutes are pleasant though.

The pop rock piece "Kronwinkl 12" is not very interesting either. The weakest passage of the disc. Here you can have a preview of what AMON DÜÜL II will become in the mid-seventies... Nonetheless, the original spirit of the band can be heard in "Tables Are Turned", a cool psychedelic jam with a little middle-eastern and Indian atmosphere. The ender "Hawknose Harlekin" is also an improvisation, more space rock-oriented, featuring strange keyboards and floating guitars.

"Carnival In Babylon" is undoubtedly the weakest album of the debut period of AMON DÜÜL II, from 1969 to 1973 (the best one). Although uneven, containing a few wobbly songs and far less adventurous music than the first three opuses, the overall result remains enjoyable and quite unconventional. The attaching personality of the musicians is still present... for now. In conclusion, this record is not essential, but nonetheless pleasant, possesses its own charm and should not be skipped in the Germans' discography.

After then listen, we may wonder if the accessible music formula is adapted to this unique band or if they have just lost a piece of their creativity? Don't leave now, these questions will be answered the same year, in the next album...

 Tanz Der Lemminge [Aka: Dance Of The Lemmings] by AMON DÜÜL II album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.09 | 297 ratings

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Tanz Der Lemminge [Aka: Dance Of The Lemmings]
Amon Düül II Krautrock

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Acidman's Dance of the Crazy Seventies

Last AMON DÜÜL II's album featuring long compositions, "Tanz Der Lemminge" marks the end of first half of the band's first period, considered by many as their best. Reusing the musical style of its predecessor, the thundering "Yeti", the tracks are less rock and impacting, there are no immediately catchy songs. Instead, the music is more complex and features more early electronic technologies used to create eerie atmospheres. Neither very danceable, nor in relation with the lemmings, the content is on par with the the cover art: an esoteric superposition of different elements hard to describe. In fact, this may be the darkest, most spacey and elaborated opus conceived by AMON DÜÜL II. Like the previous double-album, "Tanz Der Lemminge" is divided in two parts: the first half consists in (nearly) structured compositions, whereas the second half is improvisational.

With its bizarre introduction, the hallucinogenic "Syntelman's March Of The Roaring Seventies" can be described as a long mystical folk-rock containing different melodies and LSD ambiances. A bit harsh to follow, but includes quite good stuff. In the same vein, "Restless Skylight-Transistor-Child" is my favorite composition of the record. A weird collage of various short heavy, spacey, indian and other experimental pieces, with abrupt transitions. Even if this track is not very coherent, it possesses nice moments and unexpected surprises. The final quarter is the best.

Now begins the so-called "Chamsin Soundtrack" suite, entirely improvisational. As you may have guessed, "The Marylin Monroe-Memorial-Church" has little to do with the American actress. It is rather a dark ambient, cosmic and mysterious long journey, like a crossing of PINK FLOYD's early experimental pieces and TANGERINE DREAM's "Zeit", but the AMON DÜÜL II way. This will make discover a new spacey face of the band, proving (again) their creativity and variety concerning the addressed musical styles. One of the highlight of the record! Listen in the dark for maximum effect. Back to Earth with the small instrumental hard-krautrock "Chewinggum Telegram", more usual but however cool. The oppressive heavy "Stumbling Over Melted Moonlight" is also very effective! "Toxicological Whispering" concludes the trip on a space rock journey into stars.

Compared to the seminal "Yeti", the tracks are less structured and the transitions more abrupt. Difficult to digest the first time and lacking a bit of unity, "Tanz Der Lemminge" is however part of these albums that may take time to appreciate, and in which you can rediscover something new at each new listen. The dance of the little animals protects a little treasure of musical creativity. If the 1970 opus made you travel around the world, this one will make you explore unknown galaxies, or the depths of your mind. You decide.

Least accessible release of AMON DÜÜL II's early discography, this is definitely not the disc to start with. If you're new to the band, be sure to listen to "Yeti" and "Phallus Dei" first (in this order) to fully appreciate the music. Once said, "Tanz Der Lemminge" is essential for the fans and for adventurer psychedelic / space rock lovers in need of madness!

After this album, the Germans' compositions will become shorter and more concise, but this does not necessarily means less interesting...

 Yeti by AMON DÜÜL II album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.10 | 417 ratings

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Yeti
Amon Düül II Krautrock

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

5 stars The Adorable Psych Monster

After the experimental "Phallus Dei", AMON DÜÜL II brings more structure to their compositions and offer one of the greatest krautrock record ever, the seminal double-album "Yeti". Heavier, more mature and accessible than its predecessor, but still preserving the same creativity and audaciousness regarding the mixture of western and eastern influences, this second opus is a genuine trip to unknown worlds, in space and time. Surprising, thundering, mystical, esoteric, psychedelic, unique, out of time are the few words that come to mind during this hallucinogenic listening multicolor experience. However, these mushrooms come from another dimension.

About the cover art, the man in a dress with a scythe is a sound engineer of the band, Wolfgang Krischke. A few months after he was photographed, he died due to a LSD overdose. The German krautrockers paid him tribute by putting his picture on the cover.

The first half consists in structured compositions. "Soap Shop Rock" is divided in four parts. The mystical hard rock "Burning Sister" section sounds quite unreal with its bizarre voices and heavy guitars, while the incantatory "Halluzination Guillotine" is slower. The tiny opera-like "Gulp A Sonata" introduces the depressive "Flesh-Coloured Anti-Aircraft Alarm" part, which displays a slight gothic ambiance. Truly unique, this suite is simply one of AMON DÜÜL II's best compositions! The mood changes when arrives the calm "She Came Through The Chimney" and its ethnic percussions and middle-eastern textures. Then comes the powerful and mystical unidentified massive rock object "Archangel Thunderbird". The most remarkable point concerning this track is the contrast created by the over-heavy guitars duo and Renate Knaup's demented crystalline voice. Mindblowing! This song will become a concert favorite. On the opposite, "Cerberus" is a tribal folk of unknown origin, finishing in a crazy distorted rage. Where am I now? Seeking ancient temples, in some middle-eastern desert, my soundtrack is the cool heavy instrumental "The Return Of Rübezahl"... Except that Rübezahl is a Germanic mythological being from giant mountains, but it does not matter anymore. But then... when am I? The hard psychedelic "Eye Shaking King" seems like a strange oriental ritual with... robotic voices, whereas the mysterious"Pale Gallery" displays a threatening atmosphere happening at an undefined period, as if the past and the future were mixed together.

The second half is less varied, but still also very good, as it features one of the best psychedelic improvisations ever recorded. "Yeti" can be described as a long jam in a style similar to PINK FLOYD's "A Saucerful of Secrets" and "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun", but still the AMON DÜÜL II way. It alternates rocking and softer passages. "Yeti Talks To Yogi" extends the trip with a more mystical ambiance. The spacey ethnic folk "Sandoz In The Rain" finishes these 70 minutes of unreal musical madness in the calm.

"Yeti" is one of the most fascinating krautrock album in existence! A treasure of creativity, weird arrangements, unexpected marriages and audacious tripiness. Unique, out of time, the music are a perfect balance between craziness and accessibility, creativity and melody, heavy and calm moments. The listener is never bored and always surprised by the various influences displayed on this disc. Needless to talk about the band's personality here, as not many bands manages to merge such opposite genres with this talent.

Like the Yeti, the creature remains mysterious, of an unknown origin. AMON DÜÜL II's best album, an unequalled masterpiece of the genre, highly recommended! Fans of krautrock, psychedelic, space rock or PINK FLOYD, listen to this record, otherwise the abominable snow monster himself will come at your house and eat you!

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to E&O Team for the last updates

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