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BIRTH CONTROL

Heavy Prog • Germany


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Birth Control biography
Psychedelic Krautrock to Heavy Progressive Rock with elements of Blues and Jazz

BIRTH CONTROL were formed at the end of sixties. In those early years they played hybrid jazz rock compositions, mainly instrumental. They recorded their first album for Metronome bringing to the fore an accent for humour and provoking thoughts (the name of the band and the album cover illustrate it as well). Their second album "Operation" shows a great improvement in sound, a kind of heavy rock based sound with subtle jazzy arrangements. This album had a great success for the Ohr label (specialised to promote the rise of the German underground rock scene). In 1972, "Believe InThe Pill" was also released for Ohr. After several replacements, the quintet recorded "Rebirth", a progressive heavy rock album. In 1976, "Blackdoor Possibilities" was a commercial failure due to a more mainstream sound and the inclusion of more jazz elements. "Increase" recorded in 1977 marked a return to the hard rock source. BIRTH CONTROL come back to light in the 90s for many reunion albums as "Jungle Life" or "Two Worlds".

: : : Philippe Blache, FRANCE : : :

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Hoodoo ManHoodoo Man
Import
Columbia Europe 1994
Audio CD$3.74
$1.49 (used)
Hoodoo Man by BIRTH CONTROL (1994-06-07)Hoodoo Man by BIRTH CONTROL (1994-06-07)
Columbia Europe
Audio CD$24.22
OperationOperation
Extra tracks · Import
Repertoire 2002
Audio CD$6.49
$6.11 (used)
Re BirthRe Birth
Import
Repertoire 2001
Audio CD$7.12
$5.45 (used)
IncreaseIncrease
Import
Repertoire 2002
Audio CD$24.00 (used)
Operation [Vinyl]Operation [Vinyl]
Import
ohr/pilz 2008
Vinyl$11.95
$12.31 (used)
Jungle Life/Getting ThereJungle Life/Getting There
MADE IN GERMANY MUSI 2014
Audio CD$10.19
$14.80 (used)
Plastic PeoplePlastic People
Import
Repertoire 2001
Audio CD$6.59
$3.78 (used)
BangBang
Extra tracks · Import
Repertoire 2002
Audio CD$6.89
$9.99 (used)
Live: Birth ControlLive: Birth Control
Import
101 DISTRIBUTION 2003
Audio CD$3.48
$3.47 (used)
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BIRTH CONTROL discography


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

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

3.14 | 63 ratings
Birth Control
1970
3.75 | 101 ratings
Operation
1971
3.83 | 126 ratings
Hoodoo Man
1972
3.66 | 69 ratings
Rebirth
1973
3.80 | 118 ratings
Plastic People
1975
3.56 | 81 ratings
Backdoor Possibilities
1976
3.14 | 40 ratings
Increase
1977
2.50 | 30 ratings
Titanic
1978
2.78 | 24 ratings
Count on Dracula
1980
3.28 | 17 ratings
Deal Done at Night
1981
3.22 | 27 ratings
Bäng!
1982
3.33 | 17 ratings
Two Worlds
1995
3.29 | 22 ratings
Jungle Life
1996
3.26 | 20 ratings
Getting There
1998
3.94 | 29 ratings
Alsatian
2003
3.67 | 18 ratings
Here And Now
2016

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

3.10 | 30 ratings
Birth Control Live
1974
3.22 | 16 ratings
Birth Control - Live '79
1979
3.15 | 7 ratings
Condominium
1994
3.05 | 3 ratings
Live Abortion
2000
3.75 | 4 ratings
Live in Lachendorf
2000
3.00 | 2 ratings
Live In Fulda - Alsatian Tour 2004
2004
3.33 | 3 ratings
35th Anniversary - Live At Rockpalast
2005
3.33 | 3 ratings
We Are Family - Live at 40th Anniversary Tour
2009

BIRTH CONTROL Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

3.60 | 5 ratings
Believe in the Pill
1972
2.21 | 5 ratings
The Best of Birth Control
1977
3.75 | 4 ratings
The Best of Birth Control Vol. 2
1978
3.00 | 4 ratings
Rock on Brain
1978
2.12 | 5 ratings
Birth Control - The Very Best of
1990
4.14 | 5 ratings
Birth Control Definitive Collection
1996

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

4.50 | 6 ratings
The Work Is Done / Flesh And Blood
1971

BIRTH CONTROL Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Hoodoo Man  by BIRTH CONTROL album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.83 | 126 ratings

BUY
Hoodoo Man
Birth Control Heavy Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Though some prog fans may prefer later Birth Control albums such as Plastic People or Backdoor Possibilities, perhaps due to the more mannered, polished, and symphonic-leaning keyboard playing of Zeus B. Held, I greatly prefer the raw, dirty, Deep Purple and Uriah Heep- derived heavy psych-rock of Hoodoo Man, which derives much of its pleasures from the keyboard work of Wolfgang Neuser. This would be Neuser's sole album with the group, which is kind of a shame, because he's able to range from bluesy Deep Purple-esque playing to more classical-influenced organ work reminiscent of the more hard rocking moments of early ELP with ease. The distinctive Hammond organ sound would drain away from Birth Control beginning with the subsequent Rebirth, which is a shame because this album is pretty decent... shame about the horrible cover art, though.
 Hoodoo Man  by BIRTH CONTROL album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.83 | 126 ratings

BUY
Hoodoo Man
Birth Control Heavy Prog

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

4 stars Despite showing plenty of instrumental flair and smaller moments of musical ambition on their first two albums, Birth Control's third release, 1972's `Hoodoo Man', is where everything really started to come together for the group. Although a lot of the music was still bookended with vocal sections that simply provided a launching pad for frenetic and thrilling instrumental jams/improvisations, `Hoodoo Man' was one of their first albums to really start implementing progressive rock elements, perhaps in part due to new keyboard player Wolfgang Neuser. There's a very cool variety of combinations of the musicians playing off each-other, and along with a more expansive production, lengthier instrumental runs and more clever and exciting arrangements, the band delivered their best album to date.

Opener `Buy!' is all Bruno Frenzel's heavy plodding guitar riffs and Wolfgang's Hammond organ blasts with a trademark roaring vocal from lead singer/drummer Bernd Noske. You get a brisk up- tempo middle of spiralling synths/moogs with a chilled-out dusty bluesy guitar come-down before a thrashing finale. Although Bruno takes the lead vocals of `Suicide' in slightly uncomfortable English, some sprightly drumming and upbeat Hammond organ liveliness brings some infectious jazzy vibes for almost a touch of the English Canterbury bands. A Genesis-like charge races as if a battle-cry throughout `Get Down To Your Fate', and the extended jam in the middle delivers everything from rippling electric piano runs, E.L.P-style Hammond organ fury and serrated Black Sabbath-like guitar throttle.

Frequently driven by a variety of relentless percussion, `Gamma Ray' unleashes with all manner of Hammond organ slinging (jaunty and playful like Beggars Opera one second, swirling and attacking the next) and exhausting heavy, dirty and smouldering wailing guitar grooves. Especially nice is the lusty panning distortion and splintering guitar assault in the middle jam, an unhinged vocal from Bernd and Bernd Koschmidder's bass that seductively purrs away throughout. Be sure to listen out for the scat vocalizing with call-and-response fiery guitar fill duelling in the final minutes! The gutsy rocker title track brings plenty of danger and intensity. Dominated by a stomping beat over hell-bound brooding Hammond, the band show more daring than ever before with a psychedelic treated vocal from Bernd, ghostly creeping piano and even some booming and malevolent gothic organ! After that, you can probably skip the final two minute closer `Kaulstoss', a whimsical little album filler that has the band zipping through a Scottish bagpipe tune.

The next album `Rebirth' a year later would see the band growing even more in confidence and maturity, starting to move away from the more obvious Hammond-driven elements, so it just makes `Hoodoo Man' all the more special. If you like those early heavy Hammond-drenched proto prog bands like Atomic Rooster, Rare Bird and Bodkin, etc, this album is even more adventurous than most of them. A charismatic frontman, highly-skilled musicians and killer tunes - what more could you ask for?! The band had plenty more great albums to come, but this one is one of their best, and definitely my own personal favourite!

Four stars.

 Titanic by BIRTH CONTROL album cover Studio Album, 1978
2.50 | 30 ratings

BUY
Titanic
Birth Control Heavy Prog

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

3 stars Birth Control are a German rock band that mix Hammond organ driven hard rock, with R&B, jazz and even psychedelic flavours. Fronted by the charismatic Bernd Noske, the band has always performed with great energy with a sound that constantly evolved. After a run of three albums which began with 1973's `Rebirth' that saw them embrace progressive rock, the band soon began to change their sound again, more than likely to do with the changing music tastes of the time. Funk and blues elements that had begun to emerge on their previous album `Increase' completely takes over on 1978's `Titanic', and it will likely test the patience of the more casual fans of the band. But if you just think they're a great rock band overall, chances are you'll find something on `Titanic' to enjoy.

Make peace with it right away - pretty much most of the tracks are powered by funky grooves and up-tempo energy, all crafted to very accessible verse-chorus arrangements. Catchy opener `The Last Survivor' actually has nothing to do with the `Titanic' of the album title, instead it's a cool groover with a biting lyric about a past love delivered with a raging vocal from Bernd. Right from the start, Horst Stachelhaus' bass pulses along the background nice and thick, and he instantly lifts the entire album. `Miss Davina' is a slinking chill-out that could almost be a tougher Roxy Music number, listen out for the droning chorus and cute synth trills. Slab thick bass and a howling vocal tear through `Seems Like Confusion', then Bernd is in loved-up form on the ballad `How Can I Live?'. It's the longest track on the album, confidently and sweetly sung, and a real showcase for Bruno Frenzel with his lovely heartfelt bluesy guitar soloing throughout.

The title track opens the second side, and it's a bit of a Birth Control classic, a brooding rocker with a catchy chorus, Hammond organ ripples and constant slow-burn bluesy wailing guitar fills. Be sure to check out the even better live version that appears on Birth Control's album `Live '79'! `Love Light' is a bass heavy sultry grooving dance-floor grinder, with a lusty vocal and dancing Hammond run in the finale, but the chorus is wretched and a bit too cute! `Don't Turn Back' is another classy romantic power ballad with powerful bluesy guitar runs and a warm swooning vocal especially strong in the stirring chorus, before the band close on the relentless chunky bass, lively drumming and fiery scorching electric guitar rager `Saturday Special'.

`Titanic' is a very well performed and catchy undemanding mix of rock and funk, with a handful of killer tracks and a few other worthwhile moments, with nothing actually terrible. First listen will be a bit of a shock, but give it more than one chance and take the time to listen closer, as you'll at least discover plenty of great playing from a talented band. Those only interested in their more progressive-related releases should stay well away, but anyone who likes the different styles of the band should look into it. Just make sure to check out their albums like `Operation', `Hoodoo Man', `Plastic People' and `Backdoor Possibilities' first!

Three stars.

 Count on Dracula  by BIRTH CONTROL album cover Studio Album, 1980
2.78 | 24 ratings

BUY
Count on Dracula
Birth Control Heavy Prog

Review by TerryDactyl

4 stars I'm really surprised to see how unwelcome this album seems to be here. Why? Why? I ask as I shake my fists at the heavens and try to remember that there really is no place like home. But really such a low rating for Count on Dracula? I don't understand, but I do have a theory, and that is that very few people actually do the one thing that is required for a pure love bond with this record to occur: I can only assume the average listener doesn't REALLY *trust* the count. I suppose to make such an incredibly assumptive and arrogant statement like this means I must back it up, so I guess I will do that now.

Bullet Point One: This album is given most of it's incredibly heavy weight through the inclusion of three songs. These three songs of heaviness are:

1. Count on Dracula 2. The Rescue (Sometime in the Future) 3. Caterpillar

From the opening moment, the snarling organ, the awesome mixture of hard rock and funk, the absolutely bizarre lyrics that assure you that Bern really does trust the count, all the way through to the very end, this song just plain rocks. And maybe the plainness is what turns off many, I don't know, but I like the rocking rollicking quality of the song and the great vocals. A good opener that will soon be surpassed by probably the best song on the record...

And so the rescue went according to plan/ safe and sound safe and sound....The world is about to be blown up and someone somewhere is doing something to help someone get off it (maybe Ford and Arthur?) but it is a great tune, an excellent rocky almost danceable number that usually shakes my groove thing whether I want it to or not. It is true that the next couple songs are a little less exciting, but are they really? That, my friends, is not for my silly little self to decide because they do all rock nicely, groove ferociously and seem to be pretty wonderful in their own special way. "Pick on Me" was actually the single from the album and that they chose it as their single instead of either "The Rescue" or the (I'm about to talk about and gush all over) wonderful and quite gorgeous in its own way "Caterpillar" is a mystery to me and makes me think that Birth Control's lack of popularity had more to do with bad planning than any lack in the band itself! Because, whoa, what a song "Catepillar" is. Awesome lyrics, great music, a super fantastic better than anything Phil Collins ever made kind of song, that makes people who have never actually thought start smoking (from the ears) and people who have thought too much want to lay down on the ground and hurl donuts at the feet of the Virgin. Or that's what it would be like for me if I ever thought or didn't think.

The last two songs are rather nice if not the epic quality of the three I mentioned earlier. Plus, I mean, really it does have THAT cover...and nothing else really matters.

 Operation  by BIRTH CONTROL album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.75 | 101 ratings

BUY
Operation
Birth Control Heavy Prog

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

4 stars Although my first Birth Control album was the later proggy `Backdoor Possibilities', I initially fell in love with the band for their initial proto-prog works. I'm a total sucker for all those Hammond- drenched hard rock albums by bands that would later embrace their prog curiosities, so those early albums by Grobschnitt, Beggers Opera, Atomic Rooster and others - load me up! `Operation' by Birth Control sits alongside those sort of LP's, so we're talking melodic accessible rock with lengthy stretches of instrumental workouts and group jamming usually in the middle of each track. The 6 pieces here also frequently incorporate hard R&B, pop/rockers and even a bit classical grandiosity right at the end.

`Stop Little Lady' is such a classic opener, a stomping and relentless Deep Purple-like rocker that balances a memorable melody and chorus with extended jamming. The verses have a spacey keyboard shimmer that always reminds me of those early Eloy albums, and the insanely catchy chorus sung with manic power by the always charismatic Bernd Noske will be stuck in your head for days! I completely lose my mind during the uptempo instrumental electric piano and searing organ run over scratchy grooving electric guitars in the middle too! `Just Before The Sun Will Rise' has a Genesis-like organ drive throughout backed up by a very propulsive beat, Bernd's bellowing in fine throat-shredding form and there's plenty of dangerous acid-rock guitaring and glistening Hammond too. `The Work Is Done' is almost as good as the opener, a 60's inspired darkly grooving R&B rocker with a female chorus and a thoughtful lyric.

If a little less chugging and heavy, side B's `Flesh and Blood' wouldn't have sounded out of place on a Beggars Opera album, it's a shorter hip-swivelling pop/rocker that's also gently psychedelic. `Pandemonium' is a heavy slab of intimidating plodding rock for the howling vocal sections and prickly unhinged delirious instrumental outbursts for the rest, especially the Hammond plastered over every damn inch of it. Then questionable closer `Let Us Do It Now' takes a left turn and adds some unexpected classical grandeur, bordering on cinematic sophistication. There's constant reflective heartfelt piano throughout, gentle orchestratations and horns to carry the drama, and a restrained and purring crooned vocal from Bernd too. It's not a total success, but I think it just stands out more because it sounds like nothing else on the rest of the disk rather than being no good. For a heavy rock band, there's is no doubt it's very ambitious and surely a sign of the progressive rock leanings they would later take.

Housed in a baffling and attention-getting offensive cover, `Operation' is scorching hot to me. Sure, in many ways, most of the tracks have the same structure (verse, chorus, big instrumental jam, back to verse, chorus), and even the following album `Hoodoo Man' would start seeing them becoming more adventurous and interesting to prog listeners. But I guess I just love the slightly rough sound, and to my ears these kind of riff and burning Hammond-heavy foot-tappers are sweaty, dangerous and damn sexy - even if the final track makes you dress up in your Sunday best and waltz with your lady across the dancefloor instead!

Four stars.

 Birth Control - Live '79 by BIRTH CONTROL album cover Live, 1979
3.22 | 16 ratings

BUY
Birth Control - Live '79
Birth Control Heavy Prog

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

3 stars Man, this album always puts me in a great mood every time I play it! Although comprised of only a few tracks and long running times on most, it's really hardly one of their more progressive releases, rather it's just a damn good collection of superb 70's rock played by terrific musicians and a top- notch charismatic vocalist in the form of Bernd Noske. He has a sensational presence on this album, with a mix of gruff, confident and even romantic vocals. The LP is full of extended instrumental jamming amongst mostly straight-forward arrangements, with plenty of super-thick fuzzy organ, funky grooving guitars, commanding drum-work and aggressive bass playing.

What an opener `Titanic' is! Despite some borderline offensive and downright cheesy lyrics ("I've got a sinking feeling..." is particularly memorable!), it's overloaded with fiery bluesy-rock guitar work from Bruno Frenzel, wavering lead vocals, humming Hammond organ, powerful brooding drumming and even a vocoder/guitar back and forth in the middle for good measure! Best track on the album, and it always makes me smile.

Some will not enjoy the obviously funky/disco inspired bass playing on this album that first pops up on `Saturday Special'. Don't be put off by the fact that the track is a rather upbeat crowd-pleasing number, there's still plenty of spots for killer quick little lead guitar fills, very upbeat synth soloing and rattling percussion.

`Seems Like Confusion' is another stomping funk-rocker, made memorable by Bernd really shredding his vocal chords throughout the piece and the spiralling swirling extended keyboard/synth improv in the middle over the bouncing rhythm.

The strutting and punchy `Fight For You' is a real highlight! Cock-sure and crooning sultry vocals from Bernd, who's gunning for the ladies attention with lines like `I can't live without your kisses, your spirit and your soul' - commence swoon, girls! Some great dirty bluesy electric guitar as well, but it's bass player Horst that really steals the piece and makes it his own, just dominating the entire track. Especially listen to his grumbling bass soloing in the middle!

The hard R&B of `The Work Is Done' from Birth Control's terrific `Operation' album has been given a slight disco tweak here, although it's still quite heavy with wailing guitar soloing and shimmering organ. Admittedly this shorter version lacks the pleading lyric and somber atmosphere of the original, but still shows what a great tune it is anyway.

OK, so perhaps the album is a little dated by the endless funky bass playing (as terrific as it is), but there's no denying the talent still on display with the band. On `Live '79' you have a first-rate rock band playing in a more approachable melodic rock style while still incorporating progressive rock sophistication throughout. Well worth three and a half stars to my ears.

Why not dig out a copy for your next long drive on a nice summer day, I guarantee you'll have a great time!

 Backdoor Possibilities by BIRTH CONTROL album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.56 | 81 ratings

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Backdoor Possibilities
Birth Control Heavy Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars On Backdoor Possibilities from 1976 Birth Control explores little bit further on their sound coming with some jazzier elements in their symphonic/heavy prog atmosphere. This is an extravagant album, musicaly speaking, lots of instrumental passages, very well performed, some of them even brilliant like on The farrockaway ropedancer. Some parts has more proeminent keyboards passages then before and have a certain GentleGiant breeze in arrangements, but very nice in the end like on Behind gray walls or No Time To Die. The album overall is dynamic, very good musicianship and is pretty ok in my book, no weak moments and I think is equaly great as Plastic people that why I give 4 stars. Another of Birth Control overlooked albums from their most ambitious period in prog rock realm.

 Plastic People  by BIRTH CONTROL album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.80 | 118 ratings

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Plastic People
Birth Control Heavy Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Plastic peolple from 1975 is regarded as one of the best Birth Control albums and for good reason for sure. Is one of my fav aswell from the band. With this album the germans manage to come with a more elaborated compositions in compartaion with previous albums, the combination of heavy prog elements are well melted with more symphonic ones and even some canterbury moments can be traced here and theere. Opning with the killer title track , clocking around 10 min, is truly a joy to listen from start to finish. Excellent innstrumental intro of the piece with lush organ and energic playing, aswell top notch musicianship. Maybe to some this album lacks in energy face Hoodoo man or Operations who were very heavy prog with driving guitars and keyboards, but Plastic people is more calculated more tight and have no weak moments for sure. I like the voice, or the voices, Peter Föller and Berd Noske done a great job, from dramatic parts from the title track to more subtle ones, the vocal department is well offered here. So, one of the better prog rock albums from mid '70 in general but kinda unfairly unnoticed in comparation with other names and albums from that period, definetly Birth Control sets new standards in their own sound and desearves attention from all prog lovers. 4 stars easy.
 Hoodoo Man  by BIRTH CONTROL album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.83 | 126 ratings

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Hoodoo Man
Birth Control Heavy Prog

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Whilst the first six albums from this taboo-baiting outfit are all well worth exploring, it is probably 'Hoodoo Man' which best personifies the lightning-hot heavy rock sound Birth Control were, during their earlier days at least, so adept at producing. Featuring yet another controversial sleeve design - this time it's a gruesomely overweight woman toying with what can only be described as some kind of bizarre, wind-up skeletal junkie - 'Hoodoo Man' finds the German outfit in blistering form. Indeed, everything about 'Hoodoo Man' simply exudes confidence, the improved production quality showing off the group's razor-sharp brand of manic, high-tempo power-prog to ear-shattering effect. This time around then the focus is very much on bristling grooves, crazed organ solo's and pumped-up riffs, the evil, psych-tinged sound of 'Operation' now fully mutated into a powerful new strain of galloping proto-metal best emphasised by the crushing rhythms of 'Suicide', the gloriously anthemic strains of fan-favourite 'Gamma Ray' and, best of all, the charging organ-drenched groove of 'Get Down To Your Fate'. A remarkable song, 'Get Down To Your Fate' is Birth Control cruising at full steam, rushing breathlessly through eight minutes of heavy prog mayhem as frenzied organs, chiming guitar licks and drummer Bernd Noske's throaty vocals swirl into a manic whole that never lets up for a minute. As progressive as it is heavy - bluesy foundations underscore the more experimental elements - 'Hoodoo Man' pulls of the very difficult trick of allowing its creators to wander freely amongst the seared landscape reaped by their own sonic carnage, yet never losing focus and heading off into those frustratingly over-elaborate prog cul-de-sacs that many groups fall into, ultimately going nowhere. Not Birth Control. Every track here has a purpose and a power, the dynamic tone set by opening gambit 'Buy!' meticulously maintained throughout. By their own admission, this was always a group in search of the easy shocks, an image that has at times undoubtedly overshadowed the actual music being cooked up, yet here the combination of deliberately provocative imagery and pulsating heavy rock makes for a wonderfully heady brew. Amongst their very best, 'Hoodoo Man' comes highly recommended. Heavy stuff indeed. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012
 Plastic People  by BIRTH CONTROL album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.80 | 118 ratings

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Plastic People
Birth Control Heavy Prog

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Variously bracketed under both the 'krautrock' and 'progressive' tags, Germany's taboo-baiting Birth Control were in fact neither, yet at the same time also both. Starting life with their deliberately-provocative self-titled 1970 debut - an album which came housed in a sleeve designed and shaped to replicate a larger-than-life contraceptive pill - this was a group who really didn't care who they offended or what they said. From the off, they displayed a gritty, bluesy, organ-blessed heavy prog-rock sound, not unlike fellow Germans Frumpy, that featured on both their debut and the excellent follow-up 'Operation', in the process quickly finding themselves a local and enthusiastic audience. Further success would arrive after the release of both 'Hoodoo Man' and the less polished 'Rebirth', yet for 1975's psychedelic-flavoured 'Plastic People' a slight change of direction was evident. Lacking the drilled guitar solos and squealing organs of old, 'Plastic People' introduced a more atmospheric Birth Control sound laden with synthesizers and keyboards galore, the individual songs lacking the fiery rush of their previous outings yet adding a more sophisticated instrumental sheen. Ultimately in would kick-start the group's slow decline into more commercial territory, yet 'Plastic People' was nevertheless one of the finest Birth Control albums, displaying an as-yet-undiscovered technical side perhaps missing from the Hendrix-flecked psych-rock of their initial clutch of albums. This new virtuosity is best displayed on the lush, nine-minute title-track, and even more so on the superb closer 'This Song Is Just For You', a piece that blends a melodic, pink-floyd-tinged hue with surprising lyrical candour and woozy synthesized background to at times thrilling effect. As a result, 'Plastic People' is Birth Control's warmest release, a rich, carefully-layered about- turn for an outfit usually not known for their musical subtlety, and one of the group's must-have albums for curious listeners. Alongside 'Operation' and the rampantly heavy 'Hoodoo Man', this impressive 1975 album is certainly one of Birth Control's best. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012
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