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STERN-COMBO MEISSEN (STERN MEISSEN)

Symphonic Prog • Germany


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Stern-Combo Meissen (Stern Meissen) biography
Much like the Moody Blues (and others), Stern-Combo Meissen (stern means star, and Meissen is their home town) started out as a rock band in the early '60s. The usual lineup and style changes occurred, until they settled into symphonic prog. This didn't happen until 1977, when they released their self-titled debut. SCM became one of the bigger East German bands of the seventies. They relied heavily on keyboards (ala Emerson and Wakeman), and classical influences.

By the release of 1980's "Reise Zum Mittelpunkt Des Menschen." They had dropped the 'Combo' from the band's name. The next two albums saw them following a familiar pattern, and pursuing more pop oriented music. In fact, 1985's "Taufrisch" was completely out of the realm of prog. After this album the band broke up.

In 1995 they reformed with most of the original members, and put the 'Combo' back in. The band still tours, and has released some live recordings. No new studio work has been done as of yet.

H.T. Riekels (bhikkhu)

Stern-Combo Meissen (Stern Meissen) official website

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STERN-COMBO MEISSEN (STERN MEISSEN) discography


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

STERN-COMBO MEISSEN (STERN MEISSEN) top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.30 | 21 ratings
Weisses Gold
1978
2.62 | 9 ratings
Der weite Weg
1979
3.57 | 14 ratings
Stern Meissen - Reise zum Mittelpunkt des Menschen
1980
1.09 | 4 ratings
Stern Meissen - Stundenschlag
1982
1.04 | 4 ratings
Stern Meissen - Taufrisch
1985
1.50 | 2 ratings
Stern Meissen - Nächte
1987
1.95 | 3 ratings
40 Jahre
2004
3.50 | 2 ratings
Lebensuhr
2011

STERN-COMBO MEISSEN (STERN MEISSEN) Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.72 | 12 ratings
Stern-Combo Meissen
1977
3.21 | 5 ratings
Live
1996
3.00 | 3 ratings
Sachsendreier Live
1999
0.00 | 0 ratings
Sachsendreier Live. Die Zweite
2007

STERN-COMBO MEISSEN (STERN MEISSEN) Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

5.00 | 2 ratings
Sachsendreier Live
2005
0.00 | 0 ratings
Theater am Potsdamer Platz
2014

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

3.00 | 3 ratings
Hits
1996
3.00 | 1 ratings
Leben möcht' ich
1999
2.33 | 3 ratings
Stern Meissen - Taufrisch / Nächte
2000
3.00 | 1 ratings
Hits und Raritäten
2009
0.00 | 0 ratings
Die Original Amiga Alben (1977 - 1987, 7 CD Set)
2011

STERN-COMBO MEISSEN (STERN MEISSEN) Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

1.00 | 1 ratings
Söhnchen
1975
3.00 | 2 ratings
Der Alte / Jenny
1977
0.00 | 0 ratings
Der weite Weg / Du, komm her
1978
0.00 | 0 ratings
Wir sind die Sonne / Deine Augen
1984

STERN-COMBO MEISSEN (STERN MEISSEN) Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Weisses Gold by STERN-COMBO MEISSEN (STERN MEISSEN) album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.30 | 21 ratings

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Weisses Gold
Stern-Combo Meissen (Stern Meissen) Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars In June 1978 comes the first true studio recording of Stern Meissen and the second of their original releases overall.The band had recruited Lift's drummer Werther Lohse and completed a seven-piece line-up that led them to the ambitious ''Weisses gold'' album on Amiga.''Weisses gold'' refers to porcelain and this concept work deals with the timeline for discovering it in Dresden by German alchemist Johann Friedrich Boettger.The band was helped by the Symphonic Orchestra of ''Hochschule Für Musik Hanns Eisler" in Berlin and its conductor Horst Foerster.

Gone are all the psychedelic leftovers of Stern Meissen's previous recordings and the band headed now for a monster symphonic sound full of grandiose interludes, elaborate orchestrations and complex segments.''Weisses gold'' sounds much like a RICK WAKEMAN album, maybe crossed with a discreet Teutonic aura akin to NEUSHWANSTEIN, and appears to be a cohesive, flowing concept with extended instrumental themes, a slightly operatic mood and the typical German vocals displayed in Stern Meissen's works.The tracks are mainly keyboard-driven with full equipment (piano, harsichord, Hammond organ, synthesizers and propably string synth), supported by the ethereal orchestrations of the symphonic orchestra, the result is very good and at moments fascinating Progressive Rock with twin and triple keyboard workouts, creating grandiose climates and bombastic passages.German actor Ernst Kahler is the man behind the narrations, strongly connected with the history presented.As Stern Meissen were always a band with a nice sense of atmosphere and melody, the greatest part of the arrangements are characterized by dreamy textures and cinematic soundscapes, but be sure to handle the extremely virtuosic synth flashes during the process next to some E.L.P.-like fanfares on Hammond organ.

Very good story-telling album with dense, technically efficient and carefully composed keyboard themes.Fans of TRIUMVIRAT, E.L.P., LE ORME, RICK WAKEMAN and the likes will finds this work simply beautiful.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

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 Live by STERN-COMBO MEISSEN (STERN MEISSEN) album cover Live, 1996
3.21 | 5 ratings

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Live
Stern-Combo Meissen (Stern Meissen) Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Formed in 1964 in Meissen by drummer Martin Schreier and singer/keyboardist/percussionist Norbert Jager,STERN COMBO MEISSEN are maybe the eldest German classic Prog band still active today.Through a 10-year period they experimented through many styles of music,before establishing a keyboard-drenched sound in mid-70's with the addition of Thomas Kurzhals and Lothar Kramer on keys.By mid-70's the line-up included also singer Reinhard Fißler and drummer Bernd Fiedler.A performance of the band at Furstenwalder Hof in Furstenwalde was captured live in 1976 but never saw the light until 1996, when it was released on Edition Barbarossa.

The opening ''Finnlandia'' is among the best instrumental pieces recorded by a German band during the 70's, an adaption on the work of Finnish composer Jean Sibelius.Grandiose organ-driven Classical/Symphonic Rock in the vein of EKSEPTION or TRIUMVIRAT with plenty of keyboard pyrotechnics and a fair dose of ethereal and smoother textures, played with passion and inspiration.In this album we find an early version of the classic psychedelic track ''Kampf um den Suedpol'', that became the band's landmark for years.The short ''Wenn ich traeume'' combines a more easy-going vocal-led style with spacey synthesizers and light organs.The very long ''Rhapsody in Blue'' is an amalgam of Stern Meissen's early sound, based on George Gershwin's eponymous work.It mixes inspirations from synth-drenched Fusion, powerful organ-driven Classical Rock and romantic Teutonic 70's Progressive Rock with some impressive work on synths, organ and piano, but some parts sound rather dull or dated, while the improvised ones are of marginal interest.Still this one is well-played with plenty of bombastic material.The closing track ''Happiness Is Just Around the Band'' is apparently a rework on Brian Auger's ''Happiness Is Just Around The Bend'', a nice, longer and majestic interpetation by the band with strong funky grooves and lovely organ as played by Auger, definitely a great cover.

A great document of Stern Combo Meissen's early years, prooving the band was on par with the best names from West Germany considering the prog scene of the country.Warmly recommended to all fans of keyboard-driven 70's Prog.

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 Stern-Combo Meissen by STERN-COMBO MEISSEN (STERN MEISSEN) album cover Live, 1977
3.72 | 12 ratings

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Stern-Combo Meissen
Stern-Combo Meissen (Stern Meissen) Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars In 1977 it was time for the first official release of Stern Combo Meissen.Their classic track ''Der Kampf um den Südpol'', already presented live by the group, started hitting the charts and remains actually a hit until today.Surprisingly the official debut of the band was another live recording, carrying the band's name as a title and released on Amiga in 1977.

Not the average keyboard-driven band,Stern Combo Meissen mix in their debut lots of different styles,remaining a band with a wide sound spectrum as in their early years.''Der Kampf um den Südpol'' sounds sort of psychedelic rock with nice organ and is led by the vocals of Reinhard Fißler,while on ''Der Alte auf der Müllkippe'' the funky rhythm section blends with the spacey moog synths of the keyboard duo.''Mütter gehn fort ohne Laut'' is the first track where the band shows of their symphonic tendencies with mellow classical-influenced synths and organs leading the way.''Eine Nacht af dem Kahlen Berge'' is nothing else than Stern Combo Meissen's adaption on the classic Mussorgsky piece ''Night on the Bald Mountain''.A 13 minute track,where the band capture all of the classic piece's dramatic atmosphere through the fiery organ and the closing section full of moog sounds and deep bass lines.''Licht das Dunkel'' closes the album in a rather soft way with hypnotic bass lines around moog solos and dreamy vocals,while its ending sounds like a familiar complex ELP jam.

Stern Combo Meissen were among the daring bands in DDR (East Germany) to produce some highly sophisticated music.Their debut is a nice delivery of classical-influenced prog rock and deserves a wider recognition...3.5 stars.

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 40 Jahre by STERN-COMBO MEISSEN (STERN MEISSEN) album cover Studio Album, 2004
1.95 | 3 ratings

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40 Jahre
Stern-Combo Meissen (Stern Meissen) Symphonic Prog

Review by NotAProghead
Special Collaborator Errors & Omissions Team

2 stars To celebrate their 40-th anniversary, STERN COMBO MEISSEN re-recorded, in studio, their old songs, added 4 new tracks and released them on this double CD.

Nice to see the band re-united and touring, but I expected more from this record.

CD 1 is a collection of pop songs, some are pleasant, but most are quite forgettable. Three new songs, added as bonus tracks, are not better than others.

CD 2 is much more interesting, because it contains band's prog compositions. Most of them sound worse than original versions, I prefer sounds of vintage synthesizers on 70's records. Especially bad is ''Der weite Weg'' - my favourite STERN COMBO MEISSEN song, but in this interpretation it lost its magic.

Best tracks, in my opinion, are ''Eine Nacht auf dem kahlen Berge'' (adaptation of Mussorgsky's ''Night on the Bare Mountain'') - strong and powerful version, and Ravel's ''Bolero''. The latter, even if was played in concerts (I don't know for sure), has never been recorded by the band before.

Fans can find some interesting moments on this release. But if you are new to STERN COMBO MEISSEN, better start with any of their first four albums.

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 Stern-Combo Meissen by STERN-COMBO MEISSEN (STERN MEISSEN) album cover Live, 1977
3.72 | 12 ratings

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Stern-Combo Meissen
Stern-Combo Meissen (Stern Meissen) Symphonic Prog

Review by eduur

4 stars I like this album very much. It's really German but how to describe that. Just great playing, live album, germal lyrics, just reminds you to Novalis, but much better I think. Highlight is the absolutely stunning opening track which has a fantastic melodic line AND great German lyrics about discovering the south-pole. If you're second, you don't count. I can't describe what's it really like, it's smooth, well played, progressive, if you have the change to listen to the opening track, DO SO!

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 Weisses Gold by STERN-COMBO MEISSEN (STERN MEISSEN) album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.30 | 21 ratings

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Weisses Gold
Stern-Combo Meissen (Stern Meissen) Symphonic Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

2 stars As a fan of German symphonic prog in general, I was of course eager to pick this one up based on recommendations from peers. The keyboard orientation, the majesty, the spaciness, all the ingredients are here, and it would seem to require only a rubber stamp on my part to propel this into the 3 star realm, with 4 stars being likely. This was a pretty early Stern-Combo Meissen album, and I don't know what developments occurred afterwards, but I regret to say that I find "Weisses Gold" to be a throughly bloated effort that combines the most pompous flaws of Emerson Lake and Palmer and Rick Wakeman with the calculating coldness that sometimes permeates German music.

Apart from the tedious narration and the keyboards firing on all cylinders through most of the album, its weaknesses are most evident on the longest tracks, "Ouvertuere" and "Zeifel", the first being a complete shlemazzle of semi-interesting hooks thrown together and the second sounding like an interminable theme for a thankfully unscreened television series. The lack of a guitar really seems to haunt the overly synthesized work, with only the relatively short "Der Traum" and the title track providing a recurrent theme of majestic proportion that stands on its own, twice. If I had to stretch, I would say that "Die Erkenntis is a decent song even if it does seem overblown.

So, Weisses Gold is hurt by too much precious and not enough metal, and can only be recommended to German prog completists or people who still think that unbroken keyboard monstrosities are worth seeking out 30 years on.

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 Weisses Gold by STERN-COMBO MEISSEN (STERN MEISSEN) album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.30 | 21 ratings

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Weisses Gold
Stern-Combo Meissen (Stern Meissen) Symphonic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

2 stars STERN-COMBO MEISSEN were an East German band who played a keyboard driven brand of prog with a lot of orchestration and choirs.There is also quite a bit of narration in this album spoken in German.The vocals as well are in German.

"Ouverture" has some mellotron in it, but it's hard to tell with all the orchestration.The keyboard playing is very flashy and fast paced. "Der Traum" is a pastoral tune, while "Des Goldes Bann" features more uptempo keys to open and vocals."Der Goldmacher" is pretty much all monologue.

Organ, synths and drums lead the way in "Die Flucht". "Zweifel" opens with more words as synths come in as well as the choir. More monologue followed by choirs. It gets dark with a haunting soundscape 4 minutes in.That was the best part. "Die Erkenntnis" has drums, organ, keys and vocals. "Weisses Gold" opens with pulsating keys as the choir comes in.

There is so much that I don't like about this record.The flashy keyboard play, the German narration and choir, and the orchestration. I know i'm in the minority here but I do not like this one bit.

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 Der weite Weg by STERN-COMBO MEISSEN (STERN MEISSEN) album cover Studio Album, 1979
2.62 | 9 ratings

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Der weite Weg
Stern-Combo Meissen (Stern Meissen) Symphonic Prog

Review by NotAProghead
Special Collaborator Errors & Omissions Team

4 stars In my opinion excellent album. The title track, "Der weite Weg" is my favourite Stern Combo Meissen song. I heard it for the first time in 1980 and even now, 25 years after, when I listen to it - I'm not here, I'm far away in the sea (what is it - nostalgia or real quality of music?). "Der Frühling", the band's interpretation of Vivaldi's "The Spring" is a good example of delicate attitude to classical music. All other tracks are also worth to listen, only "Der Motor", a typical pop-rock song of that era, is weaker than other material. If you like melodic progressive with dual keyboards and nice soft vocals, this album is for you. I guess fans of Novalis will enjoy this album. But this band is not a Novalis clone - Stern Combo Meissen, at least in the 70s, had their own sound. Check "Der weite Weg" if you'll find it (it's not so easy outside former DDR).

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 Stern Meissen - Reise zum Mittelpunkt des Menschen by STERN-COMBO MEISSEN (STERN MEISSEN) album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.57 | 14 ratings

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Stern Meissen - Reise zum Mittelpunkt des Menschen
Stern-Combo Meissen (Stern Meissen) Symphonic Prog

Review by terramystic

4 stars "Reise Zum Mittelpunkt Des Menschen" is one of the two SCM's concept albums (the other one is "Weisses Gold"). The music on both albums has a countinuous flow supported by leitmotivs. The longest track "Hinwendung" shows a lot of ELP instrumental bombast but in a more original manner than TRIUMVIRAT (it's closer to SFF). While I like the symphonic dual keyboard playing the sounds gets cold and plastic over time. "Weisses Gold" album sounds much warmer but "Reise Zum Mittelpunkt Des Menschen" is more complex, especially the gloomy "Romanze". This track shows band's compositional skills in extended tonality. In spite of the title don't expect any romantic sounds in this one. At the end of the track is also a short but remarkable piano solo. The vocals are used very sparsely on this album in difference with "Weisses Gold". To sum it up: "Reise" and "Weisses Gold" are the only worthwille SCM's albums you should get. Others are not on the same musical level as these two. I prefer "Weisses Gold" but it's a matter of taste. Both albums are recommended!

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 Stern Meissen - Stundenschlag by STERN-COMBO MEISSEN (STERN MEISSEN) album cover Studio Album, 1982
1.09 | 4 ratings

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Stern Meissen - Stundenschlag
Stern-Combo Meissen (Stern Meissen) Symphonic Prog

Review by hdfisch
Prog Reviewer

1 stars As for the other two records by this band I reviewed , I just can recommend anyone interested in REAL symph.prog to keep his/her hands off this one.It's really not even worth to give it one spin. It's nothing else than pop music and does not show one small hint for being progressive.Not worth 1 star really,sorry!!!

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