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Grobschnitt - The International Story CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.76 | 27 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars 4.5 stars really!!!

Among the plethora of posthumous compilation live albums presenting the different facets of this fascinating group are many releases that can be rather uninteresting for non-German speaking progheads, because the group was highly theatrical and held lengthy (and funny) monologues and dialoguing with their audiences. So the choice was of course not only possible but it was scaring away non-German fans. Eroc was plainly aware of this so he produced this double live (compilation) album without any of those dialogues. This is why this release is called International. This jammed-packed double- set is coming in cool digipack (sigh) and with a great little English only booklet with tons of photos and a short history of the group and a fully-detailed track listing.

The first disc is composed of the better material (especially for this proghead) and has tracks from the debut (the great Die Sinfonie), their second (the good Nickelodeon) and a 53-min (that right, 53!!!) version of their Solar Music (which was recorded on the same tour than the album that was released) which happens to be less moving (emotionally speaking) but happens to be much more energetic. This first disc gets an easy 5-star rating even if the execution of those three tracks is not flawless (but almost) but is very enthralling.

The second disc however is a much less interesting affair as it ranges from their (over- rated) Rockpommel's Land (but recorded in 81) to their 80's albums (which everyone agrees are of lesser interest to progheads). Actually , I must say that the track selection is surprisingly good and the rendition f those chosen songs are much more interesting than their studio versions. But we had known since their second Ballerman album that Grobschnitt's full potential was not to be captured in the studio. The first three Rockpommel tracks are actually more interesting than the studio version, but this does not make up for the Yes-derived songwriting. But actually the surprises come from tracks from the Merry-go-round and Illegal albums, which are fairly good (certainly overlooked and maybe under-rated) and are as enjoyable as Rockpommel. The last two tracks are reverting to much older recordings, one being an improv recorded in 75 and 73 rehearsals and are again pleasant surprises.

If you are not familiar with Groschnitt's career, this is exactly the live album that would give you the prefect intro. Not quite as stellar as Solar Music, Live, this IGS album has the immeasurable advantage to present most of Grobschnitt's discography and represent (albeit unevenly) every studio album in their 70's and early 80's era. What a great release, Eroc. Thank you for the pleasure.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |


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