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ESSEN 1970

Guru Guru


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Guru Guru Essen 1970 album cover
3.50 | 13 ratings | 3 reviews | 15% 5 stars

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Live, released in 2003

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Stone In (12:00)
2. Der LSD Marsch (14:22)
3. Bo Diddley (11:27)

Total Time 37:49

Line-up / Musicians

- Ax Genrich / guitar
- Mani Neumeier / drums, percussion, vocals
- Uli Trepte / bass, vocals

Releases information

Recorded live in Gruga-Halle, Essen, 25th October 1970.
CD: Garden of Delights (2003).
CD / Vinyl re-issue by Svart Records, Finland: Mondo Svart SRE404 (2020).

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Matti for the last updates
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GURU GURU Essen 1970 ratings distribution

(13 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(54%)
Good, but non-essential (31%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

GURU GURU Essen 1970 reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by philippe
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Outstanding live from Guru Guru's first line up. The album features three long "stoned" heavy compositions taken from their two first "UFO" and "Hinten". Mostly instrumental with incredibly great rockin sections. The guitars are really powerful, heavy, sometimes bluesy but with an emphasis on distorted, deranged textures. This rather loudy jam session is punctuated by a few "archaic" electronic treatments and a great dose of "multi-guitar effects", providing a nice "cosmic" tendence to the ensemble. The heavy psychedelic improvisations can without reserve be compared with Agitation Free's most memorable live performances; an inventive and freak'n roll electro-shock that can reaches you into an other galaxy. The set starts with the kraut-slowing heavy hymn "Stone in", carries on "Der LSD march" and the humorous, strange & delirious "Bo Diddley". A ecclectic and electrip improvised musical session! good-going to an "acid" test.
Review by Matti
3 stars This live recording was originally released in 2003 by the German Garden Of Delights label, and it was recently re- released, both on vinyl and on cd, by the Finnish company Svart Records on their international Mondo Svart series "of rare, obscure but remarkable and fascinating albums (...), one of a kind gems in music, brought back into the spotlight from less travelled parts of the world and musical eras long gone".

Coming from the year 1970, the sonic quality is pretty good, as the music was sourced from tapes recorded directly from the sound desk at the show. I have heard a few other Garden Of Delights (or Thor's Hammer) vintage live releases, and sometimes they have a mere bootleg quality. Not that this one would be faultless either: as the liner notes say, the drums are a bit too loud while guitar is too soft. The roughly 38-minute "Essen 1970" consists only of three tracks: Aptly titled 'Stone in' and 'Der LSD Marsch' originate from Guru Guru's debut album UFO (1970) and the more humorous 'Bo Diddley' from the second album Hinten (1971; an album with one of the worst covers ever!). At some point in the past, half of the tapings were erased, and therefore 'Bo Diddley' is faded out in the middle of its performance. Anyway, compared to the studio album versions these live performances are notably extended and "stoned". It wouldn't be wrong to consider this a notable, historical live recording of the early Krautrock.

I'm not personally a big fan of either live albums or instrumental psychedelic acid rock for electric guitar, bass and drums only. I certainly can sense the trio's tight synergy here, and I can listen through this album without negative feelings, but frankly it's not something I would regularly return to. As for GURU GURU's studio albums, I'm not very deeply acquainted with them either. I have most enjoyed their third album Känguru (1972) perhaps due to the legendary Krautrock producer Conny Plank who also added some keyboards and guitar. Also the PA ratings favour Känguru while UFO and Hinten are not far behind.

The lengthy liner notes give a detailed picture of the band's early history. The leading figure, drummer Mani Neumeier and bassist Uli Trepte met already in 1963 and joined for a jazz oriented group Irene Schweizer Trio, named after the pianist. In 1968 when Schweizer had gone her own way and Trepte had switched to electric bass guitar, GURU GURU GROOVE was formed (the third word was later dropped from the name). Several musicians came and went until the highly gifted, Jimi Hendrix influenced guitarist Ax Genrich from Agitation Free formed the first recording line-up with Neumeier and Trepte. 70 % of the "Essen 1970" liner notes is Uli Trepte looking back at their halcyon days. "The band's energy was a result of a powerful 'chemistry' between Mani Neumeier and me. We only had to play a couple of notes and there it was, casting its spell over both Ax Genrich and the audience", never to be achieved again with other musicians.

The third Pop & Blues Festival in Essen's Gruga-Halle, October 22-25, 1970, featured English groups such as Taste, Fotheringay, East Of Eden and Tyrannosaurus Rex on the main stage, while the German bands -- e.g. Frumpy, Embryo and Xhol alongside Guru Guru -- performed in a small side stage. There were technically skillful people involved in the festival to capture some of the performances. Even though this live album may be a torso of the band's actual gig, it is highly recommendable to anyone with a keen interest on vintage psychedelic rock and a fondness for live recordings. Those can surely add the fourth star to my rating!

Latest members reviews

3 stars Live album from the original lineup featuring 3 extended tracks ( 2 from UFO and 1 from Hinten) . Guru Guru prove that their music did indeed have some structure at this early point in their career as they recreate these live tracks quite remarkably on the live stage. The only reservations I ... (read more)

Report this review (#28805) | Posted by Vibrationbaby | Tuesday, November 23, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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