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BLACKBIRDS

Krautrock • Germany


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Blackbirds biography
THE BLACKBIRDS were originally formed in south-west Germany and they released their first album "No Destination" on UK-Label Saga in 1968.
THE BLACKBIRDS consists of psychedelic beat/pop music with a touch of the Mothers of Invention type satire (Something Different) and some progressive touches. Strong vocals by singer and guitar player Werner Breinig and some interesting Hammond organ work by Hubert Koop are characteristic of the group's music which proves a great talent of specific song writing. The German label OPP released 5 tracks of this first album on the "Snake in the Grass" album later on.
2nd album "A Touch Of Music", originally released in 1971 on
German Label OPP with a complete new line-up - with the exception of
singer and guitar player Werner Breinig who now played violin and flute as well- and a complete new style of music. They adopted a nice, poetic and classical (not symphonic) influenced progressive style with long tracks. There was also room for some more powerful passages inbetween, characteristic for the early seventies progressive music we all have learned to love (Dag Erik Asbjornsen, Cosmic Dreams At Play).
Unfortunately, THE BLACKBIRDS were disbanded after these two album.
Both original THE BLACKBIRDS albums are very rare but thanks to German Label Long Hair, both albums are reissued with some bonus tracks.
1st album - Recommended for fans of Psychedelic Rock or Zappa.
2nd album - Highly Recommended for any Kraut Rock fan as an underrated Kraut Rock classic.

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BLACKBIRDS discography


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

3.25 | 4 ratings
No Destination
1968
2.83 | 26 ratings
Touch Of Music
1971

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BLACKBIRDS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Touch Of Music by BLACKBIRDS album cover Studio Album, 1971
2.83 | 26 ratings

BUY
Touch Of Music
Blackbirds Krautrock

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Blackbirds hailed from Puettlingen, Germany, formed around singer/guitarist Werner Breinig in 1965.In 1968 they made their debut ''No destination'' on Saga Records' parent label Saga FID, featuring Helmut Vigneron on drums, Heinz Koop on bass and Hubert Koop on keyboards.By 1970 they signed a contract with BASF's sublabel Cornet, which proposed them to change their name to Blackbirds 2000.The new line-up comprised of Breinig, Heinz Koop, Peter Bely on keyboards and drummer Eckhard Gross.A couple of singles later BASF decided to end the contract with the band, dissapointed by the limited sales and Blackbirds returned to their original name.Breinig set up a fresh crew with keyboardist Bely, Wolfgang Bode on bass and Charles Sikora on drums.They made an impressive return for the OOP label in 1971 with the album ''Touch of music''.

First couple of tracks were a surprise, in ''Praeludium'' and ''All you need'' Blackbirds offered a Classical-inspired Psych/Prog with strings and smashing organ in the forefront, having strong hints from the music of THE NICE and recalling compatriots PELL MELL and the Danish act ACHE.The atmosphere is melacholic with good organ parts and depressive vocals, changing climates and delivering some notable psychedelic influences.''Return from the war'' is a questionable attempt on mixing the same style with Heavy/Psych and even Rock'n'Roll.The sharp electric guitars come in evidence and the band performs music based on pounding grooves and irritating vocals, interrupted by Bely's Classical themes on organ.The later part of the track sees Blackbirds entering a jamming mood, while the bass work of Bode is absolutely deep and furious.''Give Me Freedom'' is more of the same, depressive Classical Rock, now the emphasis is on Bely's acoustic piano, even if he never abandons his organ, while the second part contains some strong Heavy/Psych runs with guitars and piano in a frenetic execution.''What is free'' comes closer to typical Kraut Rock, keeping the complex breaks of progressive music as well as the old-fashioned organ leads of Psychedelic Rock and completing a quirky track with extended instrumental work.With the long ''Come back'' the band finally enters the Kraut grounds for good.Muddy Psych/Prog with inventive organ washes, a fantastic flute-based Folk enviroment in the middle with the standard German-styled rhythm section supporting and a great outro with Breinig's guitar and voice battling with his flute.

Blackbirds' history contained plenty of breaks, but they never actually disbanded.They made it to the 50-year mark of their history in 2014 and even GÄA's keyboardist Guenter Lackes was part of the line-up in early-90's.Apparently only one more album was recorded though by the band, it was ''Past and present'' in 1991.Breinig, the legendary leader of the band, had to leave his brainchild in 1995 due to some serious illness.

Reissued by Long Hair in 2005 with two bonus tracks.A mix of loose Kraut Rock and outdated Classical/Psych Rock in the vein of THE NICE, quite charming, albeit rather unoriginal.Recommended.

 Touch Of Music by BLACKBIRDS album cover Studio Album, 1971
2.83 | 26 ratings

BUY
Touch Of Music
Blackbirds Krautrock

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

2 stars On 'Touch Of Music' you can hear a beat/pop band which is going into a progressive direction - stepping on slight symphonic paths exactly I would say. Nothing can prove this better than the opening song Präludium. The BLACKBIRDS started as a beat group in the 1960s and experienced a lot of line-up changes until they produced this album in Cologne at the Rhenus-Studio - with the help of a famous sound engineer called Conny Plank by the way who must have been involved in nearly everything at that time.

The band is still on the run apropos, playing on diverse festivities - however nobody from the 'Touch Of Music' line-up is active anymore today. Okay - back to the album. The Nice respectively ELP reminiscences are coming up when listening to the second song All You Need which belongs to the better tracks. Here we have some sacral moments caused by organ, violin and the vocals. And then Werner Breinig's guitar is taking action for the first time with the straightforward rocking song Return From The War - Wolfgang Bode with a playful bass work should also be mentioned.

The rest of the songs are not really remarkable - except the closing mini epic Come Back which brings back a progressive orientation based on a more complex structure and exceptional flute contributions. The bonus tracks are from a single production released one year before where, enforced by their label, the band name temporarily had changed to 'Blackbirds 2000'.

If there is something special to emphasize then I would mention the rather winsome keyboard work which is very dominant here. Anyway - there have been a lot of bands which were more experimental and tricky in those times. All in all this sounds way too simple to me as if they try to stay in a safe place in most cases - 2.5 stars.

Thanks to Philippe Blache for the artist addition. and to Snow Dog for the last updates

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