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Vertigo Germany obviously enjoyed the liberty of signing their own (German) bands for the label and this resulted in an interesting series of albums, that truly live up to the spirit of Vertigo. The albums were assigned a new prefix, 6360 6**. All authentic German albums, bar one, have this prefix. The Vertigo logo is black and white in all cases where it appears.

6499 156/157
(6641 055)
- HAMEL (1972)


Line-up: Peter-Michael Hamel, all.
Production: Ulrich Kraus & Peter-Michael Hamel.
Cover-design by Guntram Holdgrün
Photography by Peter Andersen.
Liner notes: by unknown.
Cover manufactured
by unknown.
Recorded at

Track listing A-side disc 156
: Storm Over Asia And Calm (4'10'')/ Baliava I (5'10''/ Baliava II (8'22'').
Track listing B-side disc 156: Fire Of Holy Eyes (9'55'')/ Song Of The Dolphins (7'30'')/ Sinking Sangsara (3'55'').
Track listing A-side disc 157: Aura (20'05'').
Track listing B-side disc 157: Gomorrhaga (8'45'')/ Cathedral On C (9'20'').
All tracks by Peter-Michael Hamel.

No Vertigo logo on front.

Matrix number A-side disc 156
10 AA 6499156 1Y 320

Matrix number B-side disc 156
10 AA 6499156 2Y 320

Matrix number A-side disc 157
10 AA 6499157 1Y 320

Matrix number B-side disc 157
10 AA 6499157 2Y 320

Rarity scale: R3

Hamel is a classical composer with a strong interest in electronic devices and non-European cultures. He doesn't consider his music to consist of sets of composed notes, but rather looks upon them as ''radiations''. Travels to India were a major influence on his music. This here double album is nothing more or less than a series of treated keyboard sounds, often with the use of prepared instruments to produce non-European tone intervals. Some percussive passages emerge, also played on prepared keyboards, such as the uncannily gamelan-alike Baliava I. Some pieces show an influence of minimal music and only very slowly develop into different directions. Anyone wanting to listen to the whole of this opus must bring a lot of time. Whether or not this conglomeration of styles still stands up after almost half a century depends upon your point of view. At the time of release, this record harvested heaps of praise from ''serious'' aficionados of music. To us this may sound very dated, indeed. Images of orange bathtubs and olive green automatic coffee-makers keep popping up. As seventies as it gets.

The scary front cover image belies the meditative character of the music. The colours are screaming at you, the forms and patterns suggest an alien mind. This goes on on the back and inside the gatefold, where also a picture of the man himself is on display. Yes, he wears an Afghan coat and a scarf around his long-haired head, what did you think he would wear?
The lettering is in stark contrast to the images: an interplay of black and white lines in various gauges, but fits well to the underlying rigidity of the main image.

Notes: the strange habit of giving another catalogue number to the cover of double albums is also in effect in Germany. This one has 6641 055.

6360 601
Not released in Germany, but it was in New Zealand! Please refer to that page.

6360 602


Line-up: Peter Hecht, keyb/ Peter Hesslein, gtr, voc/ Dieter Horns, bsgtr, cb/ John Lawton, voc/ Joachim Rietenbach, dr.
Production: Conny Planck & Herbert Hildebrandt.
Cover-design by Witt.
Photography by Foth.
Liner notes: none.
Cover manufactured by unknown.
Recorded at Windrose - Dumont Time Studio & Star Music Studio.

Track listing A-side: Hobo (Peter Hesslein + John Lawton) 4'15''/ Rose On The Vine (Peter Hesslein + John O'Brien-Docker) 8'19''/ Mother (Peter Hecht + John O'Brien-Docker) 7'25''.
Track listing B-side: ....Where The Groupies Killed The Blues (Dieter Horns + John O'Brien-Docker) 5'07''/ Prince Of Darkness (Peter Hesslein + John O'Brien-Docker) 5'37''/ a) Summerdream (Peter Hesslein + John O'Brien-Docker) b) Delirium (Peter Hecht) c) No Reason Or Rhyme ( Peter Hesslein + John O'Brien-Docker) 8'56''/ Burning Ships (Peter Hesslein + Dieter Horns + John Lawton) 4'32''.

Matrix number A-side:
10 AA 6360602 1Y 320
Matrix number B-side:
10 AA 6360602 2Y 320

Rarity scale: R2

Second album of this studio crew, that produced a lot of records under aliases too, before recording under a fixed name. Where the first LP proper (on Philips) was a modestly successful hard-rock album, this here effort is lightyears better. Heavy rock, it is, albeit with a touch of the occult. The expressive vocals of Lawton are an asset, as this is uncommonly well-sung for a German record. The interplay is smooth and oiled, though never over-polished. Characteristic are the fast accompanying ornaments on both guitar and keyboards. Apart from the opening Hobo, which is too close to British examples, the band is imaginative and does not shun sudden style-changes and odd textures. Unusual, often menacing, harmonies galore on Rose on the vine, while Mother even foreshadows later dissonant rock-chamber-music like Univers Zero, though with more rocking energy. Fine flute parts on the title track and discordant orchestral parts on almost all of the rest of side B make for disquieting but enticing listening. The album ends on a placid note with the much more accessible Burning ships, where cellos become foghorns. An excellent, energetic and adventurous album.

Giant letters can be a nice design too and these are nice enough, but it seems a but simple anyway. The two extremely sinister figures in the top left corner are standing in a small pool of blood... Serves them right!
Inside just the lyrics and the information is on the back.
A big poster is included with some unclear people standing behind an enormous pile of fruits. This could very well be taken at the same session as the cover of the Juicy Lucy album.

Notes: This was released in the USA on Passport (PPSD 98008) in 1975

6360 603
JACKSON HEIGHTS - 5TH AVENUE BUS (beginning of 1972)

We cannot even begin to guess why this one album was released in Germany with a different catalogue number to the British issue, which normally would have been reserved for a German signing. The gimmix door in the cover was deleted: you now see immediately into the driver's cabin. Pretty silly.

The Vertigo logo on front is white.

Matrix number A-side:
10 AA 6360603 1Y 320

Matrix number B-side
10 AA 636060  2Y 320

Rarity scale: R2

For more details on this album, please refer to the British page which contains this LP (6360 067).

6360 604
FRUMPY - BY THE WAY (march 1972)


Line-up: Rainer Baumann, gtr/ Carsten Bohn, dr/ Erwin Kania, keyb/ Jean-Jacques Kravetz, keyb/ Inga Rumpf, voc, gtr/ Karl-Heinz Schott, bsgtr.
Production: Frumpy.
Cover-design by unknown.
Photography by unknown.
Liner notes: none.
Cover manufactured by unknown.
Recorded at Windrose - Dumont Time Studio.

Track listing A-side: Goin' To The Country (Inga Rumpf) 3'40''/ By The Way (Carsten Bohn + Inga Rumpf) 8'51''/ Singing Songs (Inga Rumpf + Rainer Baumann) 7'03''.
Track listing B-side: I'm Afraid, Big Moon (Carsten Bohn + Jean-Jeaques Kravetz + Inga Rumpf) 6'26''/ Release (Carsten Bohn + Inga Rumpf) 8'51''/ Keep On Going (Inga Rumpf) 5'23''.

Matrix number A-side:
10 AA 6360604 1Y 320
Matrix number B-side:
10 AA 6360604 2Y 320

Rarity scale: R2

Third effort by this interesting crew that combines the mature voice of Rumpf (easily the best continental female blues singer) with the dexterous guitars of Baumann. The rhythm section is tight and Kravetz fills the holes. Again the first track is disappointing, sounding all too familiar American, but the bluesy title track is very atmospheric. Afterwards, Singing songs sounds slightly common. Much better material on side B makes up for this. I'm afraid, big moon evokes a scary feeling and boasts excellent driving rock as well. Impressive climax is the very emotional Release, a gripping tale about a friend who cannot be saved from his drug addiction. The closing track is disappointingly conventional again.

An exciting live photograph of the singer on the front cover, very nice. On the back we find the lyrics.
The lettering is unexpectedly chosen, but fits nicely in the total of the image.
Again a big poster is included, but this is just six times the front picture and can thus be filed under lost opportunities.

6360 605
KRAVETZ - ''same'' (may 1972)


Line-up: Roger Hook, gtr/ Jean-Jacques Kravetz, keyb/ Thomas Kretzschmer, gtr/ Udo Lindenberg, dr, voc/ Inga Rumpf, voc/ Carl-G.Stephan, bsgtr.
Production: Jean-Jacques Kravetz.
Cover-design by unknown.
Photography by Carstens & Wiebols.
Liner notes: none.
Cover manufactured by unknown.
Recorded at Windrose - Dumont Time Studio.

Track listing A-side: I''d Like To Be A Child Again (Jean-Jacques Kravetz + Udo Lindenberg) 9'35''/ Ann Toomuch (Jean-Jacques Kravetz + Udo Lindenberg) 7'55''.
Track listing B-side: Routes (Udo Lindenberg) 7'27''/ When The Dream Is Over (Udo Lindenberg) 3'14''/ Master Of Time (Jean-Jacques Kravetz + Udo Lindenberg) 9'51''.

Matrix number A-side:
10 AA 6360605 1Y 320
Matrix number B-side:
10 AA 6360605 2Y 320

Rarity scale: R2

Solo album by the keyboardist of Frumpy with the Udo Lindenberg Band backing up. Rumpf guests on A1 and it is small wonder that this track would not sound out of place on a Frumpy album. What a guitar solo by Kretschmer, though! Since Kravetz is no singer at all, Lindenberg takes the mike on the other cuts (he drums better, we must confess). The spacey Ann toomuch is agreeable, again the guitar solo stands out. Side B holds few surprises. Routes is too monotonous and When the dream is over is downright sentimental. The typical krautrock of the closing Master of time holds its ground much better. A touch of symphonic thinking and excellent guitars plus keyboards end the LP on a promising note.

There is Mr.K in sea-geeen, framed by an oval and vegetation in another green. Quite atmospheric. This is a single cover with no extras, a rarity with Vertigo.
The lettering has the wrong colour, but is satisfactory otherwise.

Notes: the composers credits on the label are not correct.

6360 606


Line-up: Esther Daniels, narration/ Reinhart Firchow, rec, fl, voc/ Herb Geller, fl, sax, ob, keyb/ Lucas Lindholm, bsgtr, cb, keyb/ John O'Brien-Docker, gtr, keyb, voc/ Dicky Tarrach, dr.
Production: John O'Brien-Docker.
Cover-design by unknown.
Photography by unknown.
Liner notes: none.
Cover manufactured by unknown.
Recorded at Studio Maschen.

Track listing A-side: Prologue (Reinhart Firchow + John O'Brien-Docker) 1'02''/ Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon...Ford (John O'Brien-Docker) 7'55''/ Lenina (Herb Geller + John O'Brien-Docker) 4'27''/ Soma (Herb Geller + John O'Brien-Docker) 5'22''/ Malpais Corn Dance (John O'Brien-Docker) 3'27''.
Track listing B-side: The End (Reinhart Firchow + John O'Brien-Docker) 19'22''/ Epilogue (Reinhart Firchow + John O'Brien-Docker) 0'15''.

Matrix number A-side:
10 AA 6360606 1Y 320
Matrix number B-side:
10 AA 6360606 2Y 320

Rarity scale: R3

Yes, this must be a concept album, at least according to the title, but not much inside the grooves conveys a Huxleyan atmosphere. Although the brainchild of O'Brien, who wrote or co-wrote all the material, the main ingredient is the truly magical flute of Geller, who can produce any style imaginable and does so convincingly, too. A sad recorder over solemn organ  in Prologue slowly gives way to the warm sound patterns of Alpha, a versatile piece of jazzy rock and leading to passages with experimental use of different tape speeds. Lenina is very serene with a narration and multi-voiced flutes, while Soma is krautrock in the best of traditions with long guitar improvisations over a floor of organ. Almost early Pink Ployd, but with the unusual sound of an embedded flexatone. And there is Malpais corn dance, an unlikely track that sounds like folk music played by Martians. Side B is dominated by the long suite The end (nothing to do with The Doors, of course) which pulls all stops. Wistful wind, English horn, ocarina, double-tracked recorders, sombre monk's choirs, Scottish percussion, wild electric guitars, heavy synths, cascading saxes, soft-horror, well anything almost, but somehow forged into a meaningful whole, that can hardly be compared with anything else we have heard. Krautrock in its best form, an at times almost magical record!

The cover has its own share of subtle horror. The shrewd malformation of the flat building in combination with the silhouetted figures that have explicitly coloured shadows, all bathing in a cold grey-blue light, works wonders. Inside, a great panel with control lights, some information and small photographs of the musicians.
The lettering is partly askew, just as it should be, I guess, but the title is in an unreadable colour, unfortunately.
Notes: this is not the same band which recorded ''O Calcutta'' for Polydor.

6360 607


Line-up: Michael Günther, bsgtr/ Michael Hoenig, keyb, steel/ Uli Pop, perc/ Burhard Rausch, dr, voc, mar/ Jörg Schwenke, gtr/ Lutz Ulbrich, gtr, keyb.
Production: Wolfgang Sandner & Peter Strecker for Music Factory.
Cover-design by unknown.
Photography by Michael Hoenig & Hans Georg Losse.
Liner notes: none.
Cover manufactured by H.O.Persiehl.
Recorded at Audio-Ton-Studio.

Track listing A-side: You Play For Us Today 6'08''/ Sahara City 7'42''/ Ala Tul 4'50''.
Track listing B-side: Pulse 4'43''/ Khan El Khalili 5'30''/ Malesch 8'10''/ Rücksturz 2'09''.
All tracks by Agitation Free.

Matrix number A-side:
10 AA 6360607 1Y 320
Matrix number B-side:
10 AA 6360607 2Y 320

Rarity scale: R3

A formation from Berlin, that mixes eastern themes and harmonies with improvised krautrock. This works reasonably well on the opening track, but dives really deep on Sahara City, a lesson in silent music that evokes endless vistas of open space through pale organ sounds and strange rhythm instruments. Ala Tul is again organ-fusion, a bit like J.S.Bach in the desert. Another fine track is Pulse, that boasts an Arabian string part that sounds pretty authentic and through a dissonant improvisation discharges into Khan El Khalili, a track that develops very slowly, but suddenly gels in the middle. The title track sounds like common kraut but the closing Rücksturz is excellent driving rock with competing organ and electric guitar. Nice album, nothing for rock purists, though.

The cover is one of those mirrored images with the spine serving as the axis, a surefire sign of inspiration lacking. At least they had the good taste to change the colours on either side: the front is warm and stony, the back cold and stony. An avalanche of holiday pictures is on the inside, all taken during a journey into the Middle East.
Very common lettering, but for the inclusion of some beautiful Arabic script. The light blue of this detones quite strongly.

Notes: the label gives all composers credits to Michael Günther (Guenther), while the cover gives them to Agitation Free.

6360 608
ODIN - ''same'' (end of 1972)


Line-up: Jeff Beer, voc, keyb, vibr/ Ray Brown, bsgtr, voc/ Stuart Fordham, dr/ Rob Terstall, voc, gtr.
Production: Odin.
Cover-design by unknown.
Photography by J.A.Carstens.
Liner notes: none.
Cover manufactured by unknown.
Recorded at Windrose-Dumont-Time Studios.

Track listing A-side: Life Is Only (Jeff Beer + Ray Brown) 10'50''/ Tribute To Frank (Jeff Beer) 1'50''/ Turnpike Lane (Rob Terstall) 3'40''/ Be The Man You Are (Rob Terstall + Ray Brown) 2'40''.
Track listing B-side: Gemini (Steve Hammond) 8'50''/ Eucalyptus (Jeff Beer) 2'50''/ Clown (Jeff Beer + Ray Brown + Stuart Fordham) 8'35''.

Matrix number A-side:
10 AA 6360608 1Y 320
Matrix number B-side:
10 AA 6360608 2Y 320

Rarity scale: R3

At least two of these lads are English, so it comes as no surprise that their brand of prog-hard-rock sounds a bit like more notorious British examples. Very typical of the times, the main problem lies in the composition department. Rolling organ and many tasteful guitar interceptions are a bonus, but much of the material is too bleak to attract more than a casual interest. Almost all tracks are too long to be borne by their musical substance. Turnpike lane is a notable exception, being mildly balkanized folk-rock. On side B Quatermass' Gemini is duly covered, a logical choice as the attitude towards the music is somewhat similar to that band. The last track holds its ground pretty well. Muscular and inventively played rock with great guitars and again sounding rather British. Even so, it cannot save the whole album.

The boys stand on a field in blue duotone, while drawn assorted fantasy attributes are loosely scattered around. The enormous bass-drum in the middle is a strong focal point. Amateurish, but interesting nonetheless. On the back a very serious photograph of the gentlemen, who seem a depressed and depressing lot. The printed lyrics confirm this impression.
A gigantic poster is included. Unfortunately this is just the backcover six times enlarged and newly lettered.
The lettering is simplicity incarnate, but fits well enough within the total image.

Notes: some copies have the infamous ''Deutsch-Rock'' sticker on front (like on our scan), which was affixed to many Philips albums from this era.

6360 609
ATLANTIS - ''same'' (december 1972)


Line-up: Curt Cress, dr/ Frank Diez, gtr/ Jean-Jacques Kravetz, keyb/ Reebop Kwakuh Baah, perc/ Jean-Alain Roussel, keyb/ Inga Rumpf, voc/ Karl-Heinz Schott, bsgtr.
Production: John Burns & Atlantis.
Cover-design by unknown.
Photography by unknown.
Liner notes: none.
Cover manufactured by unknown.
Recorded at Island Studios.

Track listing A-side: Get Up (Inga Rumpf) 5'20''/ Big Brother (Inga Rumpf) 5'03''/ Rock 'N' Roll Preacher (Frank Diez) 3'39''/ Maybe It's Useless (Inga Rumpf + Jean-Jacques Kravetz) 3'39''.
Track listing B-side: Let's Get On The Road Again (Inga Rumpf) 3'33''/ Living At The End Of Time (Frank Diez) 9'05''/ Words Of  Love (Inga Rumpf + Frank Diez) 4'52''.

Matrix number A-side:
10 AA 6360609 1Y 320
Matrix number B-side:
10 AA 6360609 2Y 320

Rarity scale: R1

More or less a continuation of Frumpy, but with a much tighter drummer and a guitarist that tends more towards hard-rock. Logically, this is a heavier outfit, although the charateristic voice of Rumpf reigns supreme. The first two tracks show the band at its best: robust rock with excellent guitar parts. The rest of this side sounds more like an average band with outstanding vocals. Side B continues in just this vein, but the over 9 minutes long Living at the end of time is much better again with superb guitar playing and even a modest amount of experimentation with bells and echo. The tender closing track is saved by the vocals; the melody lacks excitement. Not ''the best German band'', as some promotional notes claim, but surely worthwhile and maybe the best vocal achievement of Inga Rumpf.

Designing a cover cannot get much more trite than on this one. From dark to light pink, wow! There isn't even a gatefold or an extra in the packaging. Easily the worst cover design to emerge from Vertigo. The backside has the same tasteless design, but augmented with a tiny photograph of the band, which is in this case a deliverance.
The lettering is just as horrible. Some kind of ''neon'' is suggested (but ''sausage'' comes to mind too). Brrr...

6360 610
TIGER B. SMITH - TIGER ROCK (beginning of 1973)


Line-up: Klaus Meinhardt, bsgtr/ Holger Schmidt, voc, gtr/ Karl-Heinz Traut, dr.
Production: Peter Hauke.
Cover-design by unknown.
Photography by Fotocol.
Liner notes: none.
Cover manufactured by unknown.
Recorded at Dierks Studios.

Track listing A-side: Tiger Rock (Holger Schmidt + Karl-Heinz Traut) 5'14''/ These Days (Holger Schmidt) 5'53''/ Everything I Need (Holger Schmidt) 6'20''.
Track listing B-side: To Hell (Holger Schmidt + Karl-Heinz Traut) 9'45''/ Tiger Blues (Holger Schmidt) 8'52''.

Matrix number A-side:
10 AA 6360610 1Y 320
Matrix number B-side:
10 AA 6360610 2Y 320

Rarity scale: R4

A reincarnation of the power trio ''Second Life'', and unfortunately just as unimaginative. It's glam-hard-rock, without any trace of humor, ever treading the same mill with heavy boots. How did these boys get a recording contract? The only positive sounds that we can discern are the tiger growls on the opening track. As all ''songs'' have more than 6 minutes on the clock, listening to the whole of this album becomes a cathartic experience. But we felt none the better afterwards, we confess.

The boys pose like a cross between Jethro Tull, Gary Glitter and some escaped wild animals, which maybe an attitude as valid as anyone else's, but which does not make for an attractive cover design. On the back another shot from the same session.
A huge and very seldom seen poster is included (which causes the R4 rarity), but this is yet another shot from the same session and therefore strictly for die-hard fans of the genre only.
The lettering is is in style, the patterns of the tiger's tail are duly recognized.

6360 611


Line-up: Herbert Bornhold, perc/ Herb Geller, sax/ Peter Hecht, keyb/ Peter Hesslein, gtr, voc/ Dieter Horns, bsgtr, voc/ Bob Lanese, trp/ John Lawton, voc/ Hans-Joachim Rietenbach, dr.
Production: Peter Hecht + Peter Hesslein + Dieter Horns.
Cover-design by Sebastian Dietrich.
Photography by Witt.
Liner notes: none.
Cover manufactured by unknown.
Recorded at Windrose - Dumont - Time Studios.

Track listing A-side: Groovin' Stone (Peter Hesslein + John Lawton) 5'18''/ Closed Curtains (Peter Hecht + John Lawton + Fendt) 6'00''/ Born On The Run (Dieter Horns + John Lawton) 3'48''/ Blind Freedom (Peter Hesslein + John Lawton) 6'24''.
Track listing B-side: Rock 'N' Roll Singer (Peter Hesslein + John Lawton) 3'45''/ Lonely City Days (Peter Hesslein + John Lawton) 4'55''/ Mary's Breakdown (Dieter Horns + John Lawton) 5'51''/ Song For Louie (Peter Hesslein + John Lawton) 7'14''.

Matrix number A-side:
10 AA 6360611 1Y 320
Matrix number B-side:
10 AA 6360611 2Y 320

Rarity scale: R1

After the triumph of the previous album, expectations are strung high for this release, but they are largely disappointed. The opening track is impeccable hard-rock, no doubt, but shows no trace of the adventurousness that we expected. As the second track is well-executed, but ultimately void of anything we didn't already know, the creepy feeling that the title of the album could be the motto too, cannot longer be held off. Technically very proficient, this music sounds like a lot of other music on the whole of side A. The other side isn't any better, until the closing Song for Louie passes the speakers. Suddenly there is a daring harmonic twist as well as a spooky middle-part with unexpected mellotron. This cannot save the album, but is a welcome piece of music nonetheless.

Another scary person on the cover, this time with a fake Chinese jacket on. Luckily we see him from the back. Turning the cover around shows us the man from the front, every inch as unattractive as we'd expected. No extras with the simple single packaging, pity!
The lettering is just adequate, but nothing more.

6360 612

6360612 6360612lbl

Line-up: Fabian Arkus, elektr/ Cotch Black, perc/ Roberto Détrée, gtr, vlc, hrp/ Robert Eliscu, ob/ Peter Hamel, keyb, voc/ Duru Omson, fl, voc, perc.
Production: Ulrich Kraus for Music Factory.
Cover-design by Guntram Holdgrün.
Photography by unknown.
Liner notes: none.
Cover manufactured by Gerhard Stalling AG.
Recorded at unknown.

Track listing A-side: And The Waters Opened (Roberto Détrée) 10'55''/ Uroboros (Robert Eliscu) 5'35''/ Syn (Roberto Détrée) 6'10''.
Track listing B-side: Devotion (Peter Michael Hamel) 3'45''/ Happy Stage (Robert Eliscu + Peter Michael Hamel) 11'15''/ Samum (Roberto Détrée) 5'35''.

Matrix number A-side:
111 A 10 AA 6360612 1Y 320
Matrix number B-side:
111 B 10 AA 6360612 2Y 320

Rarity scale: R2

A very international ensemble with interest in all kinds of experimental sounds and avant-garde. This results on the title track in a pandemonium of style-elements like electronically treated keyboards, Indian singing, jazzy flutes, South-American guitar pyrotechnics (Détrée is Argentinian) and a lot of world-music percussion. Uroboros starts with the sonority of an English horn over organ plus a crescendo of monk's choir, developing into multi-voiced singing and a folky theme with woodwinds and percussion, definitely unusual. Syn is a meditation of over six minutes on one organ-note. Hard on the ears. Devotion also takes its share of meditation, no harmonic progression at all, this time almost Indian in feeling. The overlong Happy stage sets out as a hobosonata, but doesn't go anywhere after all. Great percussion, though! And as you would expect, Samum  for oboe and organ has Arabian overtones and ends with a large quantity of howling wind, which is allowed to persist long after the music has stopped. Surely interesting, though there probably are better projects to be found in this realm.

The designer has taken a thermo-photograph as foundation for a rather eerie human head with a rose for an ear (or is it a cabbage?), that dissolves into a turquoise river. Impressive as an image. This is yet another single cover without any extras.
The lettering contrasts sharply with the image, but this is very welcome indeed and therefore well-chosen.

6360 613

6360 613

Line-up: Peter Michael Hamel, all.
Production: Ulrich Kraus for Music Factory.
Cover-design by Peter Michael Hamel.
Photography by Werner Bethsold.
Liner notes: Peter Michael Hamel.
Cover manufactured by Druckhaus Maack.
Recorded at unknown.

Track listing A-side: Panta Tantra (Peter Michael Hamel) 20'47''.
Track listing B-side: The Voice Of Silence (Peter Michael Hamel) 16'10''/ Ego-Loss [Let The Red Buddha Amithaba Sweep You Along] (Peter Michael Hamel) 6'45''.

Matrix number A-side:
112 A 10 6360613 1Y 320
Matrix number B-side:
112 B 10 6360613 2Y 320

Rarity scale: R3

Hamel time knows no time. PMH is let loose in the studio and assaults the grand piano and other assorted keyboards, meditating his ass off. This doesn't mean there are only meditative sounds here. Some of it is quite aggressive even. The instruments are often doctored, not only to achieve different scales (mostly eastern), but also to intensify the players' touch. Three long tracks are the result and our hero even sings an Indian melody with long notes and fraught with echo. So here is another strange mixture of east and west, that becomes dramatic on Ego-loss (small wonder with such a title) through the inclusion of panting and screaming (crisis? what crisis?) and a kind of resurrection of the singer. He finally finds a mantra, that is adorned with German and English shreds of text. In retrospect this is not very convincing and sounds too dated to excite in the 21st century. Surely it is very time-typical and could be duly used as a soundtrack for a nostalgic retrospective of  the esoteric attempts of the seventies.

Artistic freedom can be a sharp weapon, but this home-made brew of mandala, brimming with all kinds of occult symbols seems only ill-advised to us. Surely this is not how the road to any spiritual quest that really matters looks like. The backcover is more of the same. The cover is lightly textured with a rectangle pattern.
Even the lettering is strictly home-made, but in its attempt to be clear-cut even worse.

6360 614


6360614 6360614lbl

Line-up: Dieter Bornschlegel, gtr/ Ringo Funk, dr/ Jean-Jacques Kravetz, keyb/ Gasper Lawal, perc/ Inga Rumpf, voc, gtr/ Karl-Heinz Schott, bsgtr.
Production: Atlantis.
Cover-design by unknown.
Photography by Gwen Phillips.
Liner notes: none.
Cover manufactured by unknown.
Recorded at Phonogram Studios.

Track listing A-side: It's Getting Better (Inga Rumpf + Jean-Jacques Kravetz) 4'50''/ Drifting Winds (Inga Rumpf + Jean-Jacques Kravetz) 5'06''/ Days Of Giving (Inga Rumpf) 7'23''.
Track listing B-side: Changed It All (Inga Rumpf + Jean-Jacques Kravetz) 6'05''/ Fighter Of Truth (Inga Rumpf + Dieter Bornschlegel) 6'17''/ Woman's Sorrow (Inga Rumpf + Jean-Jacques Kravetz) 3'23''/ A Simple Song (Inga Rumpf) 1'59''.

Matrix number A-side:
10 AA 6360614 1Y//4  320
Matrix number B-side:
 63606149 B 2Y-2 (this side has the matrix number hand-etched, before the ''B'', there is an ''A'' crossed out)

Rarity scale: R1

With Bornschlegel (another excellent German guitarist) instead of Diez, Atlantis shoulders on, fighting for international acclaim. Is the title ironically meant? Fact is that the title track is not getting better at all: average rock with inane lyrics. There seems to be a slight tendency towards afro- or soul-rock, not a good sign. If is wasn't for Rumpf's excellent vocals, the next track would be average too. The long Days of giving finally shows something of architecture and contains a brilliant guitar solo, as rough and unrestrained as you could wish for, but the commonplace melody takes away most of the excitement. An insignificant song, gorgeously played. The best track Changed it all opens side B. Power and subtlety combined, this rises high above anything previous. Fighter of truth, the only track written by the guitarist sounds almost like Nina Simone! Two short tracks, one fake-USA rock, the other a doubtful unburdening of Rumpf with an acoustic guitar do not contribute to any favourable impression. Very checkered, definitely worse than the first album

And another hopeless cover. The photograph isn't that bad, but it is framed in a completely senseless border. The backside is the same photo in the same border. What a waste of time and space!
The horrible lettering is maintained, probably to produce something like corporate identity. The ''neon'' letters cut savagely through Inga's head, poor girl. Thumbs down for this lazy effort.

6360 615
AGITATION FREE - 2ND (autumn of 1973)


Line-up: Frank Diez, voc/ Stefan Diez, gtr/ Michael Günther, bsgtr/ Michael Hoenig, keyb/ Burghard Rausch, dr, voc/ Lutz Ulbrich, gtr, bouz.
Production: Agtation Free.
Cover-art by Folke Hanfield & Alex von Koettlitz.
Photography by Irm Siering.
Liner notes: none.
Cover manufactured by H.O.Persiehl.
Recorded at Studio 70.

Track listing A-side: First Communication (8'18'')/ Dialogue And Random (2'00'')/ Laila, Part 1 (1'32'')/ Laila, Part 2 (6'45'').
Track listing B-side: In The Silence Of The Morning Sunrise (6'29'')/ Quiet Walk: a) Listening b) Two - Not Of The Same Kind (9'11'')/ Haunted Island (7'10'').
All tracks by Agitation Free, lyrics of Haunted Island by Edgar Allan Poe.

Matrix number A-side:
10 AA 6360615 1Y 320
Matrix number B-side:
10 AA 6360615 2Y 320

Rarity scale: R3

This second effort is a lot more accessible than its predecessor, due mostly to recognizable guitar parts by Diez. Laila, part 1 even is symphonically inclined rock. Supple improvising guitar over spacey accompaniment is the main dish on almost all tracks, until the atmosphere changes strongly on Quiet walk. Here there are instruments coming from so far away as to get almost uninterpretable. They are skilfully blended with sounds of water to result in a mild tension that is very atmospheric. Haunted island is again very different through the sudden inclusion of a singer and threatening mellotron. The ever perpetuating closing is boring, though. The whole album is not as adventurous and uncommon as their previous one, but by its genuine drawings of different musical climates still much worth hearing.

A dried-out riverbed in white and violet with a leaf-like figure superimposed. Is there a human being seen from above too? The backcover holds heavy vegetation with sunlight seeping through. Inside a nice and large picture of the culprits themselves.
The lettering is of the wrong type, but by its colouring and placement very well integrated into the image.

Notes: unfortunately this was the very last of the German swirl releases. Only an earlier record club release follows suit.

28 621-1
92 881
BLACK SABBATH - ''same'' (1970)
''Club Sonderauflage''


by unknown.
Photography by unknown.
Liner notes: none.
Cover manufactured by unknown.

Track listing A-side: War Pigs  (Black Sabbath) 7'55''/ Evil Woman, Don''t Play Your Games With Me (L.Weigand + R.Weigand + D.Waggoner) 3'18''/ Black Sabbath (Black Sabbath) 6'11''.
Track listing B-side: Paranoid (Black Sabbath) 2'50''/ Sleeping Village (Black Sabbath) 8'25''/ Iron Man (Black Sabbath) 6'00''/ Rat Salad (Black Sabbath) 2'30''.

Matrix number A-side:
10 AA 6000 1Y 320
Matrix number B-side:
10 AA 6000 2Y 320

Rarity scale: R2-3

A sampler from the first two Black Sabbath albums was issued in three slightly different variations, all with the same matrix number, but with small differences in the covers and the labels. They also had three different catalogue numbers.

Four fine live shots are somewhat clumsily combined into a cover design. Especially the white separation lines are cheaply chosen. The differences are small but noticeable. The backcover has a well-known photograph of the band.
The lettering has the virtue of being very conspicious, but that's all we could find in favour. Cover and label differences are discussed below.

The label for 28 621-1 has the wording ''Sonderauflage für den Deutschen Schallplatten-Club'' (special issue for the German Record-Club) just above the band name.
The label for 6000 has the wording ''Sonderauflage für die Deutsche Buch-Gemeinschaft'' (special issue for the German Book-Union) at the same place.
The label for 92 881 has the wording ''Club-Sonderauflage'' (special club issue) at the same place.

The cover for 28 621-1 has a small logo of a record with the wording ''Deutscher Schallplattenclub'' in the middle left of the front cover. The same logo is inserted on the backcover in the bottom left corner. In the top left corner there is a wording ''Club Sonderauflage'', as well as ''Stereo auch mono abspielbar''. The backcover has a greenish shade.
The cover for 6000 omits the logo mentioned above. It also omits the ''stereo'' wording. The backcover is strictly black and white.
The cover for 92 881 is the same as for 6000, apart from the catalogue number appearing in the top right corner of the backcover.

Notes: The issue with the 6000 catalogue number seems to be the rarest of the three.

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