Liner notes by Stefan Kassel
01. Daisy Clan: Glory Be
Guten Tag! Three Is The Magic Number. Willkommen to the third and final installment of The In-Kraut. Our IK3 party kickstarts with the incredibly switched-on “Glory Be” - directly beamed to our stale world from Planet Fuzz it seems. The song is an ultra-rare b-side from one of the few singles issued by Daisy Clan, a short-lived studio project by supremo songsmiths Joachim Heider & Michael Holm (who also recorded briefly under the name The Hippies!). Heider & Holm are both German music biz legends - scoring countless hits over the past 40 years as songwriters, producers, and performers. P.S.: Schlager star Howard Carpendale recorded a great German version of “Glory Be” called “Du Hast Mich” (You Got Me). It’s a sure-fire floorfiller to this day. Especially in Mondo Mod. Wa-ouuh!
02. Ambros Seelos: Hangman’s Rope
We just love Ambros Seelos (*1935), oh yes, we do. His powerhouse octet really knew how to cook up a groove and make you wanna shake your butt. Which was certainly one of the reasons why they were chosen as the official band for the Olympic Games in Munich in 1972. “Hangman’s Rope” - recorded the same year - hails from the Bavarian bandleader’s self-titled double album, one of his grooviest and most sought-after works. The song was written by long-time Seelos band member Horst Michalke, the group’s bass player. The deep-down-and-dirty clavinet solo was played by Sylvester Levay, who would later find fame and fortune as the musical mastermind behind Silver Convention (“Fly Robin Fly”, “Get Up And Boogie”) and as a successful Hollywood film composer (“Hot Shots”, “Navy Seals”, “Airwolf”, etc.)!
03. Gene Williams: My Soul Is Black
“My soul is black, my heart is blue… was soll ich tun, ich bin allein…” Oh yeah, baby. Now that’s what we call a truly bilingual shaker. Gene Williams (*1931) originally hailed from South Africa, but relocated to Wiesbaden, Germany, during the 60s. “My Soul Is Black” was his first German recording and only appeared on an obscure 7” in 1968. It was written by the successful songwriting team of Kurt Hertha and Karl Götz, best known for hits by Roy Black, France Gall, Gerhard Wendland, Petula Clark (“Monsieur”), and Franz Beckenbauer’s immortal “Gute Freunde Kann Niemand Trennen” (1966)! The groovy Gene Williams backing track was supplied by none other than Mr Dieter Reith, world-class organist, bandleader, and all around nice guy. He also rocks the organ as a member of Certain Lions & Tigers on this compilation.
04. Dieter Zimmermann: Whole Lotta Love
Even the most played-to-death rock classic can turn to gold in the hands of a talented arranger. Dieter Zimmermann (aka Cliff Carpenter, *1943) obviously knew what to do when he tackled Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” - adding many new exciting layers to the worn-out original. His rocking orchestra included, among others, super-drummer Tom Holm and famous jazz pianist Eugen Cicero! Zimmermann’s career was short-lived but intense: During the late 60s/early 70s he wrote and produced songs for future ABBA vocalist Agnetha, Ingrid Peters, Costa Cordalis, Rex Gildo, Juliane Werding, Ricky Shayne, and many others. In 1971 - the year of his Led Zep cover version - he composed Katja Ebstein’s contribution to the Eurovision Song Contest (“Diese Welt”), scoring a respectable third place! Zimmermann died in 1978, aged just 35 years old.
05. Georgees: Butterflies Never Cry
Now here’s a truly special one, folks: “Butterflies Never Cry”, a 7” only release, is the theme song to the movie of the same name (German title: “Schmetterlinge Weinen Nicht”), a screen adaptation of Willi Heinrich’s slightly trashy but hugely successful bestseller. While the sexed-up film may not be big shakes, its title tune certainly is. Full of crazy twists and turns and hysteric over-the-top vocals, it sounds like something taken directly from the Charles Fox/Bob Crewe score to “Barbarella” (1968). Yes, it’s that good. The composers of this master-piece are organist and long-time Hildegard Knef collaborator Kai Rautenberg (*1939) and Gus Backus (*1937), an American doo-wop singer (The Del-Vikings) turned German Schlager star (“Da Sprach Der Alte Häuptling”, “Bohnen In Die Ohren”). If you like “Butterflies Never Cry” as much as we do, also seek out the German language recording by Fräulein Inge Brück!
06. The Rainbow Orchestra: La Avispa
Ready for take-off?! Okay, here we go… When the sophistication of a Bacharach tune meets the euphoria of The Sonics’s fuzz box, it may result in something as wonderful as this. The man behind this energizing killer tune is Mr Victor Burghardt (*1937), a distinguished saxo-phone/clarinet ace of the Swiss radio orchestra for more than two decades. Over the years, he constantly appeared on TV, radio, and in concert - working, along the way, with such luminaries as Henry Mancini, Sammy Davis Jr., Gene Kelly, Joe Hendricks, Maynard Ferguson, Eddie Harris, Slide Hampton, and Julie Andrews. The stunning “La Avispa” (= The Wasp), written and arranged by Burghardt, was recorded in Zurich for German library label Brillant Musik. The smashing guitar part was played by supremo jazz and session ace Pierre Cavalli.
07. Inga: The Beat Goes On
We don’t know if Sonny Bono (1935-1998) ever had a chance to hear this dead cool version of one of his biggest hits. Well, we did - and we sure dig it. It’s one of the earliest and rarest singles by Inga Rumpf (*1946), a Hamburg-based singer with a career that has spanned four decades by now. Over the years, she recorded with The City Preachers, Frumpy, Peter Herbolzheimer, Atlantis, and as a solo artist. These days she mainly specializes in blues and gospel. “The Beat Goes On”, only issued as a 7” in 1967, was produced by Inga’s City Preachers bandmate John O’Brien-Docker (father of current chart act Ian O’Brien-Docker!). This rock solid cover version gives Sonny & Cher a serious run for their money - with a great tacky organ part topped off by Inga’s deadpan icy vocals. Ladi-dadi-da…
08. Heinz Kiessling: Drift
Heinz Kiessling (1926-2003) is a true German music legend. He composed more than 1000 songs, co-founded the library labels Brillant and Quadriga, and worked with such diverse artists as Chet Baker, Luiz Bonfa, Wencke Myhre, Peter Alexander, and Caterina Valente. In addition, he composed some timeless German TV themes, including “Klimbim”, “Das Traumschiff”, and “Aktenzeichen XY”. And even Mr Frank Sinatra recorded one of his songs (“In The Shadow Of The Moon”, 1969). How cool can one white man be?! Wow. “Drift” - recorded for his own Quadriga label - is a groove monster of the first degree, featuring heavy drums, ecstatic strings, a crazy girl chorus, and an extra-fat bass line. Check out the incredible musicianship here! Teutonic precision in full effect. Hit it, Heinz!
09. Certain Lions & Tigers: Fever
Certain Lions & Tigers is none other than Mr Peter Herbolzheimer (*1935) and his “Rhythm Combination & Brass”, one of Europe’s coolest big bands ever. To get an idea of their class, you only have to listen to this cut. Though “Fever” was recorded countless times, this may be the song’s grooviest and best interpretation ever. Riding on an elegant latin-flavored arrangement by percussionist Horst Mühlbradt, the simple song takes on a whole new dimension. It’s no wonder that it sounds so mind-blowing: Certain Lions & Tigers features a fantastic all-star cast including Art Farmer, Herb Geller, Dieter Reith, Ack van Rooyen, Heinz Kitschenberg, and many other top-notch players. If you desire to purchase an original copy of the marvelous “Soul Condor” album, be prepared to spend some serious cash. Unfortunately, it is very rare.
10. Peter Thomas Sound Orchestra: The World Is Gone
We interrupt this program… for a special nugget taken directly from the vault of film music maestro Peter Thomas (*1925): Though the track never saw an official release when it was recorded in 1967, it is certainly one of our favorite Thomas tracks ever. Co-written by Peter and his bass player Lothar Meid, it paints a crazy end-of-the-world scenario with typical Thomas madness. The intro was spoken by an actual AFN newscaster, the over-the-top vocals were supplied by Thomas’s guitar player Joe Quick (see Memphis Black!). Further players include Wolfgang Paap on drums, Olaf Kübler on saxophone, and Charly Tabor on trumpet (famous for his work on Bert Kaempfert’s classic “Wonderland By Night”). “My girl left me… my house burned down… and I got no money…”. Apocalypse now!
11. Frank & The Top Ten: Beach Bunny
Some of the best music ever on this planet did not appear on those classic albums you always read about in Rolling Stone magazine. Oh no! Instead, it popped up on “faceless” library music productions. Here’s proof, meine Damen und Herren: Just listen to the incredible “Beach Bunny” by Frank & The Top Ten (yes, the “bands” on these albums always seem to have names like this), recorded for Frankfurt-based library label Golden Ring. It is pure heaven for any serious 60s groovehead. Written by Golden Ring staff writer Juan Demonio, “Beach Bunny” is chock-full of bouncy latin beats, psychedelic flutes, and mad killer guitars. Simply wonderful. So much more exciting and lively than any “classic rock album”. Dankeschön!
12. Adam & Eve: The Witch
Adam (= Johnnie Christian Dee) & Eve (= Eva Bartova) may be the oddest couple of the German music scene ever. They looked way out (to say the least!) and didn’t seem to fit any musical category. They moved in a strange Adam & Eve land somewhere between Beat and Schlager - Dee even wrote a hit for The Pretty Things once (“Don’t Bring Me Down”)! “The Witch”, arguably their best track ever, hails from the duo’s one and only album “Paradise Of Sounds” (1967). The funky backing track is quite reminiscent of Klaus Doldinger’s famous “Sitar Beat”, recorded one year later for his soundtrack to the movie “Negresco”. The couple broke up shortly after the recording of their album, though different line-ups of “Adam & Eve” continued to perform for several years afterwards. Eva Bartova died in 1989, Johnnie Christian Dee in 2004.
13. Hazy Osterwald Sextet: The Call
Though “The Call” sounds like something straight from the Peter Thomas songbook, it is actually the work of Swiss bandleader Hazy Osterwald (*1922). Riding on a great bass line by Sunny Lang, the song is a prime example of why we started this compilation series in the first place. It’s fun, funky, unpredictable, and original. The track was recorded in Berlin in 1967, but never saw an official release at the time - so we are proud to finally present it here. It showcases the Hazy Osterwald Sextet at the peak of their powers, featuring a great organ part and a crazy guitar solo - the kinda stuff that makes you wanna head straight to the dancefloor. Make sure to also check out the groovy “Swinging London” by the Hazy Osterwald Jet Set on “The In-Kraut Vol. 2”.
14. The German Top Five: The Champ
“The Champ”, originally recorded by Alan Hawkshaw’s The Mohawks in 1968, is one of the most sampled songs in music history. It seems that practically everybody in hip hop land has used it at least once - including Stetsasonic, De La Soul, Eric B & Rakim, T La Rock, EPMD, DJ Shadow, Nice & Smooth, KRS-One, and Big Daddy Kane (to name just a few…). And, yes, it’s even available as a polyphonic ringtone these days. We are proud to present this ultra-rare and totally fat-free In-Kraut version by The German Top Five (aka Pete Hilger Quintet), a cover band that may have looked a bit goofy in their identical yellow suits, but sure nuff knew how to rock the dancefloor. Their version is definitely on par with the Hawkshaw original, if not better. Just check out the bouncy organ solo! Wunderbar!
15. Katja Ebstein: A Hard Day’s Night
Blessed with stunning looks, great hair (!), and an exceptional voice, Katja Ebstein (*1945) was an instant success story - with a long-lasting career to this day. She even managed to represent Germany at the Eurovision Song Contest for an unprecedented three times - always with top results! Katja’s gloriously doped-out version of The Beatles’s “A Hard Day’s Night” is really something else. It hails from her debut album from 1969 and was arranged by her one-time husband Christian Bruhn, one of Germany’s most successful songwriters ever, who cleverly changed the song’s original key from G to A. The addition of the “druggy” sitar made Ebstein’s version sound even more “now” - kinda like The Beatles may have tackled their 1964 classic in 1969 themselves. Hipster info: The album was presented by German It-magazine TWEN, famous for its groundbreaking design and journalism.
16. Acid: Hipguard
If there was ever a song that could rightfully claim the title “totally outstanding kick-ass rare groove monster”, it has to be this killer track by Austrian trio Acid - consisting of Herbert Novacek, Robert Ponger & Rudi Staeger. It originally appeared only on a 7” on the appropriately named Atom label in 1972. After the great initial splash with “Hipguard”, the band from Vienna went on to release a couple of albums during the 70s. However, they never managed to top their earliest effort, which today is a much sought-after nugget among rare groove collectors worldwide. To our knowledge it still hasn’t been sampled so far… are you listening, RZA?!
17. Rolf Kühn: Playmate
Here’s one to calm your senses. The deliciously chilled-out “Playmate” hails from a production for Hamburg-based library label Selected Sound. It was written and performed by Rolf Kühn (*1929), one of Germany’s most distinguished jazz musicians ever. The clarinet ace was once a member of the orchestras of both Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey, and even released an album on Impulse!. No small feat for any jazz musician, let alone for a German one. His superb “Playmate” just oozes with elegance and class, topped off with Claus Ogerman-like strings and a great Fender Rhodes part which is highly reminiscent of Pete Jolly’s work on his lost masterpiece “Seasons” (1971). P.S.: Kühn was once married to smoky-voiced actress Judy Winter, and even produced a pretty decent chanson album for her in 1979!
18. Memphis Black: That’s Me Boy
“Look at that girl… ain’t she beautiful… kinda sexy too…!” Only the immortal Joe Quick (see Peter Thomas notes) could deliver lines like these. And, boy, we love him for it. Memphis Black, who appeared on “The In-Kraut Vol. 1” with the unbeatable “Why Don’t You Play That Organ, Man”, is the brainchild of German organist extraordinaire Ingfried Hoffmann, who also wrote this song. It hails from the second, impossible-to-find Memphis Black album “Soul Cowboy” (1969), which featured - among some cool soul and pop covers - a few outstanding Hoffmann originals. Trainspotter info: The album was released with completely different artwork under the name Memphis Soul Band in the USA - on the short-lived Minit label. Fantastisch, Herr Hoffmann!
19. Ingfried Hoffmann: Stroke It
“Stroke It” was exclusively recorded for a cool 2-LP compilation called “The Greatest Organ Players” in 1969. And Mr Ingfried Hoffmann (*1935), Europe’s leading jazz organist during the 60s and 70s, was rightfully part of it - along with the likes of Jimmy Smith, Richard “Groove” Holmes, “Brother” Jack McDuff, and Lonnie Smith. Grooving on a great funky bass line, Hoffmann pulls out all the stops here. Grind it, baby! In his parallel, non-jazz career Hoffmann composed the music for such popular kids TV shows as the German edition of “Sesame Street”, “Robbi, Tobbi & Das Fliewatüüt”, “Hase Cäsar”, etc. He’s a true giant in our book and appeared in one form or another on all three volumes of “The In-Kraut”. Let’s just say: We are fans!
20. Karl Schiller: High
The concept was as simple as it was great: Sample some speeches by German politicians, re-arrange them in a funky way, and add some cool music to it. Volker Kühn & Roland Schneider came up with this idea, and it resulted in four successful “Politparade” albums - backed by such outstanding musicians as Volker Kriegel (guitar) and Kurt Bong (drums). “High” is one of the many highlights (hey!) from the series: German Secretary of Commerce Karl Schiller (1911-1994), one of the main architects of the Wirtschaftswunder, babbles his way through an almost senseless speech consciously using “now” slang to appeal to the younger generation. “High sein heisst Blow Up!”. Simply hilarious, simply great. And a most appropriate way to end our In-Kraut series. Auf Wiedersehen, friends and lovers!