sábado, 2 de agosto de 2008

Improved Sound Limited - Improved Sound Limited (1971 German Psychedelic Pop Rock)


BANDA ALEMÃ QUE FAZIAM UM SOM POP PSICODÉLICO AGRADÁVEL DE ESCUTAR E QUE ERA SOFT SEM PERDER A CONSISTÊNCIA MUSICAL QUE ALIÁS ERA FEITO COM COMPETÊNCIA!! A HARMONIA VOCAL DOS CARAS ERA O FORTE, TRABALHADA E EXTREMAMENTE BEM FEITA!! BELAS CANÇÕES, BELAS HARMONIAS VOCAIS POR VEZES ACOMPANHADAS DE UMA FLAUTA COMPETENTE!! VALE A PENA O DISCO E A RARIDADE!!

"First time released on CD -- This German psychedelic Pop/Rock band released in 1971 their first LP, a double album on Liberty/U.A. 17 emotional tracks, lyrical sound with superb flute and great harmony vocals with more than 70 mins in the direction of the Beatles White Album, with more psychedelic underground influences. Contains a 17 min song 'A Soldiers Songbook' from the Beatnik movie Wer im Glashaus liebt oder der Graben by Micheal Verhoeven -- a real music trip!"

They started, in 1961, with skiffle music and after a modern jazz phase and under the influence of the rising rock scene they settled with rock and pop music. Before this they were called The Blizzards and during their school holidays in August 1965 were German pop singer Roy Black's backing band playing Elvis, Cliff Richard and Roy Orbison songs. When Black recorded "Du bist nicht allein" (You’re not alone) the boys decided he was and took a new direction. The timing, 1966, was perfect as Bayerischer Rundfunk (Bavarian Radio) held a competition called "Meet the Beat" with 80 bands. IMPROVED SOUND LIMITED won and were able to record a single of their winning song "It Is You" b/w "We Are Alone" for Polydor. New doors were opened for the band after winning the rock competition. At the time, society figures often hired rock bands for weddings, which is how IMPROVED SOUND LIMITED met Munich film producer Rob Houwer who put them in touch with director Michael Verhoeven. With a demo presentation the band won a competition to record the soundtrack to his film "Engelchen macht weiter hoppe-hoppe Reiter". The music was released as an LP in 1969 on Cornet. This was IMPROVED SOUND LIMITED’s breakthrough.

In the following years they recorded for many other films and in 1969 they released another single on Polydor called "Sing Your Song" b/w "Marvin Is Dead". 10 years after they began their musical careers they released their double LP "Improved Sound Limited" which now appears on CD for the first time (mixing and mastering: Jörg Scheuermann). In a lucid reviewthe Improved musicians were called "Rock Old-timers". This, at first glance disrespectful description of the young musicians turned out with further reading to be a sign of respect. The LP was a stylistic curriculum vitae of 23-year-old Rock Old-timers, 10 years live experience in smoky cellars and bars between Bochum and Radolfzell pressed into grooves. A prominent feature of the record production, amazing musical skills aside, was the depth of experience that the band had gained through playing live and in the studio.

IMPROVED SOUND LIMITED achieved a perfect blend of spontaneity and creativity together with modern recording techniques: "This album has been recorded with a high level of professional ability". Every note, every word stands on its own: Axel Linstädt wrote the music and his brother Bernd wrote the words. Even the production work, for which bands like the Rolling Stones or the Beatles engage international stars like Jimmy Miller, George Martin or Phil Spector, was done by the band themselves. This is why the sound of the double album, with all its various styles is unmistakable. Music and text are one unit, they compliment and interpret each other and mirror the musicians' consciousness. The individual lyrics deal with issues their authors were concerned with, yet never become pedantic routine but rather rock to listen and to dance to. Maybe it's this profanity with this Improved Music that spontaneously captivates. Only on the third hearing does one realise how much more there is to it. And that is: "five young people's critical reflections on their environment and circumstances through music" (Reiner Weiss, Nürnberger Nachrichten, 20th/21st May 1971).

In the newspaper "Münchener Abendzeitung" the then 24 year old head of literature (and later editor-in-chief of "Stern" magazine) Michael Jürgs acknowledged IMPROVED SOUND LIMITED as being in the Anglo-Saxon class, praised the unique style as a mark of quality and pondered that if ever there was going to be a rock opera like Tommy in Germany, IMPROVED SOUND LIMITED were the only ones capable of it. Franz Schöler, a famous German rock critic, described the double-LP as "the best German rock production since the Beatles Live LP by Tony Sheridan". In his book "Let it Rock" (München-Wien 1975) he included it in the very exclusive "Discography of Epoch-Making Rock Records 1954-1974".It’s incredible that the band and their double LP were not just positively received in the music press but also in the arts sections of highbrow newspapers. This was going against the grain of German Rock. Rather than play Progressive or Kraut Rock they filtered out their melodic idiosyncrasies and played high quality rock music, timeless and grandiose, a milestone in German rock and pop history.

In 1973 IMPROVED SOUND LIMITED released an LP, "Catch a Singing Bird on the Road”, on CBS and 4 years later, as Condor but with the same line-up, another LP "Rathbone Hotel".
Thanks to Manfred Steinheuer.



01 - DOCTOR BOB DYLAN 05:14
02 - PINK HAWTHORN 03:05
03 - JOHANNA 03:59
04 - IF YOU WANT TO 02:08
05 - OEDIPUS 03:42
06 - FUDD MC GORGES 03:18
07 - THINGAMANNALIME 03:26
08 - AN OLD ARMY POEM 02:00
09 - WHERE WILL THE SALMON SPAWN 02:46
10 - TO MY SON 05:13
11 - SHINING BRIGHTLY IN THE SUN 04:11
12 - IT IS YOU (YOU BELONG TO ME) 01:58
13 - COLUMBINES, VIOLETS AND DAISIES 02:32
14 - I AM THE WOLF 04:46
15 - A WELL-RESPECTED MAN 03:34
16 - DRUNKEN MR. HYDE 00:45
17 - A SOLDIER'S SONGBOOK 17:17
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