Thursday, May 14, 2015

Joy Unlimited - 1973 - Reflections

Joy Unlimited 

01. Reincarnation (04:32)
02. Oceans Of Ruins (05:01)
03. King Richard's Court Jester (02:30)
04. Colossus Of Steel And Iron (02:27)
05. Crystal Palace (04:07)
06. Motion Is Movement/Hate Nine And Ten (05:40)
07. The Search For Father Time (06:40)
08. Silenty Sung (04:00)
09. Question (04:29)

Bonus tracks:
10. Believe Me (05:27)
11. Peters Zeitmaschine (02:53)
12. Navigationen (02:08)
13. Mosaik (03:41)
14. Francesco's Horse (04:26)
15. Sister Christine (03:50)
16. One Small Step (03:41)
17. Highway Affair (02:42)
18. Early Morning Moanin (03:16)
19. Proud Angelina (02:55)

Ken Taylor / vocals
Hans W. Herkenne / drums, percussion
Albin Metz / trumpet, bass
Roland Heck / organ, piano, vibes, marimba, percussion, vocals
Dieter Kindl / bass, guitar, percussion
Gerd Köthe / saxophone, flute
Klaus Nagel / guitar, woodwind, percussion, flute
Hans Lingenfelder / guitar

In the second half of the 1960s the Mannheim-based band known as Joy Bc The Hit Kids has gained a popularity in the club circuit, playing many live shows and issuing a bunch of singles on the Decca label. Their repertoire consisted mostly of simple adaptations of popular beat and rhythm'n'blues pieces, but the band's playing was incredibly tight and professional, while their female vocalist Joy Fleming could easily rival Janis Joplin in terms of rocking energy. With a considerable change of public prefer-ences in the late 1960s, the band's style moved towards psychedelic rock, but it still contained plenty of rhythm'n‘blues rudiments. The name "Joy And The Hit Kids" referred to the previous musical era so the band took the imposing title "Joy Unlimited" instead. Soon the contract with Polydor has been signed and in 1970 Joy Unlimited's debut album "Overground" has finally seen the light of day.
Musically it was a nice collection of short songs ranging from pop-rock to psychedelic-tinged blues-rock. Joy Fleming was clearly inspired by canis Joplin and her excellent vocal parts benefited this LP. Besides her, the band consisted of drummer Hans Herkeene, bassist/trombonist Albin Metz, key-boardist/vocalist Roland Heck, bassist/saxophonist/vocalist Dieter Kindl and guitarist/flautist/vocalist Klaus Nagel.
Soon after "Overground" being released, the band has been kicked out from Polydor (for unknown reasons), so their next effort, entitled "Schmetteriinge“ appeared a year later on the famous German progressive label Pilz. Indeed, it was a much more progressive effort, where the blues-rock showoffs, typical for the band's early years were excellently combined with proggy arrangements (igni saw the arrival of yet one winds-player Gerd Kothe) and even some free-jazz weirdness (listen to the track "Sensual Impressions”). Overall it was a wonderfully versatile album and fans of German prog would cer-tainly like it a lot. The important fact is that "Schmetterlinge" featured music written and performed for no less than a conceptual rock ballet! This album proved one of Joy Unlimited's ultimate masterpieces and has been also released in USA on the BASF label under the title "Butterflies“(English equivalent for "Schmetterlinge").
Following "Schmetterlinge” release, Joy Fleming left the band to pursue a solo career (which turned out pretty successful). Disappointed with this fact guitarist and one of the main songwriters Klaus Nagel dropped out as well, but the remaining quintet decided to keep on composing and performing music as Joy Unlimited so the American-born vocalist Ken Traylor has been called aboard to replace Joy. "Reflections", released in 1973 04 BASF, established the band as one of the leading German progressive acts. Here are no breathtaking stylistic diversity a-la "Schrnetterlinge“ – instead we get several excellent purely progressive tracks, reminiscent of Frumpy or Jane with the prominent horn-section added. Influences of folk, hard-rock and classical music has been mixed together to form a wonderful musical puzzle, very typical of the early 1970s progressive rock.
Traylor and Kindl left the band before its final album "Minne to be replaced with vocalist/guitarist Joschi Dinier, guitarist I-lans Lingenfelder 5 the returning Klaus Nagel. Once again released on BASF label, "Minne" (1974) signified the band's shift towards folk-prog, still they were far more competent on this field than many other German folk-prog groups. Yet one masterpiece from Joy Unlimited, this album contains several very tight and sophisticated tracks, departing from the rough heavy progressive rock of "Reflections". If "Schmetterlinge” is the most diverse Joy Unlimited's album ever and "Reflections" is the most energetic and rocking one, "Minne” could well serve as the most beautiful work the band ever recorded.
With the demise of this talented band German prog-rock scene lost one of its brightest representa-tives. Too bad Joy Unlimited hasn't got a wider recongnition in the time of their existence and even worse is that no their albums have been officially released on CD, while the original LPs has become very sought after. With this reissue you can dive into the wonderful world of the unlimited joy without pay-ing megabucks for the BASF LP. As brothers Freeman rightly put in their "Cosmic Dreams At Play" book, "Joy Unlimited were a constantly surprising and inventive band".



  2. Hey there! Tried to DL this and got this error:

    Server Failed
    This file is no longer available due to an unexpected server error. If you are the owner of this file, it will need to be re-uploaded.
    Please contact support if you require further assistance.

    Please fix! Thank you, and keep up THIS AWESOME WORK!!!