Monday, February 8, 2016

Apocalypse - 1969 - Apocalypse



01. Life Is Your Profession
02. Let It Die
03. Patricia
04. Milkman
05. Try To Please Me
06. Pictures Of My Woman
07. Linda Jones
08. Blowing In Blow
09. Track Reflections Of A Summer (Bonus)

Gerd Müller (vocals, guitar)
Enrico Lombardi (vocals, guitar)
Bernd Scheffler (vocals, percussion, drums)
Jürgen Drews (vocals, guitars)

1969 album recorded by band also known as Die Anderen which is once again is full of excellent harmony laden psychedelic pop with lush production from Giorgio Moroder (the brains behind Donna Summer's "I Feel Love") .The band had started to experiment more on this their second album as the opening 6 minute track "Life is Your Profession" showed.The whole album is obviously influenced by the more stoned end of the Beatles. Detailed booklet rounds of this interesting German outfit.

The roots of the German band Apocalypse, formerly known - in Germany - as Die Anderen (The Others or The Differents), lie in a talent show, the so-called "Beat-Band-Ball", that took place in Kiel's Ostseehalle in 1966. This was where Jürgen Drews (lead guitar, vocals) met the members of the winning band Chimes of Freedom Bernd Scheffler (drums, vocals), Enrico Lombardi (bass, vocals) und Gerd Müller (guitar, vocals).

In his excellent book "STARPALAST und Skinny Minny" a documentary of the 60s and 70s Beat Music scene in the Kiel area author Klaus Härtel writes of the formation of this internationally famous band from northern Germany.

Jürgen Drews was born 02.04.1948 in Schleswig. When he was 14 he became a banjo player in a jazz band called Snirpels and discovered beat music through the cover band Monkeys. After the "Beat-Band-Ball" Drews successfully asked to join Chimes of Freedom as their lead guitarist. After a while their manager decided to change the band's sound and name. A German band should have a German name - this was not typical of the times. The name Die Anderen was chosen and contact with record company Ariola's in-house producer Giorgio Moroder followed. Moroder produced 2 albums and some singles for them. The band was notable for having four excellent harmonious vocalists, a keenness to play, originality coupled with a total commitment to making money. But they still had a long way to go and there were problems with differing attitudes about the essence and purpose of their music.

However, Die Anderen got the opportunity to play on "Show Chance 67", a ZDF national television show in the section "singing groups with instrumental backing". This raised the band's profile within their record company after which the company were prepared to fulfil all the band's wishes and gave them a blank cheque. Germany's top producers and arrangers were at their disposal together with the best available session musicians and the best studio - Pye Record Studio in London. It was in the Pye studio in July 1968 they started recording four singles, three of which were written by Müller and Lombardi.

With pride the four heroes returned home to Kiel from London, Drew reminisces today, and soon realised that it would be difficult to have a career if they remained as they were - different. They were heralded by creative but broke young filmmakers. They sang in a ZDF produced TV film "Zwischen Beat und Bach" (Between Beat and Bach) and in another ZDF programme they were the choir in the Wagner Opera "Meistersinger".
Their album "Kannibal Komix", released in 1968 on Ariola, was a milestone. The US film producer George Moorse, who was living in Munich at the time, got hold of a copy of the LP. Using the album as a soundtrack he produced the ghost film "Das Haus in Weiß" (The House in White). The film was as chaotic as the Beatles' "Magical Mystery Tour" and as such reflected the times.
The real kick to their career came in Hamburg's Star Club. A group of American managers travelled to Hamburg hoping to sign a German group. They had the choice of Hamburg band Wonderland with ex-Rattle Achim Reichel and a hitherto unknown musician and ex-US Army sergeant organist Les Humphries or "Die Anderen". The boys got their first US record deal. Colossus Records released the band's debut American record, 1968, under the name "Apocalypse" (LHC 23). This second album, a year later was also released in America.
The band's US career was over before it could really begin. Colossus Records went bust, things were also not going according to plan. The two albums and five singles were released internationally and while there is no doubt the music was artistically valuable and excellently produced nobody wanted to buy it. On 28.12.1969 the band split after a final gig in their hometown Kiel. Jürgen Drews went to Rome and became a movie actor. He also recorded his first solo single before joining the Les Humphries Singers with whom he enjoyed success for 5 years. Following this he started his solo career with which he is still well received by the media.