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Thread: Featured album: Birth Control - Hoodoo Man

  1. #1
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Featured album: Birth Control - Hoodoo Man

    http://www.progarchives.com/progress...17112017_r.jpg

    Birth Control - Hoodoo Man

    BC.jpg

    Tracks Listing:
    1. Buy! (7:10)
    2. Suicide (6:16)
    3. Get down to your fate (7:58)
    4. Gamma ray (9:44)
    5. Hoodoo man (8:25)
    6. Klaustoß (2:40)


    Line-up:
    - Bruno Frenzel / guitar, vocals
    - Wolfgang Neuser / organ, keyboards, synth, church organ, vibraphone
    - Bernd Koschmidder / bass
    - Bernd Noske / drums, percussion, vocals
    With:
    - George Mac Knickerick / bagpipes
    - Peter Föller / vocals (11)
    - Peter Engelhardt / guitar (10,11)
    - Sascha Kühn / keyboards (10,11)
    - Cyborg Haines / bass (10)
    - Sascha Delbrouck / bass (11)


    Here is what AussieByrdBrother (AKA Michael H) had to say about it on ProgArchives
    Despite showing plenty of instrumental flair and smaller moments of musical ambition on their first two albums, Birth Control's third release, 1972's `Hoodoo Man', is where everything really started to come together for the group. Although a lot of the music was still bookended with vocal sections that simply provided a launching pad for frenetic and thrilling instrumental jams/improvisations, `Hoodoo Man' was one of their first albums to really start implementing progressive rock elements, perhaps in part due to new keyboard player Wolfgang Neuser. There's a very cool variety of combinations of the musicians playing off each-other, and along with a more expansive production, lengthier instrumental runs and more clever and exciting arrangements, the band delivered their best album to date.

    Opener `Buy!' is all Bruno Frenzel's heavy plodding guitar riffs and Wolfgang's Hammond organ blasts with a trademark roaring vocal from lead singer/drummer Bernd Noske. You get a brisk up- tempo middle of spiralling synths/moogs with a chilled-out dusty bluesy guitar come-down before a thrashing finale. Although Bruno takes the lead vocals of `Suicide' in slightly uncomfortable English, some sprightly drumming and upbeat Hammond organ liveliness brings some infectious jazzy vibes for almost a touch of the English Canterbury bands. A Genesis-like charge races as if a battle-cry throughout `Get Down To Your Fate', and the extended jam in the middle delivers everything from rippling electric piano runs, E.L.P-style Hammond organ fury and serrated Black Sabbath-like guitar throttle.

    Frequently driven by a variety of relentless percussion, `Gamma Ray' unleashes with all manner of Hammond organ slinging (jaunty and playful like Beggars Opera one second, swirling and attacking the next) and exhausting heavy, dirty and smouldering wailing guitar grooves. Especially nice is the lusty panning distortion and splintering guitar assault in the middle jam, an unhinged vocal from Bernd and Bernd Koschmidder's bass that seductively purrs away throughout. Be sure to listen out for the scat vocalizing with call-and-response fiery guitar fill duelling in the final minutes! The gutsy rocker title track brings plenty of danger and intensity. Dominated by a stomping beat over hell-bound brooding Hammond, the band show more daring than ever before with a psychedelic treated vocal from Bernd, ghostly creeping piano and even some booming and malevolent gothic organ! After that, you can probably skip the final two minute closer `Kaulstoss', a whimsical little album filler that has the band zipping through a Scottish bagpipe tune.

    The next album `Rebirth' a year later would see the band growing even more in confidence and maturity, starting to move away from the more obvious Hammond-driven elements, so it just makes `Hoodoo Man' all the more special. If you like those early heavy Hammond-drenched proto prog bands like Atomic Rooster, Rare Bird and Bodkin, etc, this album is even more adventurous than most of them. A charismatic frontman, highly-skilled musicians and killer tunes - what more could you ask for?! The band had plenty more great albums to come, but this one is one of their best, and definitely my own personal favourite!




    Last edited by Trane; 2 Weeks Ago at 08:42 AM.
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  2. #2
    Member Monet's Avatar
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    As an album that consists of groovy, classic heavy-rock songs, "Hoodoo Man" is Birth Control’s highest rated record and regarded by many as a milestone in German heavy-rock music. In my humble opinion, a slightly overrated album with the songs that are not passing the test of time, except that heavy-rock anthem "Gamma Ray" and powerful opener" Buy!". "Suicide" revealed that Birth Control had obviously listened a lot of The Doors, since they rip off the bass chord from "Light My Fire", the song that they already had covered on s/t debut (1970). "Klaustoß" is apparently a filler with a needless folk dancing theme. I mean, "Hoodoo Man" is not a bad record by any means, could be worth hearing by geeked listeners of the early 70's churchy organ driven heavy-rock, but all in all mediocre.

  3. #3
    It's Ok.

    But as with many other West-German rock acts of the day, there's simply too much direct "influence" here from heroes of the Anglophones. Deep Purple (in particular), Cactus, Captain Beyond and so on.

    Plastic People, when they go "symph", is fairly fine. Charming, at least. And those lengthy tunes on the live album have some tense moments of energy to them reminding of jam-band dynamics as with Man or (early) Wishbone Ash. But altogether if I want epic German hard rock I'll grab for Frumpy, the first Epitaph album, Gomorrha or even that debut Wind.

    Or, internationally, Golden Earring etc.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
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  4. #4
    Casanova TCC's Avatar
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    I've been listening to their discography and this one is still on the top.

    Good Call Trane!
    Last edited by TCC; 2 Weeks Ago at 10:57 AM.
    Pura Vida!.

    There are two kinds of music. Good music, and the other kind. ∞
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  5. #5
    Probably my favourite Birth Control. I agree that it's ok-to-good and not GREAT, but it's fun if you're in the mood for some dirty-ass organ rock.

  6. #6
    For me, the best of Phase I of the band, and a marked improvement over Operation. I agree they were pretty derivative; the Deep Purple and Doors influences have already been remarked upon, but I have the sneaking suspicion that they owned a copy of that first Bloodrock LP that they wore the grooves out of, and which they cribbed a lot of their early sound from. Bernd Noske even sounds a lot like Jim Rutledge, though I personally think that Nossi was a much better and more versatile singer (“Sable and Pearl” proves that Rutledge should not attempt to sing ballads—EVER!).
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  7. #7
    Member Mythos's Avatar
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    Back in the day, this was one of my fav BC albums as well, not sure how it has held up, I'll check it out on YouTube...

  8. #8
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    There guys had the tackiset and provicative album covers in theur days... in a land where tackyness rock illustration was almost a religion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    It's Ok.
    But as with many other West-German rock acts of the day, there's simply too much direct "influence" here from heroes of the Anglophones. Deep Purple (in particular), Cactus, Captain Beyond and so on.

    Plastic People, when they go "symph", is fairly fine.
    Yeah, I like the dirty Hammond dominated rock of the times.

    Actually I don't really get into their more Symph albums like Plastic People, Backdoor Increase (they sound less convincing, IMHO)

    Quote Originally Posted by Warthur View Post
    Probably my favourite Birth Control. I agree that it's ok-to-good and not GREAT, but it's fun if you're in the mood for some dirty-ass organ rock.
    Yup, I prefer Hoodoo to Operation because it's more evened-out whereas Operation has got their best moments.

    Quote Originally Posted by Progbear View Post
    For me, the best of Phase I of the band, and a marked improvement over Operation. I agree they were pretty derivative; the Deep Purple and Doors influences have already been remarked upon, but I have the sneaking suspicion that they owned a copy of that first Bloodrock LP that they wore the grooves out of, and which they cribbed a lot of their early sound from.
    Something tells me that if I must have only one Bloodrock album, it should be the double live.
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

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    I never got into their earlier stuff but I like "Plastic People" a whole lot and the first half of "Backdoor Possibilities" is pretty good in my view. However, the second half just peters out to jumbled noise, as the one Gnosis review points out. I like the symph sound better than the organ dominated sound that was wearing thin to my ears at that point.

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  11. #11
    Love most the 70s Birth Control. This is one of my top three.

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    I love this album. So much better than Operation but I have a special place in my heart for Plastic People. Excellent band!!!
    Prog's Not Dead

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trane View Post
    There guys had the tackiset and provicative album covers in theur days... in a land where tackyness rock illustration was almost a religion.
    The tunes sound good, but gawd that is a gross-out album cover. Could you imagine bringing this LP home as a 14 year old, and your mother seeing it??!

    I'm looking forward to this no longer being the featured album so I don't have to view it anymore!

  14. #14
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arturs View Post
    The tunes sound good, but gawd that is a gross-out album cover. Could you imagine bringing this LP home as a 14 year old, and your mother seeing it??!
    And this is only about their third most repulsive cover...
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  15. #15
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arturs View Post
    I'm looking forward to this no longer being the featured album so I don't have to view it anymore!
    TBH, I chose this BC album a bit because of its cover and that's my way of doigt.gif to google's puritan BS.

    as for being retrieved, it depends on how quick Cozy will post his next featured album.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Triscuits View Post
    And this is only about their third most repulsive cover...
    I found this one a bit funny, actally, compared to their first two albums' artworks
    if memory serves, the debut's original sleeve was a garbage that you opened and there wazs a foetus in the bottom
    the second one doesn't make sense, since it's an attack on religion and the praying mantis eating babies under the pope's benediction, when religions are about making as many kids as possible, not killing them
    Last edited by Trane; 1 Week Ago at 04:15 AM.
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Triscuits View Post
    And this is only about their third most repulsive cover...
    The cover reminds me on some US cartoonist, whose name I can't remember.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rarebird View Post
    The cover reminds me on some US cartoonist, whose name I can't remember.
    Maybe Kevin “KAL” Kallaugher? https://www.pulitzer.org/finalists/k...her-freelancer

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Monet View Post
    No, defenitly not.
    Found it and it is Robert Crumb
    Last edited by Rarebird; 1 Week Ago at 06:25 AM.

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