Now look at the absolutely incredible cover for this record... and believe me when I say the music is equally astonishing and brilliant.
Zauberfinger are Hans Reffert (guitar, composition), Liese Kraus (vocals and text), Alfred Henning on bass, and Ralph Dietze on percussion with special guests, Dorle Ferber, and Rainer Herzog on pianos and synths, Franz Brandwein on slide guitar. Photo and cover are by Willi Holzel.
What we have here is a phenomenally strange progressive rock mixture, perhaps if you could imagine Gnidrolog time-machined up into the early eighties and given synths and an insane Dagmar Krause as lead singer. (Oh wait-- wasn't she already insane?) On the side of the cover we are given photos of the band with their very eighties crewcuts and pouty faces. Note the prototype ur-mullet on the lead composer who also sports alternating denim and jaguar-print shirts. As for Liese, she looks like an escapee from the Baader-Meinhof gang who abandoned radical communism for radical prog. Thank god because these folks make the art bears seem like right-wing bourgeois reactionaries in the musical creativity department -- you will note the incessant presence of tritones and dissonances that are the hallmark of prog.
The long song on Side B called Rock Suite is really remarkable, with its alternating fusiony and bluesy riffs with early alternative-like wailing. I divided it into three parts in order to make it easier to digest although there is virtually no break between the parts. (My powers of concentration are not equal to master shige's for the long tracks.) Just about every style of rock is reinterpreted or represented on this suite, whether pop or laid-back songs, rock, blues, fusion, punk, bluegrass, etc. Notice also the incredible virtuosity of the bassist Alfred Henning, his "magic-spell fingers" [zauberfinger] running over those frets faster than Charlie Sheen's on a hooker's --.
It's shocking how completely uncompromising these musicians were in the year 1980. It's as if all the wonderful progressive spirit still had all the future ahead of it in a gloriously complex-musical world. And we never cease to be surprised by German rock from the seventies and early eighties, I hope you all agree with me. Certainly, though it is entirely different, it is as brilliantly progressive in its own way as the popular Iviron I posted recently.
As sample I present to you the song "shy" which has such a unique descending chromatic melody to it, note the Rolling Stones-like slide guitar in the background, which becomes completely demented by the end of the song in a manner the 'glimmer twins' would never have done...
"Wish I knew what I am doing here
Think I'll go and get me another beer"
[From the song "Distortion"]