Exposé Online banner

Abacus — Everything You Need
(Spectrum 550 383-2, 1972/1995, CD)

by Mike Ohman, Published 1995-11-01

Everything You Need Cover art

In the early seventies in Germany, there seemed to be three subsections of progressive rock: 1) the "Berlin school" of electronic space rock forming the basis for the Ohr label; 2) heavy, Hammond-organ orientated rock like Wind and Frumpy; and 3) bands like Karthago, Cherubin and Scaramouche, which were basically straightforward rock bands incorporating some prog tendencies. It is the latter category into which Abacus fall. Abacus were a German-based quintet whose style was primarily mainstream seventies rock with touches of progressive rock. Abacus definitely have a one-up on their peers in the vocal department thanks to British-born singer / lyricist Chris Williams. His voice is clear and has good diction, his lyrics, while not often original, are at least lucid. But as far as complexity goes, not to mention musical sophistication, Abacus fall far short. While it's clear the band consists of talented players, keyboardist Chris Barutzky and guitarist Charly Schade, the uninspired compositions don't adequately demonstrate their capabilities. One can't help but to expect a bit more from an album containing five tracks, one twenty minutes in length. But that long title piece is virtually just five shorter songs strung together as a suite. Still, there are some promising moments. The "Paranoia Agency" section of the title track features some quirky dissonances and complex rhythms, which make it among the most interesting moments of the album. Also, the short "Ivan Hood the White Knight" has a light, mediaeval flair, reminding me a bit of Genesis. But overall, the album is purely mainstream rock, possibly comparable to pre-glam Bowie or the Steve Miller Band.


Filed under: Reissues, Issue 8, 1995 releases, 1972 recordings

Related artist(s): Abacus

Latest news

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart $amp; Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Lambert and Nuttycombe - At Home – Been waiting a long long time for this gem to arrive on CD. Craig Nuttycombe and the late Denis Lambert got their start as a folk duo in the Los Angeles area after years of playing in a number of...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues