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Grobschnitt — Jumbo
(Brain 602537651115, 1975/2015, CD)

by Mike Ohman, Published 1998-02-01

Jumbo Cover art

At last available, one of Grobschnitt's touchstone symphonic albums, and (until now) one of the missing links of their 70s plateau (Merry-Go-Round is the other — it still eludes CD reissue). It is quite the symphonic-rock treat. Keyboardist Volker "Mist" Kahrs really comes into his own here, it's the first Grobschnitt album to feature his playing and soloing extensively (he joined for the first time on their previous album, Ballermann, but there he mainly played chordal organ fills). His instrumentation has expanded as well, incorporating more synthesizers and Mellotron. Also given an expanded role is drummer Eroc, who adds some profound humor to proceedings, with "hysterical" voices here and there. He also adds some exquisite electronic effects, notably to the beginning of "Sunny Sunday's Sunset." On the whole, definite growth has been shown since Ballermann, and while it's not conceptual, I actually prefer this to the beloved Rockpommel's Land. Note that this includes both the English version of the album as well as the much harder to find German version. It was my first time hearing the German version, and since I am sure others also have probably heard only the English version, there are profound differences between the two versions. The music is the same, but the vocals (in particular Eroc's silly voices) differ a good deal, and the closing track, "Auf Wiedersehen," is completely different. For some reason, hearing the German version is something of a revelation.

Filed under: Reissues, Issue 14, 2015 releases, 1975 recordings

Related artist(s): Grobschnitt


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