Exposé Online banner

Tyburn Tall — Tyburn Tall
(Garden of Delights 011, 1972/1999, CD)

by Mike Ohman, Published 1996-08-01

Tyburn Tall Cover art

From Speyer, Germany, Tyburn Tall were together from 1969 to 1975. During that time they became a well-respected live band, acting as opening act for name European groups such as Golden Earring, Space Odetty (who became Frumpy), Renaissance, Amon Düül II, Taste, East of Eden, Hardin & York, Kin Ping Meh, and Nine Days Wonder. Obviously, some Germans have strong memories of them, which is part of the reason why the band's only LP is so sought-after. Also, that one album was issued privately by the band in only 1000 copies, 500 of which were destroyed in a fire. As such, it has not only become rare and expensive, but also legendary. At the time of making this album, Tyburn Tall were a quintet of keyboards (mostly organ, or perhaps I mean ORGAN!!!), guitar, bass, drums, and vocals. Organist Reinhard Magin, who apparently had just joined at the time of this release, gives the album most of its personality. He uses the deep, growling, hot-wired-preamp sound favored by the Hammond organists of the day, in Germany particularly. He is also quite an impressive player, as displayed on the solo rendition of Bach's famous "Tocatta and Fugue in D-Minor" at the beginning of "War Game" and over the fast, complex rhythmic changes of "I Am America Too" (with lyrics based on the Lagnston Hughes poem). Unfortunately, there are too many pedestrian hard-rock passages in which he's not given much more to do than comp very loudly in foursquare style. Then there's vocalist Klaus Fresenius, whose vocal range I would be very impressed with if he weren't so damned annoying. His voice can go from dramatic deep vibrato-laden low-range tenor to high-pitched screaming maniac faster than you can say Axl Rose. Nowhere is this more evident than on the ten-minute "In the Heart of the Cities (Broken People)," the better part of which features Fresenius screeching away like a bird of prey. He almost makes "War Game" and "I Am America Too" unlistenable, fortunately the strong music stands up. He behaves himself for all 17 minutes of "Strange Days Hiding," which (while there aren't a lot of cool meter shifts like in "I Am America Too") is probably the album's high point. The master tapes of this album were lost, so this had to be recorded on DAT from mint vinyl, then transferred to tape using Cedar's "No Noise." Some quiet passages on the long organ intro reveal some awfully loud hiss, otherwise the sound is superb. Two live bonus tracks, both covers of Colosseum songs, have less than stellar sound, but are strong performances anyway.


Filed under: Reissues, Issue 10, 1999 releases, 1972 recordings

Related artist(s): Tyburn Tall

Latest news

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more

2018-06-13
Jon Hiseman RIP – One of the great drummers of the rock era has died. Jon Hiseman was a veteran of such ground-breaking groups as Colosseum (I and II), Tempest, John Mayal's Bleusbreakers, and was a founding member of the innovative large band United Jazz + Rock Ensemble. » Read more

2018-06-05
Koenjihyakkei Seeks Funding for New Album – It's been quite a few years since the last new studio album by the amazing Koenjihyakkei. Now they are preparing Dhormimviskha for worldwide release, and they're asking fans to pre-order via a Kickstarter campaign to help it happen. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Grosskopf, Baltes, Heilhecker - Sunya Beat - The Jelenia Gora Sessions – Ricochet Dream sponsors an annual gathering of Tangerine Dream fans and bands. In 2004 the Ricochet Gathering occurred in Jelenia Gora, Poland and Sunya Beat's performance is captured on this CD....  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues