Amon Düül II 1973 Utopia [rem 2000] progrock ,Krautrock


Here's another Amon Duul II (?!) album - oh, wait a minute - it could be a Lothar Meid solo effort - or, Utopia !! I remember seeing LP's of this lumped in with others by Todd Rundgren's band of the same name - same prices as those common records, too. The songs on this album sound very close to ADII, and the quality is as good. I don't understand why this release isn't favoured here at PA, it features many of the traits which made the 'Mothership' so exciting. The first track 'What You Gonna Do' is a straight-ahead rocker, with Renate Knaup singing, always nice to hear her distinctive voice. 'Wolf-Man Jack Show' is a weird song, with Jimmy Jackson at the mysterious 'Choir Organ' (giving off a stranger sound than Mellotron choirs), which he actually utilised on many tracks to good effect. The Bass riff here is almost snatched straight from Beatlers' 'Come Together', played German style. 'Alice' is a sweet love song. The tune itself is care-free and up-lifting, and has Lothar playing Mellotron flutes. I can't help but be reminded of Kevin Ayers on this one. 'Las Vegas' is a hippy-sounding jam with congas, jazzy sax playing and a nose-flute !!

'Deutsch Nepal' is a re-make of the song of the same name from 'Wolf City'. It's heavy sound and strange 'vocal' from guest Rolf Zacher makes it an excellent example of Krautrock. 'Utopiat No.1' is another hippy jam (strikingly similar to 'Las Vegas') but features those searing organs from Jimmy Jackson and Falk Rogner too, Olaf Kubler toying around with a Moog Synth, and bizarre echoed vocals from Meid. Man, I love this stuff. 'Nasi Goreng' is a Hammond-heavy instrumental with strong melodies, and light oriental moments (of course, with a title like that). The album finishes up with 'Jazz-Kiste', probably the master-piece composition of the album - starring Passport's Christian Schulze on electric-piano and Embryo’s Edgar Hoffman playing amazing 'wah-wah' soprano sax almost throughout. Overall, this 'Utopia' is not a revolutionary extravaganza, but I find its contents worthwhile and satisfying.

Track list:
1. What You Gonna Do (6:37)
2. The Wolf-Man Jack Show (5:05)
3. Alice (3:06)
4. Las Vegas (4:25)
5. Deutsch Nepal (3:08)
6. Utopia No. 1 (4:00)
7. Nasi Goreng (5:33)
8. Jazz-Kiste (5:30)
bonus in this release :
09 Surrounded By The Stars
10 Dancing On Fire
11 Deutsch Nepal / Rolf Zacher Voc.
12 Goldrush
13 Star Eyed
14 Dr. Stein

Utopia biography

In 1973 AMON DÜÜL split up over a quarrel that included threats with revolvers and knives. One half set off to record "Wolf City", the other half formed Utopia with a few other musicians. During the recording sessions of "Wolf City" and "Utopia" though the members of AMON DÜÜL II made peace again, which ended with the whole AMON DÜÜL II gang playing on both records. Nevertheless Utopia should be seen as a completely independent project (although their only album was re-issued under the name AMON DÜÜL II for commercial reasons in the 80s).


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