Amon Duul II 1974 - Lemmingmania 2000
Originally released in 1974, 'Lemmingmania' is a compilation made up of, mostly rare AD II singles. Vocalist Renate Knaup's vocals are astounding, especially when guitarist Chris Karrer jumps in and shares the vocal duties with her. Brings to mind [sort of] like Germany's reply to Jefferson Airplane
The tracks here are all short, with nothing over about 5 minutes. Recorded in 1975, much of the music actually sounds even older, although this is mixed with some futuristic sounds, or at least they would have been at the time.
The opening track, "Archangels thunderbird" is one of the classic rock tracks. For me, the version on AD2's "Live in London" album is superior, but there are some excellent "dirty" guitar riffs here. Track 2, "Light" is something of a surprise, as it almost has a country feel. The vocals are light, with slide guitar backing.
There's certainly a good variety of styles on the album, the Led Zeppelin like sound of "Between the eyes", the Hawkwind ("In search of space" era) influenced "Jail-house frog" and "Soap shop rock", and even a Moody Blues harmonies tinged "Tables are turned". The high pitched vocal style, as on "Between the eyes" and "Green bubble rain-coated man" (great title!), is something of an acquired taste, but "All the years round" has a more pleasant female lead which has folk similarities.
There's not much in the way of prog here, most of the tracks being simply structured, but "Green bubble.." has an interesting time change midway, "Jail-house frog" manages to fit several different tunes (and some chanted choruses) into its 5 minutes, and the final (title) track, gathers pace as it develops. Indeed the title track is probably the most adventurous on the album, with what sounds like Mellotron made choral vocals, sax, and some good guitar work.
For those looking for the more indulgent, experimental AD2, "Lemmingmania" has little to offer. It is however a competent collection of tight, well performed compositions, with a few slightly more complex pieces, and plenty of the distinctive style for which the band were renown.
Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Archangel's thunderbird (3:30)
2. Light (3:48)
3. Between the eyes (2:24)
4. Green bubble raincoated man (5:04)
5. Tables are turned (3:34)
6. Rattlesnakeplumcake (3:16)
7. All the years round (4:07)
8. Jail-house frog (4:54)
9. Soap shop rock (3:41)
10. Lemmingmania (3:00)
Total Time: 37:18
Line-up / Musicians
- Dave Anderson / bass (1-9)
- D. Secundus Fichelscher / drums
- Karl-Heinz Hausmann / keyboards & electronics (5-7)
- Chris Karrer / acoustic & electric guitars, violin, Soprano sax, vocals
- Renate Knaup-Krötenschwanz / vocals
- Peter Leopold / drums, synthesizers (4)
- Lothar Meid / bass, vocals
- Falk U. Rogner / organ, synthesizers
- Shrat / bongos, vocals (1-9)
- John Weinzierl / acoustic & electric guitars, vocals
+ Jimmy Jackson / piano, choir organ (4-8)
- Olaf Kübler / backing vocals (8)
- Rolf Zacher / backing vocals (8)
Boxset/Compilation, released in 1975