The Sentinel

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Tag Archives: 1971

Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band – When Big Joan Sets Up (Live in Detroit 15/01/1971)

This was pretty soon after the Captain and his band emerged form the house on Ensenada drive in the woodland hills, after spending 8 months cooped up (and in the case of the band members, imprisoned) rehearsing and recording the seminal ‘Trout Mask Replica’ album. As one can see in this performance, Don Van Vliet looks pretty well fed, whilst the rest of them look scrawny, wild eyed and manic. One can only imagine what it was like in that house, where the atmosphere must have been akin to living within an intense cult; but the stunning results are undeniable when one listens to the ‘Trout Mask Replica’ album, or to this gig where the band blast out tangles, intricate, hyped-up Avant-Rock of the highest order.


Faust – Miss Fortune

Faust’s debut album was a dizzying collage of avant-rock, noise, freak folk, and everything in between; it was certainly radical at the time, and would still unsteady the uninitiated to this very day. The third track, which covered the whole of side B, continued in this cut up style, and takes the listener on a journey through the 1971 German underground. One minute you feel like you’re walking through a beautiful meadow, only to suddenly be confronted by a hideous industrial structure belching smoke. Also, check the section where the band clearly took direct inspiration from the Velvet Underground’s ‘The Murder Mystery’.

Kraftwerk – Heavy Metal Kids

This is from the 1st phase of Kraftwerk, where they sounded like NEU! as imagined by Faust (the NEU! connection was obviously due to the fact that Klaus Dinger and Michael Rother were the rhythmic backbone of this incarnation). This is from some live material from 1971, about a year after they released their absolutely stunning debut album on Phillips; and is definitely in the same vein. Ralf Hütter was taking a break around this time, so this is essentially NEU! with Florian Schneider. (Kraut) Rock on!

Guru Guru – Meaning of Meaning

Some spaced out “hairy” Kraut from the bands 1971 album ‘Hinten’. This band are much maligned by the Kosmische elitists (all praise Can/Faust/NEU!/Cluster/Kraftwerk), but their early albums, whilst not reaching the heights of aforementioned A listers, are certainly not in the realms of Jane, Birth Control, et al. This is still more Kraut than Blues Rock etc. Dive in.

Rotary Connection – I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun

Stunning Psychedelic Soul from 1971 here. Rotary Connection were from Chicago, and were formed by Marshall Chess, son of Chess Records founder Leonard Chess. It is also of note that the receptionist of Chess records, a certain Minnie Ripperton, was one of the singers in this outfit.

Kraftwerk – Von Himmel Hoch

The last 2 and a half minutes of this track are the greatest 2 and a half minutes of music ever recorded; the first bulk of the track aint too shabby either.
This is from their 1970 debut album people; and shows a different side to the Kraftwerk that people are familiar with.
At this point, they were the pinnacle of ‘Krautrock’. Like Faust meets NEU!…..what can top that?

Can – Bring Me Coffee Or Tea (Live)

Here be a live version of the closing track from Can’s seminal album  (or at least ‘one’ of their seminal albums)’ Tago Mago’ (1971). This is an amazing, slinky bit of Krautrock with a really loose and jazzy feel.
This is the very first Can track that this reviewer heard; and it still has the same impact that it did on the first listen.
The drumming is stunning; and was standard work from human metronome Jaki Liebezeit.

The Undisputed Truth – Smiling Faces Sometimes

What a tune! Lush Soul music from the bands 1971 album ‘The Undisputed Truth’.

Marvin Gaye – Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)

Wonderful closer from Marvin’s 1971 classic ‘What’s Going On’ album. Beautiful, deep Soul music with those strings, horns; and that voice. Majestic.

Faust – Meadow Meal

Fantastic track from the Krautrock giants astonishing 1971 debut album. Garbled Freak Folk makes way for ludicrous Psych Rock with one of the most ridiculously upbeat guitar leads ever committed to vinyl. If this track doesn’t leave you with a grin, then you’re already dead.


Laurence Johns

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