So the end has come and it seems that Marina Records has saved the best compilation of In-Kraut recordings for last. Those who have heard the complete series can hear the over-weening US influence on German pop music of the 1960s and 1970s. Now I would not agree with the cover blurb hailing these songs as "mindblowing", but there is a lot more to like on this installment than on the previous two. And as with the first two, The In-Kraut Vol 3 comes with an attractive and informative booklet that tells the uninitiated about each of the featured musicians.
Now for the good, the bad, and the just plain execrable.
Out of twenty songs, there are actually ten that I enjoy to some degree. These include Daisy Clan's Glory Be, with its late '60s psych vibe; Hangman's Rope, which has the feel of a Cold Blood/Chicago hybrid; The Rainbow Orchestra's La Avispa which is strongly suggestive of Deodato in his Prelude/Deodato 2 period; an excellent German version of Sonny and Cher's The Beat Goes On that rivals the original; Heinz Kiessling's jazzy Drift; an equally jazzy take on the classic Fever; Frank and the Top Ten's Beach Bunny which evokes Herbie Mann; Adam and Eve's The Witch, featuring a pseudo-Latin beat and good only because of its hilarious deadpan lyrics; the suave jazz of Rolf Kuehn's Playmate; and Ingfried Hoffman's funky horn and organ powered instrumental Stroke It.
The bad include a retch-inducing instrumental cover of Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love; the repetitive shouting in the otherwise decent The Champ; Katja Ebstein's droll third-person cover of A Hard Day's Night; and Karl Schiller's awful stream-of-consciousness "song" High.
The execrable may leave you heaving so make sure your bathroom is unoccupied when you listen. These include My Soul Is Black, which features a cheesy mix of German and English lyrics; Peter Thomas Sound Orchestra's utterly silly and jejune The World Is Gone; Memphis Black's decidedly un-German piece of jivey schlock That's Me Boy; and the stinking piece of rot that qualifies as the worst song on the album, the 5th Dimension-like Butterflies Never Cry. That last piece makes Terry Jacks' Seasons In the Sun sound like a masterpiece of the avant-garde!
Despite uneven quality, the In-Kraut has been a fun series and is a musical window on a world that was soon to change forever with the advent of real German avant-garde recordings we classify today as Krautrock. If you like to experiment with what you listen to, then the In-Kraut series, particularly The In-Kraut Vol. 3 is worth a listen.