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Wolf City

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 22 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Revisited Records / SPV
  • ASIN: B000O78BEQ
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #17,442 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Surrounded By The Stars
2. Green Bubble Raincoated Man
3. Jail-House-Frog
4. Wolf City
5. Wie Der Wind Am Ende Einer Strasse
6. Deutsch Nepal
7. Sleepwalker's Timeless Bridge
8. Kindermörderlied
9. Mystic Blutsturz
10. DÃ1/4Ã1/4lirium

Product Description

The fifth Amon Düül II studio album, Wolf City, saw the light of day in September of 1972. While its predecessor, Carnival In Babylon, had, according to Karrer, still been produced “with revolvers drawn”, the recordings of Wolf City went off comparably peacefully. The same applied to the musical direction of the album, which sounded more song-oriented, not as multi-layered and more geared to Renate Knaup’s unusual vocal style. Even the sweeping improvisations of earlier days were a thing of the past, with only the seven-minute opener Surrounded By The Stars coming close to the playing time of their previous cuts. Atmospheric numbers such as Wie Der Wind Am Ende Einer Straße or the brief, avant-garde Deutsch Nepal were definite highlights of Amon Düül II’s creative oeuvre.

Amon Düül II, the second formation of this now legendary band, are one of the earliest and best known of the German experimental (Krautrock) bands. For the complete re-issue series of the Amon Düül II catalogue, the CDs will be released as remastered deluxe editions, with enhanced booklets, featuring new liner notes and photos.

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Format: Audio CD
I have in my collection every Amon Duul II officially released studio album. At least I think I do. I am also very much it to what has been termed "Krautrock", and have a large collection of those albums. This is my favorite Amon Duul album de jour. Tomorrow I might favor "Viva La Trance". Who knows? There are so many great ADII albums it's difficult to say sometimes which is the best one, actually.
The album starts of kind of traditional pop meets European pop meets progressive. Kind of. By the time side two starts (oops, I mean Track 4) you realize there is something more here. The synths start to get much louder in the mix, the arrangements get more free, and the mind starts to wander. And wonder .
Amon Duul II put out lots of records. Start with the early ones such as "Phallus Dei". You might not like these early albums too much. You might think there is too much hippy Krautrock improvisation. But you'll learn their musical vocabulary. Then you'll be hooked. And you'll hear things in their music that not many other inexperienced listeners will hear. And you'll realize that Amon Duul II is one of the greatest bands ever to come out of Germany in its Psychedelic heyday (which was the late 60s to mid 70s, by the way). Enjoy.
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Format: Audio CD
I've always loved the "Krautrock" of the '70s. This album, along with Can's Future Days, stands as my favourite example of that psychedelic waywardness. Every track has something interesting going on, whether it's the experimental synth work, odd rhythmic touches, the great riffs, or Renate's other worldly vocals, but the standout is Sleepwalker's Timeless Bridge: the reverbed guitar, the tabla percussion, the serpentine bass, the transition to the vocal melody at 2:50, or, and perhaps, yes - definitely - the transcendent mellotron coda that literally sends shivers down your spine.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9e9dfc84) out of 5 stars 32 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e6e981c) out of 5 stars An emphasis on shorter pieces and glorious melodies Jan. 3 2006
By Jeffrey J.Park - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The most noticeable difference between this 1972 release and classic albums like Phallus Dei (1969), Yeti (1970), and Tanz der Lemminge (1971) is the shift from lengthy "freak outs" to shorter pieces that emphasize melody and harmony. In fact, most of the seven pieces on Wolf City are in the 3-6 minute range with only Surrounded by Stars reaching 8 minutes in length. I for one do not mind the change at all because it turns out that Amon Duul II was just as good at writing shorter pieces as they were at writing the longer pieces. The major selling point for me on Wolf City is the haunting, drifting melodies that are developed on this album - they are simply wonderful and make me forget the pieces are only a few minutes long. Furthermore, the interesting thing (and this is really clever) is that spacey, instrumental preludes and interludes are worked in here and there to create the illusion of a larger piece. The use of loads of synthesizers does not hurt either. All in all, this is a very good album that is recommended along with Carnival in Babylon (1972) which is somewhat similar.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e6e9a68) out of 5 stars More acessible Amon Dull II but also supreme!!! Sept. 19 2005
By PortugueseMusicFan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
These ahead-of-their-time germans made several masterpieces of underground rock, half-progressive half-psychedelic, each of them a unique scented experience... Wolf City, envolved in a disturbing art cover, remind us something lost in the mysteries of ancient cities, a pagan Xanadu with strange rites, remind us how human is fear... Renate Knaup is a bit sweeter here, as in "Surrounded by the Stars", the acid entrance to this album; the atmosphere is still weird with the use of keyboards (especially the choir-like one - maybe a Mellotron?!) giving the dreamy touch, used in a particularly manner; the inner design making part of the music, in a Max Ernst way of contrasting elements taken from diverse places, a collage serving as a complement of the music... Well, I wish I could visit Wolf City personally just to see this really exist!!! ANOTHER MUST!!!
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e6e9ca8) out of 5 stars The Best Jefferson Airplane Album That JA NEVER Made!! Feb. 17 2005
By P. McKenna - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
If there is a disc in which the words psychedelic and brilliant can and should be used together, this tasty offering from Amon Duul II is most definitely it!

This band never met a sound or musical style it didn't like at the time this was produced, and as always, they managed to cook up a heady psychedelic brew of rock, folk, experimental and prog stylings with rich vocals, trippy atmospheres and haunting melodies plus their every whacky miles left of center humor.

Not one bad track on here, but I have to say my favorites are the title cut and "Sleepwalkers Timeless Bridge" which ends with one of the spookiest Mellotron passages you ever heard in your life!

If only Jefferson Airplane dared to get this ambitious and really stretch themselves (they did get dangerously close on some parts of "Crown of Creation"). In the end, AD II came out the clear winner for a time.

Highly recommended.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e6e9f24) out of 5 stars 34 minute epic Jan. 11 2010
By Steve Zubal - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This 34 min. epic is the crowning achievement of this awesome band. (I feel the participants would agree!) Each song is a masterpiece all to itself...On the reverse of the original album cover a note: "Recorded Bavaria Studios In The Sun Of July 72" indicates the state of bliss the group was enjoying. ................. There are 5 lead vocalist, 6 songs with lyrics, and one of the best instrumentals all time.....You may find yourself in a strange place...thinking...mabye I'm locked in some type of zoo...You might catch a glimpse of Jimi Hendrix or Brian Jones looking through the bars...for now you are "SURROUNDED BY THE STARS".....A Poisen cup of tea offered by the "GREEN-BUBBLE-RAINCOATED-MAN"...thrusts you into delirum...your snoring so loud it sounds like sawing wood...Awake! "JAIL HOUSE FROG"...tell us of your dreams...You have entered "WOLF CITY"...Now trip through time on the back of an elephant "WIE DER WIND AM EINER STRASSE"...thru the Himalayas you journey to "DEUTSCH NEPAL"...where a far afield military commander grunts orders...a megalomanic in the middle of nowhere...All this time you've been asleep...you cross the "SLEEPWALKERS TIMELESS BRIDGE"...and your back in the park by the river, where you were before all this happened...Strait people will never know!...You fill your mind with the day.....Want more?..."WHAT YOU GONNA DO" (an almost radio accessable song) is the first song on WOLF CITYs sister album "UTOPIA"...(leftovers from the WOLF CITY recording sessions released in '73 under a 'band-name' Utopia then 10 years later in '82 as A.D.2). Mainly for completist "UTOPIA" does have an alternate version of "DEUTSCH NEPAL" featuring Renate Knaups' vocal. Her reading of the lyric is hilarious to me, I like it better, though it does'nt fit the mystique of WOLF CITY, where the menacing vocal of Rolf Zacher is perfect. John Weinzierl, Lothar Meid and D. Secundus Fichelscher are the other lead vocalists on this unique album...(what other albums feature 5 lead vocalists?) Moody Blues if you include the poems are all I can think of. Chris Karrer has no lead vocal on this disc, but listen to him shred his violin on trk.1 (the song would'nt be the same without it)...lead gtr. trk.2...then wail the sax on trk.3...(virtuoso and/or sick!) Falk U. Rogner provides ingenious synthesizer effects and of course the artwork for the cover. Guests include Peter Leopold, Peter Kramper, Jimmy Jackson and many more. ...... The bonus tracks are newer recordings (nothing special). "KINDERMODERLIED" is a keyboard oriented version of "DEM GUTEN,SCHONEN,WAHREN" from PHALLUS DEI 6:02 "MYSTIC BLUTSTURZ" features strange vocalizations and wording by Renate with keyboard/bass/drum machine music 10:13 "DUULIRIUM" is humorous and in an almost pop format...Renate sings John plays gtr. If you listen to the song "DIE LOSUNG" from the 1989 AMON DUUL 3/UK album, you will notice a simaler gtr. rythm which John also plays. 4:24 WOLF CITY is simaler to "CARNIVAL IN BABYLON"(also '72) track 2 of both begin with voice before music, there the simalarity ends. "HI JACK"(1974) attempts to rekindle the summer '72 bliss, it falls short, but it does have 2 more songs and is 11 mins. longer and has its own unique charm. (Lothar Mied returns) Its my 2nd favourite, though most fans would probably place "VIVE LA TRANCE"(1973) 2nd or even 1st. ..... Also there is a newer version of "SURROUNDED BY THE STARS" appearing as a bonus track on "NADA MOONSHINE #"(1995) and "FLAWLESS"('97) and a live version on "LIVE IN TOKYO"('96) which also has "WOLF CITY" and "DEUTSCH NEPAL" in the set. "GREEN-BUBBLE-RAINCOATED-MAN" recorded live '73 appears on "BBC RADIO 1 LIVE IN CONCERT" and "MANANNA". Theres a live version of "WHAT YOU GONNA DO" on "FLAWLESS". ... AMON DUUL 2s most expiremental period was their first three albums '69-'71 and to many these will always be favorite's, I can respect that (check out the DVD AMON DUUL PLAYS PHALLUS DEI to whitness the bands origin, it"ll clear things up)...... For me WOLF CITY has probably been my most frequent listen since April '96 after working all night and in a stoned trying to stay awake slumber I journyed to WOLF CITY and...(reread earlier text). This is mainly a daytime album, as opposed to "YETI"('70) which is a great nightime full moon album mostly. For some reason I like to hear WOLF CITY on Thursday's its a mystery.............................. Daniel Fichelscher departed AMON DUUL 2 to join POPOL VUH appearing on albums from '73s "SELIGPREISUNG" to '95s "City Raga" sometimes with Renate Knaup as vocalist. They both returned to record "VORTEX"('81). More of a reunion than a reformation, Lothar Meid and John Weinzierl appear as guests, so all the major players from WOLF CITY are there. (don't miss this one its a Halloween album). Nothing exceeds the completeness of WOLF CITY in the entire underground music world. Comparable to DARK SIDE OF THE MOON in that its more accessable than its predicestors and more inventive than what followed. AMON DUUL 2 were never about the MONEY, they never had a hit, so unlike Floyd they stayed underground. ...... Like the great pyramid WOLF CITY stands with few peers. The sound quality on this release seems to have the EQ expanded which makes it noticeably louder than the 1997 edition, but thats it! Both sound better than the original vinyl (which had a sorta' dolby on...muffled...dull sound) as did "CARNIVAL IN BABYLON". Is there a quad mix out there? Does anyone know? The soundscape of this album comes alive when played LOUD. If you want something more medatative buy '72s "HOSIANNA MANTRA" by POPOL VUH...more instrumental with some vocals buy '73s "WE KEEP ON" or '74s "SURFIN" by EMBRYO...These are my three favorite German bands...Summer '82 was my first expirence with "Purple-Ringers", I drank a lil' to much...one of my more profound halucinations that night was when the guy who showed me how to potinize the juice Bill, turned pea green and began to bubble like hot mud...One more reason I identify so well with this music that I never heard until a dozen years later. Escape the 1984 paranoia...take a trip to WOLF CITY...the freak show comes free when you buy the CD..."Don't Forget Your High", "Don't Believe Your T.V. Screen", "Don't Lose The Sun Cause You Need Fun"
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e6e9dbc) out of 5 stars Another high-point for Amon Duul II April 24 2006
By BENJAMIN MILER - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
By 1972, Amon Duul II was starting to record more accessible, song-based material, probably in the hopes of selling more copies, as Carnival in Babylon demonstrated. Later the same year comes Wolf City, which improves on everything they did on their previous album, including bringing back some of the experiments found on early albums, while sticking to this new shorter time constraint. Falk U. Rogner had returned for this album and he started to include synthesizers, which I thought was a welcomed addition to the band's sound, and Jimmy Jackson was back with the choir organ (sounds like a Mellotron choir, but apparently holds those chords indefinately, unlike the Mellotron). Renate Knaupe has her time to shine on "Surrounded by the Stars" and "Green-Bubble-Raincoated-Man". The former has a strong, early Pink Floyd-like feel, but it's full of strange electronic effects and cool analog synth sounds. "Green-Bubble-Raincoated-Man" is a bit more on the pop-oriented side, but without forsaking the psychedelic sound. "Jail-House-Frog" is an example of the band bringing back some of their early experiments, especially the second half, with the piano, choir organ, and strange sound effects. The title track is a more aggressive rocker, while "Wie der Wind am Ende Einer Strasse", despite the German title, has a strong Indian feel to it, complete with sitar and tabla, and some really interesting use of synthesizer. "Deutsch Nepal" is more rocking, with vocals in German. The last song, "Sleepwalker's Timeless Bridge" starts off not sounding too far removed from Carnival in Babylon, but then it ends up reminding me of Gong, especially because the male vocalist here reminds me of Daevid Allen.

What certainly can't be denied here is the band is more solid than ever before. It's a must-have album, my only complaint is it's too short (something you can't say of Tanz der Lemminge or Yeti).