Sunday, February 28, 2010

Improved Sound Limited - Improved Sound Limited (Ger 1971)

Improved Sound Limited - Improved Sound Limited (Ger 1971)

Formed: 1961, Nürnberg, Bayern, Germany

* Lothar "Johnny" Fickert (vocals, percussion),
* Axel Linstädt (vocals, guitar, keyboards),
* Uli Ruppert (bass),
* Rolf Gröschner (drums).

Also Known As: The Blizzards, Condor

Tracks :
01. Doctor Bob Dylan
02. Pink Hawthorn
03. Johanna
04. If You Want To
05. Oedipus
06. Fudd McGorges
07. Thingamannalime
08. An Old Army Poem
09. Where Will The Salmon Spawn
10. To My Son
11. Shining brightly in the sun
12. It is you (You Belong To Me)
13. Columbines, Violets And Daisies
14. I Am The Wolf
15. A Well-Respected Man
16. Drunken Mr. Hyde
17. A Soldier's Songbook
18. ...

When IMPROVED SOUND LIMITED recorded their eponymous double LP with the renowned label Liberty/United Artists in 1971 the young Nuremburgers (all born in 1947) already had a colourful musical past behind them...They started, in 1961, with skiffle music and after a modern jazz phase and under the influence of the rising rock scene they settled with rock and pop music. Before this they were called The Blizzards and during their school holidays in August 1965 were German pop singer Roy Black's backing band playing Elvis, Cliff Richard and Roy Orbison songs. When Black recorded "Du bist nicht allein" (You’re not alone) the boys decided he was and took a new direction. The timing, 1966, was perfect as Bayerischer Rundfunk (Bavarian Radio) held a competition called "Meet the Beat" with 80 bands. IMPROVED SOUND LIMITED won and were able to record a single of their winning song "It Is You" b/w "We Are Alone" for Polydor. New doors were opened for the band after winning the rock competition. At the time, society figures often hired rock bands for weddings, which is how IMPROVED SOUND LIMITED met Munich film producer Rob Houwer who put them in touch with director Michael Verhoeven. With a demo presentation the band won a competition to record the soundtrack to his film "Engelchen macht weiter hoppe-hoppe Reiter". The music was released as an LP in 1969 on Cornet. This was IMPROVED SOUND LIMITED’s breakthrough.In the following years they recorded for many other films and in 1969 they released another single on Polydor called "Sing Your Song" b/w "Marvin Is Dead". 10 years after they began their musical careers they released their double LP "Improved Sound Limited" which now appears on CD for the first time (mixing and mastering: Jörg Scheuermann). In a lucid review the Improved musicians were called "Rock Old-timers". This, at first glance disrespectful description of the young musicians turned out with further reading to be a sign of respect. The LP was a stylistic curriculum vitae of 23 year old Rock Old-timers, 10 years live experience in smoky cellars and bars between Bochum and Radolfzell pressed into grooves. A prominent feature of the record production, amazing musical skills aside, was the depth of experience that the band had gained through playing live and in the studio. IMPROVED SOUND LIMITED achieved a perfect blend of spontaneity and creativity together with modern recording techniques: "This album has been recorded with a high level of professional ability". Every note, every word stands on its own: Axel Linstädt wrote the music and his brother Bernd wrote the words. Even the production work, for which bands like the Rolling Stones or the Beatles engage international stars like Jimmy Miller, George Martin or Phil Spector, was done by the band themselves. This is why the sound of the double album, with all its various styles is unmistakable. Music and text are one unit, they compliment and interpret each other and mirror the musicians' consciousness. The individual lyrics deal with issues their authors were concerned with, yet never become pedantic routine but rather rock to listen and to dance to. Maybe it's this profanity with this Improved Music that spontaneously captivates. Only on the third hearing does one realise how much more there is to it.And that is: "five young people's critical reflections on their environment and circumstances through music" (Reiner Weiss, Nürnberger Nachrichten, 20th/21st May 1971). In the newspaper "Münchener Abendzeitung" the then 24 year old head of literature (and later editor-in-chief of "Stern" magazine) Michael Jürgs acknowledged IMPROVED SOUND LIMITED as being in the Anglo Saxon class, praised the unique style as a mark of quality and pondered that if ever there was going to be a rock opera like Tommy in Germany, IMPROVED SOUND LIMITED were the only ones capable of it.Franz Schöler, a famous German rock critic, described the double-LP as "the best German rock production since the Beatles Live LP by Tony Sheridan". In his book "Let it Rock" (München-Wien 1975) he included it in the very exclusive "Discography of Epoch-Making Rock Records 1954-1974".It’s incredible that the band and their double LP were not just positively received in the music press but also in the arts sections of highbrow newspapers. This was going against the grain of German Rock. Rather than play Progressive or Kraut Rock they filtered out their melodic idiosyncrasies and played high quality rock music, timeless and grandiose, a milestone in German rock and pop history. In 1973 IMPROVED SOUND LIMITED released an LP, "Catch a Singing Bird on the Road”, on CBS and 4 years later, as Condor but with the same line-up, another LP "Rathbone Hotel".
~ (from wikipedia).

Download Links:

...and also...
Improved Sound Limited - Improved Sound Limited (Ger 1971).rar (170.76 MB)


litlgrey said...

Son of a bitch, citizen! This LP has been on my wish list for several years!

I also wish someone - anyone - would post a real stomper of a 1972 LP on the German Harvest label called "Down to Earth" by Roundhouse.

Anonymous said...

This is nothing less than a classic 60's album. The late period Beatles influence is obvious, but these guys earn the comparison. Wonderful stuff. Thanks so much.

Anonymous said...

great work and very good blog,thanks

Anonymous said...

Hey . . .

We're searching for years to find it !

And you've got it ! :D

marvellous work :) Thanks!