HEART OF BLUES, Smoking takes you faster to God, 1969

smoking-takes-you-faster-to-goddas-nebellungenliedbhp-3001-abhp-3001-bFound this last Thursday in a local thrift store for one euro and, because of the nondescript sleeve, thought it was just another advertisement record. At home, the two songs really blew me away! Two great beat/krautrock songs on this one! A quick check on the Internet revealed that Smoking takes you faster to God has been reissued in the late 90s on the “Kraut! Demons! Kraut! – German Psychedelic Underground 1968-1974″ CD bootleg comp, compiled by none other than the late Werner Voran aka The Lolly Pope. Apparently this is quite a rare Krautrock 45 that somebody is currently trying to sell on Ebay for 100 euros. Hopefully to no avail.

Unlike most musicians who played in 1960s beat groups, former Heart of Blues bassist Norbert Maislein-Sylvester, cares for his musical legacy, and loaded Smoking takes you faster to God, including some info about the band, up on Youtube, himself.  He even illustrated the video with the Kraut! Demons! Kraut! bootleg CD image, instead of the original sleeve that you see above. Heart of Blues, a popular R&B Band who played around the Munich area, were: Graf Amadeus von Donnersmarck, guitar; Norbert Maislein-Sylvester bass; Henny Stadler, vocals; Peter Stadler, keyboard and Rudi Zöttel, drums. Some former members still play in Munich bands today.

No info, however, on Munich Express found on the Internet. Their Nebellungenlied is a well done combination of funny lyrics in the 3 Travellers vein, set to beat music.

This is a perfect record for Berlin Beatet Bestes: it´s a beat record, it´s got a cartoon sleeve and it´s an advertisement record, containing music with a practical purpose. Ironically, while Krautrock is considered to be underground music, these songs were actually commissioned by the German government. In 1969 Heart of Blues and Munich Express won a contest, launched by minister of family affairs Käte Strobel, for “Best Anti-Smoking Song”

Well, thanks German government, for cutting these two wonderful sides for eternity!

I think I´m going to light one up right now, to get a little faster to god…


HEART OF BLUES, Smoking takes you faster to God, 1969


MUNICH EXPRESS, Das Nebellungenlied, 1969

no-smoking-please

A bit of trivia:

As you can see on the labels, this 45 was pressed at Schallplattenfabrik Pallas out of Diepholz, Lower Saxony, a family-owned company that has produced records since 1948. On the 1st of April 2013, a mass fire destroyed their CD-manufacturing building, causing an estimated damage of 10 million euros. The factory building where Pallas is pressing vinyl, a business they had bravely held onto all through the worst part of the 90s until now, was miraculously left intact.

A sign from above?


Das Lied vom politischen Frühling

politischer-frühling-frontpolitischer-frühling-backpolitischer-frühling-1politischer-frühling-2In a couple of weeks it´s election time in Germany again. A  pretty boring affair these days. The conservatives will most likely win again. Nothing will change.

During the 1970s it was vice versa: the conservatives were always struggling to kick the social democrats out of office. But no matter how catchy their songs were, they failed each time.

“Das Lied vom politischen Frühling”  – The song of political springtime.

“Komm aus deiner linken Ecke” – Come out of your left corner.


JUNGE UNION ORCHESTER, Das Lied vom politischen Frühling, 1975


UNION ORCHESTER, Das Lied vom politischen Frühling, 1975

In 2008 I posted another catchy CDU song here and wrote about it in Jungle World here.


Fahr lieber mit der Bundesbahn, 1966

fahr-lieber-frontfahr-lieber-labelIn Germany being on time still means a lot. Friends still make appointments like: “Let´s meet next Friday at the big oak tree next to the railroad station at 21:45.” And then they show up at that exact minute! Likewise Germans  take the reliability of public service, like the railway system, for granted. Understandably, if something goes wrong, it´s a huge disappointment,

Recently Deutsche Bahn made national headlines once again when the train station in Mainz (a city of more than 200.000 inhabitants) had to partly shut down due to most of the station´s traffic controllers being ill or on vacation. A couple of days of irregular service were  called “chaos”, “crisis” and “a scandal” and  caused a huge public outcry.

Here´s a look back to the past, when German trains were a lot slower but always reliable. This one-sided flexible advertisement record, made by Bundesbahn (the predecessor of Deutsche Bahn) and recorded by anonymous artists in 1966, glorifies the service, punctuality and speed of the railroad.

“Fahr lieber mit der Bundesbahn”  – Take the train instead!


Fahr lieber mit der Bundesbahn, 1966

Here´s the film that went with the campaign in 1966:


HANS KOLLER UND SEIN ORCHESTER, Tribut an SABA, 1959

trying to sell it on Ebay for 125 euros! Of course nobody will buy it. But why is a record that advertizes for the 1959/1960 SABA-Stereo Truhe, (a TV, a radio and a record player combined into a piece of furniture), considered to be so valuable?

Most probably because of the one song by Austrian jazz tenor saxophonist and bandleader one of the few  pure jazz musicians who managed to play his music after the Beatles dropped the bomb on jazz in the 60s. Most other German and Austrian jazz musicians either had to play Schlager or dropped out.

This record is also unique because it was one of the first releases produced by SABA, a German manufacturer of electronic equipment, before the company actually branched out into the SABA label. The note/fir tree symbol on the sleeve signifies the black forest where the company and the studio was located. In 1968 SABA, a variety label, was renamed to MPS, the first German label to exclusively release jazz. SABA issued three LPs by Hans Koller from 1963 to 1966. In this respect Koller´s “Tribute to SABA” , recorded in 1958 in Sandweiher near Baden-Baden, was a tribute ahead of time. 

Now you probably know by now that I´m not a jazz expert. In fact I don´t care for most of what has passed for jazz in the past 60 years. I like jazz that you cannot stand still to:  dance music.

Well, this is still sufficiently swingin`…


HANS KOLLER UND SEIN ORCHESTER, Tribut an SABA, 1958

If you like this you might want to check out an EP by Zoot Sims and Hans Koller from roughly the same time on the German Brunswick label, that Boogieman posted in April. That one really makes you wanna move!


Bolle Bietet Bestes 1965

bolle-seite-2-1965bolle-seite-1-1965In 2007 the Bolle Beatet Bestes flexible 45 inspired the name of this blog. Berlin bietet Bestes means “Berlin offers the best”. The record was issued by Bolle, a local chain of supermarkets. Bolle had a very long history in Berlin. Initially the company developed out of the C. Bolle dairy farm that was established in 1879 by Carl Andreas Julius Bolle. The last store closed in 2011.

There were some other 45s  put out by Bolle but these two are the only flexi discs. The Bolle Beatet Bestes flexi from 1967 is the more interesting one. I put the MP3s back up, so check out the songs if you missed the post in 2007.

Until recently I never even thought about buying any of the other Bolle records, because  Finnish Yenka and bogus 1960s Dixieland seemed way too boring. I´m not a completist but when I saw this one a while ago for 50 cents, I finally picked it up.

Well, it´s not a particularly noteworthy record, but it definitely is a very local Berlin artifact.


Überall in Berlin – Dixieland – Die Let-Kiss Schaffe an der Spree


Bolle reiste jüngst zu Pfingsten -Gustchen geht zum Tanze heut´, 1965

bolle-heute-noch-besserals-in-der-guten-alten-zeitdie-moritat-von-kulle-schmidberlin-1967


Der Gorden-Hit

gorden-frontgorden-backwarenprobe-frontwarenprobe-backToday´s best offer: an anonymous jazz band, a flexible advertisement record, a defunct brand of cigarettes and the original envelope that it landed in peoples post boxes in.

Cigarettes and Summertime! They work well together. Sitting outside enjoying the sun, the body bursting with energy, there´s nothing like inhaling and wasting some of that excess power. And then there´s still beer and lemonade…

Gorden – So frisch wie das Leben von heute

Rauchen sie gorden!  Machen Sie mit – tanzen sie den gorden-hit!


Der Gorden-Hit

interessant-eigenwillig-begeisterndgorden-jazzgorden-cigarettengorden-1960


KARL-HEINZ HANSEN, Das Wäsche-Miederwaren-Mannequin

kaskade-10004-frontkaskade-10004-backkaskade-10004-bkaskade-10004-aA record by  Karl-Heinz Hansen and his friend, cartoonist Hans Joachim Stenzel, was my second post in December 2007. New to blogging and even more to the Internet, I was still a little naive. I didn´t think that anybody would read what I wrote. And at first actually pretty much nobody did. Then in 2009, when I posted a  second record by Hansen, a flexible record on the local Okay Exquisit label, I got a little carried away and couldn´t help making fun of the music and the artists. I will not repeat what I wrote, but let´s just say that it wasn´t nice.

A short while later I got a brief but very angry mail from Hansen´s son.

Immediately I apologized and deleted the post and the download links.

Hansen´s son replied forgiving: “No hard feelings”. His teenage nephews had found the post when they were doing ancestry research about their unknown grandpa. He even gave me an okay to to re-up the post and the download link, if I would “trash his father a little less”.

But I was still ashamed. I felt really bad about carelessly writing bad stuff about somebody I didn´t even know. Especially a dead person. Since then I´ve gotten a lot more careful with what I write. And with the records I pick. As odd as they may seem, the records I post here, are records that I like.

So here´s another Karl-Heinz Hansen 45. The two songs, written by Hansen, advertise for Berlin department store Kaufhaus des Westens (“Department Store of the West”, usually abbreviated to KaDeWe,  the second-largest department store in Europe; trumped only by Harrods in London.) (Wiki)

Released on the small local Kaskade label, Hansen is backed by the Kaskade-Studio-Ensemble, led by Henry Bly.

Wäsche is undergarmets/lingerie and Miederwaren is corsetry and Manequin is model.

“I´m going to marry the lingerie-model…”


KARL-HEINZ HANSEN, Das Wäsche-Miederwaren-Mannequin

Tina and Karl-Heinz Hansen sing the Tauentzien-Song, about the Tauentzienstrasse, where KaDewe is located…


TINA UND KARL-HEINZ HANSEN, Tauentzien-Song

Im Juni 2010 schrieb ich über Karl-Heinz Hansen in der Jungle World einen kurzen Text: Sei nett im Internet!

berlin


BRIGITTE MIRA, Die alte Clofrau, 1963

clofrau-frontdie-alte-clofraumit-dem-triebwagen-nach-italienMost people will probably only shrug their shoulders when they hear these songs, but to me this record seems almost unreal. It´s like this record was made for Berlin Beatet Bestes and on so many levels!

1. It is an advertisement record,

2. It was privately pressed for a Berlin car dealer

3. It´s got a cartoon sleeve

4. The two  risqué songs are sung by local Berlin star Brigitte Mira, an actress who frequently worked with Fassbinder

5. The music is in sort of a Dixieland Jazz style

6.  Of course it´s also never been reissued.

What more can I ask for?

In a way these two risqué songs, backed by Heinrich Riethmüller, predate Brigitte Mira´s bold later work. For some unknown reason the Berlin car dealer Bunde had the idea to advertize for his business with some naughty songs. Some sleeves even had “Der kesse Gruss vom Autohaus Bunde” ( Naughty greetings from Autohaus Bunde) stamped on the front. You can see this stamp on a copy that some greedy person is trying to sell on Ebay for the ridiculous amount of 35 Euros.  Of course nobody will ever buy it. Listen to the songs and you´ll see why. Last week I paid less than 50 cents in a thrift store and I think that´s  much more appropriate. Most likely it was the name that got the seller to put a higher price tag on this record.

Brigitte Mira (1910-2005) was most famous for the work she did with Rainer Werner Fassbinder. It was Fassbinder´s genius to cast people like Brigitte Mira for his art films. She had been  a popular German actress since the 1940s, but was mostly known for her comedies. Mira´s personal courage made her steer off the beaten path and towards serious, more challenging roles, like in Ali:Fear Eats The Soul (1974).

By the early 70s Fassbinder regularly worked for German television. “Wie ein Vogel auf dem Draht” was a TV-show directed by Fassbinder for Brigitte Mira. German television never got more campy than this:

Despite her adventurous career, in the eyes of  the majority of the German public,  Brigitte Mira remained „the archetypal funny old Berlinerin with a heart.” (The Guardian). But in the 70s Brigitte Mira basically had two careers, appearing in cutting-edge art films and also starring in funny popular films and on television (most prominently in the series Drei Damen vom Grill).

Finally: the music.

Die alte Clofrau translates to “The Old Toilet Lady”. In the song she tells the story of her life as a bathroom attendant. A blues song about how she flushes the toilet for the very last time…


BRIGITTE MIRA, Die alte Clofrau, 1963

Triebwagen is railcar, but Trieb also means sex drive. Mit dem Triebwagen nach Italien translates to “Travelling to Italy by railcar”.  The lyrics deal with the cliché that Italian men are sexually potent. So horny female German tourists travel to Italy in search of sexual adventures…


BRIGITTE MIRA, Mit dem Triebwagen nach Italien, 1963

The artwork of this record is not signed. I have a vague suspicion who could have done it but so far I can not put a name to it.

clofrau


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