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coverpic flag Germany - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 3 - 01/23/97

Ton Steine Scherben
Live II
David-Volksmund-Produktion / Indigo

While in the first two reviews some more experimental bands from Germany were introduced, this time I will recommend a classic rock album. The reason for this is a sad one, on August 21st, 1997, died Ralph Moebius, better known as Rio Reiser, at the age of 46. Rio Reiser became famous in Germany as the singer of the rock band Ton Steine Scherben (losely translated Pottery Stones Potsherds).

Ton Steine Scherben were one of the first German rock bands that actually used the German language to sing in a rock context. The band was founded in Berlin in 1970. The following year their first album was released. In their earlier years the band was known for their anarchist hymns which provided some of the basic slogans for the German anarcho scene that can now be found as graffiti on many walls in the country. They played an important role in Berlin's squatter scene in the seventies. They also tested the grounds for an independent record label and distribution with their label David-Volksmund-Produktion and the distributor Schneeball (Snowball). However, they never wanted to be more than a simple rock band, and after three albums which were markstones of the German rock history they flew Berlin and paused several years. A notable side project of this era is the cooperation with the gay theater group Brnhwarm. In 1981, when German lyrics suddenly became trendy in the German music scene, they returned for two more studio albums and a live LP and called it quits in 1984.

Rio Reiser launched a somewhat successful solo career with the stated objective to reduce the debt mountain that Ton Steine Scherben left behind. His output became musically less intriguing with each record, however.

Now, twelve years after the end of Ton Steine Scherben, they released their legacy in form of a second live album. The songs were recorded in 1984 and now reprocessed and remixed with today's technology. Tracks from all phases of the band are represented. The album demonstrates that Rio Reiser's lyrics had a quality which is hardly matched by other rock singers. The music doesn't fit any special trend of the past years, it's just good emotional rock music recorded more than a decade ago (and, in some cases, written another decade earlier).

As a true classic the album is available on vinyl as well as CD.

Copyright © 1997 Lonely Locke e-mail address

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