Amon Düül II

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Amon Düül II
Origin Munich, Germany
Genres Krautrock, progressive rock, psychedelic rock
Years active 1968–present[1]
Labels United Artists Records
Atlantic Records

Amon Düül II (or Amon Düül 2) is a German rock band. The group is generally considered to be one of the founders of the Krautrock scene and a seminal influence on the development of it.

History[edit]

The band emerged from the radical West German commune scene of the late 1960s, with others in the same commune including some of the future founders of the Red Army Faction.[2] Founding members are Chris Karrer, Dieter Serfas, Falk Rogner (b. 14 September 1943), John Weinzierl and Renate Knaup (b. Renate Aschaver-Knaup, 1 July 1948).

The band was founded after Weinzierl (b. 4 April 1949) and the others met at the Amon Düül 'art commune' in Munich. The commune consisted mainly of university students, who formed a music group initially to fund the commune, with everyone who lived there joining in to play music whether or not they had any experience or ability. The commune split when they were offered an opportunity to record, which was boycotted by the more musically proficient members of the commune (who went on to form Amon Düül II). Recordings were made by the other members but were of very poor quality and were only released later (under the name Amon Düül) to capitalise on the success of ADII's albums. As Amon Düül II grew and personnel changed they still remained a commune, living together as a band.[3]

Their first album Phallus Dei ('God's Penis'), released in 1969, consisted of pieces drawn from the group's live set at the time. By this time the line-up was built around a core of Karrer (mainly violin and guitar), Weinzierl (guitar, bass, piano), Rogner on keyboards, bass player Dave Anderson, and two drummers (Peter Leopold (b. 15 August 1945) who had joined the group from Berlin, and Dieter Serfas). Renate Knaup at this point was only contributing minimal vocals but was very much part of the group. According to Weinzierl by this time "The band played almost every day. We played universities, academies, underground clubs, and every hall with a power socket and an audience".[3] Releasing an album brought the group greater prominence and they began to tour more widely in Germany and abroad, playing alongside groups such as Tangerine Dream, and in Germany staying in other communes including the pioneering Kommune 1 in Berlin.

Their second album Yeti saw them introducing arranged compositions along with the bluesy violin and guitar jams such as the long improvised title track. The next album Tanz der Lemminge was based on four extended progressive rock suites. By this time bassist Anderson had returned to England and joined Hawkwind, to be replaced by Lothar Meid (born 28 August 1942), and the group was augmented by synthman Karl-Heinz Hausmann (Karrer had formed a short-lived group in 1966 - supposedly named 'Amon Düül O' - with future Embryo founders Lothar Meid and drummer Christian Burchard).[4]

Still touring widely, they recorded their Live in London album in 1973 and in 1975 signed with Atlantic Records in the US, and United Artists Records Germany and initially disbanded in 1981.[1]

As well as their albums and live shows ADII received offers to write music for films, winning a German film award, the Deutscher Filmpreis, for their contribution to the film San Domingo.[5]

Amon Düül II's drummer Peter Leopold died on 8 November 2006. A memorial service was held for Leopold in Munich, where the remaining members of Amon Düül II sang a song for him. Leopold was replaced by multi-instrumentalist Daniel Fichelscher, for many years guitarist and drummer of Krautrock group Popol Vuh.[6] Fichelscher is not new to the group, and in fact has had a long affiliation with Amon Düül II, having played with them as early as 1972 in Carnival in Babylon.[1]

Band members[edit]

Here is a list of members of the band according the album covers. When a member appears as guest, the contribution is in brackets.

Name Phallus Dei Yeti Danz der Lemminge Carnival in Babylon Wolf City Utopia[nb 1] Live in London[nb 2] Vive la Trance Hijack Made in Germany Pyragony X Almost Alive... Only Human Vortex
Chris Karrer violin, guitars, saxophone, vocals violin, guitars, vocals violin, guitars, vocals violin, guitars, saxophone, vocals violin, guitars, vocals (violin, saxophone) violin, guitar, saxophone violin, guitar, saxophone, maracass, mellotron, vocals violin, guitar, saxophone, vocals violin, guitar, banjo, vocals violin, guitar, saxophone, vocals guitar, saxophone, vocals violin, guitar, saxophone, jew's harp, vocals violin, guitars, saxophone
John Weinzierl guitar, bass guitar, vocals guitar, vocals guitars, vocals guitar, vocals (guitar) guitar, vocals guitars, vocals, bass guitar guitar guitar, vocals guitar (guitar)
Falk Rogner organ organ organ, electrinics (organ) organ, synthesizer, electronics (organ) organ, synthesizer organ, synthesizer, pump organ synthesizer organ, synthesizer synthesizer
Renate Knaup vocals, tambourine vocals, tambourine (vocals) vocals vocals (vocals) vocals vocals vocals vocals vocals, tambourin
Dieter Serfas drums
Peter Leopold drums drums drums, percussion, piano drums, tambourin (timbales) drums drums, percussion, piano drums, percussion, guitar drums, percussion drums drums drums, percussion
Christian "Shrat" Thierfeld bongos, vocals, violin bongos, vocals
Dave Anderson bass bass
Lothar Meid basses, vocals bass, vocals bass, synthesizer, vocals bass, vocals, mellotron bass, vocals (vocals, finger-snips) bass, guitar, vocals (bass)
Karl-Heinz Hausmann elektronics keyboards, organ, electronics
Danny Fichelscher drums, congas drums, guitar, vocals (drums, congas) drums drums, percussion, guitar
Robby Heibl bass, guitar, cello, violin, vocals bass, guitar, violin, vocals
Nando Tischer guitar, vocasl
Klaus Ebert guitar, bass, vocals guitar, bass, vocals guitar, bass, vocals
Stefan Zauner keyboards, guitar, vocals keyboards, synthesizer, vocals keyboards, synthesizer, bass, vocals (piano, synthesizer)
Jörg Evers bass, guitar, synthesizer


Discography[edit]

Amon Düül II discography
Releases
Studio albums 15
Live albums 4
Compilation albums 14
Singles 2

Studio albums[edit]

Release Year Title Notes
1969 Phallus Dei
1970 Yeti
1971 Tanz der Lemminge
  • Also known as Dance of the Lemmings, re-released in 2002
1972 Carnival in Babylon
1972 Wolf City
1973 Utopia
  • Originally released as a Utopia album; being a side project by Amon Düül II producer Olaf Kübler
  • Only re-releases credit the band as Amon Düül II
1973 Vive La Trance
1974 Hijack
1975 Made in Germany
  • Released as double LP
1976 Pyragony X
1977 Almost Alive...
1979 Only Human
1981 Vortex
1995 Nada Moonshine #
2009 Bee As Such
  • Originally download only album
  • Re-released as "Düülirium" on cd and vinyl in 2014

Live albums[edit]

Release Year Title Notes
1973 Live in London
1992 Live in Concert
  • BBC recording from 1973
1996 Live in Tokyo
2009 Life in Finland[1]

Compilations[edit]

Release Year Title Notes
1975 Lemmingmania
1978 Rock in Deutschland Vol.1
1989 Milestones
1993 Surrounded by the Bars
1994 The Greatest Hits
1996 Kobe (Reconstructions)
1996 Eternal Flashback
1997 Flawless
1997 The Best of 1969-1974
1997 Drei Jahrzehnte (1968-1998)
1999 The UA Years: 1969-1974
2000 Manana
2001 Once Upon A Time - Best Of 1969 - 1999
2005 Anthology
  • A complete Amon Düül II career retrospective

Singles[edit]

Release Year Title Notes
1970 Archangels Thunderbird b/w Soap Shop Rock
1971 Light b/w Lemmingmania

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ originally released as Utopia album, re-released as Amon Düül II album
  2. ^ live-album

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. pp. 20–21. ISBN 1-84195-017-3. 
  2. ^ Krautrock, BBC4, October 2009
  3. ^ a b Interview with John Weinzierl, accessed on May 13, 2009
  4. ^ Communing With Chaos by Edwin Pouncey - 'The Wire' #144 (February 1996)
  5. ^ "Amon Düül II at Gibraltar Encyclopedia of Progressive Rock". 
  6. ^ Amon Duul II official site - "History" accessed on March 14, 2008

External links[edit]