From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
OriginCologne, Germany
GenresProgressive rock, symphonic rock
Years active1969–1980
LabelsHarvest, Capitol
Past membersHans Bathelt
Jürgen Fritz
Werner "Dick" Frangenberg
Hans Pape
Helmut Köllen
Barry Palmer
Dieter Petereit
Curt Cress
David Hanselmann
Mattias Holtmann
Werner Kopal
Arno Steffen

Triumvirat was a German progressive rock trio that formed in 1969 in Cologne, Germany. The founding members were keyboardist/composer Hans-Jürgen (later simply Jürgen) Fritz (born March 13, 1953), drummer/lyricist Hans Bathelt, and bassist Werner Frangenberg.

Triumvirat is the German word for a triumvirate, a grouping of three powerful men, thus referring to the musical trio.


During its early years, Triumvirat initially played Top 40 songs at local venues in Cologne. The Nice and Emerson, Lake & Palmer heavily influenced Triumvirat’s musical direction and the band incorporated some of Nice/ELP music into their repertoire (Rondo among others). In fact, at the height of their fame during the 1970s prog rock era, Triumvirat was often referred to as the ‘German Emerson, Lake & Palmer’ or ‘ELP clone’ due to Fritz's classical virtuosity on keyboards and synthesizers.

In the early 1970s, the band sent a demo tape to EMI Records in Cologne and won their first record contract. Triumvirat subsequently produced modestly successful albums during the early to mid-1970s, including Mediterranean Tales: Across The Waters and Illusions on a Double Dimple and toured the United States with Fleetwood Mac to support Illusions on a Double Dimple, playing the album in its entirety. In 1975, Triumvirat reached the apex of their commercial success with the release of Spartacus, which is considered by many as a classic "prog rock" masterpiece album, along with Illusions on a Double Dimple.

The band underwent numerous personnel changes over the course of its life (including Doug Fieger, eventual lead singer and rhythm guitarist for The Knack, for six months in 1975-1976)[1] and eventually disbanded in 1980 with the release of their final album Russian Roulette. In 2002, they planned to release The Website Story; however, the album was never released. An officially-authorized biography of the group was written by Russell Schenewerk and appears on

In spring 2012 EMI released the first ever Triumvirat compilation Essential with tracks from all of the seven albums.

Vocalist/bassist Helmut Köllen (performing on the band's most successful albums, Illusions and Spartacus) left the band after Spartacus to pursue a solo career. On May 3, 1977, at the age of 27 (born March 2, 1950), he died from carbon monoxide poisoning while listening to some of his studio tracks in his car's cassette player while running the engine in his garage. His debut solo album You Won't See Me was released posthumously in October 1977.

In 2015 album Illusions on a Double Dimple (1974) was ranked number 45 in the Rolling Stone list of 50 Greatest Prog Rock Albums of All Time.[2]


- Triumvirat

  • Be Home For Tea / Broken Mirror (1972) Harvest – 1C 006-29 976
  • Ride In The Night / Sing Me A Song (1973) Harvest – 1C 006-30 407, EMI Electrola – 1C 006-30 407 U
  • Dancer's Delight / Timothy (1973) Harvest – 1C 006-30 484, EMI Electrola – 1C 006-30 484
  • Dimplicity / Million Dollars (1974) Harvest, EMI Electrola - 1C 006-30 576
  • Take A Break Today / The Capitol Of Power (1976) Harvest, EMI Electrola 1C 006-31 609
  • Waterfall / Jo Ann Walker (1978) Harvest, EMI Electrola 1C 006-45 189
  • For you/Darlin' (1978) Harvest – 31c 006 31149
  • The Hymn / Dance on the vulcano (1978) Harvest – 1C 006-32 548, EMI Electrola – 1C 006-32 548
  • Waterfall / (Oh, I'm) Late Again (1978) Capitol Records – SPRO-9080, Capitol Records – SPRO-9081
  • Party Life / Games (1980) Harvest, EMI Electrola 1C 006-45 918
  • Come With Me/We're Rich On What We've Got (1980) EMI – 006-4607
  • The Gold Collection (1995)
  • The Best of Triumvirat (1995) EMI Gold 853658 2
  • Veni, Vidi, Vici (2000)
  • Essential (2012) EMI – 50999 6 44353 2 9
  • The Best Of The Gold Collection - Novo - Date of release unknown
  • Triumvirat - Illusions On A Double Dimple Live - Palace Theatre, Providence, USA October 1974.
  • Triumvirat - Illusions On A Double Dimple Live - St. Bernard Cultural Center, Chalmette, LA, USA November 1974,
  • Triumvirat - Live from Ultrasonic - Recorded in Studio Ultrasonic, Hempstead, New York, October 1, 1974.
  • Triumvirat - Live Tour 1974-75 - American Tour 1974 - 75.

- Solo albums

Helmut Kollen 
  • You won't see me (1977)
  • With collaboration from Hans-Jürgen Fritz on keyboards & production and help from drummer Hans Bathelt for lyrics on The story of life.
Hans-Jurgen Fritz 
  • Es Ist Nicht Leicht Ein Gott Zu Sein (1989) - CBS – 466250 - Original Movie Score for the film It's hard to be a god starring Werner Herzog.
  • Millenium - Dreams Of Amadeus (1990) Columbia – COL 468863 2, Sony Music – 468863 2 - Music based on themes from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
  • Ohne Moos Nix Los/Keiner Kümmert Sich Um Mich (1982) - Synth Pop
  • Nix-Keiner Kümmert Sich Um Mich (1982) - Synth Pop


External links[edit]