NEU! “NEU! ’75”

 

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#559 in the Series) is NEU!, NEU! ’75.

While not a pro at reviewing albums, I fully understand that you are supposed to wait until the end of an article to pass final judgment on a record. In the case of NEU! ’75, I cannot. This is an all-time masterpiece.

NEU! was formed in 1971 in Dusseldorf, Germany. Drummer Klaus Dinger and guitarist Michael Rother had just left an early version of Kraftwerk. Rother and Dinger did not want care for the synthesizer heavy direction that Kraftewerk were headed in and wanted to go in a more guitar oriented vein. NEU! was born.

NUE! ’75 is the duo’s third release and bore the responsibility of overcoming the disappointing sophomore release (NEU! 2). Side one (the cd still refers to the lp in this way) is a more spacy side of NEU, while side two is more of a traditional rock effort.

“Isi” features Rother’s keyboards and Dinger’s “mororik” beat. The term “time keeper” for a drummer fits Dinger’s style perfectly. His beat is unrelenting and never out of place. As with most NEU! Tunes, “Isi” is an instrumental as the instruments are the true stars of this show.

“See Land” is a perfect rainy day piece. Rother trades in his keyboards to become what he really is, a guitar superstar. The song is a slow mover but shows great depth in its almost seven minutes. “Leb Wohl” follows in the same direction, reflective and serene.

“Hero” picks up the pace to  more of a rock mode. Dinger provides the vocals and it is another important facet of the sound. Is he singing in German? English? Did he just say “Riding through the night?” It doesn’t matter as the singer never was NEU!’s central focus as it is in most bands. “e-Musik” and “After Eight” close out this record with more never ending percussion and guitar dynamics.

NEU! Had a reasonably brief career together (three or four albums together, it depends on who you ask), but their influence is everywhere. You can hear them in David Bowie’s mid to late 1970’s albums Low, Heroes, and Lodger, in Sonic Youth, Hawkwind, New Order, and Stereolab.

Kluas Dinger (died in March 2008) and Michael Rother gave us some classic music. NEU! 75 is at the very top of the list.

– Jim McCabe, Lena, Illinois, USA

Track listing

 Side one

  1. “Isi” – 5:06
  2. “Seeland” –  6:54
  3. “Leb’ Wohl” –  8:50

Side two

  1. “Hero” – 7:11
  2. “E-Musik” – 9:57
  3. “After Eight” – 4:44

Personnel

  • Michael Rother – guitar, keyboards, vocals
  • Klaus Dinger – guitar (side 2), drums (side 1), vocals (side 2)
  • Thomas Dinger – drums
  • Hans Lampe – drums

Links

Click the play button below to listen to the NEU! ’75 album.


Posted by Larry Carta


Leave a Reply

Before you post, please prove you are sentient.

what is 9 in addition to 7?