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18 Jun 2016

Necronomicon “Tips Zum Selbstmord” 1972 German Heavy Psych Monster

Necronomicon 1976 from left to right Walter Sturm (Gitarre, Gesang) Bernd Oppitz (Bass) Dieter Ose (Keyboards, Gitarre, Gesang) Harald Bernhard (Schlagzeug, Percussion)

Necronomicon “ Tips Zum Selbstmord” 1972 Mega rare original German  Heavy  Psych Monster


Cosmic Dreams:
Famous for their eponymous album which is sought-after by collectors World-wide, Necronomicon came from Aachen, a city near the borders with the Netherlands and Belgium. They adapted the name Necronomicon from an H.P. Lovecraft novel and built up a spectacular live repertoire during 1971. It featured complex heavy progressive song arrangements with awkward German lyrics that dealt with ecological problems, the threat of a nuclear disaster, the end of mankind and pure despair. A demo recording of a performance at the Mensa, Aachen, 1971, was unearthed by the archaeologists at Little Wing and released as parts one and two of their lavish 4-LP + book Necronomicon-set (LW 1010/11/12/13), released in 1990 in co-operation with the band. Part one consisted of previously unheard compositions and part two of different versions of the songs that later would appear on their only album: Tips Zum Selbstmord. Necronomicon proved themselves to be a band with the same seriousness and sense of large scale works as the most extreme Italian bands. Sadly, the technical quality of these early recordings was on the same level as certain bootlegs and the performance a bit rough in places. Even so this historic document is absorbing.
With the economic support of a friend, Necronomicon set off to a semi-professional studio in the Netherlands to record (in March and April 1972) what has become the ultimate collector’s item for purveyors of German progressive rock: Tips Zum Selbstmord, released in a lavish multi fold-out cover, in the shape of a cross. The highly talented drawings were done by Harald Bernhard and pictured tortured bodies and painful faces, building up an intricate whole, reminiscent of some nightmarish Hieronymus Bosch work (but no fantasy monsters!). Few would deny that this is one of the best and most unique German records of the early seventies. …
There were biting guitar leads throughout, shimmering, painful vocals, a garage organ trying to battle with Bach, sudden shifts of tempos and moods, including passages of more primitive heavy garage rock. For the want of hotter comparisons: imagine the best elements of vintage Uriah Heep with the lyrical awareness of a political rock band like Floh de Cologne. Perhaps this is the music that Wagner would have made if he had lived in 1945 and experienced the bombing raids over Germany, freaked out in the sixties and decided to be a rock musician and then had bad trips for years due to the daily news on TV! Remarkably enough, the album was recorded on just two backs, approximately recorded live in the studio. It was released in a limited edition of 500 copies and is probably THE most hunted German record. The odd copy that turns up sells easily for 1,700 OEM or more. It is cheaper to purchase it as part 3 of the Little Wing 4 LP box! From 1972 to the end of 1973 the group worked on new material with a revised line-up: guitar player Walter Sturm quit to join Rufus Zuphall, Fistus Dickmann was replaced with Dieter Ose and Detlev Hakenbeck replaced by Gerd Libber. Some of the new compositions lasted for sixty minutes! In fact, such material proved to be almost impossible to play live, and the songs were consequently edited down to a length of 10 to 15 minutes. As such, they were recorded live in their rehearsal room in 1974. Walter Sturm had now returned to the band. Little Wing compiled 45 minutes from the only remaining source, a low quality cassette. It’s only interesting for collectors as another historic document of their development. The desperation had now faded to mere resigned statements about mankind’s cynical nature. As such they were now closer to other refined political rock bands.......

“Vier Kapitel” (Four chapters) (Little Wing of Refugees LW 1010/1011/1012/1013) was released. The outstandingly well-done 4LP set is since long sold out. The third LP of the four ones contains “Tips zum Selbstmord” and was taken from the master tape. On the other three LPs you can find prior unreleased recordings from 1971 through 1974. The whole edition doesn’t come in a jewel box, but in book form, like “Living in the past” by Jethro Tull. Finally, an extract taken from the accompanying text of “Vier Kapitel”: “The rivalry between Norbert Breuer and Walter Sturm prooved to be productive for the band. Sturm, an admirer of Lovecraft, gave the group its name, and under his influence, Necronomicon began to play a heavy, guitar based, progressive rock. Norbert Breuer, who was more into politics, was responsible for the political lyrics. Thus, Necronomicon pioneered a new trend: they melted the themes of the antiauthoritarian movement into rock music. At last they fell between all stools. Musically Necronomicon cared less about virtuosity and the talent for improvisations, but were more into the construction of complex arrangements. These were based on Walter Sturm’s heavy guitar and cleverly made vocal movements in a Byronical tradition. According to the spirit of the times, the tracks became longer and longer. Not only Necronomicon kept on being a quite extraordinary rock band, but they also became themselves a synthesis of the arts. This they owed to Harald Bernhard, an artist, who was capable of converting their music graphically into an artistic concept, as it can be seen on their concert posters, the promotion material, and their LP cover. On all these you can find graphical translations of what they claimed musically: it is, again and again, the varied theme of the always available and exploited human body. There is no other German rock band of this time, who, and in such an impressive way too, is wondering about the esthetical relation between content and form, like Necronomicon did. Because of the already mentioned reasons, the LP was rather taken as an annoyance, although it was even to be heard on radio in a programme of the Südwestfunk. An interview held a little bit later with Frank Laufenberg, the German pope of rock music, ended disastrous: In his show "Pop-Shop” on SWF 3 he was fed up so obviously that he tried to understand the music on the level of a sociology class and even put the emphasis of his program on the discussion about the exact number of the world population.“…

1. Prolog (7.32)
2. Requiem Der Natur (10.49)
3. Tips Zum Selbstmord (4.46)
4. Die Stadt (7.18)
5. In Memoriam (6.57)
6. Requiem Vom Ende (7.46) 

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