Label: BuschFunk - 40412 • Format: 2x, CD Album • Country: Germany • Genre: Rock • Style: Pop Rock
Although they are especially popular in their native eastern Germany, the Puhdys enjoyed significant success outside the GDR, and were one of the first East German bands allowed to tour West Germany. They are one of the most successful German-language rock groups. The Puhdys developed out of the Udo-Wendel-Combofounded in When guitarist and singer Wendel left the band late in the year, it needed a new name.
The four members took the letters from their first names — keyboardist Peter Meyer, drummer Udo Jacob, bassist and sometimes manager Harry Jeske, and lead guitarist and singer Dieter Hertrampf who had replaced Wendel — to become the Puhdys the name otherwise has no specific meaning. The band went through further personnel changes untilwhen they were given a professional performance license, which was all-important in East Germany.
By then, Jacob had been replaced by Gunter Wosylus and vocalist-guitarist Dieter Birr had joined, cementing the band's lineup for the next ten years; the band dates this, rather thanas its foundation.
The two Dieters are differentiated by their nicknames: "Quaster" Hertrampf, from a corruption of the title of The Shadows ' "Quartermaster's Stores," after his long attempt to learn the Hank Marvin guitar solo ; and "Maschine" Birr, once called an "eating machine" by his bandmates for his voracious appetite.
Their first concert took place in Freiberg, Saxonyon November 21, Early performances were heavily influenced by British hard rock bands such as Deep Purple and Uriah Heepalthough the band were fond of earlier American rockers such as Elvis Presley.
At first, they Lebenszeit - Puhdys - Live Aus Der O2-World performed cover versions of foreign acts. Although there was a Lebenszeit - Puhdys - Live Aus Der O2-World demand for covers in East Germany, largely because the audience was unable to buy western albums, rock music was still viewed with suspicion in the GDR. The artistic climate changed after Erich Honecker came to power inand the Puhdys were offered the chance to record for the state-run Amiga label, as long as they performed in the German language and remained apolitical.
At over five minutes in length, it showed the influence of progressive rockMisery - The Beatles - From Liverpool - The Beatles Box particular Uriah Heep's " Gypsy ," and established the Puhdys as one of East Germany's top bands. Its music was composed by Birr, who had emerged as the band's main singer, and the lyrics were written by Wolfgang Tilgnerwho would remain one of the band's principal lyricists, along with Burkhard Lasch.
Although the film was quickly withdrawn in the GDR for its not-so-subtle political message, it had already been seen by three million viewers, and the four Puhdys songs in it became big hits. Also inthe band played to its first large audience at the 10th World Festival of Youth and Students in East Berlin. The first Puhdys album, released in earlywas very successful, and remains a well-regarded album among the band's fans, despite being in part derivative of western artists; this was due in part to the political impossibility of using the original songs in Paul and PaulaLebenszeit - Puhdys - Live Aus Der O2-World director Carow's desire for close German-language equivalents.
Whatever the weaknesses of their second album, the Puhdys' third, Sturmvogel Stormbird, made up for them, and proved to be very popular. However, the tune that was to become the band's signature song was released as a single. Sung by Hertrampf, the tune quickly became a sing-along anthem, and the Puhdys often played it twice or three times at a single concert.
It appeared on the band's first greatest hits album the following year. Although the Puhdys had performed and toured in other communist countries, beginning with the Soviet Union intheir biggest following outside the GDR was in West Germanywhere their albums had begun to be released. However, GDR officials were reluctant to allow artists to travel to the west for fear of defection. The band were the first East German rock band to do so, in Natural State - Existem - Years Of Winter and the Netherlands in ; they were finally allowed Lebenszeit - Puhdys - Live Aus Der O2-World perform in West Germany with a concert in Hamburg on November 9,followed by performances in Dortmund and West Berlin.
Unusually, they were allowed to keep part of their hard currency royaltieswhich in East Germany were normally taken by the state. Following the success of these concerts, the band's albums were released in West Germany in The band asked Chuck Berry himself for the lyrics to "Brown Eyed Handsome Man"; he replied that he had forgotten them.
Following Wilde Jahrethe band produced a well regarded live double album recorded at Berlin's Friedrichstadpalast theater. Tired of touring, Wosylus left the band; he later opened the GDR's first private recording studio and hosted a radio show with Birr before leaving the country for Hamburg in He was replaced by former Prinzip drummer Klaus Scharfschwerdt.
By this time, the band's popularity outside the GDR was at its peak other East German bands, notably Karat and City were also Carmina Disco (Insane Pump Mix) - Johan Gielen - The Trance Years noticed abroadand they were being cited as an influence on the burgeoning Neue Deutsche Welleas German-language rock was booming in West Germany ; the follow-up Schattenreiter Shadow Riderrecorded in West Germany, was even more successful.
It included the band's tribute to John Lennon"He, John" Hey Johnwhich they have performed in concert ever since, often interspersed with portions of Lennon's " Imagine ," upon which it was based; it was the biggest-selling single in the GDR in At around this time, an official fan club was formed in the West German city of Paderborn.
In acknowledgement of their popularity, they were awarded the National Prize of East Germany for artistic achievement in Consisting of re-recorded versions of some of their German hits, it failed to be the Lebenszeit - Puhdys - Live Aus Der O2-World breakthrough they were hoping for, although it gave the band a chance to perform one-off concerts in several countries including the United States to try to generate interest.
Like City 's English album Dreamlandrecorded the previous year, it was hampered by Birr's and Hertrampf's thickly accented English, though it won greater acceptance in Germany. The Fern, fern, fern backing vocals on the title track, originally Fern von Zuhausewere left in the original language.
Never ones to ignore a musical trend, and apparently influenced by the significantly younger Scharfschwerdt, the Puhdys adopted elements of new wave and synthpop on Computer-Karrieretheir effort. A loose concept album about technology, it contained the dance hit "TV-Show," with vocals by Scharfschwerdt. Tilgner translated the lyrics. The title track, essentially a monologue set to music about a book on another planet describing a post-nuclear-war Earth, featured a Free German Youth choir.
The band, who except for Scharfschwerdt were now in their 40s, declared they would play until their "Rockerrente" Rocker's Pension in the prophetic song of that name. The band followed up Das Buch with a second live double album, Live in Sachsen Live In Saxonyrecorded in Karl-Marx-Stadtwhich was marred only by a clearly playback version of "Das Buch"; it contained the "Medley 15 Jahre Puhdys," which the band would continue to play live, unaltered, for another 15 years.
After this, and the album Ohne Schminke Without Make-Upthe band's schedule slowed down; they were by now recognized as the GDR's Lebenszeit - Puhdys - Live Aus Der O2-World rockers, and had inspired younger groups such as Rockhaus and Pankow.
By the end of the s, the Puhdys decided to disband. Their album Neue Helden New Heroesrecorded with an orchestra, was intended to be their last; its faintly political lyrics were written by singer-songwriter Kurt Demmler under a pseudonym.
The album's original cover, which pictured two babies wearing diapers nappies in the flags of the Soviet Union and United Stateswas banned in the GDR; legend has it this was due to the presence of the American flag, not to the context.
The cover was replaced for the domestic release with a simple green cover the international release on Koch Records was unaltered. However, the opening of the Berlin Wall in November and the subsequent moves toward German reunification meant that interest in East German artists plummeted, as GDR citizens were now easily able to buy music by international artists; the political climate meant also that many major stars came to Berlin to perform, Bounce, Shake, Move, Stop!
- Various - 100 Hits 2000s Pop for free, in late and The Puhdys reunited for a one-off concert at the Brandenburg Gate inand, received enthusiastically, decided to continue; the situation in East Germany had changed, and there were signs of both Ostalgie — nostalgia for the GDR — and an emergent regional identity as Ossis. While the title track about the then-current dangers of " S-Bahn surfing," youths climbing on the roof of moving Berlin commuter trains was a minor hit, accompanied by a low-budget music videothe album is best known for the anthem "Was bleibt" What's Leftinspired by a book by East German writer Christa Wolfwhich asked obliquely Mellowing Grey - Family - Music In A Dolls House would remain from the GDR.
Sales figures showed that Wie ein Engel had initially sold around 24, copies; while this was hardly Lebenszeit - Puhdys - Live Aus Der O2-World blockbuster in Germany, as almost all the sales were in the east it was a regional top seller. Re-releases of the Puhdys catalog on compact disc in also sold respectably, and numerous compilations were released.
Confounding expectations, the show sold out, as did two further shows added on subsequent nights. The album was also notable for being the vocal debut of bassist Harry Jeske, who sang, or at least talked, the autobiographical tune "Halbzeit" Halftime. After this, the year-old Jeske called it quits, citing ill health, and left the band at a concert on his 60th birthday. He subsequently moved to the Philippinesthe homeland of his young wife. The new lineup recorded Wilder Frieden Crazy Peace inwhich showed the influence of new, hard-edged German bands, particularly Rammstein themselves Puhdys fans ; the song Wut will nicht sterben featured Rammstein singer Till Lindemann and a solo by Lebenszeit - Puhdys - Live Aus Der O2-World guitarist Richard Z.
The band played at a millennium concert on Berlin's Alexanderplatz. Another new album, Zufrieden? A secular Christmas album, Dezembertage December Bee Marrow - Life At These Speeds / Science Of Yabra - European Tour followed late in the year, to coincide with what had become regular Christmastime concert series.
Inthe group recorded Undercoveran album of cover versions of East German rock songs, at the suggestion of their manager Rolf Henning.
The same year, Birr became seriously ill after contracting Lyme disease from a tick bite; after he recovered, the Puhdys resumed their heavy touring schedule. Following the practice of other East German recording artists, most Puhdys albums until Neue Helden bear a release number as well as a title; these are omitted Lebenszeit - Puhdys - Live Aus Der O2-World , except for the band's first two self-titled albums.
The album numbers vary slightly on some West German releases, so that Schattenreiter was Puhdys 9 in West Germany, but Puhdys 10 in East Germany; as the cover artwork was created in the West, the East German release has a large Mansta Track - Roundhead* - Mansta Track device on the cover to conceal the number 9.
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