Prior to recording their next album, Wolfgang "Popo" Jäger would replace Bassist Bernhard "Bär" Uhlemann. Concentrating more on arrangement and production, Jumbo, released in 1975, presented a more polished Grobschnitt, offering an album of a seemingly symphonic style of progressive rock. As a whole, the album is different than its predecessor; the long, ambling space rock of "Solar Music" is replaced with a more precise progressive; little is left to improvisation or chance. With its punchy bass line, "The Excursion of Father Smith" opens the record with a lively, circus-like character. Grobschnitt jump between verses, shifting musical passages with ease. There's a symphonic air to their music, as well as pristine execution. Again recorded by Conny Plank, it's a sonic masterpiece. Lupo's lead guitar drives "The Clown," revealing a very Yes-inspired progressive sound, propelled by Eroc's hard-hitting drumming. The second side's "Dream and Reality" opens softly with Wildschwein's impassioned and exquisite voice, before shifting gears and offering Mist a chance to blast his keyboards. Opening with trance-like guitars, "Sunny Sunday's Sunset" is a progressive triumph for the band. Playful and melodic, the band offer an epic mix of composition and arrangement, both soft and driving, all to further the story. The album was a success, so much so that the band even released a version "mit deutsche Texten" for their home market in 1976, as a well as a single, "Sonnenflug" b/w "Der Clown." Before the next Grobschnitt record, main man Eroc would find time to record and release two solo albums, 1975's Eroc and 1976's Zwei, that demonstrate the drummer's skill as both a musician and engineer. The former is a heady mix of synthesizers, including the Dada cut-up "Horrorgoll," while the second descends into further wackiness of spoken-word, Schlager and beyond!
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Taken from The Strawberry Bricks Guide to Progressive Rock, here is an Album of the Week to enjoy and discuss.
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