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FAUST

Krautrock • Germany


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Faust biography
Considered by many music historians as one of the most important group out of Germany, FAUST were certainly ahead of their time. They took their music to unsuspecting heights somewhere in between CAN, VELVET UNDERGROUND, NEU, LA DUSSELDORF or HENRY COW but also much farther and can be considered as founding fathers of the Industrial Rock. Having made their debut in 71 in Hamburg, FAUST will never stop their groundbreaking and will be always one step ahead of everybody else including the groups above mentioned and are the prime example of Rock In Opposition (RIO) along with HENRY COW.

FAUST is definitely not for the faint-hearted person and can only be recommended in small doses because it is very dangerous for the sanity of the average proghead. DO NOT and I repeat this Do Not feed this to a pregnant woman or a mentally fragile person - although you could give it to Techno Heads - as they would greatly enjoy this.

: : : Hugues Chantraine, BELGIUM : : :

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FaustFaust
Multiple Formats · Import
Imports 2012
DVD$6.73
$6.72 (used)
Faust IV [Vinyl]Faust IV [Vinyl]
Limited Edition
Virgin 2009
Vinyl$22.96
$23.45 (used)
So FarSo Far
Import
Polydor 2010
Audio CD$5.53
$5.92 (used)
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FAUST discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

FAUST top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.83 | 192 ratings
Faust
1971
3.53 | 127 ratings
So Far
1972
3.80 | 117 ratings
The Faust Tapes
1973
3.92 | 204 ratings
Faust IV
1974
4.07 | 15 ratings
Return of a Legend: Munic and Elsewhere
1986
4.08 | 12 ratings
The Last LP
1989
3.84 | 19 ratings
Rien
1994
3.83 | 6 ratings
Untitled
1996
3.92 | 21 ratings
You Know faUSt
1997
2.62 | 12 ratings
Faust Wakes Nosferatu
1997
3.96 | 31 ratings
Ravvivando
1999
3.70 | 13 ratings
Faust vs. Dalek - Derbe Respect, Alder
2004
3.51 | 18 ratings
Faust & Nurse With Wound: Disconnected
2007
3.34 | 26 ratings
Cést Com...Com...Compliqué
2009
3.19 | 23 ratings
Faust Is Last
2010
3.43 | 21 ratings
Something Dirty
2011
3.29 | 7 ratings
j US t
2014

FAUST Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.23 | 3 ratings
The Faust Concerts Vol. I
1990
2.23 | 3 ratings
The Faust Concerts Vol. II
1992
3.09 | 5 ratings
Live in Edinburgh
1997
4.00 | 2 ratings
The Land Of Ukko&Rauni
2000
4.25 | 4 ratings
Faust ... In Autumn
2007
2.00 | 1 ratings
Schiphorst 2008
2010

FAUST Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

5.00 | 1 ratings
Faust In Japan
1998
2.14 | 3 ratings
Trial And Error
2005
5.00 | 1 ratings
Nobody Knows if it Really Happened
2006

FAUST Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.02 | 16 ratings
71 Minutes of Faust
1989
4.63 | 14 ratings
The Wümme Years
2000
4.71 | 21 ratings
Faust / So Far
2000
4.00 | 8 ratings
BBC Sessions +
2001
4.00 | 1 ratings
Freispiel
2002
3.00 | 7 ratings
Patchworks 1971-2002
2002
5.00 | 1 ratings
Collectif Met(z) 1996-2005
2005

FAUST Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
So Far
1972
0.00 | 0 ratings
Faust Party Extracts 1/6
1979
5.00 | 1 ratings
Faust Party Extracts 2/4
1979
0.00 | 0 ratings
Ravvivando Remix
2001

FAUST Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 So Far by FAUST album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.53 | 127 ratings

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So Far
Faust Krautrock

Review by Deferred Defect

3 stars Faust is strange.

I had known about them for years, but beyond being "that group from Germany", there wasn't anything else I could have told you about the iconic Krautrock pioneers.

Actually becoming involved with the genre had somehow made them even more mysterious, and it was rare that they were brought up at all. It was groups like Popul Vuh, CAN, and Cluster that were the topics of discussion, and I had forgotten Faust had even existed.

Maybe it's because they were *too* experimental; Their first release is a smorgasbord of sampled 60's pop rock, fairground sounds, traditional folk music, and shouted, almost cult like, vocals. It's tough material to get through, and was exceedingly effective at scaring me away for a while.

"So Far" was their second release, and embraces a far more conventional structure, but of course that's entirely relative! Being a complete sellout myself, it was the first track that got me interested in the album at all.

"It's A Rainy Day, Sunshine Girl" is a basic, but impossibly catchy opener. With a heavy tom-tom playing the simplest beat imaginable, it sounds as if some far away tribe has just entered the industrial revolution, and it really doesn't get much more complicated from here on out. 98% of the lyrics are in the song title, and there's no progression, but It's got such a happy vibe that I'm certain nobody could listen to it without feeling just a little bit better.

"On the Way to Abamäe" is a fantastic followup track. As it starts, it feels as though the band has taken the elements from "Why Don't You Eat Carrots" and played them in a slightly more conventional manner. We get the shouted lyrics, but almost to a beat, the folksy/fairground atmosphere, but it's worked into the song structure, rather than just an out of phase sample.

Eventually it breaks down into a very late 1960's sounding jazz/rock piece titled "No Harm".

There's enormous energy, and although the lyrics (as usual) make absolutely no sense, I get an almost Santana or even Gypsy King vibe from their delivery. This is an extremely fun song that highlights the groups improvisational abilities.

The second half of the album is insanely diverse, covering a range of genres that really shouldn't be on the same set of grooves. If I were to be writing a screenplay covering someone's slow spiral into insanity, this would be the soundtrack.

We start with "traditional Krautrock", whatever that might be. A simple but clean buildup in "So Far" sets the stage, with elements being added and removed as the band sees fit. This could be off of one of NEU!'s first few releases, including the transition from the happy, eventually comfortable soundscape Faust sets up, promptly dissolved into the dark, industrial sounding noises and bass heavy beats in "Mamie is Blue".

If all this has gotten you down, luckily Faust has you covered. "I've Got My Car and my TV" could be the theme for a 1970s children's show, complete with more folksy lyrics and instrumentation. It's well produced, but has aged the worst of all the songs, making it slightly disorienting to my ears. It would definitely have fit in as a guest track on Yellow Submarine.

Two more atmospheric freeform tracks fill the gap between this and the final song, "...In the Spirit", a vaudeville style romp, complete with brass and finger-snapping that comes along for the ride.

If this half of the record is analogous to losing your mind, our protagonist is long gone by this point! Unfortunately, I think it's *too* well done, and instead of feeling like a Faust take on Broadway, it comes across as a musical number that was included by accident.

This is one of those albums where I find myself switching records altogether after finishing Side 1. I appreciate the work that went into it, but the mood and atmospheres so carefully crafted during the first 25 minutes are unceremoniously torn down with the rest of the album. It's easier to go from Side 1 of "So Far" into "Tago Mago", than finishing Side 2, and now being forced to put on "Band on the Run"!

If there's one thing Faust is predictable at, it's unpredictability.

3.5/5 and still highly recommended listening.

 The Faust Tapes  by FAUST album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.80 | 117 ratings

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The Faust Tapes
Faust Krautrock

Review by LearsFool
Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

5 stars Suckerpunch: The Album. Throbbing Gristle circa 1979, take notes. First, you follow the discount model of record marketing in the '70s, and so price your new LP like a single. Next, have that LP be put together by some random bloke at Virgin with a penchant for surprises from a collection of all those old tapes of your music you have lying around. Now watch with glee as at least 50,000 members of the British music listening public become confused and disgusted by your and your Anglo label's Frankensteinian meisterwerk.

This concrete Adonis is built on hairpin turns through already strange, experimental, diverse, and unique musics and sounds and even some peppered in studio talks for that "In My Time of Dying" feel two years early. I can hear free jazz, noise, and proto- industrial alongside the snippets of more familiar krautrock kraziness. A happy surprise comes in the form of some pieces being long, providing some wonderful extended jams that are also respites from the insanity. This is more than just a representation of track skipping/channel hopping in intentional musical form, this is "Breathless" in album form. This defies category; it isn't even really concrete as we'd generally identify it; just mumble 'avant garde' and run. Excellent music in a groin smashing format. For the progheads who like surprises. I need to lie down.

 Faust & Nurse With Wound: Disconnected by FAUST album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.51 | 18 ratings

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Faust & Nurse With Wound: Disconnected
Faust Krautrock

Review by Dobermensch
Prog Reviewer

2 stars This recording is how I imagine the original Amon Düül sounding in 2007 if they'd had the technology and any sense of professionalism at hand. The opener has many similarities to 'Psychedelic Underground' from 1969. Forget about the 4/4 beat - this is a 1/1 Red American Indian tribal dirge.

Despite being well produced and being very clear in sound separation, 'Disconnected' leaves me feeling disengaged by its conclusion. I own around 40 Nurse With Wound LP's and have the first 4 'Faust' recordings so had high hopes approaching this collaboration of two very studio-bound artists.

Overall, this album sounds far more 'Nurse With Wound' than 'Faust'. I can only imagine that 'Faust' handed over some DAT tapes with which Steve Stapleton deconstructed, mashed, bashed and re-built to his own requirements.

'Disconnected' is mostly made up of the usual 'Nurse With Wound' precisely clipped vocal snippets, while all sorts of metallic drones and ethereal groans are layered one on top of the other. It creates a very odd Dadaist atmosphere where intentionally, nothing makes sense. There's even a john Cage moment called 'Silence' where you have to listen to nothing for one minute. Why?

"Tu M'Entends?" utilises that 'Nurse With Wound' electronic drum loop that he relied on heavily in the mid nineties. Steve Stapleton is the ultimate magpie plagiarist. SO many of his sounds are 'borrowed' from other bands. This is no bad thing, as they're all so fleeting it's hard to get a grip on them. But I always listen to 'Nurse With Wound' thinking I've heard that somewhere before, but can never put my finger on it. Infuriating...

'Faust' re-appear live on the last track 'Hard Rain' with some violently shouted German vocals and heavy drums. It's tuneless of course and is raw, loud and completely out of place on this recording. It does however, slap me in the face and brings me out of my dead man stupor.

This is not a good place to start if you're unfamiliar with either band. It sounds nothing like 'Faust' and there are far better 'Nurse With Wound' albums available.

 Cést Com...Com...Compliqué by FAUST album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.34 | 26 ratings

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Cést Com...Com...Compliqué
Faust Krautrock

Review by HolyMoly
Special Collaborator Retired Admin

4 stars Since returning to the public eye in the early 1990s, this legendary Krautrock collective has been a lot more prolific than I would have expected. I remember when Rien hit the shelves, and I thought it was a miracle that such a mercurial and fleeting band (their early 70s heyday lasted just a few years) would actually return to create new music that was, if such a thing is possible, even more far-out than the music for which they achieved their notoriety. But back they were, and Rien was such a difficult listen (lots of abstract noise and lots of silence, even more so than the typical Faust album) that I thought for a while that the band's subsequent releases might not interest me that much, so I stopped following them. However, several years later I took the plunge and found that Faust had indeed returned to the adventurous Krautrock spirit they helped define, and were continuing down their old path while pushing in new directions at the same time.

This album is one of their most sophisticated releases, not exactly accessible, but with a depth and texture that is sometimes lost in their more strident material. The overall mood is somber and subdued, with lots of drones underscoring slow robotic beats, spoken lyrics, and gently buzzing synths. It's not all monochromatic, happily: variety appears in tracks such as "Petits Sons Appetissants", a gently sung waltz with acoustic guitar and piano accompaniment. And it's not all quiet, as the heavy droning pulse of "Bonjour Gioacchino" will attest. The longer tracks, however, are generally quieter and more contemplative than the average Faust tune. I hesitate to say "Faust Lite", but when you consider Faust's legacy, that still allows for some pretty avant garde stuff, and that's in fact what we have here. It's just dressed up in smoother textures than their more "out" albums (e.g. The Faust Tapes).

I think this album would appeal to fans of "So Far" and "Faust IV". It's a great example of Faust's continued vitality in the new millenium. It doesn't try to replicate the music of their past, but it doesn't leave it behind, either. It's a continuation of where they have been going all along, forward along their own path. The fact that they now sound more contemporary than they did in the 1970s is probably evidence that the rest of the music world is only now coming around to the novel ideas they brought to the table so long ago.

 So Far by FAUST album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.53 | 127 ratings

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So Far
Faust Krautrock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Faust's second album finds the band casting about for something to do after their bizarre debut and not finding much beyond weird for weird's sake. They'd eventually succeed in adapting to shorter songs and creating a sound which is accessible enough for newcomers whilst still retaining their own bizarre attributes on Faust IV; here, we find them fumbling in the general direction of that album but not quite making it. The thing about being a highly experimental rock band is that sometimes experiments, no matter how well-conceived, fail to actually work - and that's the case here a little too often for me to recommend the album to anyone other than collectors.
 Faust by FAUST album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.83 | 192 ratings

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Faust
Faust Krautrock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Opening with radio static with the strains of the Stones' Satisfaction and the Beatles' All You Need Is Love fading in and out, Faust's debut album sounds chaotic at first listen, but care and dedicated listening reveals the carefully judged compositional calculations underlying everything. Maintaining a shrewd balance between being undauntingly experimental and keeping the listener's interest, it's a radical release which as well as representing the more disciplined and composed end of Krautrock could act as a sort of RIO manifesto when you consider how the experiments on this album would find echoes later in the works of the likes of Henry Cow.
 Faust IV by FAUST album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.92 | 204 ratings

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Faust IV
Faust Krautrock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Faust IV is an album which veers giddily between two distinct styles. On the one hand, you have a quirky style of highly avant-garde krautrock that must surely have fed into the Henry Cow sound (in fact, Henry Cow's early sound can be summed up as a mashup of the more avant ends of Canterbury and Faust-styled Krautrock - a heady mixture which could have only come about at Virgin). On the other hand, you have whimsical, comedic songs which remind me an awful lot of the work of Kevin Ayers (see The Sad Skinhead, for instance). In other words, it's a mashup of a big heap of prog traditions which were overlooked by the mainstream even when prog itself was mainstream.
 Faust IV by FAUST album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.92 | 204 ratings

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Faust IV
Faust Krautrock

Review by LinusW
Special Collaborator Italian Prog Specialist

4 stars Push play and take the short route to the dizzying heights of Krautrock perfection.

With a warped electronic whiplash you're suddenly drenched by a surging, pulsing drone of the most wondrous richness and majesty. A shining, rather warm mishmash of fuzzy, unpolished synth sounds dance and shimmer in layer upon layer, mixed with deeper, bassier murmurings lurking in the background together with shorter, more playful (and ocassionally more abrasive) phrasings that haphazardly pop in and out of the mix. After a while a hypnotic tambourine-like beat anchors the piece while mischievous distorted guitars wink, blink and glitch by like quick and sudden electrical impulses. The bass build on the beat with a mantra-like repetitive zeal with room for discreet but delicious changes. Guitars evolve into denser, more textural sounds and mingle with the keys in ever more intense, loose and multi-layered tapestries of fragile harmonies and noise before - suddenly - the drums build up as for a crescendo with a proper beat and some power around the seven minute mark. But nothing really changes, at least not drastically. Guitars break free from the instrumental hive-mind and start to form floaty and more melodic structures that dominate the now airier soundscape for a while. It gets a bit ominous and hesitant right about here, where nervous, chaotic electronic sounds swoosh past or hover threateningly before dissipating. A final flutter of cymbals and the fading last remnants of the guitars...and it's all over. Just like that. Not with a bang, but with a whisper. Et cetera.

The contrast to what follows is what breaks and makes this album. The Sad Skinhead is a groovy, off-beat-laden pop rock ditty with a scaled down and roomy arrangement of drums, bass and guitar. Basic, primal, naked. Some eager marimba fill out the spaces along with hints of the previous electronica and eventually makes this song more interesting than when taken at face value.

This intrinsic conflict on Faust IV is ever present on all the remaining tracks. A slightly lazy and curious love for easy-going pop and rock that makes me think of Robert Wyatt, Kevin Ayers and The Velvet Underground. Love, yes, but also a flippant, humorous detachment and a whimsical dismissal of it all. That same undeniable but mesmerizing friction with harsher structural and sonic experimentation you can encounter in their work. But Faust are even less focused. You get a feeling that the band felt bored with the compositions while they were still being composed. Add to this an almost punky spirit of DIY and a streak of simplicity and you end up with an intriguing and special end result.

Clear and roomy production and a pulsing, repetitive nature in both melody and rhythm is inherent to many of the tracks, but like on the epic Krautrock, things are left to evolve rather freely from this basic underlying pattern. Be it the dreamy pop-drone of Jennifer with hypnotic, throbbing bass sounds up front, the heavy, driving psych of Just A Second, a cheery, rollicking, Canterbury-esque pseudo-jazz theme in Giggy Smile, the Can-channelling, faux-chanson Lauft or the delicate and folky psych-pop of It's A Pain - all of them evolve into stranger, more convoluted territories as they run their course. Twisting sheets of chafing, hissing electronics and guitars. Watery and percussive oscillations over dark and aimless meanderings from guitar and piano. Loose, jam-like jazz section with extended saxophone solo. Near-mechanical noise. Freaky, clicking percussion and classical, string-infused guitar that dies off into minimalistic, proto-ambient. Sharp and atonal sound manipulation and distortion blurted all over places it doesn't belong.

All of these disparate parts are juxtaposed and jumbled as if it's the most natural thing in the world. There are no clear boundaries between what's a song and what's an experiment or between what's a composition and what's an improvisation. Everything merges. It makes Faust IV disjointed and fractured, but also very playful and inviting for anyone willing to explore this strange little world. It's a carefree, loosely held together mess with normal quality control and standards thrown out the window. But it still holds up as a thoroughly enjoyable collection of music.

Wonderful.

4 stars.

//LinusW

 So Far by FAUST album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.53 | 127 ratings

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So Far
Faust Krautrock

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

5 stars The second album by Germany's answer to the Mothers of Invention is the most accessible of their early (and best) efforts, and yet still wildly creative in a typically dissident Krautrock way. But it's an odd choice of title for a band with only one previous album to their credit, unless the intended message was, "So Far, we've really screwed Polydor Records, ha ha!"

Here the group made a genuine effort to manage the sometimes slapdash anarchy of their 1971 debut, but without compromising any of that album's tongue-in-cheek, anti-establishment attitude. The packaging of the original LP even reversed the cover concept of the first album in a way that reflected the music within: in this case a model of opaque artistry instead of the earlier all-transparent weirdness. (Included with the original vinyl was a lavish portfolio of artwork illustrating each song, happily intact in my own music library.)

Their collective nose-thumbing was more discreet, better crafted, and is still amusing to listeners in on the joke. That trademark dry German wit underpins the willful simplicity of the album opener, "It's a Rainy Day (Sunshine Girl)", a prototypical pop song reduced to its most basic elements: a steady beat (to say the least) and a silly lyric. Both are repeated in a robotic monotone for over seven minutes, eventually reaching a climactic mock saxophone solo that never fails to make me smile.

Even more radical (for this group) was the tasteful acoustic guitar melody of "On the Way to Abamäe". Faust was often many things, but rarely so pretty. Compare that brief interlude to the driving rock 'n' roll posturing of "No Harm", with its shouted nonsensical mantra ("Daddy, take the banana...tomorrow is Sunday!"), or to the more unsettling "Mamie is Blue", sounding like the earth-shaking footfalls of some great Teutonic behemoth lumbering across the Lower Saxony countryside.

The title track meanwhile works like a Faust playbook, opening on a drunken stumble of overlapping acoustic guitars before settling into one of the most hypnotic Krautrock grooves this side of CAN, played in a flat-footed but swinging count of seven. And the consumer parody "I've Got My Car and My TV" is the band at its iconoclastic best, complete with rinky-dink melodies, children singing (and coughing), and arguably the catchiest instrumental break ever recorded. It might have been a satirical take on the post-war Wirtschaftswunder, and was apparently good enough to merit a revisit, on the "Faust IV" album in 1974.

The balance of the disc is pure ZAPPA, ending in a Dada cabaret deconstruction blended from equal measures of pure craft and tacky pastiche.

I'm not the only ProgArchive reviewer to recognize "So Far" as the ideal port of entry for newcomers to the off-kilter universe of Faust. But I'll go a step further and award the album an unreserved five stars, for quality and longevity, and for marking an essential pit stop along the winding Krautrock autobahn.

 Faust by FAUST album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.83 | 192 ratings

BUY
Faust
Faust Krautrock

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The debut Faust album was one of the greatest middle fingers ever directed at a clueless music industry. Did producer / con artist Uwe Nettelbeck really convince Polydor Records that this band of anarchists could be the next Beatles? And did they realize he was rubbing the company's nose in the dung of its own gullibility by including brief snippets of the Fab Four and the Rolling Stones at the top of the album opener, "Why Don't You Eat Carrots?"

You can hear it both ways: as a daring act of musical non-conformity, or just a ploy to exploit Polydor in the same way the label was no doubt using its other artists, by taking their money straight to the bank. Legend says the group wasted a generous advance of time and cash on drugs and other idle recreations, before making a late attempt at actual music-making. Once the tapes were rolling, however, all bets were off.

There may not have been a kitchen sink in their Wümme studio, but everything else was thrown into the mix, and the end result was a compelling mess of song, noise, dada absurdity, musique concrete, rock 'n' roll exuberance, and free-floating what the f*ck weirdness. Some of it almost sounds (halfway) normal, like the horn melody in between the interruptions of mind-frying cosmic radiation in "Why Don't You Eat Carrots?" or the crude but invigorating garage band jam following the silly nonsense poetry of "Meadow Meal".

But the yardstick of normality was set pretty low to begin with. The side-long assembly aptly (for Polydor) titled "Miss Fortune" sounds like a haphazard collage of leftover rehearsal tapes. And the playful arrangement of the closing narration, recorded word by separate word in alternating left and right channels, was quintessential Faust iconoclasm, like some of the best Krautrock both comic and thoughtful at the same time.

"The idea was not to copy anything going on in the Anglo-Saxon rock scene", said Uwe Nettelbeck afterward: pure Barnum & Bailey B.S. of course. But then again, Frank Zappa wasn't an Anglo-Saxon, was he? The arrival of Faust could almost be seen as the second leg of a long musical itinerary that began with Zappa in late '60s Los Angeles, continued all through Germany at the end of the decade, and eventually came full circle back to California in groups like The Residents and Chrome: two direct descendants of the patchwork Faustian method.

We can only speculate what the Polydor suits must have thought of the band's first album, when they recovered from their collective faint after first hearing it. But give the poor suckers a round of applause for their misguided zeal in signing such an unlikely act, and turning this musical lynch mob loose on an unsuspecting world.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition.

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