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Tuesday 3 March 2009

Funky Frankfurt

Today we feature a couple of tracks taken from the punningly titled "The In-Kraut Volume 2", the second in an excellent series of three CDs compiling assorted examples of swinging German grooviness from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s.

The first example of Teutonic tunefulness comes from an outfit called the Hazy Osterwald Jet Set, and is a tribute to "Swinging London". It starts off reciting the London A-Z, pausing only to announce that "Humperdinck's on BBC", then after a smoking organ solo comes up with some searing social commentary. It is absolutely fantastic.

I had never heard of the Hazies (or is it the Osterwalds?) before getting this CD, but judging by the number of clips on YouTube they must have been big in Germany back in the 1960s. They were clearly crazy guys, as you can see in this clip - just keep your eye on the sax player:

Our second tune is as good as the first one (you can take that however you want). Here is Hugo Strasser with an extraordinary reworking of Deep Purple's "Black Night":

You could not really do a feature on German big band remakes of pop and rock hits without including the Daddy of them all. So to finish off here is Hansi himself, Mr James Last, with his Orchestra. This is a clip of them doing the theme from "Rocky". Unfortunately we only get to see the back of James' head, but there are many other delights to savour such as the bongo solo and the beard of the purple-shirted trumpeter. Enjoy!

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