quarta-feira, 5 de abril de 2017

Bel Air • Neo-Prog - Germany


People often lament prog's near death in the '80s, but it was still very much alive in certain areas of Europe. One such place was Germany, and Peter Wustmann's WMMS label. One of the first bands to come from this fledgling company was Bel Air. In 1986, guitarist Frank Baur, guitarist / vocalist Steffen Wertz, drummer Fifi Maurer, bass player Hansjörg Vogt, keyboard player Markus Vogt, and flautist Felicitas Oettinger got together and recorded "Welcome Home." They had enough success to record a follow up, but three years was enough to take its toll. When they went back to record the follow up, 1989's "The sleeping Beauty," Fifi Maurer had been replaced by Holger Oberfell, Steffen Wertz was replaced by Klaus Meyer, and they brought in Andreas Kanthak to handle lead vocals. They never recorded another album of original music. However, in 1994 the debut was repackaged and released as "A Golden Dream." This version changed the original track order, and added two additional songs.

This very AOR based Neo, although they do break into a little more symphonic styles from time to time. On the whole though, I think they were listening to a lot of Asia. I do find the vocals a bit confusing. After losing Steffen Wertz, they were in the market for not just a guitarist, but also a new lead vocalist. Since they decided to split the duties between two people, I think they could have done much better than Andreas Kanthak. Perhaps that is why they never recorded again.

H.T. Riekels (bhikkhu)



From Magal, The Fisherman

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