Dazzled by the NEU!
May 28th is the projected release date for the re-issue of the legendary NEU! Albums - NEU!, NEU!2 and NEU! 75. There were a few folk hip enough to buy these records as they were originally released, but they have only been available to the rest of us as impossible-to-find and outrageously-priced battered originals, or as expensive import CD re-issues of dubious origin.
EMI have put paid to this trade with this campaign that sees the albums remastered for CD and vinyl re-issues. No doubt if all the people who have claimed to own the original recordings at some point had actually bought the albums at the time, Michael Rother and Klaus Dinger would be multi-millionaires right now.
The sound of NEU!, described as "difficult" by my wife, was nevertheless hugely influential, and these King's of Krautrock, along with the likes of Can, Faust and Kraftwerk, helped inspire such diverse artists as Sonic Youth, Brian Eno, Public Image and Stereolab. As many of you know, one man who has been dropping the name of NEU! for zillions of years now is David Bowie and here follows a few words of appreciation from the man himself:
"I bought my first vinyl 'NEU 2' in Berlin around 1975 while I was on a brief visit. I bought it because I knew that they were a spin off of Kraftwerk and had to be worth hearing. Indeed, they were to prove to be Kraftwerk's wayward, anarchistic brothers. I was completely seduced by the setting of the aggressive guitar-drone against the almost-but-not-quite robotic/machine drumming of Dinger. Although fairly tenuous, you can hear a little of their influence on the track 'Station to Station'. My enthusiasm was doubled when I found out that Dinger was a guitar player and that he had to learn to drum for the sound that he heard in his head. At our regular swop-meets in 1976 Eno and I exchanged sounds that we loved. Eno offered, among others, Giorgio Moroder and Donna's military R&B and I played him Neu and the rest of the Dusseldorf sound. They sort of became our soundtrack for the year 1976." - David Bowie, 2001
So, if you aren't already familiar with NEU! now's your chance to lend an ear, and if like my wife, you too find them difficult, then blame David Bowie not me. };-)