Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Rheingold - s/t (1980)

Debut album by Neue Deutsche Welle legends Rheingold, who took their name from the luxury Trans-Europe Express train that always passed through Bodo Staiger's native Düsseldorf.  As mentioned in the previous post, Staiger had played guitar on the 1977 second album by Lilac Angels, rock n' rollers formed out of Klaus Dinger's brief attempt at becoming some sort of svengali.

Staiger did become a fan of La Düsseldorf, and it shows in the sound of this album.  In fact, if I had to describe Rheingold in one sentence, it would be to imagine La Düsseldorf had been fronted by Michael Rother rather than Dinger: the propulsive energy is there (check Internationale) but a lot of the guitar tones are softer, cleaner and overall much closer in melodic sensibility to late 70s Rother.  This shows up most in the album's five instrumental tracks.  There's a bit of a Neu! influence too (is it just me, or does the outro on Pirata sound uncannily like the intro to Hero?).

Lyrics are all in German, other than the sweet ballad Rendezvous which is tri-lingual and also gives a vocal spotlight to keyboard player Brigitte Kunze.  To make a bigger impact outwith Germany, Rheingold went on to release English-language versions of the two big singles here, Fluss/River and Dreiklangs-Dimensionen/Triad Dimensions.  The latter is probably still this group's best moment, sounding like Kraftwerk with a muscular rhythm guitar added.



  1. Not a bad album, definitely has some moments. Thanks. W


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