Audio: lossless (flac, cue, log, scans)
Size: 264 mb
Issue: Orange 2007
Gäa , named after the ancient Greek goddess of the Earth, was a band from the German state of Saarland, founded in 1973 and completely devoted to German progressive rock. The founding members Helmut Heisel (*02/26/1953 in Wadern) on guitar, Peter "Bello" Beil (*05/20/1954 in Pьttlingen) on bass and Stefan Dцrr (*11/04/1952 in Pьttlingen) on drums knew each other from school and from the Phantoms, a band, however, which had little originality and was mainly playing cover versions. Singer of the Phantoms was, by the way, Uwe Peter, who was later to join Mr. Grabstein, a band whose only recorded track Smog" is included in the compilation "Psychedelic gems 3" (Psychedelic Gems PGCD 03).
To come back to Gäa : Further musicians who were won for the band were Gьnther Lackes (*07/06/1 949 in Pьttlingen) on keybords who had already enjoyed a thorough education on this instrument when he was a child and who came from the beat band Non Plus Ultra, Werner Frey (*02/28/1951 in Magdeburg), who had a predilection for folk music, on guitar and as singer, as weil as Werner Jungmann (*11/22/1952 in Vцlklingen) on congas.
Helmut Heisel left the band after only a short time, a decision which annoys him today, and so they went on playing with five members, confining themselves to songs of their own composition with German lyrics. On one of their first (of altogether eighty) gigs, they attracted the notice of Alfred Kersten whose Kerston label was already quite successful at that time and who invited them to his studio in the viilage of Forst near Stuttgart for recording sessions. In the summer of 1973 the band set out for that place, with tents in their luggage for lack of money. On arrival, however, they were told to come back the next day, for in the studio were standing the Flippers, in high-necked suits in the stifling heat. Yet on the following day, there was again another band they had to let go ahead because Fred Kersten's initial enthusiasm for Gдa had seemingiy waned a bit. He could not send them back, though. And so he did the recordings in great haste and in a pretty uninspired mood. The band was, accordingly, dissatisfied with the result. Nevertheless in 1974, the songs came out on the LP "Auf der Bahn zum Uranus" (i.e. On the track to Uranus) (Kerston 65014) in a mini edition.
The cover artwork was done by Bello's brother Eduard and shows Gäa , or Gaia, the goddess of the Earth who gives birth to all life. By the way, it is not true that part of the records ended up on the garbage dump. In 1992 the meanwhile much sought-after LP was re-released on CD on the label Ohrwaschl. Since in the Saarland the unconventional band was only accepted with hesitation, they were mainly playing gigs in the Eifel area, in the Hunsrьck and in Rhineland-Palatinate. However, they were not tobe discouraged and in 1975 they eventually won the Saar-Rocky award. Werner Jungmann left the band, Helmut Heisel rejoined it and took on the second guitar and then, after Bello had gone to Mr. Grabstein, the bass. In the meantime, they had written three new songs, namely "Heilende Sonne" (i.e. Healing sun), "Morgendдmmerung" (Dawn) and the outstanding "Autobahn" (Freeway). To have a good basis for their second LP, they recorded them in Michael Leistenschneider's Leico studio in the town of Schmelz in early 1975, this time under better conditions than with Kerston. Yet before the LP could be completed, Gдa split up in 1978. Werner Frey followed BelIo to Grabstein who renamed themselves Elaine at the end of 1978. Gьnther Lackes signed up with the Blackbirds where he is still playing cover versions of weIl-known songs today. Helmut Heisel played in lots ofdifferent bands before, in 1991 he and Stefan Dцrrjoined Saartana, who am working on their own CD these days. Werner Jungmann and BeIIo are no longer working as musicians. Nowadays, Werner Frey works as a teacher, Gьnther Lackes is employed in a bank, Helmut Heisel runs a pub, Stefan Dцrr works as a haulier, Werner Jungmann as an orderly and BeIIo as a civil servant. They are all still friends.
In the 1980s, the former Gдa members now and again came together in the evening for casual music sessions, and a couple of self-composed songs were tape-recorded in the rehearsal room. There does not longer exist any useable tape of "Die Giganten" (The titans), but there is after all one of "Tabbert", "Du", "Inspektion" and "Warum". Guest musicians on these songs were Uwe Stumpf, Bernd Keffer, Sascha Hцffner, UIi Klabunde, Hans-Jьrgen Stьrmer and Jupp Dцrr. In order not to let the unreleased Gдa recordings sink into oblivion, they decided to have them released on CD, i.e. the CD on hand. The heart and major part of this CD is the unfinished Leico LP, that is the first three songs. They are probably the best Gдa has ever made and show how mature and full of ideas the band was at that time. The four bonus tracks from the eighties are no longer progressive rock in the strict sense of the word, but sinGe there was room left on the CD and for the sake of completeness they have been added. Those who don't want to listen to them may weIl switch off after track 3. As cover a further work by Eduard BeIl was chosen, this time showing the Alruna, a Iegendary earth-spirit. In Germanic mythology which, apart from the Christian religion, continues to be an acknowledged state religion in Iceland, Alruna is a rough counterpart to Gдa, the ancient Greek goddess of the Earth. What is happening to the earth today is Alruna's nightmare (Alraunes Alptraum). ~ From the Gäa -Booklet
Werner Frey / guitar, vocals
Stefan Dorr / drums, vocals
Werner Jungmann / vocals, congas
Gunter Lackes / organ, piano, vocals
Peter Bell / bass, flute, vocals
01 - Uranus 9:38
02 - Bossa Rustical 4:05
03 - Tanz Mit Dem Mond 7:23
04 - Mutter Erde 6:57
05 - Welt Im Dunkel 6:59
06 - 06 - GДa 7:33