Cosmic Dreams: An important and long lasting German exponent of 'romantic rock' (in their own words) Novalis was formed in Autumn 1971. Hartwig Biereichel had previously played in a blues-rock outfit named Greenlight (releasing four tracks on the 1970 festival sampler Love & Peace). In 1972, Novalis gave their first concert in their hometown Hamburg as the warm-up act to Cravinkel at "The Fabrik". Banished Bridge (recorded in January 1973 at Windrose Studios, produced by Jochen Petersen) was one of the first examples of synthesised German symphonic-rock. A very good album with a lyrical and melancholic atmosphere. The 17 minute long title track stands out as something very special - a very careful and understated composition with long 'ambient' passages full of bird whistles. Perhaps a good comparison would he P.F.M.'s first two Italian albums, and the vocal work is comparable to the first Jane album. However, vocalist Wenzel left the band after some arguments in 1974. Detlef Job and Carlo Karges were added, expanding the group to a quintet. Karges had previously been a member of Tomorrow's Gift. With completely different vocals (by Heine Schunzel), German lyrics and the added guitars, their self-titled second album (recorded February 1975 in Studio Maschen) understandably sounded very different from the first. It was produced by Achim Reichel (who also produced all their forthcoming Brain albums) and comprised five songs of fine keyboard-based, folk-inspired rock, written by Rahn and Karges. Best were "Impressionen", based on Brucker's 5th symphony, and "Es Farbte Sich Die Wiese Grun", a symphonic folk song with adapted lyrics courtesy of the German romantic poet Novalis (Friedrich Freiherr von Hardenberg), written in 1798. Comparisons can be made with Holderlin's Spiegelei albums. Carlo Karges abandoned such music when he quit to join the new wave act Nena. Novalis recorded Sommerabend as a quartet in February 1976. This was an even better work, combining and developing elements from their previous albums to a neat perfect, personal symphonic rock. The title track must rank as their most outstanding achievement ever: a lush and romantic opus with acoustic guitars, string synthesizers, choir, thoughtful lyrics (in German) and nature's sounds of a summer afternoon. Just beautiful! In June 1976 the Austrian Fred Muhlbock was engaged as Novalis' new fifth member.
side A: 1/ Sonnengeflecht
2/ Wer Schmetterlinge Lachen Hort
side B: 4/ Impressionen
5/ Es Farbte Sich die Wiese gruen
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