01. Big Wheel (5:09)
02. Urban Indian (5:30)
03. Adrenalin Rush (5:21)
04. Visions of Fire (5:59)
05. Drawn to the Flame pt. 1 (8:07)
06. They Call it Home (4:40)
07. Die Lösung (3:36)
08. Drawn to the Flame pt. 2 (7:34)
- John Weinzierl / guitar
- Dave Anderson / bass
- Guy Evans / drums
- Julie Wareing / vocals
- Robert Calvert / vocals
- Ed Wynne / guitar
- Joie Hinton / synthesizers
The history of Amon Duul and Amon Duul II is one of the most confused in all prog. Essentially, there are two separate bands with the name Amon Duul. The first Amon Duul split almost instantaneously, with one faction retaining the name and the other using the name Amon Duul II. Some time later, Amon Duul II members John Weinzierl and Dave Anderson left that band, forming a new band called Amon Duul, who in reality are Amon Duul 3. It is this British version of the band who recorded this album in 1989.
"Die losung" ("The solution") is the third album released by this version of Amon Duul, and arguably the most interesting. The members include Guy Evans, the drummer with the classic Van Der Graaf generator line up plus a couple of Ozric Tentacles members. Of even greater interest though is the presence of the late Robert Calvert of Hawkwind, who provides the lyrics and lead vocals.
The music here is generally more accessible that that of the other Amon Duul configurations, with strong melodies and choruses. Calvert's vocals are slightly distorted and sometimes multi-tracked. Instrumentally, it is the guitar of John Weinzierl and the synth of Joie Hinton which dominates, with both contributing fine performances.
The opening "Big wheel" has all the ingredients of a potential single for the 1980's, with hints of bands such as Japan, Talk Talk, the Human League and even a bit of Bowie. "Adrenalin rush" moves into Billy Idol territories, with passing similarities to "Rebel yell" and songs of that ilk. The song, which once again has single potential, includes a superb but all too brief guitar break. "Visions of fire" reminds me of Bowie's "Ashes to ashes", even down to the accented vocals, here though the guitar solo is allowed to develop far more satisfactorily.
The feature track is the 8 minute "Drawn to the flame", where Calvert's vocals are supported by Julie Wareing. Calvert's slightly off key delivery suits this pulsating piece perfectly The song is allowed to develop through a more intricate structure into something of an epic. Wareing assumes the role of lead vocalist for two remaining tracks, giving those songs a different feel to the rest of the album. The 80's atmosphere remains, but the tracks seem even more straightforward and commercial. That said, "They call it home" has some good riffs generating a fine overall sound.
The song sometimes entitled "Drawn to the flame part 2" is in fact simply an alternative version of "Drawn to the flame". There are significant differences in the two versions though, this rendition resisting the temptation to lift the tempo for much longer.
In all, while those seeking the difficult prog of Amon Duul/Amon Duul II's early years will have to look elsewhere, this is something of a lost gem. Not only do we get some of Robert Calvert's most accessible work, we also find a collection of well crafted pop prog. Those wishing to acquire this now rare album will be pleased to learn that it is included in its entirety on the Retro Gold budget compilation entitled "Anthology of Cosmic Music".