on life, music etc beyond mainstream



„Take the title track of Rother’s solo debut Flammende Herzen (from 1977) as an example. As Rother keeps scaling the deceptively plain guitar melody ever upwards from its minimalist foundations, it’s difficult to think of another track that manages to combine humble intimacy with unabashedly epic grandeur with such grace and deeply affecting beauty.“









This entry was posted on Montag, 18. Februar 2019 and is filed under "Blog". You can follow any responses to this entry with RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


  1. Olaf:

    Vor knapp 20 Jahren bin ich viel in Berliner Trödelläden unterwegs gewesen und habe dort die Plattenkisten durchwühlt. Mit etwas Glück, war bei jeder 100. Platte eine dabei, die mich interessierte. In einem Laden stand auffallend häufig Flammende Herzen.

    Michael Rother sagte mir nichts, das Cover und die Titel deuteten für mich eher auf Schlager hin. Die Namen Jacki Liebezeit und Conny Plank – die ich damals beide kannte – habe ich auf dem Cover nicht gesehen.

    So zehn Jahre später las ich dann einmal, dass Blurs „Tender“ stark von Flammende Herzen beeinflußt sei. YouTube half schnell, seitdem bedauere ich, die Platte damals nicht gekauft zu haben.

    Die Box wird in den nächsten Monaten bestellt, freue mich schon sehr drauf.

  2. Jan Reetze:

    Die „Flammende Herzen“ hat mir seinerzeit der Verkäufer bei Govi in die Hand gedrückt, noch bevor sie sie ins Regal sortiert hatten. „Hier, die ist was für dich“, meinte er.

    Er hatte recht, die war was für mich. Ich habe die Platte als frischen Wind empfunden, nachdem „Isi“ auf der „NEU! 75“ schon angedeutet hatte, wohin Rothers Zug wohl fahren würde.

    Irgendwelche speziellen Geschichten verbinde ich mit der Platte aber nicht.

  3. Oregano Rathbone:

    The entirely reasonably-titled Solo is a vinyl/CD box set collating the first four albums Rother released in his own right, spanning the era between 1977 and 1982; these being Flammende Herzen, Sterntaler, Katzenmusik and Fernwärme. To this quartet of ravishing beauties is added one Soundtracks disc and one Live & Remixes disc – the latter only available in the vinyl box, and of potential interest to just-browsing ingénues for including Rother’s Hawkwind-in-orbit remix of Paul Weller’s Around The Lake.

    It’s an unusually moving and dignified body of work, built upon the unlikely homogeneity of Rother’s distinctive defaults. Imagine the pure-toned translucence of Hank Marvin’s first Strat, on a mat of lilies, floating down a slow river and nosing tranquilly into tributaries, pleasingly contrasted with a trebly, keening, Fripp-y, gnat-wing fuzz, trowelled on at a scrupulously controlled volume.

    The occasional interludes wherein clouds gather at the margins of the stereo spectrum are strikingly antithetical in the context of Rother’s benign omniverse. Feuerland, from the 1977 debut album Flammende Herzen, indefinably but insistently hints that something amorphously pernicious lurks behind the next hill; while Elfenbein (from 1982’s Fernwärme), recorded in the stunned wake of the death of Rother’s uncle, shivers with an entirely appropriate solemnity.

    More often than not, the tension is balanced out with an uncontainable serenity that seems to surround Rother’s playing like a Ready Brek aura. Karussell from Flammende Herzen is chalk marks on a warm and sunny pavement; Fontana Di Luna, from Sterntaler, shimmers on wavelets of vibraphone; Klangkoerper, another of Fernwärme’s low-glowing highlights, is undergrowth whispering to itself; and the same album’s opening gambit, Silberstreif, suggests Neu! replacing the springs in an antique fob watch while suppressing an explosive bout of hiccups. Cherishably, 1979’s spring-heeled Katzenmusik is an extended laudation of Rother’s cats and felines in general. In an environment where mean-spirited and ugly discourse has become the daily backdrop, a sweet-natured expression of unconditional devotion and kindness such as this delivers the most unexpectedly devastating impact.

    The love bomb may have been decommissioned in 1968; but there are still some among us who can remember how it was made.



    Question and answer:

    Did listening anew to your early solo albums bring out any new feelings, or are they forever tied in your mind to your personal circumstances when you recorded them? (For example, Flammende Herzen, recorded after recovering from a serious health scare, or dealing with bereavement during Fernwärme.)

    Every sound, every note, every single second is inside my heart. I have no distance: even Flammende Herzen, which is 42 years ago, feels unbelievably close. I can recollect the events, how I went to see Jaki Liebezeit, played him my demos or sketches and how he played in the studio.

    But what I’m always totally surprised about is that, when I listened very closely to the remasters, comparing the last official versions with the new ones, so many wonderful things popped out in my brain again. How great Conny Plank was, how wonderfully Jaki played… A feeling of great thankfulness, this is what I connect with them.

    Also, of course, the memories of events at the time, like you said – when my uncle died; and in Katzenmusik, when my partner and I had all these kittens which we had to give away, after having them for 10 weeks… It broke my heart! That’s what you hear especially on KM 10, a spirit that was very spontaneous. I only played those melodies once, and all the time being sad because on that day we had to give one of my favourite cats away!

  4. Christiana O.H.:

    Die „Flammenden Herzen“ – just great.

    Gerade schwamm ich bei Vollmond meinen letzten Kilometer und dann diese Musik mit einer ebenso weichen, harmonischen, interessanten Stimme. Mein Thai-Kater liegt neben mir und hörte besonders beim „Katzensound“ zu. Es schien ihm zu gefallen. Es ist bereits Nacht auf Phuket, ziemlich heiß, aber die Musik ist heißer.

    Ich hatte indischen Übernachtungsbesuch, meine Nachbarn sind Italiener, wir verstehen uns gut, und ich spreche Thai mit den Hiesigen. I-Haus-Atmosphäre der Siebziger! Alles passt zum Sound.

  5. Michael Engelbrecht:

    Youre welcome, C.
    Take care.


  6. Michael Engelbrecht: / michael-rother-groenemeyer-war-unser-psychotherapeut …

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