Altona is the first of two albums by the German jazz-rock band Altona, recorded in 1974 and released in 1975 on RCA Victor. As a first-issued release, it appeared in Germany and Spain (cat# PPL1-4049).
Altona contains seven group-written originals. It marked the first appearance on record for all seven players except guitarist Werner von Gosen and singer, bassist, and saxophonist Karl-Heinz Blumenberg, who both appear on the 1971 album by Altona-precursor Thrice Mice. Altona is the first production credit for engineer Klaus Bohlmann, who later founded Chameleon Studio.
A4. “7/4” (4:12) | Writer: Altona
A. Intro (:01–:35)
- Arrangement: Staccato saxophone, crunchy chords (first note in). Thick root-note bass.
- Rhythm: Syncopated beat (jerky), cymbal spray.
- Construction: Coupled notes, mostly in C# (starts on 7th). Two bar progression (E#-F#-B).
- Meter: 3/4 overlaid on 4/4 (3+3+2=8).
B. Second section (:35–2:25)
- Staccato bass line (gruff), coupled notes (B-C#” (x3)).
- Bridge: four bars in waltz time, one chord each (C#-F-A-A♭). (Only metric deviation.)
- Sax solo: wiggling 2nd (E♭) over C# bass line. Sustained notes, roam slightly.
- Bridge (repeat): lands on four waltz bars in F#.
C. Vocal verse (2:25–2:43)
- Gruff, belting vocals.
- Brisk 4/4 tempo.
- Bobbing coupled-note bass line (C#-A♭-C#-A♭-E♭-F#) under speedy bar-chords (proto-punk).
- Lyrics about performing place-to-place.
D. Chorus (2:43–2:52)
- Open-cadence drum roll.
- Held-note chorus line: “Weeee make the darkness go away.”
- Two chords: sustained E♭ (“Weeee”), C# (“make the darkness go away”).
C. →D. →C. →D (repeat (x2) | 2:53–3:46)
- Third verse: added lead (bended notes, sustain) between each vocal.
- Third chorus: added phasing, echo.
E. Outro (3:47–4:11)
- Intro redux: Four bass notes per 3/4 (B-C#”).
- Coda: waltz time, three notes per key (C#-E-F#-A x3).
- Ends on sustained A chord.
A1. “Can’t Live Without You” (4:05)
A2. “Cocopus” (5:33)
A3. “Überlandfahrt” (4:00)
A4. “7/4” (4:12)
B1. “Boulevard” (4:56)
B2. “Frustration” (6:40)
B3. “Hide Yourself” (5:46)
Bass – Fritz Kahl
Drums – Hans-Heinz Gossler
Guitar – Klaus Gerlach, Werner von Gosen
Tenor Saxophone [Tenor-sax] – Michael von Rönn, Wolfgang Wülff
Vocals, Soprano Saxophone, Bass, Baritone Saxophone – Karl Heinz Blumenberg
Producer – Klaus Bohlmann
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