Altona ‎– Altona (1974)

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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