Bachdenkel are a completely forgotten fantastic British band who made two albums seven years apart. This album was recorded in 1970 but not released until 1973. The line was as follows: Colin Swinburne, vocals, guitar, organ, piano, Peter Kimberley, bass, piano (Track 2), vocals, Brian Smith, drums, Karel Beer, organ (on Track 7 only). Apparently Karel Beers produced the band and did the lights...............
Bachdenkel was born in England around the age of 68 as a psychedelic rock band in the same way as Pink Floyd, Procol Harum or Soft Machine, and like these, it was sophisticating its sound and turning prog. In ten years of existence they only released two albums that remained relatively unknown but deserve a lot of attention. The sound is dominated by guitars with great work on the drums. ...............
Bachdenkel started out life as the U NO Who. This late 60s group had been active on the Birmingham scene for some time and played psychedelic pop. They recorded a handful of respectable tracks which were pitched to the Beatles’ Apple label but no deal ever materialized. The U NO Who would go on to become Bachdenkel at the end of the decade. Bachdenkel’s lineup looked something like this: Colin Swinburne on vocals, guitar, piano, organ and harpsichord, Peter Kimberley on vocals, bass and piano, Brian Smith on drums, and Karel Beer on Organ.
Bachdenkel would relocate to France and record the great Lemmings album in 1970. Although the LP was completed by the summer of 1970, Phillips didn’t release Lemmings until 1973 - released throughout Europe but not in the UK. This really sealed this unique British group’s fate – unfairly so because they were very talented. I believe a UK reissue/rerelease appeared in the late 70s (maybe 1978) but by that time Bachdenkel had ceased to exist. The group released another solid progressive album titled Stalingrad (1975) and toured Europe in 1976 before breaking up.
And as for the Lemmings LP? It’s one of the best 70s progressive rock albums out there. The musicians here keep their egos in check and know when to end a song, unlike Yes or ELP. To me this is a much better (and more interesting) album than anything Yes or ELP would ever release. The ringing guitars dominate Bachdenkel’s sound but there are tasteful keyboards as well. Some people have linked Bachdenkel’s sound to Caravan, Abbey Road era Beatles, and King Crimson.
These are all valid comparisons – think of Bachdenkel as a missing link between the Beatles and the mighty Crimso, progressive guitar pop with a slight psychedelic hangover. “An Appointment With The Master”, the LP’s most popular song, is a lost classic that might be what the Beatles would have sounded like had they lasted into the progressive rock era. Crashing drums and superb psychedelic guitar work give this cut a fresh edge. “Translation” and “Equals” are also outstanding dark mood pieces that sound completely modern by today’s standards – this LP has not dated one bit.
All of Lemmings 7 tracks are excellent, whether it be the 11 minute epic “The Settlement Song” or the shorter, tuneful tracks like “Long Time Living” – every works beautifully. So…interesting arrangements that take chances (unique twists and turns), a dark aura, rock solid songwriting, Caravan-like vocals, and great musicianship unify this very special musical statement. Any fan of classic rock needs to own this essential masterpiece.......Rising Storm review..........
"Lemmings is a rather psychedelic album with a slight punk guitar tendency. There are many visceral hard rock parts. The tracks are not very progressive. I do not find the record very good, despite the presence of many good passages: the problem is that those passages do not last for a very long period of time. The value of the record lies between ordinary an good. The music sounds pretty deja vu, since there are no elements that allow Lemmings to be distinguished from a bunch of similar albums. The guitar sound quality is above average, though, and the global sound of the music is slightly comparable to Nektar's. The overall rhythm is surprisingly slow. The keyboards are rather subdued. The compositions often lack some structure and sometimes sound a bit amateurish, reminding a bit a garage rock sound." [Review by greenback, Special Collaborator Neo-Prog Specialist) ..............
Colin Swinburne - organ, piano, vocal
Peter Kimberley-bass, piano, vocal
Brian Smith -Battery
Karel Beer -organ
An Appointment With The Master
The Settlement Song
Long Time Living
Strangerstill (You Leave Me)
Come All Ye Faceless