German vocalist/songwriter Inga Rumpf is probably best known for her work with gospel/folk outfit The City Preachers in the late sixties and Frumpy/Atlantis in the seventies. When Atlantis folded in the late seventies, she became a successful pop singer in her own right, releasing a number of solo albums. She was involved in the Frumpy reunion in the late eighties/early nineties, but that fizzled out after three albums (including an excellent live album that showed that the old magic was still there!). Rumpf joined up with keyboard player Joja Wendt and has released a few jazz/big band albums with this talented musician. She always was a seriously talented and versatile singer, equally at home singing hard rock, blues and folk. She's a brilliant jazz singer too and is a credit to the very competitive German music scene. R epertoire Records released a "must have" compilation called "The Best of all my Years...so far" in 1997. This great double compilation includes material from her early days with the City Preachers as well as her work with Frumpy and Atlantis, in addition to some of her better known solo material. 
  
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Biography by Frank Eisenhuth
Inga Rumpf is one of the best-known German R&B singers. Her voice often drew comparisons to Janis Joplin, but Inga Rumpf was able to develop her own unique vocal style. Catapulted to stardom in the ‘70s with her band Frumpy, she released a number of highly acclaimed solo works in the ‘80s and ‘90s and has now to be regarded as the grand old lady of R&B made in Germany. Whereas other German female vocalists such as Nina Hagen faded away over time, she consequently followed her path and never compromised herself artistically (unlike her ex-bandmate Udo Lindenberg whose creativity died down by the end of the ‘80s and who now outputs nothing more than lightweight pop).

Born on Aug. 2nd, 1946 in Hamburg (Germany), Inga Rumpf started performing as a teenager with different blues bands in the Hamburg entertainment district of St. Pauli. In 1965, she founded the folk band City Preachers and recorded three albums with them. After a creative crisis in 1969, the band changed styles from folk to a mix of beat and soul. A new line-up reflected this: Jean-Jacques Kravetz (keyb), Karl-Heinz Schott (b) and Udo Lindenberg (dr) formed the core of the new band which one year later was to become Frumpy when Udo Lindenberg left to start a solo career and was replaced by Carsten Bohn. Frumpy recorded only two albums, All Will Be Changed (1970) and Frumpy 2 (1971) — the latter containing the hit single How The Gipsy Was Born — but these two LPs rewrote German rock history. The band was praised as the best German rock act, and Inga Rumpf was declared to be the greatest individual vocal talent of the German rock scene so far.



After Frumpy was disbanded, Inga Rumpf founded Atlantis with Kravetz and Schott as well as the new additions Frank Diez on guitar and drummer Curt Cress in 1972. The same year, the German music magazine Musik—Express selected Inga Rumpf as best German vocalist and her band Atlantis was declared “best live and studio band". Several UK tours, alone and with Udo Lindenberg, made her known in the English-speaking hemisphere as well.



Atlantis disbanded in 1975 after three excellent years, and Inga Rumpf released her first solo effort Second Hand Mädchen which was under heavy influence of Udo Lindenberg who two years earlier had established himself as one of the most promising German rock-acts. Lindenberg had shown that German lyrics are possible in rock and so Inga Rumpf switched to German too although on her 1981 album Reality she sang in English again. For this record, she wrote all of the songs herself and even produced it. Tina Turner did a cover of the album song I Wrote A Letter which was released as the B-side of her 1984 comeback single Let's Stay Together (re-released as a bonus track on the centenary edition of her landmark album Private Dancer in 1998). Also in 1981, Inga Rumpf widened her horizon by accepting a job as a lecturer at the Hamburg Musikhochschule (university of music). Her 1984 album Liebe. Leiden. Leben, again containing German lyrics, earned critical acclaim and she was attested that she hadn't lost any of the power she radiated in the ‘70s with Frumpy and Atlantis.



After a short Frumpy reunion in 1991/92, the ‘90s saw Inga Rumpf experimenting with jazz (1994 album Fifty-Fifty with pianist Joja Wendt) and gospel music. In accordance with the philosophy of gospel, a significant number of her performances took place in churches, her lyrics became more spiritual and increasingly featured a Christian context without however getting preachy, so even atheists should be comfortable with the music of her later career. Critics hailed her 1996 album In the 25th hour which, among other covers, contained her version of Ray Charles' hit Unchain My Heart, as her best so far. In the same year, the compilation The Best Of All My Years — so far was released. Her 1999 album Walking In The Light contained text adaptations of the biblical Sermon On The Mount.



From 2001 onwards, Inga Rumpf started to perform programs of rock, R&B and soul regularly on a weekly basis in her hometown Hamburg. Three years later, she founded her own record label 25th HOUR Music, live album Live im Michel.

Inga Rumpf's work with Frumpy and Atlantis as well as her solo output of later years is essential listening for everybody who wants to get to know German rock music. 

 

 

Catherine Ribeiro

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Inga Rumpf - 1975 - Second Hand Madchen - 4/5

Inga Rumpf - 1977 - My Life is a Boogie - 3/5

Inga Rumpf - 1980 - I Know Who I Am - 4/5

Inga Rumpf - 1985 - II=I - 4/5

Inga Rumpf - 1996 - In the 25th Hour - 4/5

Inga Rumpf - 1999 - Walking in the Light - 4/5

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