Murphy Blend - Speed is coming back, taken off their first, and only, album, "First Loss", released in 1970. Berlin band Murphy Blend were a bit of a mystery. Named after a pipe tobacco, they were a rarity in early German rock, combining the early psychedelic Krautrock sound with heavy rock, classical and blues. Apart from the fact that they sounded a bit like early Jane and Pell Mell, they were pretty unique, with a strongly accented vocalist in Wolf -Rudiger Uhlig ( who sang in English and also played a heavy, chunky Hammond organ ).The guitarist was Wolfgang Rumler, Achim Schmidt occupied the drum stool, and solid bass lines came from Andreas Scholz. They had the potential to go far, but they unfortunately split shortly after the album's release, with Uhlig moving to Hanuman and Scholz to Blackwater Park, who are featured on our first Dinosaur Days CD.
  
 


Biography by Rolf Semprebon
Murphy Blend, from Berlin, Germany, was another of the many bands that were around only long enough to release one record and then vanish into the nether of rock obscurity. Their one album, First Loss, from 1971 is considered one of the classics of Teutonic heavy rock, and though it relied on some influences by British heavy rock bands like Deep Purple, Uriah Heap and Atomic Rooster, the oddly accented vocals, innovative mix of progressive and psychedelic styles, and the dark angst put them squarely with other heavy Krautrock bands like early Jane.



Not much is known about this quartet, who took their name from a brand of pipe tobacco. They probably formed at the beginning of 1970 and consisted of Wolf-Rudiger Uhlig on organ, cembalo, piano and vocals, Wolfgang Ramler on guitar and vocals, Andreas Scholz on bass, and Achim Schmidt on drums and vocals. Uhlig had studied classical music for a few years, and he incorporated some classical themes with his chunky Hammond organ playing to give the band?s heavy rock a more progressive sound. The group entered the Union Studio in Munich for a week in early October and another 3 days in early December of 1970 to record the album First Loss. The record was produced by Jonas Porst, manager of the far-more mainstream band Ihre Kinder, and released in early 1971 by the Kuckuck label, a Polydor subsidiary for Krautrock. The record is notable not only for the six regular songs, which feature some quality guitar and organ riffing as well as interesting lyrics, but also for the final track "Happiness," clocking in at 3 seconds to make it one of the shortest pieces in Krautrock history.



Shortly after First Loss came out the group split up when Uhlig went on to form the equally short-lived Hanuman with some jazz and blues musicians in May of 1971. Scholz soon joined another short-lived but more mainstream group, Blackwater Park, who like Murphy Blend and Hanuman, released only one LP. In 1991 the Ohrwaschl label reissued Murphy Blend?s First Loss on CD in a limited edition of 1000. 

 

 

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Murphy Blend - 1970 - First Loss - 4/5

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