Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

Wolfgang Riechmann
Wunderbar


Released 1978 on Sky
Reviewed by Adman, 27/02/2002ce


Wunderbar is a wunderful album. If you like Man Machine era Kraftwerk then you'll love this. Wolfgang looks extremely cool on the cover despite wearing blue lipstick (I kid you not !)

In the 60's Wolfgang was in Spirits of Sound with Wolfgang Flur later of Kraftwerk. In the 70's Wolfgang played a major role in Streetmark's classic album 'Eileen'. However, 'Eileen' was not a huge commercial success and so Wolfgang was full of doubts about his own abilities when he set about recording Wunderbar.

The opening track of the album is the title track 'Wunderbar' which is ultra-catchy. They must put something in the water in Dusseldorf which results in superb melodies.

Another standout track is 'Siberland' which is effectively a slowed down version of Kraftwerk's 'Metropolis' from Man Machine. The parallel here is interesting as Man Machine and Wunderbar were both recorded in 1978, although I don't know which one hit the shops first. Who is copying who ?

'Himmelblau' would not sound out of place on a La Dusseldorf album. Clearly Dinger and Rother have based their whole career around songs which feature the words 'La' and 'Dusseldorf'. In the case of 'Himmelblau' Riechmann goes one step further by only using the word 'La' in the lyrics. Simplicity is best.

The album finishes with a short omninous sounding instrumental. Sadly, shortly after Wunderbar was recorded Wolfgang was murdered (having been stabbed in a Dusseldorf barroom brawl). This is a great shame as judging by the evidence of Wunderbar, Wolfgang could have gone on to great things.


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