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Articles Home » 1988 Articles » Jojo - 1988 Jojo
Jojo - 1988 Jojo

LABEL: Ariola
SERIAL: 259 232 (CD), 209 232 (LP)
YEAR: 1988
CD REISSUE: 2011, Yesterrock, Y-2011-17


LINEUP: George Liszt - vocals * Roko Kohlmeyer - guitars * Robby Musenbichler - guitars, bass * Lothar Krell - keyboards * Fritz Matzka, Curt Cress - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Extasy * 02 The First Will Be The Last * 03 I Can Wait * 04 Womans Touch * 05 Running Through The Night * 06 Diana * 07 So Long * 08 Hold Back The Night * 09 Love Is Like Water * 10 Water To Wine * 11 Remember Me

These guys came and went like many things in the 80's. But German band Jojo left a two-pronged legacy that many melodic rockers would remember well unto this day. First, they were Germany's first true Toto clones. Secondly, the band spawned the career of Roko Kohlmeyer who would go on to form his own band Roko and leave a trail of excellent hard rock albums into the 90's. The third notable mention is that Jojo have been formed from the ashes of German band Tokyo, with Musenbichler, Krell and Matzka all being former members. This album was produced by Eddy Offord and also features well known session drummer Curt Cress from Saga. It's a pretty smart affair, taking the best bits of Craaft and Balanx and commercialised even more.

The Songs
Loads of keyboards on offer here, as evidenced on the opener 'Extasy', which also was their first single. Traces of Balanx can be detected on 'The First Will Be The Last', while 'I Can Wait' is very much an AOR version of Debarge - though the chorus rocks out more than El's mob! Big bold and sassy is 'Womans Touch', it's followed by the commercial rock of 'Running Through The Night', which could be Ya-Ya, Fastway or any of that late 80's party rock brigade. In some places, 'Diana; sounds similar to a recent band featured here - Diamond In The Rough, with a load of parping synths and happy melodies. When they play it slow, Jojo sound incredible, as with the awesome ballad 'So Long'. Ensuring that the emphasis remains on hard rock, the band deliver another pearler in 'Hold Back The Night'. However, the quality of the album falls away toward the end, with a couple of tunes that fall by the wayside.

In Summary
Ariola gave the band a push during the hair-metal days of the late 80's, but the band did not engage beyond first gear outside of European markets. Drummer Fritz Matzka would fall ill the following year and pass away. As mentioned, Kohlmeyer went onto Roko, Musenbichler appeared on the Valet Parking album while Krell and Cress were involved in numerous projects beyond this.

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#1 | KurtmanJP on March 22 2008 05:50:43
Hahaha. I'm not a big high tech AOR fan but I must admit that 'Extasy' is one of my biggest guilty pleasure songs at the moment. Has a nice Glass Tiger feel to it. I saw the video for 'Woman's Touch' on YouTube and they really shocked me with the Leppard-esq chorus!
#2 | Jez on June 13 2008 16:19:46
As George says above, Jojo I remember being described as the German Toto at the time, not a bad comparison (although no way as good musicians as them), this is a great melodic rock/ west coastish disc. Extasy is a superb opening track, and all the other tracks are strong enough to keep the interest for the full 45 minutes. Excellent album
#3 | Eric on April 21 2012 14:08:26
Not Tokyo, but a heck of a hi-tech/ west coast album. I think the Toto comparisons have been overplayed a bit, but it's one of the better examples of German 80s AOR and a must have.
#4 | gdazegod on April 08 2016 23:00:38
Jojo - 1988 Extasy
YouTube Video:
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