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Freiheit - 1988 Fantasy

ARTIST: Freiheit
ALBUM: Fantasy
LABEL: CBS Germany
SERIAL: 462481-1 (LP), 462482-2 (CD)
YEAR: 1988


LINEUP: Stefan Zauner - vocals * Aron Strobel - guitars * Alex Grunwald - keyboards * Michael Kunzi - bass * Rennie Hatzke - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Keeping The Dream Alive (Single version) * 02 Kissed You In The Rain * 03 Diana * 04 The Land Of Fantasy * 05 Moonlight * 06 Tears Are A Girls Best Friend * 07 So Good * 08 Forever And A Day * 09 Poor Little Boy * 10 On The Run To Be Free * 11 Keeping The Dream Alive (extended version)

Munchener Freiheit as they are known in their native Germany formed in the early 1980's and arrived on the music scene with quirky new wave influenced debut. Smartly abandoning the post punk style in favor of synth pop with their second album, Freiheit racked up a number of hits on the continent, while never really cracking the British and American markets despite recording albums in both German and English. 'Fantasy' is one of their English albums, but while the record failed to significantly chart in America, the band did get a one time only hit with 'Keeping The Dream Alive' never to do so again.

The Songs
It's that single that kicks off 'Fantasy' and it's a gem. Orchestral, dramatic and very much influenced by Electric Light Orchestra, 'Keeping The Dream Alive' is a stunning piece of pop music but it doesn't end there. 'Kissed You In The Rain', 'Diana', 'Land Of Fantasy' and the side one closer 'Moonlight' all have the flavor of 'Time' period ELO and I am in musical nirvana! On the flip 'Tears Are A Girl's Best Friend' is a little more hi-tech, but 'So Good' and 'Forever And A Day' brings us back to the quality of the first side with the latter coping some vocal techniques from Queen and succeeding admirably. The final two tracks are no slouches either and I especially enjoy the 'On The Run To Be Free' with it's toyshop like percussion, keyboard interplay and again the ELO influence is hard to ignore.

In Summary
If you can't tell by now, I love this album to death and in my opinion Freiheit are the cream of the crop of hi tech AOR. It's not a wonder 'Fantasy' failed in America who at the time were caught up in Hair band hell and the burgeoning College radio alternative scene while AOR began it's long walk whistling past the graveyard. An album like this just wasn't hip anymore, which was not the case in Germany and the rest of Europe where the record 'Fantasy' or 'Fantasie' sold respectably. Freiheit are still around and gigging and if I lived over there, you would probably see me at several of their gigs in the front row wearing a Freiheit t-shirt and holding out a copy of 'Fantasy' for an autograph.

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#1 | tonissive on December 31 2007 11:14:48
good album,good memories,two members of freiheit formed in 1991 an alternative band of name DEUCES WILD who released a only album called ' living in the sun' but i canÂ't find information about this album.
#2 | gdazegod on December 31 2007 17:44:51
I remember seeing a Freiheit thread on heavy harmonies. The punters there debating whether or not Freiheit even deserved a mention on that site. Most of them saying that Freiheit were a pop band not a rock band. Whatever.. Talk about snobs!
#3 | gerard on January 23 2013 21:06:47
Good band! I like 'Romancing in the dark' as well. I remember Dutch singer Erik Mesie had a hit with a cover version of Freiheit's song 'Ohne Dich', also recorded as 'Every Time'.

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