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Articles Home » 1978 Articles » Zauner, Stefan - 1978 Prism And Views
 
Zauner, Stefan - 1978 Prism And Views



ARTIST: Zauner, Stefan
ALBUM: Prism And Views
LABEL: Teldec
SERIAL: 6.23451
YEAR: 1978

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Stefan Zauner - vocals, keyboards, backing vocals * Evert Van Der Vaal - drums, percussion * Klaus Ebert - guitars, bass

TRACK LISTING: 01 Mr Loveday's Evening Store * 02 Cathedral * 03 Morning Bitter * 04 Prism And Views * 05 Bogey Man * 06 Billy Miller * 07 Magic Carpet


Background
I hear you asking: 'where have I heard the name Stefan Zauner before? Well, he is mentioned on this website as being a member of German synth-pop exponents Münchener Freiheit, but before he was a member of that band, Zauner was a member of prog outfit Amon Düül II during the 1976-1981 period, plus he was also the recipient of a very fine solo record from 1978 called 'Prism And Views'. It wasn't Zauner's first solo effort, as he did release his debut in 1976 called 'Narziss', which by the looks of things, also contained a Roger Dean inspired logo in the same style as fellow proggers Yes. However, it's 'Prism And Views' which attracts our attention, and on this LP, Stefan plays all of the keyboards with help from two session musicians. It is a symphonic pop/rock gem, and if your musical fancy stems to the likes of Kayak, 10cc, Randy Pie, Lake, Supertramp, Electric Light Orchestra, then you'll be in your element here. Interestingly, there is very little of the future Freiheit influence here, and considering Zauner was a member of Amon Düül II during this timeframe, one can assume Zauner had a bunch of songs that didn't quite fit their style.


The Songs
There's only seven tracks, but all are worth their weight in gold, plus they shift around the symphonic pop/rock landscape somewhat. The keyboards sound incredible on this LP, very 70's of course, and very analog. Somehow, it's all bought together in the context of shorter more accessible songs, there is a big nod to the prevailing pop/rock style of the day, and it's a shame that Stefan only delivered just the seven, however, in saying that, the shortest song clocks in at 4m 21. The unusually titled 'Mr Loveday's Store' gets us underway upon a thrilling bed of synths which lays the foundation. With a title like this, you can be assured of a whimsical overload, combined with the symphonic bedrock, you have a winner on your hands. Piano stabs and searing synth lines introduce 'Cathedral', and as we move through the song, big booming synth parps run amok. I'm loving it! 'Morning Bitter' is a lighter affair, with a hint of west coast/reggae, not unlike 10cc were doing through this same period. Then we move into the album's piece de resistance, the amazing title track 'Prism And Views', which is as bombastic as hell, and has shades of Dakota in places. 'Bogey Man' is a funky title for sure, but this one is as close to AOR as I'm likely to dare concede. The first part of the mid-tempo track 'Billy Miller' is kind of restrained, but the shackles are let loose eventually, with some stinging guitar work and stacked background vocals. The finale 'Magic Carpet' has an exotic middle eastern twist, probably in keeping with the songtitle. Listen to the keyboard solo. You'd be forgiven for thinking that you're wandering around some bazaar in Marrakesh!


In Summary
It seems the LP saw a Canadian release during 1978 too, courtesy of Virgin Canada. My web searches reveal that a CD was possibly released in Japan, whether this is official or not is hard to say - be great if it was available though. At the end of his tenure with Amon Düül II in 1981, Zauner would move into the 80's and leave the traditional prog scene behind in favour of the (then) modern stylings of hi-tech AOR/pop with Freiheit. However, for a glimpse of symphonic pop/rock as it was back in 1978, then it doesn't get any better than this. Highly recommended!


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Comments
#1 | Eric on October 30 2010 19:28:49
Wonderful to see this here G. Thumbs Up
 
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