Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Die Fruhen Jahre (The Early Years) - Die Sputniks and Franke-Echo-Quintettdotdotdot
artworkDie Sputniks were an important instro band from Germany, with the kind of credibility that The Tornados and Shadows had in England. I don't know much about Franke-Echo-Quintett, but they were a straight forward rock'n'roll band in the mode that many European band played mimicking American chart hits.
Picks: Franke-Echo-Quintett - In The Mood, Peter Gunn, Brasiliana, Show-Beat, Seeschlob, Hava Nagilah, Round About Midnight, Eskimo, Ungarisches Hirtenlied, Die Sputniks - Sputniks-Thema, Gitarren-Twist, Theme For Young Lovers, Etage 8, Beim Hully-Gully bin ich Konig, Storm, Fur so viel Liebe, Nordlicht, Spanischer Zigeunertanz

Track by Track Review

Franke-Echo-Quintett - In The Mood dotdotdot
Euro-Rock Instro (Instrumental)

This is a high energy rendering of the Ernie Fields and his Orchestra's "In The Mood," done much as fifties studio rock bands did things. This wouldn't work at all except for the intense energy.

Franke-Echo-Quintett - Peter Gunn dotdotdotdot
Euro-Rock Instro (Instrumental)

Done as if Duane Eddy was the inspiration, Henry Mancini's "Peter Gunn" is tuff and intense, with very twangy whammy dipped guitar and loud raucous sax. Great drums and thundering bass complete one hell of a version of this venerable song!

Franke-Echo-Quintett - Brasiliana dotdotdot
Euro-Rock Instro (Instrumental)

This is a perplexing number for me. It's full of energy and sports an interesting melody, yet the beat and sound really don't bring me back to it at all. It's fun, but forgettable.

Franke-Echo-Quintett - Show-Beat dotdot
Euro-Rock Instro (Instrumental)

"Show-Beat" is all jam. There's just no real melody, but it does have a lot of energy and a fun rhythm.

Franke-Echo-Quintett - Seeschlob dotdotdot
Euro-Rock Instro (Instrumental)

"Seeschlob" has a somewhat haunting melody, but in the end, it's very poppy. The whammy is very good, and the arrangement strong. The double picked lines give it a Mediterranean air.

Franke-Echo-Quintett - Hava Nagilah dotdotdotdot
Euro-Rock Instro (Instrumental)

With a minimized bass line right out of My Little Red Book, this is an interesting, non-surf version of "Hava Nagilah" that's very satisfying to listen to. Once into the track, the bass really pumps, and the band rocks. Very cool!

Franke-Echo-Quintett - Round About Midnight
Euro-Rock Instro (Instrumental)

The blue-jazz standard "Round About Midnight" is slowly oozed out with a sad and relatively shallow sound. This really didn't do anything for me.

Franke-Echo-Quintett - Eskimo dotdotdot
Euro-Rock Instro (Instrumental)

"Eskimo" has a kind of heavy sound, except for the lead guitar, which is all high register. Spunky and almost throbbing, the song is strong, though frequently on the jazzy side. There's a superb bridge where the lead guitar plays a wonderful dribbling up glissando.

Franke-Echo-Quintett - Ungarisches Hirtenlied dotdot
Euro-Rock Instro (Instrumental)

"Ungarisches Hirtenlied" is a light weight, slightly saucy number that employs a bit of a stilted sound. It's OK, but I did not develop a hankering to hear it again.

Die Sputniks - Sputniks-Thema dotdotdot
Euro-Rock Instro (Instrumental)

This track features a great beat with Shadows-influenced guitar and a decidedly European melody. It's an infectious tune that "Sputniks-Thema" relies too heavily on register changes verse to verse to provide variation.

Die Sputniks - Gitarren-Twist dotdotdot
Euro-Rock Instro (Instrumental)

There's nothing "twist" in the beat or rhythm, but it is a spunky number with a fifties-like riff structure. Great drums in the break simply rage.

Die Sputniks - Theme For Young Lovers dotdot
Euro-Rock Instro (Instrumental)

Brian Welch's "Theme For Young Lovers" is done in a reverent style. It doesn't deviate from the original in any significant way.

Die Sputniks - Etage 8 dotdotdot
Euro-Rock Instro (Instrumental)

"Etage 8" (floor 8) is a cool number with short-delay echoed muted lead guitar and a bit of a warbly keyboard accompaniment. It's an easy number with a slightly haunting melody and sound. Light weight and very enjoyable.

Die Sputniks - Beim Hully-Gully bin ich Konig dotdotdot
Euro-Rock Instro (Instrumental)

With more than just a nod to Chan Romero's "Hippy Hippy Shake," this is bouncy number with a fun sound and uplifting energy. The jam-break is ultra boring noodling, but the drums are very strong.

Die Sputniks - Storm dotdotdotdot
Euro Surf (Instrumental)

A plaintiff guitar intro precedes a sad almost Russian melody that's really quite beautiful. "Storm" has character similar to The Renegades' "Matelot," but with less intense whammy. It's a very surfable track.

Die Sputniks - Fur so viel Liebe dotdotdot
Euro-Rock Instro (Instrumental)

Speedy almost guitar boogie with great drums. There's a whole lot of energy here, but it's the drums that really make this work. The melody is fairly forgettable and jammy sounding.

Die Sputniks - Nordlicht dotdotdot
Euro-Rock Instro (Instrumental)

"Nordlicht" is a very poppy traditional European sounding number with an easy gate. melodic and fun, and perhaps based on a traditional tune.

Die Sputniks - Spanischer Zigeunertanz dotdotdotdot
Euro-Rock Instro (Instrumental)

A cowboy tango rhythm and polka beat support "Spanischer Zigeunertanz" very well. This is a superb piece of music with genuine flair and an infectious melody. Spanish Gypsy Dance was written by Pascual Marquina long ago, and it lends itself well to this interpretation, and would also do well in a surf arrangement.