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4.5 out of 5 stars
Neu! 75
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
I'm no expert on so-called 'krautrock', but I've heard albums by Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, Cluster, Klaus Schulze and Can and this beats them all. Though less experimental and more mainstream, the passion in Neu's music makes Can sound rather stuffy. Yet to say it's more mainstream is perhaps misleading. It just seems that way now. The first two tracks reveal pointers as to where Ultravox and a host of other subsequent bands got their sound from. 'Isi' is one of three tracks featuring some hard driving percussion (played, not programmed), minimalist electric guitar and atmospheric electronic background. Though solid, insistent rhythms are the foundation of Neu's music, they can knock out some decent melodies too. 'See Land', a slower track, is a beautifully crafted example. 'Leb Wohl', the most languid item, sounds like the sort of stuff you hear nowadays on relaxation CDs, with its surf wash sound effect and murmured vocal.

The highlight, though, is 'Hero'. Was Bowie listening? Were the future ranks of British new wave? From the opening salvo of guitar to the sneering vocal and crunching collision of all elements, this is hard driving, angry rock. 'E-Musik' provides a slower, lengthy, insidious interlude, topped off with wind tunnel and backwards effects, before 'After Eight' reprises 'Hero' with a more incendiary guitar sound.

This is the most accessible album I've heard in the genre and, in my opinion, a good place to start.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 31 May 2001
Neu! were a funny band. While their previous albums contained moments of such pure, startling genius that they are classics despite the occasional descent into "Oooh, spacey wind noises" rubbishness, Neu!75, their almost-last album is, from start to finish, simply perfect and essential. Isi shimmers with the most beautiful vintage synths and schoolhouse piano and, for my money, calls forth memories of watching Grandstand in the 1970s. The rest of side one is really rather beautiful and melancholy, with simple yet effective guitar clouds billowing out of the speakers in a very evocative manner. incredibly relaxing stuff, entirely ruined by the ascending guitars that introduce side two...building up...up...and then off! Hero rawks like a mutha, doesn't let up for over 6 minutes, and once you've heard it you're unlikely to forget. What a great gimmick - the two sides are so different yet complement each other perfectly. Ultra-minimal, no faffing about, Hero and After Eight invented punk and frankly your life is not as good without this album. is good.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 29 October 2010
Listening to this is akin to having been led to believe that all those things essential such as phonograph, lightbulb, ac power and so on were invented by Edison, only to discover to no small surprise years later that the actual ghost in the machine was the oblique Tesla. Replace those technical itineraries with the likes of Bowie, Iggy, Joy Division, Clash and Pistols as models of the presumed British supremacy and namecalling in pop matters in the last decades and specifically in late 70s/early 80s and the latter with this German band of the very existence of which I only learned two decades later and you do not come an inch closer to the size of the dizzy mix of pleasant surprise and increduliness i had the pleasure to experience with NEU!. Because it was Neu! to call the names and not vice versa, the Germans being the true innovators here.

Though this review is actually meant to apply to all the three regular albums of Neu!, I attach it to this one, perhaps the most accomplished of them - and yet it does not mean to belittle the other two in the slightest. All three have the delicate yet essential quality of authenticity - the dreamy ambient bodies of musical structures carried by the maniacal genius of Dinger's obsessive, not-so-metronomic drumplaying, the visionary hallmark that permeats everything here. Imagine the warm, pliant bubbling of Kraftwerk's synthesizers from their Autobahn/Europa Express phase, add live guitars and other tools for additional, sparse yet accomplished minimalistic layers and have the motorik beat engine played live, hushed trough sequencers and jostled about through space - literally in places - and the result of the work of just two minds stands fresh in its boldness to date. Fittingly, the album closes with perhaps the first recorded specimen of a true punk song (in 1975!)- and it is just one of the variations of the new formula as heard ever since, which is called modern pop.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 1 July 2001
Damn strange one, this. Yeah, it's got two different sides. Yeah, it's got distorted guitar and ambient piano. Yeah, its got two extremely different people: a classical music-minded avant-gardist (is that a word?) and a bile-spitting punk godfather. But what shines through is the tunes. They stick in your head forever, and the experimentalism only enhances the experience, with each listen revealing new surprises. Listen to the end of E-musik, and you get an uncanny premonition of the stone roses: backwards guitars and loops as if they opened up a portal to 1989 and took a snapshot. After the chaos of the song itself this is slightly unnerving but is the greatest part on the album. Dinger sings like Rotten himself on Hero, pre-dating him by a couple of years. This is then surpassed by After-Eight, which sounds like the recent Primal Scream song Shoot Speed/Kill Light, only better (!).
A stunningly futuristic album, influence can be detected from this in all modern rock bands, from MBV to the Roses and the Scream. You cant tell me you have a decent record collection without owning this. Do The Right Thing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 8 January 2011
This is, quite simply, one of the most important albums ever made. There are so many other artists who are influenced by them. Bowie's mororik period. Any ambient album. Punk rock. Robotic drums. 80s synths. And that's just on a single album. There are moments of unadulterated rock-out joy, tracks that sound like they belong on any early OMD album and contemplative pieces that would sit on any classical buff's iPod. You have to keep reminding yourself that this was released in 1975 when rock was winding down at its crossroads before punk broke through. It is an extraordinarily beautiful piece of work whose influence is immeasurable. I never tire of listening to it - it is an absolute stone cold classic. Every home should have one.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 29 November 2011
I've commented in other reviews about a certain tendency to live my musical life in reverse and how maybe music comes to you when you're ready to hear it. I was still at Uni when this was new. I remember my cousin listening to Amon Duul II and thinking it sounded pretty wierd. So, I don't really know whether or not this sounded reveolutionary at the time but I've come across other stuff that seems to make this music easier to appreciate. Having listened to a bit of American Minimalism (Reich, Glass) with emphases on rhythm and simple melodies, the "motorik" approach seems quite normal. I guess one difference is that modern bands would be creating that sound with an electronic drum machine. Here, Klaus Dinger is doing it by actually hitting some drums. Call me an old traditionalist if you like, but I somehow prefer that. It creates more of a personal link with the creative musician somehow. And I think that link is still there with the old analogue synthesizers which definitely needed a more skillful approach than more modern digital ones.

I like the somewhat split personality of this album, as noted in many other reviews. The first two tracks, Isi and Seeland are quite soothing. The links between "Hero" and David Bowie's song of a similar name have also been remarked on. The latter is obviously a lot slicker, but the unrefined power of Neu! really comes across strongly with the aid of Dinger's snarling vocals. It's possible that I may eventually get around to investigating some of the stuff that this album is supposed to have influenced. Doesn't seem necessary at the moment thoguh - I'm content just listening this true original.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
NEU! ("New") were groundbreaking for sure: Julian Cope heard Hallogallo on John Peel's show in 1971 and declared that it changed his attitude to "all music forever", while the band's Michael Rother proclaimed their sound as "new music for minds and pants". And on their third and last (proper) album from 1975, NEU! somehow manage to encapsulate the entire decade.

Side 1 was the more abstract mood music that harks back to Hawkwind, Floyd and the spaced-out bands of the early 70s underground. Yet "Isi", with its stark piano sound, takes us forward to the sangfroid electronica of the early 1980s, when The Human League were still hip. Don't forget, these guys were in Kraftwerk before NEU!

Over on Side 2, Hero is a punk track - don't you dare give all the credit to Iggy Pop and the New York Dolls! Then E-Musik (the unquestioned high point of the album), with its remorseless drum rhythm, takes us forward to Joy Division and points towards the Stone Roses. For sure it's the missing link between Can and British electronica and rave, taking in Hawkwind's Valium Ten along the way.

Finally there is After Eight, and if you can't hear Roxy Music's Virginia Plain then you haven't been listening. Bowie (on top of his other influences and his own original genius) pillaged this sound shamelessly but respectfully: listen to his late 70s Berlin albums (Rother was originally asked to collaborate on "Heroes") and hear how Germany's 70s avant garde became Britain's 80s mainstream.

NEU! is krautrock
NEU! is punkrock
NEU! is electronica
NEU! is glam
NEU! is rave
NEU! is prog
NEU! is then, NEU! is new, NEU! is now!
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on 12 December 2010
A friend suggested listening to some of the "Krautrock" bands such as Neu! and am I glad I chose album as a starting point!
It is a diverse and modern sounding collection of great songs.

- "Isi" is a catchy electro number featuring keyboards drums and piano. A great start. I would be surprised if Air haven't listened to this song at some stage

- "Seeland" is intrumental, like "Isi". It is more low-key but still excellent. I would be VERY surprised if U2's "Mothers of the Disappeared" from the Joshua Tree didn't owe a lot to this track

- "Leb Wohl" takes us in a slightly different direction. It's eight minutes long and starts with the sound of the waves on a shore and a piano. For the first time we have vocals, though they are mostly in the background. Sparse but beautiful

- Just when you think you are listening to a decent instrumental album that may be turning a bit boring along comes "Hero". Quite simply this is a punk song, possibly better than anything the Sex Pistols did. It starts with jangling guitar, then a driving drumbeat and then Klaus Dinger's marvellous vocals kick in. John Lydon, eat your heart out! Over seven minutes of brilliance

- "E Musik" starts with Velvet Underground jangly guitars and an eerie keyboard in the background. The music becomes distorted as the song continues. One to leave wash over you, though at ten minutes it might be a bit long!

- Dinger's manic vocals reappear in "After Eight", which seems to take off where "Hero" finishes. He certainly seems to enjoy his performance. A great finish to an amazing album.

This was the last Neu! album to feature the lineup of Rother and Dinger as their relationship disintegrated. However they certainly left us on a high note!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Oh, you know the score by now. This is a classic, it helped create a new genre, ahead of its time. Yes, you've heard it all before. Little known, not mainstream, legends in their own lifetime. If you know the score (no pun intended)you should already have this. If you dont, you're in for a treat. And so on. And so on.

The thing is, you see, in this case it's all true. Buy it if you want. Dont buy it if you dont want, I'm not going to make you do anything, and neither is this review. It's your choice. It's you that will miss out if you dont hear this.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Someone nicked my vinyl copy of this, and I've been looking for it ever since. Maybe more accessible than Neu 1 or Neu 2, but has an ambience about it that definitely influenced Eno and Bowie (check out Red Sails on Lodger) amongst others. Strange combination of Piano, simple beat basic drum kit, with electric guitar. Sublime moments of ambience, crossed with Europunk. Rother keeps his guitar minimalist when he needs to, and Dinger continues to knock out a consistent beat on a dinky little drum kit. It was and is ahead of its time.
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