In 2010 I wrote about the history of the German progressive rock band Anyone's Daughter in the review of the remastered version of their debut Adonis (1979, see review). I ended my review with: 'hopefully this release marks the start for several other remastered CD-versions of the band's back catalogue which includes many German prog rock highlights. Until then this album is highly recommended to people who enjoy krautrock in general and music of bands as Camel, Genesis and Yes in particular.' Until now only the remastered version of their third album Piktors Verwandlungen (1981) appeared in 2008.
However, in 2012 the news arrived that the other official albums before the split would get a perfect remastered version as well. The reissues of Anyone's Daughter (1980), In Blau (1982), Neue Sterne (1983) and Live (1984) have now been updated to the current level of audio demands and supplemented by live bonus tracks taken from the tours of these albums. To a greater or lesser extent these live tracks differ from the studio versions. The CD booklets feature pictures that fit the albums well and that also applies to the corresponding background information.
After the success of their debut Adonis, the band wanted to have a follow-up album soon. In the summer of 1980, after giving about 150 live performances, Harald Bareth (bass, lead vocals), Uwe Karpa (acoustic and electric guitars), Kono Konopik (drums) and Matthias Ulmer (keyboards, vocals) went into the studio with some newly written tracks and recorded Anyone's Daughter. This time the tracks were more compact and in a way more song-oriented than on Adonis. However, that didn't mean that they were selling out. Not at all! The songs still featured all the musical elements which made their debut so strong. The band still sounded sometimes like Camel or like one of the other seventies prog rock bands that had influenced them. Still many strong solos could be heard performed on the synthesizers and the electric guitars. Just listen to the audience's favourites Swedish Nights and Another Day Like Superman and you'll catch my drift.
Just as on their first effort their eponymous second album contains no weak tracks whatsoever despite the fact that a hit single was included. The 7-inch single version of Moria was played on the public radio station SDR 3 − today SWR 1 − in South Germany. Eventually, this song charted number 2 just behind Steely Dan. This new release contains three bonus tracks recorded during live performances. Superman, recorded in Frankenbach 1980, and Between The Rooms and Sundance Of The Haute Provence both recorded in Baden-Baden 1980, prove that they could easily perform their complex music live on stage.
After the success of their third album Piktors Verwandlungen (1981), which for the first time featured German lyrics, the band decided to stick to their mother tongue for the fourth album In Blau. By doing so drummer Kono Konopik decided to quit the band; he was replaced by Peter Schmidt. Although they choose to sing in German the music could still be labelled as progressive rock. At the time, the success of bands that represented the Neue Deutsche Welle (New German Wave) didn't have any effect on Anyone's Daughter. They recorded a rather emotional album featuring sensitive and profound lyrics. The complex arranged prog rock tunes were still present, however, resulting in the classic song La la, Nichts Fur Mich and the epic piece Tanz Und Tod. In retrospect you can say that In Blau may be considered to be their best work of their career. I think many fans will agree with me that In Blau is Anyone's Daughter's most mature record. This reissue contains Sonne / Adonis Medley and Nach Diesem Tag, two bonus live tracks both recorded in Ettlingen 1982 by a band in great shape!
Neue Sterne, musically and lyrically strongly influenced by the early eighties, was the band's last studio album before they split and their most commercial one. All songs were very short with an average playing time of three minutes. The use of sequencers gave some of the songs a rather modern sound. Neue Sterne also contained the radio single Viel Zuviel, but nonetheless this is one of the highlights on the album and a classical piece. Other highlights are the keyboard-driven track Konsequenzen, one of the most brilliant instrumental pieces they ever wrote. Songs like Illja Illja Lela and Reprise prove that Anyone's Daughter remained faithful to their progressive rock roots. On this new version three live bonus tracks can be enjoyed. Konsequenzen was recorded in Heidelberg 1982 and previously unreleased. The other two tracks, Reprise and Viel Zuviel, were recorded in Eberbach 1983. All three of them are great live versions!
Shortly after the release of Neue Sterne the band embarked on an extensive tour to promote the album. They knew that they were at the top of their musical abilities and therefore decided to record several shows. These recordings were used for a fantastic double album simply called Live. However, when the album was released in 1984, the musicians already had split up since a few band members had to fulfil their military service. Although they tried to continue with some replacements, this fact eventually led to the end of the band. What's left is a fantastic souvenir, an outstanding live album that starts with a breathtaking version of Konsequenzen. Throughout this double album more classic songs can be enjoyed like Tanz Und Tod, Moria, Viel Zuviel and Sundance Of The H.P.
Live also included tracks that were never recorded for a studio album for they were not yet recorded in a studio. The new pieces Treance, Carrara and Land's End sounded as if they had been on the play list for many years. The latter piece is actually a bass solo performed by Harald Bareth. Peterchens Mondfahrt is a new piece as well although it's a drum solo performed by Peter Schmidt. This time four videos have been included as bonus material shot during a concert in Magstadt 1983 including Neue Sterne, Moria, Konsequenzen and Viel Zuviel. These images are rather good if you take into consideration that this footage was filmed with a single camera from the audience. From time to time good close-ups can be seen of all musicians, which make it worthwhile to watch them on your computer.
Looking back at all the albums Anyone's Daughter recorded before the split, I can only conclude that they enriched the progressive rock music scene with some brilliant music that still sounds great after so many years. Even better if you listen to these newly remastered versions!
**** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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