Birth Control

Birth Control

Amongst the longest running bands of German rock, Birth Control were formed way back in 1968 in Berlin. They chose their rather controversial name as a stab at Pope Paul's anti birth control policy.

Current line up:

Sascha "Sosho" Kühn - keyboards, piano (since 2000)
Hannes "Cyborg Haines" Vesper - bass, backing vocals (since 1998)
Martin "Ludi" Ettrich - guitar, talk box (since 2011)

Founding members:

Bernd "Nossi" Noske - vocals, drums & percussion - 26. December 1968 to February 2014
Bernd "Koschi" Koschmidder - bass - August 1968 to February 1973
Reinhold "Booboo" Sobotta - keyboards - August 1968 to January 1972
Rolf "Rolly Joker" Gurra - saxophone, guitar, vocals - August 1968 to December 1969
Fritz "Little Lord" Gröger - vocals, guitar - August 1968 to Fall 1969
Reiner Borchert - guitar - (disappeared during the Lebanon tour)
Klaus Orso - guitar - August 1968 to December 1968
Hugo Egon Balder - drums - August 1968 to 25. December 1968
Gerd Alsheimer - trumpet - August 1968, quit during the Lebanon tour

Birth Control Discography


PRS 1002-SA Birth Control Birth Control (Album) Metronome PRS 1002-SA US 1970 Sell This Version
CAS-1036 Birth Control Operation (Album) Ohr CAS-1036 UK 1971 Sell This Version
S 65 316, S 65316 Birth Control Hoodoo Man (Album) CBS, CBS S 65 316, S 65316 Europe 1972 Sell This Version
S 65963, 65 963 Birthcontrol* Rebirth (Album) CBS, CBS S 65963, 65 963 Germany 1974 Sell This Version
CBS 88088, CBS 88 088 Birthcontrol* Live (Album) CBS, CBS CBS 88088, CBS 88 088 Europe 1974 Sell This Version
CBS 80 921, CBS 80921 Birth Control Plastic People (Album) CBS, CBS CBS 80 921, CBS 80921 Germany 1975 Sell This Version
60.019 Birth Control Backdoor Possibilities (Album) Brain 60.019 Germany 1976 Sell This Version
UXP-745-EB Birth Control Increase (Album) Brain UXP-745-EB Japan 1977 Sell This Version
0060.149 Birth Control Titanic (Album) Brain 0060.149 Germany 1978 Sell This Version
0060.240 Birth Control Live '79 (Album) Brain 0060.240 Germany 1979 Sell This Version
18 (0431) 00091 Birth Control Count On Dracula (Album) Ariola, Ariola 18 (0431) 00091 Colombia 1980 Sell This Version
203 423, 203 423-320 Birth Control Deal Done At Night (Album) Ariola, Ariola 203 423, 203 423-320 Germany 1981 Sell This Version
OMM 560.002 Birth Control Bäng! (Album) Ohr Today OMM 560.002 Germany 1982 Sell This Version
WZ 90151 Birth Control Two Worlds (Album) WZ Tonträger Vertriebs GmbH WZ 90151 Germany 1995 Sell This Version
GTR 050 Birth Control Jungle Life(CD, Album) Green Tree Records GTR 050 Germany 1996 Sell This Version
01 Richard Basement, Strychnine Kiss, Buck Narrows, Resonator 7, Acid Flowers, Birth Control Richard Basement, Strychnine Kiss, Buck Narrows, Resonator 7, Acid Flowers, Birth Control - Dirty Dogma Records Sampler No. 1(CDr, Promo, Smplr) Dirty Dogma Records 01 USA & Canada 1998 Sell This Version
CD 17846 Birthcontrol* Condomium (Album) Green Tree Records CD 17846 Germany 1994 Sell This Version
OHR 70044-2 Birth Control Getting There(CD, Album) Ohr, Pilz (2), Ohr Today, Die Kosmischen Kuriere OHR 70044-2 Germany 1999 Sell This Version
FCF 291155 WR Birth Control Live Abortion(CD, Album) Wallbreaker FCF 291155 WR Germany 2000 Sell This Version
#8080 Birth Control Birth Control Live In Lachendorf(CD, Album) Valve Records (2), Edition Dinosaurier #8080 Germany 2000 Sell This Version
05127 Birth Control 35th Anniversary Live At Rockpalast(CD, Album) Mr. D. Music 05127 Germany 2005 Sell This Version
WR 02-2009 Birth Control We Are Family(CD) Wallbreaker WR 02-2009 Germany 2009 Sell This Version
MIG 01022 2CD Birth Control Two Eggs - Two Concerts(2xCD, RM) MIG MIG 01022 2CD Germany 2013 Sell This Version
SIR2139 Birth Control Live Abortion Plus(CD, Album) Sireena Records SIR2139 Germany 2015 Sell This Version
WR 07-2004 Birth Control Live In Fulda(CD) Wallbreaker WR 07-2004 Germany Unknown Sell This Version


Add Review



February 17, 2014
Birth Control were, from the start of their career, tipped to be one of Germany's top rock acts. They were originally formed in late '68 by Bernd Koschmidder (bass), Reinhold Sobotta (organ), Rolf Gurra (sax, vocals) and Egon Balder (drums). Egon left in 1969, and Bruno Frenzel (guitars, vocals) and Bernd Noske (drums, vocals) joined. With a lot of talk by Pope Paul about abolishing the pill and other forms of contraception, they thought that the name Birth Control would be an appropriate way of protesting against his ideas, and this move led them to be classed as an underground group. They did several club tours and Metronome records signed them up. Rolf Gurra left before they recorded their first album.
Shortly afterwards, Birth Control changed labels, joining the then new progressive Ohr label, who released OPERATION. The majority of the material was penned by Bruno Frenzel, and a straighter rock approach was used. This album has one drawback - the disastrous twelve minute Let Us Do It Now. The band then left Ohr and Reinhold left the band. Ohr promptly released a compilation including three previously unissued recordings, one being called Believe In The Pill, which gave the set its title. At this time, Hartmut Scheulgens (keyboards) joined, but he was soon replaced by Wolfgang Neuser (ex Mushroom), who brought a new influence into the group. Signing to CBS, they released the highly successful HOODOO MAN. Wolfgang's influence is highly noticeable on this album with his haunting organ work on Gamma Ray and the Hoodoo Man track. Wanting to progress more, he left the rock-based confines of Birth Control. The last original member, Bernd Koschmidder, also departed. Zeus B. Held (keyboards), Peter Foller (bass) and Dick Steffens (guitars) joined and recorded the aptly titled REBIRTH, which saw them moving into new styles again. The outstanding track is Back From Hell, with Noske showing off on Moog drums.
With a major tour lined up, in the spring of 1973, Dirk Steffens left, and after his departure they recorded a double LIVE album. The tour and album were acclaimed by the German rock press as 'The greatest rock show ever' (Musicmarkt), and they said 'The band blew it's mind - the audience did the same' (Musik Express). No wonder, because the album contains some of their best pieces, three of them as one-sided work-outs of their old classics.
All this success gave them a chance to experiment more on their next two albums, PLASTIC PEOPLE and BACKDOOR POSSIBILITIES. Both are concept albums concerned with the rut of life and how to get out of it (i.e. drugs, etc.). These are by far the best two albums.
After their release, Peter Foller left, to be replaced by ex-Message members Manfred von Bohr and Horst Stachelhaus, on drums and bass respectively. These form the current Birth Control line-up, along with Noske, Frenzel and Held. The INCREASE album soon followed, which previewed the more commercial sound found on the latest album, TITANIC.
by Alan & Steve Freeman, first published in Face Out, issue 5 (August 1979)

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