Alcatraz (4) ‎– Vampire State Building

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Versions (4)

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
6305 128 Alcatraz (4) Vampire State Building(LP, Album) Philips 6305 128 Germany 1972 Sell This Version
LHC00014, LHC14 Alcatraz (4) Vampire State Building(CD, Album, RE, RM) Long Hair, Long Hair LHC00014, LHC14 Germany 2002 Sell This Version
LHC122 Alcatraz (4) Vampire State Building(LP, Album, RE) Long Hair LHC122 Germany 2012 Sell This Version
LHC00014, LHC14 Alcatraz (4) Vampire State Building(CD, Album, RE, RM, Unofficial) Long Hair (2), Long Hair (2) LHC00014, LHC14 Russia 2017 Sell This Version

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Rabenteuer

Rabenteuer

September 14, 2019
referencing Vampire State Building, LP, Album, 6305 128
The first track is almost identical to "Torrid Zone" by Nucleus from the album Elastic Rock.

Anyway, this version is much better with fuzzy guitars and a great drummer!!!
Hadox

Hadox

April 4, 2019
referencing Vampire State Building, LP, Album, 6305 128
This album goes all in and is groovier than a mother. 5 stars.
ultimathulerecords

ultimathulerecords

November 3, 2014
referencing Vampire State Building, CD, Album, RE, RM, LHC00014, LHC14
In the annals of Krautrock, Alcatraz's debut was one of the great unknown classics. A sizzling hybrid of many influences all wrapped-up into a unique style of their own. One part Faust (it is recorded at Wümme by Faust's engineer after all), one part Frumpy, Nosferatu, Out Of Focus, Xhol Caravan, and lots that is their own. There's also a jazz standard adaptation thrown-in (also heard adapted by Nucleus on their Elastic Rock album - so coincidental it's spooky), powerful white blues, and some of the strongest hooks and grooves you could ever wish for, plus tons of sizzling solos, great vocals, and more. What's not to like? Or indeed be totally stunned by!
As awesome a CD reissue as this is, it is weird that the opening track "Simple Headphone Mind" is 1:56 shorter than on the original LP issue. Why? The label say "by the band's request". But, what do you miss? Nothing actually. This 1:56 is a direct repeat musical verse/chorus of the 1:56 before. Must have been there for a reason, and casually its omission isn't so obvious. Anyway, you get a 5 star album, plus a great bonus track.
sambsonwayfinder

sambsonwayfinder

September 26, 2010
referencing Vampire State Building, CD, Album, RE, RM, LHC00014, LHC14
Catalog under WTF?!

The opening piece is mainly a mellow instrumental flute vehicle with a swinging backbeat, which alternately turns into electrified Blues!? Then there's the eventually chaotic sax solo. Umm, not that catchy, but really strange.

The second tune "Your Change Of A Lifetime" is a ploddingly maudlin martial drum and piano thing with screaming Blues guitar and then strangely tripped out vocals?! There's a guitar solo in which the drums double up (though still slow), and then it fades into a bizarre bleeping and blooping Krautrock meets Sun Ra layout (at 3:18), for about 35 seconds. This drops into a smokin British Blooze rock-out before fading out.

"Where The Wild Thing Are" may be the most cohesive piece here, in that you've got a chunked and funked up Deep Purple-ish guitar and syncopated sax chugging along for about a minute, before a swinging Jazzy build up which goes back to the original rhythm with the guitar soloing to the end!?

The title tune is a kinda mellow Jazz Funk thing for about a minute, before a trippy synth and sax play over an almost Bolero rhythm?! At 2 minutes the electric guitar and some seriously mind blowing synth swoop in, which disappears in a flash about 45 seconds later for a Jazz drum solo for about two and a half minutes. A new section starts, made of a ghostly wind synthesizer and a twee guitar lick, which leads to a most excellent section starting around 6:15 of effected flute and cymbals for about a minute. This grows back into a trippy lounge thing with vocals, and eventual flute and guitar solos until 11:55, at which time we inexplicably return to the original Jazz Funk thing?!

"Piss Off" is a shredding guitar, and a cave recording of bleating free-jazz sax trading measures while the drummer just throws down a comped together backbeat. This breaks down into an overblown solo guitar at 2:24 (a la Hendrix).

"Change Will Come", the final bonus song, is truly way freakin out there! A lounge meets Prog intro which soon drops into a Mexican two-step, which becomes Cream with the later ghost of ZZ Top. At about 1:15 it becomes a double-timed scatfest, followed by some Prog changes, and then a Texas Blues meets free Jazz improv?! At 2:25 this shifts gears into a fast Elvis-in-a-Vegas-lounge thing with Sun Ra-ish keyboard accompaniment! At 3:25 it becomes a smooth Jazz sax for about 20 seconds before hitting a boogie bridge that leads to a sax and drum build-up that drives to a frenzied 50's spy theme accompanied by buried Metal guitar. At 5:30 a fluttering keyboard enters and a Prog meets Country breakdown, before the burlesque ending. Gulp, huh!?!

Yeah that's the ultra-WTF!? bit. One could say Alcatraz is the predecessor to Mr. Bungle, Naked City & Secret Chiefs 3 without batting an eyelash by the end. Nuff said.