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 Tracks


Birth Control Birth Control (Album) Metronome, Metronome US 1970 Sell This Version
Birth Control Operation (Album) Ohr UK 1971 Sell This Version
Birth Control Hoodoo Man (Album) CBS, CBS Europe 1972 Sell This Version
Birthcontrol* Rebirth (Album) CBS, CBS Germany 1974 Sell This Version
Birthcontrol* Live (Album) CBS, CBS Europe 1974 Sell This Version
Birth Control Plastic People (Album) CBS, CBS Germany 1975 Sell This Version
Birth Control Backdoor Possibilities (Album) Brain Germany 1976 Sell This Version
Birth Control Increase (Album) Brain Japan 1977 Sell This Version
Birth Control Titanic (Album) Brain Germany 1978 Sell This Version
Birth Control Live '79 (Album) Brain Germany 1979 Sell This Version
Birth Control Count On Dracula (Album) Ariola, Ariola Colombia 1980 Sell This Version
Birth Control Deal Done At Night (Album) Ariola, Ariola Germany 1981 Sell This Version
Birth Control Bäng! (Album) Ohr Today France 1982 Sell This Version
Birthcontrol* Condomium (Album) Affengeil Records Germany 1994 Sell This Version
Birth Control Two Worlds (Album) Legend (2) 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
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
BC2016 Birth Control Here And Now(CD, Album, Dig) Look At Me (3) BC2016 Germany 2016 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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