Udo Lindenberg / Das Panik-Orchester

Votan Wahnwitz

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"Wahnsinn und genie/Gehen hand in hand" ("Madness and genius/Together hand in hand") sings Udo Lindenberg on the first track, "Der Dirigent," of his third consecutive masterpiece, Votan Wahnwitz, and this line could very well describe the state of Lindenberg's output by the mid-'70s. With the release of this fifth solo album, it became clear that Lindenberg belonged to the pantheon of German rock that stood apart from the prevailing currents of Krautrock, as did bands such as Can or Frumpy (but they were in a different category altogether). Within three days, 250,000 copies were sold and the album reached -- together with its predecessor, Ball Pompös -- gold status in Germany. Lindenberg continued his unique cruise through rock mixed with symphonic elements, cha cha, and jazz, and as with the previous two releases, the ship on this journey was peopled with all sorts of bizarre but most original inventions: the mad conductor in "Der Dirigent," the quirky soprano "Elli Pyrelli," the vampire of "O-Rhesus-Negativ" who "sleeps during the day and gets pissed from blood at night," and the title character, "Votan Wahnwitz." With Votan Wahnwitz, Lindenberg had reached an exceptional peak of his creativity -- this album completes the trilogy that would catapult him to his status as a towering figure of German rock music of the '70s.

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