Year 5, Day 18: Here Comes Alex, the German “A Clockwork Orange” concept album

Year 5, Day 18: Die Toten Hosen – Ein kleines bisschen Horrorschau

61lo8euaa4l

Track List

  1. Hier kommt Alex
  2. 1000 gute Gründe
  3. Ein Schritt zuviel
  4. Keine Ahnung
  5. Die Farbe Grau
  6. 180 Grad
  7. Mehr Davon
  8. Zahltag
  9. 35 Jahre
  10. Musterbeispiel
  11. Testbild
  12. Bye, bye Alex

About the Album

Ein kleines bisschen Horrorschau is the six album from German punk rock band, Die Toten Hosen. The album was recorded in 1988 and released the same year through Totenkopf Records (Virgin Records). The album is considered to be one of the best Die Toten Hosen albums to date. The album peaked at number seven on the German albums charts in 1988.

Thoughts on the Album

Die Toten Hosen is considered to be the godfathers of German punk. They are stalwart veterans who continue to produce records and hits in Europe into this decade and century. In 1988, they released Ein kleines bisschen Horrorschau, a concept album based off of the dystopian novel, A Clockwork Orange and the Stanley Kubrick movie of the same name. Every song from the album is linked together by snippets/bits and pieces of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. Though not all of the songs are related to A Clockwork Orange.

Die Toten Hosen has created something that has not released been seen (or heard) before. A combination of pathos, catchy riffs, and other raw emotions such as anger, despair, and angst. And in typical DTH fashion used a formula of catchy riffs and hooks, great melodies, huge choruses, and quiet, yet vulernable moments to make a complete and coherent effect. The album a unique and striking atmosphere around it that manages to capture the listener today, the same way it did almost 30 years ago.

The album marked a maturation for the band. The sound had matured. Their songwriting matured and improved; it was worlds more complex than the songwriting on earlier releases. While the songwriting improved and matured, the songs are still relatively simple… I mean the closing track Bye, bye Alex is musically (and structurally) the same as the opening track, Hier kommt Alex.

Again, I have to mention the song writing. The album was creatively written and the lyrics are imaginative. While some of the tracks are so-so and nothing to write home about, the album itself is something that needs to be listened to while reading the book… or if you have seen the Kubrick movie. And while an understanding of German is recommended, I still would say you don’t need to understand the language to like the album. If you’ve read the book or seen the movie, you’d understand the music.

Conclusion

If you like an album that tells a story, this one is for you. It is the German version of Pink Floyd‘s The Wall. It’s album that fuses classical music with Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and punk. It’s Die Toten Hosen‘s magnum opus and their interpretation of Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange. The music paints you an aural picture of Alex DeLarge’s struggle with his violent past and the “cure” that makes him sick at thought of sex and violence. The message is heard loud and clear. It is Die Toten Hosen‘s best work to date and an excellent album.

(Previous Post)

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s