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Wallenstein
Germany

Years: 1972 - 1982
Styles: Classic Rock, Krautrock, Pop Rock, Progressive Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Symphonic Rock

Founder

Jerry Berkers - Bass Guitar, Lead vocals (in band: 1972 - 1973)
Harald Grosskopf - Cymbal, Drums, Percussion (in band: 1972 - 1975)
Bill Barone - Acoustic guitar , Guitar, Vocals (in band: 1972 - 1975)
Jürgen Dollase - Grand piano, Keyboards, Lead vocals, Mellotron, Piano, Synthesizer, Vibraphone , Vocals (in band: 1972 - 1982)

Members

Dieter Meier - Bass Guitar (in band: 1973)
Joachim Reiser - Percussion, Violin (in band: 1973 - 1976)
Jürgen Pluta - Bass Guitar, Percussion, Vocals (in band: 1973 - 1978)
Gerd Kloecker - Guitar, Vocals (in band: 1975 - 1978)
Nicky Gebhard - Drums, Percussion, Vocals (in band: 1975 - 1978)
Pete Brough - Guitar, Vocals (in band: 1978 - 1982)
Michael Dommers - Guitar, Vocals (in band: 1978 - 1982)
Kim Merz - Lead vocals (in band: 1978 - 1982)
Charlie Terstappen - Drums, Percussion (in band: 1978 - 1982)
Terry Park - Bass Guitar (in band: 1978 - 1982)

Biography

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    In late Autumn 1971, the art student Jürgen Dollase founded a rock band called Blitzkrieg joined by Harald Grosskopf (drums), Jerry  Berkers from Holland and Bill Barone from USA. The provoking band name (from a German point of view) was changed later by Dollase for legal reasons, because the name were already used by an English rock band. Wallenstein was born, named after the famous general from the 30 Years War.

    Just before the end of 1971, Wallenstein produced the first four music themes at Studio Dierks in Stommeln, near Cologne. This record was called “Blitzkrieg” according to the former band name.

    Six months later, in early Summer 1972, Jürgen, Bill, Jerry and Harald recorded their second album “Mother Universe”, the cover of which was decorated with a photograph of Dollase’s Grandmother taken by Harald Grosskopf. The French pop magazine BEST honored “Mother Universe” as “LP of the month” with the statement: “Wallenstein’s music is unique. They succeed in finding a synthesis of pure, melodic music and hard, brutal rock and inconceivable feelings bordering on madness.”

     In Autumn 1972, Jerry Berkers left Wallenstein and performed solo only. He also released a solo album "Unterwegs" (joined by Barone and Dollase) with its best songs “Ich klage an” and “Seltsam”. Some very haunting lyrics on the song “Ich klage an” (English: "I accuse") might stem from his time in Vietnam. During the recording session of this solo album, Jerry went insane and was taken to a psychiatric hospital. He died under tragic circumstances six or seven years ago.

    After the release of “Mother Universe”, Wallenstein toured as Trio - without Berkers - in Switzerland and France (with shows and a make-up like Alice Cooper), followed by TV appearances in French, Austrian and Switzerland. Through several broadcastings (“Klatschmohn” & a 70 minutes special by WDR), Wallenstein also became famous in Germany.

     From Mai until August 1973 Wallenstein’s bass was played by Dieter Meier, then Jürgen Pluta joined the band. In June, a new Wallenstein member was added: Joachim Reiser (violine). Wallenstein performed live with Reiser and Pluta on German Rock Festival in Krefeld, 16 September 1973. In same year, Cosmic Centuries” was released, the third Wallenstein record and their first work as so-called “Symphonic Rock Orchestra”.

    After a long break, Wallenstein produced as last group on the Label Kosmische Musik the album “Stories, Songs and Symphonies”, on which Jürgen Dollase tried to realize his ideas of “Programmusic”, but the disharmonious mix of Classics, Jazz and Rock was badly received.

     In 1975, Bill Barone and Harald Grosskopf left Wallenstein. Bill went back to the USA, and Harald sought for new challenges. Harald met Klaus Schulze in Hambühren, the beginnung of a very successful collaboration until 1978.

     With new members Gerd Klöcker on guitar and Nicky Gebhard on drums, Wallenstein toured very successful in France. In Spring 1976 violinist Joachim Reiser also said Good Bye and Wallenstein felt in silence for a while.

     Musically changed, Jürgen Dollase (keyb), Gerd Klöcker (git), Jürgen Pluta (bass) and Nicky Gebhard (drums) toured through Germany and performed at Deutschrock-Festival in Krefeld. A new album “No more Love” was released at the same time. After a concert in Hildesheim, Jürgen Dollase released all teammates, preparing a new musical style.

     In 1978, Dollase set up a new crew and recorded the LP “Charline”. This album made clear, that Wallenstein had decided for the commercial way of mainstream rock, with simple melodies and songs for several voices. The new Wallenstein crew as well as the current repertoire was introduced for the first time to public in Mönchengladbach Kaiser-Friedrich-Hall on 10 November 1978. The live act at the Sound and Music Festival in Dortmund on 7th of December was recorded by the WDR and broadcasted in the TV show “Rockpalast” on 27.12.1978.

    After a tour in Spring 1979 and a “Disco” appearance, the track “Charline” became a hit and climbed place no. 17 of the German pop charts. Due to the single success, Wallenstein gave more than 200 concerts including a TV appearance in the “scene”. The LP “Blue Eyed Boys” followed in October and was a commercial success, too. The single release “Don’t Let It Be” sold more than 100.000 copies.

    For the beginning of 1980, Wallenstein signed a contract with the record company EMI and released their album “Fräulein” in March. The band introduced their new song material on a big Germany tour and visited (together with the Scorpions) the Benelux countries, France, Austria and Switzerland. In the meantime, the guitarist Pete Brough discharged to get married in South Africa with a member of the girl band Clout.

     The single “Lady in Blue” released end of 1980 became a first flop. The new album “Sssss...top” even though more rock orientated and mostly excellent performed could not avoid a waning interest by the listeners, too.

     From March to June 1981, Wallenstein went on tour the last time. Then the band was swept away as many others by the upcoming New Wave. “Nothing doing with English lyrics”, Jürgen Dollase recognized. Attempts with German texts kept in reserve. End of 1982, the Wallenstein chapter was closed.


Source: http://www.haraldgrosskopf.de/wallenstein.html


Albums

Blitzkrieg (1972)
Mother Universe (1972)
Cosmic Century (1973)
Stories, Songs & Symphonies (1975)
No More Love (1977)
Charline (1978)
Blue Eyed Boys (1979)
Fräuleins (1980)
SSSSS..Top (1981)

Singles & EPs

Charline (1978)
Don't Let It Be (1978)
If (1979)
Lay Down (1980)
Rock High (1980)
Lady In Blue (1980)
You Need A Friend (1981)
Tanzen (1982)

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