Albums In My Collection
– Dance Of The Flames
– Don’t Call Us, We Call You
– Guru Guru 5
– Mani In Germani
– Tango Fango
I became aware of this Krautrock band back in 1974 when one FM station in Chicago used to have a 2-3 hour show one night per week called “Sounds From Across The Big Swamp.” The station broke from its normal hard rock format to feature obscure or underground bands from, despite the name of the show, both Europe and America. To me, that show was PURE GOLD and I listened religiously each week! I heard some amazing material from early Gentle Giant, Scorpions, Judas Priest, Amon Düül II, Epitaph, Lucifer’s Friend, Roxy Music, Birth Control, Jane, etc. And one of the odder bands to get featured was Guru Guru.
Then, as a teenager, money was of course scarce, and although I found many albums by all these amazing bands at my local record store, they were mostly shelved in the “Import” section, meaning prices were outrageous, well beyond my means. Therefore, Guru Guru’s releases were not something I would be able to grab anytime soon, to my complete dissatisfaction. But I held the band’s name in memory for many decades until something called the Internet came into my life as an adult and I was able to finally rediscover some of the music I had been craving since youth.
When thinking of Guru Guru again, I located the album I distinctly remembered from those days on that radio show, 1974’s Dance Of The Flames. I was able to download it and, damn it, the album was just as bizarre as I remembered. Since then, I’ve located other Guru Guru albums and have been able to delve into their history. And let me tell you, this is one weird-ass band.
Call them Prog-Rock, Krautrock, Psychedelic Rock, “Jam Band” Rock, or whatever, they were quite bizarre. Some of the material is hit or miss (“garage band/improvisational” type of stuff in the band’s earliest days), but for the most part, they are enjoyable.
Their earliest releases were almost free-form Psychedelic jam sessions, as if someone plopped them into a studio and said, “Okay, guys, fool around with whatever the hell idea strikes you.” Whereas other releases have more “actual” song-oriented tracks (since I like music better when it has some structure, these are the albums I generally prefer, although the “jammy” album Känguru is also one of my favorites by Guru Guru).
So, depending on your musical preferences or mood, you may enjoy their material or be disappointed by it. Either way, you’re sure to find some goofy (mostly instrumental) material when investigating them.