Kin Ping Meh – Concrete (1976) [double live album]



Their 5th album, live in concert. Great prog!! ...or just hard rock
Very rare out of print double CD...


1976 / 1995 (Nova / Second Battle)

As far as I am aware, there were no other German bands like Kin Ping Meh, who chose their name in the Chinese language! In 1970, this quintet assembled in Mannheim: Werner Stephan (lead vocals), Joachim Schafer (guitar, piano, vocals), Fritz Schmitt (organ, piano), Torsten Herzog (bass) and Kalle Weber (drums). They played live extensively during their early years, performing a rough hard rock modeled on British bands like Deep Purple, Uriah Heep and Spooky Tooth. Soon, Kin Ping Meh were discovered by Polydor's talent scouts. Joachim Schafer left the band just before the recording of their first album. He was promptly replaced by Willie Wagner (guitar, harmonica, vocals), who joined the band in the Windrose Studio. Indeed, Wagner wrote the stand-out track of this album, the opening 11-minute 'Fairy-Tales', a haunting heavy rock song with long, 'progressive' guitar and organ solo parts. Even if you do not find this style attractive, you'll sense the great enthusiasm of the band. There were also some mellow, folky songs on the album, like 'Too Many People', recorded live and boasting an irresistible chorus. 'Kin Ping Meh' was produced by the experienced rock veterans Achim Reichel and Frank Dostal. The engineer was none other than Konrad Plank. The album is highly recommended for fans of groups like Epitaph, Zarathustra, Frame, etc. It's now quite rare (selling for more than 300 DM) as the first and only vinyl edition was only pressed at around 5,000 copies.


Torsten Herzog and Willie Wagner left Kin Ping Meh in 1972. The band had already been expanded with Alan Joe Wroe (bass), Uli Gross (guitar, although he left again within months) and Gagey Mrozeck (guitar, ex-2066 & Then). 'No. 2' (1972) followed the path of its predecessor - it was filled with great quality heavy progressive rock. Besides their self-written material, Kin Ping Meh were also bold enough to make an 11-minute version of 'Come Together', culminating in a long instrumental jam - a highlight of the album! Fans of early Kin Ping Meh should also check out the double album, 'Hazy Age On Stage' (1991), featuring great live tracks recorded in Sprendlingen in January 1973 and also some studio out-takes from 1972. When vocalist Werner Stephan left in May 1973, it marked the end of Kin Ping Meh's first phase. Regrettably, none of their following albums could match their first two. Gagey Mrozeck recommended Geff Harrison (his old friend from 2066 & Then) as a replacement for Werner Stephan. The quintet of Harrison, Mrozeck, Schmitt, Wroe and Weber recorded 'Kin Ping Meh III' (1973) with added choir and brass. Unfortunately, most people find their 'new' sound far less appealing than their previous one. 'Virtues And Sins' (1974) was a further slide towards a more standard Anglo-American influenced rock. Schmitt left in 1975, and was replaced by Chris Klober (keyboards, ex-Curly Curve). He only participated on the double live album, 'Concrete' (1976) before the band fell apart. Geff Harrison set out on a solo recording career, but only with moderate success. Mrozeck and Weber embarked on an ill-fated attempt to keep the band going with Michael Pozz (vocals), Ron Sheepmaker (keyboards) and Chuck Trevor (bass), resulting in the sixth and final Kin Ping Meh album for Bacillus - a superfluous affair!

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The career of rock band Kin Ping Meh from Mannheim lasted almost exactly seven years and reached quite a few heights. But it still left the band rather disillusioned in the end. Drummer Kalle Weber's resume from the Spring of 1977: "If you're not a pop star, you're still the asshole." Together with amateur musicians Werner Stephan (vocals), Joachim Schafer (guitar, piano), Frieder Schmitt (organ piano) and Torsten Herzog (bass), Weber had formed Kin Ping Meh in 1970. The name Kin Ping Meh (meaning "branch of a plum blossom in a golden vase") is taken from a Chinese 16th century novel depicting the life and customs of that time. On September 15, 1970 the band gave their first concert. Over the next months, they took part in seven important talent competitions. They won them all and were offered a recording contract from Polydor. From now on, everything went very quick - the important Sunday paper "Bild am Sonntag" had a two-page report about the band in January and their first single was released in February. 'Everything's My Way' made the Top 5 of various radio playlists and March saw the band tour with The Hollies. In May it was back to the studio to record the second single, 'Everyday'. After guitarist Willie Wagner replaced Joachim Schafer, the band from Mannheim recorded and produced their debut album in autumn 1971, and in December it hit the stores. The band was almost constantly touring at that time and supported acts like Uriah Heep.

1972 was a very good year for Kin Ping Meh. They wrote the music for a drug musical called 'Rausch', composed the soundtrack for ZDF series "Sechs unter Millionen" (Weber said in an interview: "We tried to make good rock music because for us, this job is an important milestone, a big step ahead in our career") and thus joined the short list of German rock bands who had achieved something similar, e.g. Can with 'Spoon', their song for a Durbridge crime movie, or Popol Vuh for the Herzog movie 'Aguirre, der Zom Gottes'. Almost simultaneously, they opened the Sailing Olympics in Kiel, went on tour with Rory Gallagher and Golden Earring, and released their second album, 'No. 2'. In their annual vote, the readers of magazine "Popfoto" voted them among the Top 5 in the category, 'Most Promising Band'. But they had to pay a high price for constantly being on the road - 1972 saw a drastic change in the line-up. Willie Wagner, Werner Stephan and Torsten Herzog left the band to be replaced by Gerhard "Gagey" Mrozeck, Uli Gross, British bass player Alan Joe Wroe and his fellow countryman Geff Harrison. With this line-up, Kin Ping Meh recorded 'III', the band's third album, in the Summer of 1973. The album featured a wind section and a female choir. It was mainly because of singer Geff Harrison's influence that the band developed a hard rock image. "The people mainly want to really rock, to be happy and to get to see something. And that's all true in our case", the band explained in a 1973 "Musik Express" interview and added: "There is not much demand for space and cosmic rock right now." Kin Ping Meh played concerts with hard rock superstars like Deep Purple and Slade and appeared on a couple of television shows.

Their fourth album, 'Virtues & Sins' (1974), earned them comparisons to the Rolling Stones, Free, The Faces and Spooky Tooth. 1976 saw the release of 'Concrete', a live album that was the last LP under their old recording contract. After the end of the recording contract, Harrison and Wroe left the band. The remaining band members tried a new beginning. With new band members and a new contract with Bellaphon, they recorded 'Kin Ping Meh' (1977), but were unable to continue their success story, mainly because of weak vocal performances. In the Summer of 1977, the band finally disbanded.

Gerhard Mrozeck at first joined a funk rock formation called Ooh La La and later on played very successfully in the bands of Edo Zanki and Herbert Gronemeyer. Geff Harrison started a solo career. He even made two very successful tours through the GDR. November 1982 saw a Kin Ping Meh revival concert at Berlin University, but the new Kin Ping Meh mainly consisted of members of the Harrison Band. Mrozeck and Weber did not take part. Drummer Kalle Weber died of a heart attack in 1995.

CD1:

1) Light Entertainment (4:15)
2) Come Together (5:35)
3) Too Many People (4:27)
4) Me and I (4:43)
5) I Want to Die A Millionaire (8:01)
6) Night-Time Glider (6:48)
7) East Winds (7:04)

CD2:

8 ) High Time Whiskey Flyer (11:54)
9) Blue Horizon (7:19)
10) Dancing in the Street (3:39)
11) Don't Force Your Horse (4:43)
12) Good Time Gracie (3:42)
13) Rock Is the Way (6:43)

Musicians:

- Geff Harrison / vocals
- Alan Joe Wroe / bass
- Uli Gross / electric guitars
- Gerhard Mrozeck / guitar
- Chris Klober / keyboards
- Kalle Weber / drums and percussion

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And for lossy go here below;
Kin Ping Meh – Concrete (1976) [double live album]

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