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Faust IV
Faust IV
Genres: Alternative Rock, World Music, Special Interest, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (8) - Disc #1

When this Krautrock masterpiece (the 12-minute piece that coined the term is featured here) came out in 1973, there were those at Virgin who thought they might have a hit on their hands, what with Tubular Bells blowing up ...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Faust
Title: Faust IV
Members Wishing: 4
Total Copies: 0
Label: Blue Plate Caroline
Release Date: 8/20/1993
Genres: Alternative Rock, World Music, Special Interest, Pop, Rock
Styles: Europe, Continental Europe, Experimental Music, Progressive, Progressive Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 017046188524, 077778651024

When this Krautrock masterpiece (the 12-minute piece that coined the term is featured here) came out in 1973, there were those at Virgin who thought they might have a hit on their hands, what with Tubular Bells blowing up and Can's "I Want More" right around the corner. Not bloody likely, as it was too experimental for the masses, and not wanky enough for the Camel/ELP crew. The off-center reggae-ish rhythms that would become prevalent in experi-pop are in high supply here (although Faust was always less funky than Can), as well as an affecting minimalist acoustic piece, "Giggy Smile," which would become their trademark. Marginally more commercial than their other releases, here is where the Terry Riley/Lee Perry horse that so many post-Stereolab bands ride came in from. --D. Strauss

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CD Reviews

One of the best Krautrock albums ever
Michael Paulsen | Rancho Santa Margarita, CA USA | 08/05/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"For anyone curious about the Krautrock phenomenon of the 70's, Faust IV is one of the most satisfyingly listenable albums of them all, yet it still contains the defining avant-garde and rock experimentalism of the genre. Songs like "Jennifer" and "Picnic on a Frozen River..." (which should have been titled "Giggy Smile" instead of the track that follows) are genuine "should-be" classics. Surprisingly, like many other Krautrock acts of the 70's, Faust never take themselves too seriously. Lines like "Going places, smashing faces...what else could we do?") on the humourous ska sketch, "The Sad Skinhead", are living proof. I had a harder time warming up to the earlier Faust releases, but I always come back to this one for a great listening experience."
g cooper | New York City | 12/28/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"wow. i got this album for christmas not expecting much, and the result has been one of the most amazing albums i've ever heard. all the songs fit together into a sonic masterpiece.the songs are incredibly diverse, and no two sound the same. the album opens with, 'krautrock,' an 11-minute instrumental composed of bizarre, beautiful atmospheres with spare percussion. it's indeed the song that named the whole movement, other bands being can and neu!(also brilliant to a lesser extent). the next song, 'the sad skinhead,' starts off as dub-reggae, but goes into a bouncy, fun pop song. it's the next song though, 'jennifer,' that is the best song on the album. it's so beautiful! the guitar part is small and subtle, but really complements the drone drumming and the monotone lyrics about a girl whose hair is on fire. great stuff!! my other favorite songs are the funky 'just a second (starts like that),' and the stark, folk-y, 'it's a bit of pain,' although the album is best heard as a whole. it's all very overwhelming. at one moment there is tuneful bliss and at the next theres screaming feedback and samples. but in some amazing, impossible way, it's one of the most accesible album's i've ever heard."
Perfectly melds avant-garde with innovative songwriting
richlatta | "The War Zone" ABQ, NM | 11/24/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I'm sure this album has had a big influence on many other bands, either directly or indirectly. Still, even today, Faust remains among the boldest and most eccentric recording artists I've ever heard. This record came out in '73 and, while it's too unique to sound dated, the way it was recorded is telling. We're not likely to hear another album quite like this. These days, it's too tempting to avail oneself of modern technological trickery than to bang it out yourself. On the other hand, Faust were all about pushing technological limits. It only takes one good listen to hear how technologically impressive this is (but probably several listens to fully digest it).The breakdown:
"Krautrock" sounds like an exquisite extended drone session with its thick wall of synths punctuated by short bursts from other musical sources. This one in particular may take time to fully appreciate. A precursor to Industrial. Caution: trance inducing.I think "The Sad Skinhead" and "Jennifer" in particular had an influence on New Wave and other bands like Bauhaus and Radiohead. "Skinhead" is like a rather wierd and very European take on raggae (think the Clash but stranger) with vibes and other Faustian touches. "Jennifer" sounds like bouncing on clouds, walking through a lightning field and winding up in an empty saloon with a noodling honky-tonk piano player."Just a Second (Starts Like That!)" goes off the experimental deep end featuring what sounds like a mutant breed of electric water dragons mating. "Picnic on a Frozen River, Deuxieme Tableux" starts off with different music from the original version (including great sax) that appeared on SO FAR, but that irritatingly catchy keyboard riff soon creeps in. The whole thing turns into a juicy excuse to add some crazy guitar work over the proceedings."Giggy Smile" is a great song built on acoustic guitar, a strident violin and unusual percussion."Lauft . . Heisst das es Lauft Oder es Kommt Bald . . Lauft" is a nice ambient piece, somewhat disrupted toward the end by the inclusion of a few more ominous synth tones."It's a Bit of a Pain" is another nice song with acoustic guitar, piano and a blast of white noise to accentuate the "pain." Finally, one of the most corrosive guitar solos ever recorded tops off the song and completes this amazing and highly enjoyable album."