ABACUS – Abacus

Abacus were a German band who were fronted by British singer Chris Williams, who also wrote much of the material on this, their 1971 debut. ‘Pipedream Revisited Parts I & II’ is a showcase for keyboard player Cristoph Barutzky, featuring some excellent organ and piano work alongside some inventive guitar from Hans-Rolf Schade. ‘Capuccino’ is an organ and guitar duel which takes in snatches from classical music, while ‘Don’t Beat So On The Horses’ is an up-tempo rocker – not really progressive but nonetheless very enjoyable. ‘Song For Brunhilde’ is a folkier offering than previous songs, and features some nice sitar from Schade, while ‘Song For John And Yoko’ has some fine drumming from Felix Hans, giving the song a driving rhythm which the other band members can use as a springboard for some good performances. ‘Radbod Blues’ is the most psychedelic/progressive piece here, with Williams’ vocals electronically treated, some jazzy organ from Barutzky, and a drum solo from Hans. ‘Chestholder’ closes the album with a jazzy ballad, giving Barutzky the chance to shine with a swinging organ solo, before the other songs from the album are reprised in a cacophony of sound. This album is generally regarded as the best by the band, and so it is good that it is available on CD. Well worth the investment for fans of prog rock.