Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Forgotten Bands Of The 80s-Trio

uh huh uh huh uh huh

With that begins the electric drum beat that is their best known hit Da Da Da (I don't love you you don't love me aha aha aha) which was tacked on as a bonus cut on their 1983 Trio And Error LP.  But for myself I bought that record for Boom Boom which I saw on MTV as a video (back when MTV played music videos...light years ago).  New wave Kraut Rock, Trio played minimalist music, basically a straight beat, some guitar and keyboards and all three of their albums were produced by Klaus Voormann (Ringo Starr).  And their strange albums also reminded me a lot of the Flying Lizards or Roxy Music  as cheesy as it gets.

They recorded three albums, two of which were German only and the first album is very very crude. And it's hard to pin point, they go from avant garde stuff like Sabime Sabime Sabime (to which Stephan Remmeler is talking to somebody on the phone while a porn like sax plays in the background but leads into Da Da Da which is more German speaking then the US remix,  While I couldn't stay awake listening to the whole album I heard some things out of the ordinary, Broken Hearts For You And Me which is somewhat glam rock, Sunday You Need Love, Monday Be Alone which appears on the 1997 Da Da Da comp and a version of Ya Ya that wouldn't be out of place on a John Cale album.  It concludes with a 20 second snippet of Day O.  An odd record to say the very least.

Trio And Error  has the same type of song sequence but the oddball avant garde stuff that lead off both sides of Trio (the album) is left off and it starts out with Boom Boom but the rest of the album is quarky, Hearts Are Trump features either an oddball sax or a casino keyboard doing sax sounds (aka David Bowie) and Out In The Street has tape manipulation that sounds like the record is stuck. Bye Bye is an attempt to go reggae and side 1 closer Anna (letmeinletmeout) has Himmler reciting names of some girls and then the chorus of Let Me In Let Me Out which makes you wonder why Mercury bother to issue the album in the US in the first place, with all the German speaking words, this would go beyond the heads of most Americans.  Side 2 leads off with an instrumental of sorts, then Da Da Da (the American Remix Version) and a stripped down Trutti Frutti which that Little Richard would have sued for defacing the music and a song that sung in German that sounds like Ich Bien Rock and Roll (you can rock and roll) and then do a 360 and do a pop song  "Turaluraluralu - Ich mach BuBu was machst du" that could be their tribute to Petula Clark or she could sing it better I donno.  Trio And Error is curious listen but I actually enjoy the whole thing.

While they kept busy in Germany, making a flop movie, they return to make the hard to find What's The Password to which at that time Peter Behrens left the band and Trio called it a day.  While most of America never heard What's The Password, it's typical Trio but with an eye more toward dance music but it could be the soundtrack to the movie Three Against Three (Drei Gegen Drei) Behrens although pictured on the cover of the album, the drums were played by Curt Cress (Saga-Wildest Dreams era). It's a so so record, pales in comparison with Trio And Error and perhaps the first album.  And with that failure, Trio called it a day.

Until the Volkswagen folk used Da Da Da for a very successful commercial to which Polygram Mercury reissued Trio And Error, added a couple tracks (Girl Girl Girl and Sunday You Need Love....) and it did fairly well on the charts but most of who bought it ended up trading it in or donating it.  For myself it replaced a well worn Trio And Error.  Stephan Remmler has a website of his own but unless you can translate German, it will be of little use to you.

Trio isn't for everybody, unless you like a dry sense of humor to your minimalist rock and roll. But I do find some perverse fascination in Stephan Hemmler's vocals which sounds like a bored David Bryne from the Talking Heads. And it does have moments, there's just more on Trio And Error than on the other two.

Da da da.

Trio (Phonogram/Mercury GmBH 1981) B
Trio And Error (Mercury 1983, later reissued at Da Da Da 1997) A-
What's The Password (Mercury GmBH 1985) B-  

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