Missus Beastly - SWF Session 1974. Germany (archival)

Hmm! So we have an interesting one here. The question is: Are you willing to buy an alternate version of the 1974 Missus Beastly album? If the answer is yes, then definitely get this. If not, read on. I'm disappointed in Long Hair for not mentioning the similarities between the two. And the lackluster liner notes make no explanation as to why some of the tracks have different names than on their vinyl counterpart. It's worth noting that these recordings (two different sessions) were recorded near the dates of the studio release, so the similarities with the actual album are certainly understandable from the band's perspective.

The album begins with 'Fly Away', which is track 6 on the Nova album. It's a great example of why the original album is so brilliant in my eyes (the album itself is a 5 star/Gnosis 14 Masterpiece as far as I'm concerned - see yesterday's entry for more detail).

But now the problems start. The second track would appear to be unique, if titles are what we go on here: 'Simsalabim'. But the melody is instantly recognizable and, sure enough, it's the 'Paranoidl' track from the LP.

Now things really get weird. Track 3 is 'Talle', which turns out to be '20th Century Break' on the original, and happens to be one of my favorite tracks of all-time. No mention, as I stated earlier, as to why the difference in track titles. To make matters worse, 'Talle' from the LP is the ONLY track not on the SWF Session. Good grief - what a mess.

'Free Clinic' is a unique track, though there is a longer improvised live version on the GoD reissue (as a bonus track).

'Geisha' is a pretty faithful representative of the LP version. 'Space in the Place' is the first truly new piece (I think) represented here. But at just two minutes, there's not much to grab onto.

'Song For Ann' is a beautiful Dieter Miekautsch piano piece - except it too was released on the (get ready) Missing Link album from 1972 (Missing Link... Missus Beastly. Ay-yi-yi. Keeping up with me here?). It's slightly different than the LP version, but not by much.

'Dauerwurst', like 'Simsalabim', is not new. It's a renamed version of 'Vacuum Cleaner Dance' from the Nova LP. It's driving me nuts why none of this has been mentioned before!

'Julia' is a lively rendition of the Nova album opener. Different enough to be exciting, and perhaps what this SWF could have been about. But no.

And we get to the last two tracks - which are finally unique. 'Serenade to a Soul Sister' is no doubt an embryonic version of 'Vloflutho' which shows up as a bonus track on GoD's CD of the '74 album.

Had I not heard most of this material before, this would be a solid 5 star/14 Gnosis rating. But.... 3.5 / Gnosis 10 it must be.

Personal collection
CD: 2012 Long Hair


  1. Hi Tom,

    I know how you feel. I encountered something similar when I wanted to complete my Sven Grünberg collection with two albums on Erdenklang. Turned out one of them was actually a compilation, but I had no idea until I heard the music, because the album title gave no hint and all the tracks had different names. And no mention anywhere on the net either (RYM has it as a regular album for example). Luckily it wasn't terribly expensive, but I could've spent my hard earned money on something new... Oh well, I've got the complete set now (incl. the Mess album), great music!

    Cheers, Bas

    1. Exactly Bas. I think had they been more forthcoming about the contents, then I could have made a better informed decision. Obviously it's a good album, and it's all unique to this CD - that is the recording themselves, not the compositions. There's value in that - but probably not very exciting for me personally.

      Mess is indeed good! I used to have the Synopsis on vinyl years ago. Thanks for the comment!


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