Rufus Zuphall - Weiß der Teufel (1970)

One of the legendary rare album from this band (hailing from Aachen next to Belgium and The Netherlands), this was released as a private pressing and an original pressing goes for fortunes. This high cost is probably not increasing of late as the re-formed group has made a new pressing of both the vinyl and the CD. This group is one of the German groups I have been aware early in my life as they passed to Bilzen festival in the early 70’s, and although too young to attend at the time, I managed to remember their weird name. Much later in the 70’s I was able to “score” a used copy of this album (with a different artwork than the famous toilet cover), which held cult status in my eyes, because I loved their rough and raw sound.

RZ is often unjustly compared to Jethro Tull because of the presence of a flauter (but this one is not mad does not sing and speaks perfect French), but not only is this reductive but also incorrect: sure there are similarities but RZ is much more bluesish and jazzy, have a tendency to expand instrumentally much more than Tull would. If any comparison to Tull should be made, it would be towards a much proggier version of Tull’s debut Time Was and a sort of progressive garage rock.

Two short tracks and two 7-min+ monsters make-up the first side of the album and Knight of The Third Degree is an excellent acoustic laced Gershwin-type of jazzy tune. Very happy and aerial, this music is made for good mood and loaded with positive vibes. The two shorter tracks (which came as the A and B-side of a single) are quite superb also. Freitag (Friday) could not be anything else than joyful too, and just like a Friday night on the town is raw, live, naughty and bluesy fun. Must be said that guitarist Gunter Krause’s vocals are not a highlight of RZ’s overall sound, but it is not a problem either: just apt and adequate.

The second side of the album is occupied by their “piece de résistance”, a lenghty mostly instrumental track built upon Gershwin’s (him again) Summertime theme, which was also the high point of their concerts. Unfortunately, the studio version could’ve done without the lenghty drum solo (heard worse than this particular one, but I always thought of drum solos on studio and live albums as useless), but the rest of the track is a great showcase (with some almost jam-like lengths) for the whole group’s instrumental prowess. At times, the positive vibes are making the listener exhilarating, basking in a cloudless sky of happiness.

The Cd version is now coming with six bonus live tracks from their farewell concert: the sound is just bootleg adequate (no more), and their live sound was slightly harder and bluesier and except for the odd track are not much added value. I would’ve rather seen them released as a separate album with the bonus track on their following Phallobst album.

Hardly essential to the prog rock history, RZ’s two albums are both recommended to fans of early 70’s prototype of prog rock. A good sound moment of good vibes, happiness and hippy idealism. - Review by Sean Trane (Hugues Chantraine)

Track Listings

1. Walpurgisnacht (3:00)
2. Knight Of 3rd Degree (7:32)
3. Spanferkel (2:20)
4. Freitag (7:14)
5. Weiß der Teufel (17:09)

Total Time: 37:15

CD bonus tracks Farewell! Live Aachen 1972 Part 1

6. 900 Miles
7. I Put A Spell On You
8. See See Rider
9. Avalon Suite
10. Summertime
11. Prickel Pit

- Klaus Gülden / flute
- Helmut Lieblang / bass
- Günter Krause / guitar
- Udo Dahmen / drums
Releases information

LP: LW 1035 RPI
CD: Long Hair Record 029


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