Monday, October 15, 2012

Les Sauterelles - View To Heaven (1968 swiss, flower beat pop with baroque tinges)

A Swiss '60s band that have sometimes been mistakenly identified as a British group due to their 1968 single "Dream Machine," a quite catchy and enjoyable facsimile of British flower pop with high harmonies, psychedelic lyrics, and driving guitars. The band had actually been recording since 1965, and established themselves as one of Switzerland's best and most popular groups. 

That's a status that isn't conferred upon most, Switzerland being a small country. Much of their first LP (1966) was filled with covers of popular rock hits. These were interpreted, however, with a brash energy that makes the record stand out above the scores of similar covers-oriented albums produced around the globe during the era. "Dream Machine" was a more original effort, and an album from 1968, View to Heaven, also had a more pronounced folk and psychedelic feel than their earliest outings. Les Sauterelles continued recording all the way into the early '70s, and several of their songs (notably "Dream Machine") surfaced on collector-oriented reissues in the '80s. 

Although much of this debut consists of covers of popular British and American rock songs of the mid-'60s, it's pretty enjoyable in spite of its unoriginality. The raw, almost punky cover of "Cheryl's Going Home" is terrific, and arguably better than the prototypes by Bob Lind and the Blues Project; not far behind is the moody reading of "No No No," a power-chord pounder originally performed by the obscure (in the U.S., at any rate) British Invasion group the Sorrows. Dylan's "Desolation Row" and "She Belongs to Me" are given 

British mod-type arrangements that, while they will most likely find no favor with most Dylan fans, have a refreshing irreverence that most Dylan covers lack; the Paris Sisters' wimpy ballad "I Love How You Love Me" is somehow transformed into a decent rock tune. The rest of the album doesn't match these highlights, yet it's a decent (and very rare) artifact of a Swiss band that no doubt wowed 'em live in their homeland; in the absence of frequent tours by the genuine originators, they were probably a pretty acceptable substitute. 
by Richie Unterberger
1. Montgolfier - 2:43
2. Big Old Sun - 2:28
3. Hippie Soldier - 2:28
4. Hello, One Kiss, Goodbye - 2:00
5. Good New Times - 2:18
6. Where Have All The Flowers Gone? - 1:45
7. Silly Damsel - 3:44
8. Heavenly Club - 2:35
9. Homage - 2:27
10.Hotel Continental - 2:40
11.Dream Machine - 2:28
12.It's All Over Now Baby Blue - 3:12
13.Auf Wiedersehen - 1:15

Les Sauterelles
*Peter Rietmann - Bass Guitar, Vocals
*Kurt (Dude) Durst - Drums, Vocals
*Rolf Antener - Lead Guitar, Vocals
*Little Fritz - Organ, Piano
*Toni Vescoli - Rhythm Guitar, Vocals

Related Act
1971  Toni Vescoli - Information (Korean remaster)

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  1. Swiss band Les Sauterelles was formed in 1962, and reached the peak of his career in the late sixties. Excellent flower pop-psych with a European flavour. Sublime harmonies and great guitar work, made them one of Switzerland's most popular groups.

    The basis of the team consists of guitarist and vocalist Toni Vescoli, others participants is often changed, so there is no point in mentioning them all. To exit the "View To Heaven", the artists behind them was a national glory, seven singles and an album, a successful tour of Germany.

    By October 1968 the album reached 2nd place in the Swiss charts. 'Heavenly Club' - the first Swiss song led the national hit parade, the song was sung not by vocalist Toni Vescoli, but by guitarist Rolf Antener. Album includes the excellent single "Dream Machine", a version of Dylan's "Baby Blue" and eleven other tracks. Quintet gave great songs in the best traditions bit rock, which is brilliantly sung 'Silly Damsel' with stylized early 60s. No stranger to talented performers waste fashionable psychedelia, as well as an appeal to the national musical roots. All songs are sung in English, and only final and funny track 'Auf Wiedersehen' - in German.

    Despite the success, the team will finish the year with an uncertain future the guy (Kurt) Durst announcing his resignation ( later founded the legendary Swiss kraut-rockers Krokodil band first to introduce progressive rock to Switzerland.)

    Year 1969 is marked by several changes in the line-up, only constant element is the only leader Toni Vescoli.
    Despite many changes in personnel Les Sauterelles in 1969, they released three singles.

    The end of the band Les Sauterelles take its course in 1970 - financial problems, and less pretense,Toni Vescoli's ultimatum as an amateur band Les Sauterelles to live or end. Other team members reject the proposal amateur team, Toni Vescoli published obituary, the band disbanded in 1970.

    But the legacy left behind unique "French" sounding band name Les Sauterelles (in German name -"Grasshoppers" or locust) is indisputable!

    Thx Marios!

  2. Hi, could you add new links please, thanks

  3. .....Les Sauterelles - View To Heaven...Repaired......

  4. Hi Marios! :) Any chance for a reupload on this? Cheers! tpb

    1. ThePoodleBites, "Les Sauterelles - View To Heaven", repsoted..

    2. Thank you, Marios! I am excited to hear this CD. The track "Heavenly Club" is terrific. :)