Ihre Kinder — “Hilf Mir” (“Help Me”): Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — August 16, 2022


553) Ihre Kinder (Your Children) — “Hilf Mir” (“Help Me”)

John Lennon asked for “Help” and a year later Ihre Kinder pleaded “Help Me” — a wonderful folky psychy song with a killer electric guitar solo (think “Sound of Silence”). From the first album (’69) by the first German rock band to sing exclusively in German, and the beginnings of Deutschrock and Krautrock.

Prog Archives notes that “[t]heir music combined influences from the American protest song (Bob Dylan), white blues music from England and – in a cautious way – the typical German electronic rock music of the early 70s to a progressive und unique mixture.” And they did it in German. (http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=1925) Silly Puppy explains:

Ihre Kinder . . . introduced the then radical notion of crafting rock songs in its own German language. The band was a continuation from the earlier pop band Jonah & The Whales . . . . After releasing an all but ignored [cover of] “It Ain’t Me Babe,” the band called it quits[. After] assembling a new team of noise makers vocalist/keyboardist Sonny Hennig and financier Jonas Porst . . . created a new band from scratch. . . . [Ihre Kinder] was one of the pioneers of German language rock and was met with great skepticism for having done so. . . . [Record labels] were [not] interested in this strange style of rock sung in German and [the album had to be] release[d] independently. Despite all efforts this debut album was met with little interest and the newly gestated Deutschrock had to wait a few more years for cultural acceptance.


Edgar Klüsener gives us more history:

They played acoustic folk and rich blues, oriental-tinged psycho-pop and rock-hard rock . . . [m]usically, the[y] . . . hardly differed from other German rock bands of the late sixties.  And yet they were the beginning of a revolution.  Because [they] sang exclusively in German . . . .  In the early 1970s, the German language was still a sacrilege in rock music.  Anglo-American idiom was cool, German, on the other hand, was discredited as the tongue-lashing of the escapist Musikantenstadl yodels and shallow-pink pop romanticism.  Anyone who was self-respecting as a German rocker sang in English . . . .  [The Kinder] . . . relied on poetic lyrics, a kind of psychedelic German beat lyrics, but could also be very clear and precise when they took up political topics.  In 1970, the readers of the magazine "Musikexpress" voted the group the best German blues band.  By then, at the latest, the band was well known even to high school students from the laboring suburbs . . . .  
Nuremberg was . . . the city of Photo-Porst.  In the 1960s, Hannsheinz Porst was at the head of the family business.  He was a dazzling figure, a communist dressed as a capitalist . . . [who] turned the market-leading photo discounter into an employee company. . . . [and] had undisguised sympathies for the [Soviet Union].  [T]he German press liked to describe [him] as a madman, a spy, an ideological arsonist, a crackpot or a traitor to the homeland who was dangerous to the public.  [H]is son Jonas. . . . played the impresario and put his father's dough into a recording studio that was to become the important nucleus of German rock culture - and he put it into the band "Your Children". The group's first album, financed and produced by Jonas . . . was initially rejected by German record companies as far too uncommercial.  The prevailing opinion in the recording industry was that the English and Americans were much better at rock music.  Who wanted to hear German lyrics? . . . .  In the end, a record company showed courage.  Philips released the album, but so half-heartedly that it almost went under without a word. 
https://www.spiegel.de/geschichte/popmusik-a-949347.html (courtesy of Google Translate)

I don’t think Silly Puppy liked their first album:

[Ihre Kinder] capture the zeitgeist of the beat era of the mid-60s while adding only small doses of the more contemporary sounds that were developing in the world of Krautrock. Honestly if it weren’t for the album’s status as first Deutschrock album [it] would be considered by most as utterly forgettable as the production is horrendously amateur, the pop hooks are bland and the singers sound like they got very drunk at a beer hall and jumped up on stage for the first time. . . .


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