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A Magazine for Sheffield

Faust Faust 1971-1974

Where does one start with a band like Faust? Well perhaps the perfect way to immerse yourself in their extensive output is to explore this compilation for starters.

Released: 8 October 2021
Faust 1971-1974

Faust has always struck me as a band that, despite being part of a collective movement in early 1970s Germany alongside Can, Neu! et al., were really out there on their own. There are the madcap elements reminiscent of Holger Czukay’s experiments with Can, and then there’s Faust’s ability to create the anthemic psychedelic rock sound of ‘Baby’, which still stands up half a century on and, incredibly, was rejected for release by Polydor at the time.

Even though they may tip into mayhem and sound like a piano has fallen down the stairs mid-recording (perhaps it has), there’s no disputing that this band are one of the game-changers of the post-rock’n’roll era. Quite frankly there is no way to cover the breadth of music on this compilation in short form, which includes seven LPs and two 7-inch singles (there’s an eight CD version).

The compilation is virtually a complete collection of their works over that four year period. So while the completists will open their wallets for one of the limited-edition copies, it certainly is a worthwhile addition for anyone lacking any Faust on their shelves.

The sheer breadth of their capabilities, as well as the fearless way they experiment with sound, still resonates today. In among the chaos, ‘Rudolf der Pianist’ is simply beautiful, whereas ‘J’ai Mai Aux Dents’ is a catchy freestyle jam packed with raw energy. Expect humour, intense creativity and to find yourself asking why you hadn’t explored Faust until now. Mastered from the original tapes, Faust 1971-1974 is available as a limited-edition vinyl set (2,000 copies) and CD (1,000 copies).