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Gotthard - Lift'U'Up (CD)

by Eleni Mouratoglou at 20 April 2005, 7:43 AM

It took me a while to figure out what I should write about this Gotthard promo CD. The thing is that it is not an album; it is not a single either. What I have in my hands is only one song entitled Lift'U'Up. The homonymous single will be released in a few days, on April 25th, and it will contain various editions of the song and a picture gallery and a screensaver as well. The new album, Lipservice, will be out all over Europe on June 6th.
Since it seems ridiculous reviewing one song, I'd rather consider this text a nice opportunity to give you some data on Gotthard in general and make a brief comment about the song in the end.
Gotthard were formed by vocalist Steve Lee (ex-For Sale) and guitarist Leo Leoni. The line-up was completed with Marc Lynn on the bass (ex-Stormbringer, China) and Hena Habegger on drums. Their debut album, Gotthard, came out in 1992 and the band went on tour with Magnum. Dial Hard, the second album (1994), was produced by ex-Krokus bassist Chris Von Rohr and featured Def Leppard's Vivian Campbell as a quest on guitars. In 1996 G album offered them a number 1 hit in their homeland, Switzerland, and they toured together with Royal Hunt. Defrosted, the 1997 live-acoustic album to which Chris Von Rohr and other Krokus members contributed, brought them back to number 1. In 1997 they also released the One Life, One Soul single with the participation of Monserrat Caballet. In 1998 they escorted Deep Purple in their French tour and in 1999 Open was out. 2000 found Gotthard building their own studio and recording Homerun which came out in 2001. In the meanwhile Heaven single became their 3rd number 1. The 4th number 1 was close. It was One Life One Soul best-of-ballads album (2002). The same year Gotthard headlined at the Ministry Of Rock open-air festival. Human Zoo in 2003 had an instant appeal as usual (number 1 hit etc etc…). 2004 was a very busy year: a new guitar player, Freddy Scherer, arrived, the band created their record label, they released One Team One Spirit-The Very Best (the anthem of the Swiss Olympic Team was taken from this album) and they won a Diamond Award for selling a million albums in Switzerland.
Talking about Gotthard's music is much more interesting than all the above, but it is also more risky. It is widely accepted that their first 3 albums were first class Hard Rock in the path of Whitesnake or Bon Jovi's power ballads from times to times - they could even be called Krokus on steroids as I read in somebody's comment on a message board (and laughed my ass off - one of the best comments I have ever seen for any band!). Then there was a total u-turn of their style which divided their fans into two categories, the ones who accuse the band of being a commercial crap that cannot even be called AOR in its lightest version anymore and the ones who praise evolution in music and claim that Gotthard made a wise choice avoiding repeating themselves. No matter whether the Gottsofts or the Gottbetters are right one fact is indisputable: Gotthard are not indifferent.
Lift'U'Up is a quite weird song. It is not Hard Rock, it is not AOR, it is not Pop. Still it includes elements of them all. Steve's voice is great as always, the rhythm sticks to your brain, the production is very good and success - at least the commercial one - seems guaranteed. Imagine that my mother, who thinks that Pride Of Lions are noise, liked it…

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Steve Lee - Vocals
Leo Leoni - Guitar
Marc Lynn - Bass
Hena Habegger - Drums
Freddy Scherer - Guitar
Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records


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