Week of March 1, 1997
Inga Rumpf: lead vocal, acoustic guitar, percussion
Adrian M. Askew: keyboards, vocals
Alex Conti: guitars, vocals
Karl-Heinz Schott: bass
Ringo Funk: drums, percussion
Atlantis was not only the name of the legendary island, the famous Greek author Plato mentioned, but also the name of a band formed by ex-Frumpy musicians Inga Rumpf, Jean-Jacques Kravetz and Karl-Heinz Schott, in late Summer, 1972. The initial line-up included guitarist Frank Dietz and ex-Emergency drummer Curt Cress (later with Triumvirat, Passport).
The band played a few live gigs in Germany before they recorded their debut in London's Island Studios. The US magazine, Cash Box, compared Atlantis with the Doobie Brothers and praised Inga Rumpf's blues-tinged voice. Shortly before the group went on a four week tour of England with Procol Harum, Traffic, Vinegar Joe and the Sharks, Cress and Dietz left and were temporarily supplanted by Udo Lindenberg and George Meier. After the tour, Atlantis recruited Dieter Bornschlegel (ex-Traumtorte) on guitar and Ringo Funk (ex-Jeronimo) on drums as new permanent members.
Rumpf and Kravetz remained the artistical nucleus of the band. Said Kravetz: "Inga determines this band like Rod Stewart & the Faces, her voice makes our image." Atlantis' second album "It's Getting Better" was even more determined by Inga Rumpf's preference for black rhythms: "I always took a special liking in blues, jazz and soul music, and, since I'm writing most of the songs, this influence is decisive in our music." Melody Maker "recommended" the second album and Sounds attested the band to be "the most English of all German groups".
After the gig at the Paris' Olympia, Atlantis went, again, on a four week tour of England, which included a performance at the rock show, "Old Grey Whistle Test". During this tour, Kravetz left the band and had to be hastily replaced by Rainer Schnelle (ex-Family Tree).
At the end of 1973, Atlantis was among Germany's three most popular German rock groups, according to a Musikmarkt poll.
Half a year later, the line-up changed again. Schnelle and Bomschlegel were replaced by English keyboarder Adrian Askew and ex-Curly Curve guitarist Alex Conti.
Both were featured on the third LP "Ooh Baby". Seven of the ten songs were written by Askew/Conti, while Rumpf only had three of her compositions on the album. The result was a "spicy funk album" (Musik Express) with a "bunch of Germany's best soul" (Sounds).
Atlantis was at its best on stage, which was proved by a double album recorded live at the Hamburg Fabrik from 1973 - 1975.
In Summer 1975, Atlantis went on tour in the States, mostly as opener for Lynyrd Skynyrd. After the tour, guitarist Alex Conti was fired and went on to play with Lake. The new line-up was completed with former guitarist Frank Dietz and as second guitarist Rainer Marz.
The rockier American influence was noticable on Atlantis' fourth LP "Get On Board", but the LP and the following tour failed to have commercial success. Concequently, Inga Rumpf and Karl-Heinz Schott announced their departure in January 1976.
After the split, the album "Top Of The Bill" with unreleased studio recordings from December 1975 and March 1976 was released. On February 23, 1983, the original line-up reunited for a revival concert in the Hamburg Fabrik and received standing ovations.
Courtesy of Rock Musik Lexikon Christian Graf/Ulf Marquardt Taurus
1991 Repertoire Records CD: RR4145-WP
With Inga's voice and the band's highly proficient musical ability, Atlantis quickly achieved an international level of rock performance that promised a successful future. After a few gigs, the band cut their debut album 'Atlantis' at London's Island Studios. The US magazine Cashbox compared the band to the Doobie Brothers and praised Inga's 'blues-tinged voice.' However, shortly before Atlantis went on a four-week tour of England with Vinegar Joe, Procol Harum and Traffic, both Curt Cress and Frank Diez left the band. They were temporarily supplanted by Udo Lindenberg on drums and guitarist George Meier. After the tour they were replaced by ex-Jeronimo drummer Ringo Funk and Dieter Bornschlegel (guitar) from the band Traumtorte.
Atlantis' second album 'It's Getting Better' was even more influenced by the musical ideas of Rumpf and Kravetz. Explained Kravetz: "Inga determines the image of this band like Rod Stewart with The Faces. Her voice makes our image." The new material was showcased by Atlantis in France, at the Paris Olympia on October 1, 1973. After the concert they returned to England for another four week tour. During the trip Kravetz was replaced by ex-Family Tree member Rainer Schnelle. Kravetz went on to become a member of Randy Pie. Half a year onwards and the line-up changed again, reflecting the constant pressures that musicians endure on the road. Ex-Curly Curve guitarist Alex Conti and English keyboard player Adrian Askew made their debut on the 'Spicy funk album' (Music Express), titled 'Ooh Baby'. The newcomers wrote seven of the songs on the album which was described by Britain's Sounds magazine as 'Germany's best soul'. Three of the songs were composed by Inga Rumpf.
Atlantis seemed to be permanently on tour during 1975, so the band put together their best sessions, recorded at the Hamburg Fabrik between '73 and '75, for a double album called simply 'Live'. The quintet played on top form, revealing both spontaneity and great musical power. One German music magazine said the album "Already sounded like a world-wide hit". Out of 14 songs, 13 were composed by the band, topped off with an excellent version of B.B.King's classic 'Rock Me Baby'.
After the release of this album, Atlantis went on tour of the States, during the summer of 1975, working mostly as openers for Lynyrd Skynyrd. Back once more in Germany, Alex Conti left the group to continue his career with Lake. He was replaced by former guitarist Frank Diez and Rainer Marz became second guitarist.
Under the influence of their U.S. trip, Atlantis recorded the rockier LP 'Get On Board'. It seemed like the band were on the verge of a breakthrough. Sadly, both their highly professional album and subsequent tour failed to achieve commercial success. Consequently, Inga Rumpf and Karl-Heinz Schott announced their departure in January 1976. After the split, the album 'Top Of The Bill', containing previously unreleased studio recordings from December 1975 to March 1976, was released. The ex-members of Atlantis became top studio session musicians and Inga Rumpf launched her solo career. Atlantis was once again submerged in the ocean of blues, but it remains a legendary name in the annals of rock!
Christian Graf, Hamburg 1995
(Repertoire reissue, "Live" - IMS 7036-WP, 1995)
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