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Bullfrog: Bullfrog

Album Review

Hard rock and krautrock collide on this 1976 debut.

On first listen Bullfrog’s 1976 debut suggests they have more in common with US blues-rock giants like Mountain than prog’s leading lights, but listen more deeply and a progressive sensibility becomes apparent. It begins with vocalist Gerd Hoch, who sounds like an Aryan version of Roger Chapman from Family, continues with the keyboard gymnastics of Harald Kaltenecker and all comes together beautifully on final track Desert Man.

Here the synthesiser strokes give an eerily krautrock definition to the music. Sebastian Leitner provides a virtuoso guitar performance that nods towards Steve Howe, and also Jeff Beck. This is the highlight of the six-track album, with much that comes before being slightly removed from what you might expect of a German band at the time guided by experimental producer Conny Plank. 

But there’s no doubting the charisma of the Bullfrog style. I’m Comin’ Home and Get Away showcase the quintet’s ability to indulge in jam-style excursions, while I Came From The Sky has startling Hammond organ moments. 

Not an obvious prog classic then, but it does prove why Bullfrog have a cult reputation.

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