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From Germany, Jeronimo are a progressive rock trio founded in 1969. The group featured Ringo Funk (drums and vocals), Michael Koch (guitar) and Gunnar Schafer (bass). The band is most famous for their eponymous second studio album released in 1971. Jeronimo played a solid progressive rock mixed with hard rock elements. The trio remained active for only four years before its disbandment in 1973. The band's major representative is their drummer and vocalist Ringo Funk, who played in several bands after Jeronimo's disbandment.
The history of these German natives started in 1969 and very quickly the band rose up to the spotlight with two hits released in 69/70 entitled "Heya Heya" and "Na Na Hey Hey." Jeronimo almost immediately gained huge fame throughout Europe with both tracks climbing to the number 1 position in almost all countries of Europe. Both chart-breakers would only be featured in a full length studio album in 1970 with the release of the band's debut record entitled Cosmic Blues. It was a solid debut with some very good tracks, showing a bit of what was yet to come. Although it contains progressive/ hard rock characteristics, Cosmic Blues has a more commercial inclination in terms of its musical direction. Personally, it is my least favorite album of the trio. The album received good reviews and the fans enjoyed it well enough to desire seeing the band live in several festivals throughout Europe.
In addition to the release of their first album, the band presented alongside Creedence Clearwater Revival an exclusive compilation entitled Spirit Orgaszmus that really put Jeronimo in an entire new "landscape of fame." With Steppenwolf the trio toured successfully through Germany and in the same year partook in the legendary Progressive Pop Festival in Cologne. Following that, Jeronimo shared the headlines with such groups as Deep Purple and Golden Earring at various European open-air festivals.
It was right after all this that the band released their most successful and admired album in 1971, entitled Jeronimo. Most of the fans, and they are so few, follow the band thanks to this iconic album. It's definitely their most progressive and hard rock studio album. The band performs at top level and technically the album is one of the best works of the early '70s, with very powerful and complex instrumental parts. Very good group performance, with the trio combining very well in crucial instrumental moments. In the production field the album is nothing special. It's not bad but I don't think it's good either; it has an acceptable level of quality in terms of sound engineering, something that was quite typical in albums of young bands of the early '70s.
Artwork of Jeronimo
Jeronimo track list:
01. Sunday's Child
04. How I'd Love to Be Home
05. End of Our Time
07. Silence of the Night
09. You Know I Do
10. Kind of Feelin' (Bonus)
11. Save Our Souls (Bonus)
Globally the album is excellent with main reference for tracks such as: the powerful and fast "Hugudila"; the hard rock and melodic track "Save Our Souls"; and heavy tracks "Sunday's Child," "Silence of the Night" and "End of Our Time." Jeronimo is essential to any progressive/hard rock music collection. The hard and heavy vein that the band wanted to show and is known for is well defined in this album.
The year 1972 was quite the opposite of the previous years, in which the band was able to hit fame and success throughout Europe. In 1972 Jeronimo released the very good Time Ride which featured the style of the previous album. Even though it didn't have the same reception as the others, it's in my opinion their second best. It was in this release that the band "saw their fame" fade away. The first three tracks are a lesson of hard rock music and most of the album follows the same style. There isn't an exact reason why the band disbanded in 1973. I have to assume that is due to the lack of support after Time Ride's release. Nevertheless the trio re-released previous albums in early 2000s, including a compilation album featuring the best tracks of the three full-length studio albums and in 2009 celebrated their 40th anniversary.
All in all, Jeronimo released four singles and four LP's and had some successful tours throughout Europe in the early 70's. I think it's a band worthy of attention. Although the band has an official website and is available in the Internet, the information is scarce. In my opinion they are one of The Lost In Rock And Heavy Metal, they played a solid progressive/hard rock style, and maintained that persona in most of their albums. Jeronimo is still a cult in rock after more than 40 years of their debut.
Hope this article can help the readers to extend their taste to some of the good rarities the music world has to offer.