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Black Monk Time

Rate It! Avg: 4.5 (168 ratings)
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Black Monk Time album cover
01
Monk Time
2:44
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02
Shut Up
3:14
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03
Boys Are Boys and Girls Are Choice
1:25
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04
Higgle-Dy - Piggle-Dy
2:28
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05
I Hate You
3:33
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06
Oh, How To Do Now
3:16
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07
Complication
2:22
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08
We Do Wie Du
2:11
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09
Drunken Maria
1:46
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10
Love Came Tumblin' Down
2:30
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11
Blast Off!
2:14
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12
That's My Girl
2:25
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13
I Can't Get Over You (Bonus Track)
2:44
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14
Cuckoo (Bonus Track)
2:43
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15
Love Can Tame the Wild (Bonus Track)
2:38
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16
He Went Down To the Sea (Bonus Track)
3:01
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17
Pretty Suzanne (Unreleased Bonus Track)
3:55
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18
Monk Chant (Live Bonus Track)
1:59
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Album Information
EDITOR'S PICK

Total Tracks: 18   Total Length: 47:08

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Write a Review 9 Member Reviews

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Pure

halfwitch

Joy, Its so mesmirizing. It just drags you in.

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German or American?

dsa67

Channel the postwar angst of two overbearing German intellectuals through five young American musicians basically looking to have some fun, and this is what comes out. Hard to peg this music, since it was more of an experiment than something the musicians particularly wanted, but it makes an impression. For my money, skip tracks 13-17. They lack the Monk sound and are just random inclusions.

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you must hear this album

cuckoo

you just absolutely must!

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Forgotten ancestor in the rock family tree

SwellJoe

Holy crap. You've never heard anything like The Monks. I can't believe I never knew about the Monks until just a few months ago. So strange. So intense. So smart and raw. These guys were too hard for their time, too mechanical for a world steeped in the blues of Cream and the Yardbirds and Hendrix. But, there's something about the Monks. Steadfast in their musical vision in the face of disinterested and even hostile audiences, they made music unlike anything before or since...but not just strange. It's actually good, and at times great.

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Wow

Deutschehund

I can't believe this is 1965. There are moments here that blow me away. The Velvet Underground are still the parents of good music for me, but the Monks are the uncles.

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Wild, to say the least!

wolverinefan

Ok, let me start off by saying that this really wasn't my cup of tea at all--I wanted to like it, really I did, but I just couldn't find a way to pull that off. That said, there's no doubt this is an absolutely astonishing album, and it's very easy to see why it was so ardently sought by record collectors--I can only imagine the wild rumors that must have existed about bootlegged lo-fi recordings made during their live gigs at those famous German clubs. As each of the other reviewers have noted, this is simply punk rock before the Sex Pistols "invented" the term. The fact that it took almost a full decade before rock music combining the Monks complete lack of restraint with the punk movements subversiveness (real or imagined) is pretty hard to believe. Not for me, but glad I peeked in.

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You want Lipstick Traces? Here are tonsure traces.

ALXX

The Monks are the first punks. Loud, antiauthoritarian, blasphemous filtered though British Invasion and fuzz boxes. Johnny Rotten would be hard pressed to beat dressing in a black monk robe, shaving the center of his head, and wearing an individually designed bolo noose. You want noise? These guys introduced Hendrix to the wah-wah. Any band that would record "I Hate You" in 1966 would have made Warhol cream and design a peelable rosary. Ex American GIs who hung around Germany to traverse the same clubs as the Beatles. No love fest here, these guys are nihilists. Over-amped banjo, primal drum beats and lockstep bass, staccato organ, insistent guitar feedback and raspy vocals would make a safety-pinned leather clad ruffian blush. You'll want more. You'll track down the book Black Monk Time. You'll crave the documentary Monks: The Transatlantic Feedback to see them in action. This album truly is the missing link between Nuggets and The Ramones.

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its monk time, alright

mysteryskeats

this is one of those mystery albums that freaky record collectors in anoraks would mumble to each other about at bus stops outside of collectors fairs for years, exchanging tape copies, cdrs and finally, when it got an official release a few years ago the rest of us got a chance to see what all the mumbling was about. Its punk, but a strange, hillbilly kinda punk. most prominent is the crazy banjo playing that dominates every track, but theres more- a thumping hypnotic rhythm, those crazy screaming vocals and, you know the guys in the band never really gigged outside of the german bases they were stationed at. hear it to believe it. an essential record to own. (its available on vinyl too..)

eMusic Features

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An Introduction to the Monks

By Douglas Wolk, Contributor

Imagine this scenario. You're in a club somewhere in Germany, watching the crudest, funniest garage-rock band you've ever seen. They're wearing monastic robes and nooses around their necks; they've shaved their heads into tonsures. One of them is playing a banjo, with which the PA system is ill-equipped to deal. The drummer's technique is pleasingly caveman-like. The guitar player is blitzing the crowd with feedback. The singer is gibbering like a lunatic, screaming "DO YOU… more »

They Say All Music Guide

The story of the Monks is one of those rock & roll tales that seems too good to be true — five Americans soldiers stationed in Germany form a rock band to blow off steam, and after starting out playing solid but ordinary R&B-influenced beat music, their songs evolve into something that bear practically no relation to anything happening in pop in 1966. If anything, the Monks were far wilder than their story would suggest; they may have looked bizarre in their matching black outfits, rope ties, and tonsures, but it was their music that was truly radical, with the sharp fuzz and feedback of Gary Burger’s guitar faced off against the bludgeoning clang of Dave Day’s amplified banjo (taking the place of rhythm guitar), as Roger Johnston pounded out minimalist patterns on the drums, Eddie Shaw’s electric bass gave forth with a monstrous throb, and Larry Clark’s keyboard bounced off the surfaces of the aural melee. This would have been heady stuff even without Burger’s wild-eyed vocals, in which he howls “I hate you with a passion, baby,” “Why do you kill all those kids over there in Vietnam?” and “Believing you’re wise, being so dumb” over the band’s dissonant fury. The closest thing the Monks had to a musical counterpart in 1966 were the Velvet Underground, but existing on separate continents they never heard one another at the time, and while Lou Reed and John Cale were schooled in free jazz and contemporary classical that influenced their work, the Monks were creating a new species of rock & roll pretty much out of their heads. Given all this, it’s all the more remarkable that they landed a record deal with a major German label, and while Black Monk Time, their first and only studio album, doesn’t boast a fancy production, the simple, clean recording of the group’s crazed sounds captures their mad genius to striking effect, and the mingled rage and lunatic joy that rises from these songs is still striking decades after they were recorded. Within a year of the release of Black Monk Time, the band would break up (reportedly over disagreements about a possible tour of Vietnam), and the two singles that followed the LP were more pop-oriented efforts that suggested the Monks couldn’t keep up this level of intensity forever. But in late 1965, the Monks were rock & roll’s most savage visionaries, and Black Monk Time preserves their cleansing rage in simple but grand style. – Mark Deming

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