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Gotthard – When Discovery Takes Far Too Long

It’s amazing to me it can take so long to come across a band like Switzerland based Gotthard. Especially these days when everything is online and you can look vs. wait for FM to like it so the rest of us can. Ah, the old days of FM and spoon fed music. Trouble is, Gotthard began in 1992 and radios influence was still alive and well. It was also very picky and in many instances, pay to play. In listening to their 1992 self titled debut, it’s just as amazing as what I am hearing today. It even “feels” the same.

So why did it take so long for them to come into my life? What I hear is certainly Album Oriented Rock (AOR) in nature. At the time I lived in Dallas and radio was my lifeline for new music. I just don’t think I never heard them or I’d have started buying up this collection back in 1992 and they would have been a favorite from day 1, back in 1992.

2022 is around the corner and wow – 29 years, 301 days and 18 minutes have passed (give or take) since their debut. The time itself is the dowfall of “glam” rock and for the most part, AOR. Grunge was taking over and unfortunately this meant the ladies would go from high heels and short skirts to combat boots and fatigues.

I’ll never forgive grunge for that but that’s another story. The point is, times did change and music in general pulled away from this sound and morphed into something the next generation wanted to call their own. Timing is everything I suppose and as good a reason as any for this “delay”.

The self titled debut gave us a Hush cover and 11 original songs. Had this been 1986, Im sure I’d have cranked it out of my 1974 Plymouth Satellite cruising main street and at the college parties. It just fits that era but on a higher level. Its got the harder sound and the ballads I went nuts for. Still go nuts for a great ballad. That means “All I Care For” will be on a constant repeat in my life as it is simply an amazing song.

Over the years Gotthard has found many covers to make their own and have constantly done that well. Their latest release, 13, has a cover of Abba’s SOS that made my jaw drop in amazement. Everyone I have played it for has felt the same. Powerful, true to the original but something new just the same.

Other notable covers include The Mighty Quinn, Take it Easy, He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother and many more. Each and every cover has shades of the original in tribute, but a touch of Gotthard to bring it home.

Jumping to about 10 years later in a spot-check, nothing has really changed. Still the same strong late 80s/early 90s sound but to their credit, they stay true to their sound without sounding the same. You definitely hear a growth and maturity coming to life.

Ballads? Well, Still I Belong to You (Human Zoo) and You (One Life One Soul) check in and yep; ballads alive and well.

If you decide, like me, to scan through each release, I suggest you have a lot of time on your hands. There simply isn’t a “weak” release in their 29 years, 301 days and 18 minutes of releases. While some bands never seem to get it right, Gotthard appears to never get it wrong.

The strong rock and roll sound is prevalent all through the years and each and every release will offer you some personal favorites that you will listen to time and again. Songs to rock you, songs to haunt you; Gotthard has it all.

Normally, I just buy a greatest hits CD, or at most, an anthology of all of an artists music I appreciate. The problem is, this won’t be every song. I’m honestly afraid that any compilation for Gotthard will leave out something I love. Never had this problem before, really. I love it but the cost of buying this discography won’t be pretty. I’ll do it over time however because it’s simply THAT kind of greatness.

If you’re familiar with Gotthard, I’m sure you’re in a “it’s about time” mode; and I would agree. Long past time to thank this band for almost 30 years of great music. If you’re like me and new to this long running party, hit spotify (but realize not even all of it is there) or youtube to start and get ready to wonder, like me, why it took so long to find such great music.

The Band
Nic Maeder – Vocals
Leo Leomi – Guitars
Freddy Scherer – Guitars
Marc Lynn – Bass
Flavio Mezzodi – Drums