Before ex-GDR superstar actor and chanteur Manfred Krug performed ultimately dreadful versions of old swing standards in Germany’s never-ending Tatort crime show, he was nothing less than the greatest soul man between Rostock and Karl-Marx-Stadt. With Ein Hauch von Frühling (1973) he transformed East German record label Amiga into Erich Honecker’s Motown for some serious moments. The éminence grise behind him was pianist and band leader Günther Fischer, who composed and arranged those intricate funky grooves that were tailor-made for Krug’s seemingly feeble tenor voice. Inbetween they explored some other genres, as on 74’s Greens, an international song collection featuring a sweeping version of Jean Lenoir’s all-time classic Parlez moi d’amour, originally penned for Lucienne Boyer in 1930.
Extra: Sexy background singers and fat horn arrangements refine Krug’s 1973 socialist soul classic Komm und spiel mit mir (Come and Play With Me). Six years later, already in West Germany then, he fused melancholy and irony perfectly in Früh war der Tag erwacht (Dawn Arrived Early That Day) – the tune’s mood reminiscent of the late Dutch filmmuziek genius Rogier van Otterloo.