"I am very happy to know that with the NEU! vinyl box set our fans will for the first time have the opportunity to hear the whole bandwidth of NEU!. My partner Klaus Dinger sadly passed away in 2008 but he has been in our minds all during the work on this box set and his visual ideas for NEU! were our inspiration.
Apart from the three "classic“ NEU! albums of the 70s the box features - as a new release - our fourth studio album called NEU! ´86 and a 12“ maxi single with over 17 exciting minutes which I edited from a very lo-fi and rough recordings from a 1972 rehearsal and which will appeal to the hardcore fans. A vinyl album sized 36-pages picture book with very interesting texts i.e. by Stephen Iliffe and comments about our music as well as photos and materials that until now have never been made available to the public provide the fan with new insights. Anton Corbijn, Peter Lindbergh and other photographers have contributed exclusive photos of NEU! spanning the years 1972 until 2000 and these are complemented by photos and other documents stemming from our personal archives.
Conny Plank´s amazing contributions as engineer and co-producer of the first three NEU! albums are also highlighted in the picture book. His son Stephan Plank provided us with additional photos. We thankfully remember Conny and remind the fans of the unique qualities of this sound magician.
Most of all I´m thrilled about the release of the album NEU! ´86 which Klaus Dinger and I originally recorded in 1985/86, but left unfinished back then and which led to some unfortunate problems between Klaus and myself in the 90s. I now completely reworked the album from original multitrack and master tapes, and unearthed a few yet unknown tracks which are essential for a full understanding of what Klaus and I focussed on for NEU! in the mid 80s. It was my aim to present Klaus Dinger´s musical strengths and visions just as much as my own ideas. The best musical result was to be my only guideline, not the ego. All during the emotional process of reworking our album Klaus was on my mind and I contemplated what he would think about my decisions. I was very relieved and moved to hear from his heir, Miki Yui, who contributed many valuable ideas to the making of the box set, that she was pleased with the result I presented with the album NEU!´86."
It was always Klaus´ aim to make NEU! (new) music available for the new generations. It´s been a long and winding road for NEU!, therefore it is so precious and we are happy to present this special NEU! Vinyl Box set. The absence of Klaus is enormous, but we’ve tried to keep the original NEU! visual concept for the design, and pushed it forward in a playful way. For the first time NEU! official merchandise will be made, so everyone can enjoy NEU! visually as well. Hope Klaus will like them too! This NEU! Box set will reveal the myth of NEU! and certainly give deeper insight in NEU! music. Along with the release, I will send messages from Klaus Dinger over Internet on our website, www.la-duesseldorf.de.
Enjoy! Miki Yui
Klaus Dinger was born in March 1946 Scherfede, Westfallen, where his parents escaped from Düsseldorf during the war.
As he was one year old, his family returned to Düsseldorf, where he grew up and lived through his life.
Michael Rother was born in September 1950 in Hamburg. His father´s profession leads the family to Munich, Wilmslow (UK) and Karachi (Pakistan). In 1963 the family returns to Germany where Michael Rother finishes school in Düsseldorf in 1969.
Klaus Dinger started playing drums in school band "Swing Combo" from 1963, then with "The No" in 1966.
In this period he gets his first guitar. In 1969 after dropping architecture study and decided to play drums seriously and to go artist-way, he lives in a commune with Peter Lindbergh, establishes own advertising agency (on paper), tours with mainly cover band "The Smash" as drummer.
Michael Rother buys his first electric guitar in 1965 and joins the beat band “Spirits of Sound” as solo-guitarist in 1966.
They perform at school dances and music festivals in and around Düsseldorf and collaborate with avantgarde theatre perfomance artists in multi-media shows. In 1969 Michael Rother refuses the draft to military service and instead serves as conscientious objector in a psychiatrist hospital until 1971.
Kraftwerk contacted Klaus Dinger to play drums on side 2 of their first Album.
Florian Schneider witnesses Michael Rother´s jam with Ralph Hütter in Kraftwerk´s Kling Klang Studio and invites Rother to join the band after Hütter´s retreat.
In the lineup Florian Schneider, Klaus Dinger and Michael Rother Kraftwerk play numerous concerts around Germany. They appear in one radio and two tv shows, i.e. the popular BEAT-CLUB. Schneider, Dinger and Rother perform “Rückstossgondoliero” (released in 2001 on the BEAT-CLUB dvd “Best of ´71”). The recording sessions for the second Kraftwerk album in the lineup Schneider/Dinger/Rother with Conny Plank as co-producer remain unsatisfactory and are terminated half-way through.
In August Klaus Dinger and Michael Rother split from Kraftwerk and form NEU!.
Together with Conny Plank as engineer and co-producer they record their first album in four nights in early December at Windrose- (Dumont - Time) Studio in Hamburg and mix it three days later in Star-Musik Studio in Hamburg.
After the release of their first album on Metronome´s newly founded “Brain” label, NEU! play several concerts. They are joined on some of their live appearances by Eberhard Kranemann on Hawaii guitar and Uli Trepte on bass.
Dinger and Rother record the first (and only) NEU! Single “SUPER / NEUSCHNEE” with Conny Plank as co-producer and sound engineer in Giorgio Moroder´s studio in Munich.
The Single is released on Brain in autumn 1972 and on United Artists (UK) in January 1973 and is commercially a flop.
Klaus Dinger and Michael Rother record their second album NEU! 2 with Conny Plank at Windrose- (Dumont - Time) Studio in Hamburg in four nights in January and mix it in February in three nights. With only half of the album on tape they run out of studio time and decide to fill side 2 of the album with “SUPER” and “NEUSCHNEE” plus radically “remixed” versions of the two tracks and sound experiments like “Cassetto”.
After the release of NEU! 2, Michael Rother leaves Düsseldorf to form Harmonia with Dieter Moebius and Hans-Joachim Roedelius in Forst/Weserbergland. From 1973-76 Harmonia release two albums and tour in Germany, Holland and Belgium.
In summer Klaus Dinger and Michael Rother meet in Düsseldorf to rehearse for their third album. They are joined by two drummers, Thomas Dinger and Hans Lampe, who would later form La Düsseldorf with Klaus Dinger.
On 14th September NEU! performs for the only time in this lineup at the Free-Concert of the Dingerland label presentation. The song "Early HERO" which became "HERO" on NEU! '75 is documented on local TV station WDR. (“Kraut und Rüben” Anfänge deutscher Rockmusik WDR 2006)
Klaus Dinger establishes his own label Dingerland which soon goes bankrupt.
The third album NEU! '75 is recorded in December 1974 and mixed in January 1975 with Conny Plank in his own newly opened studio near Cologne. Klaus Dinger and Michael Rother record the first side of the album as a duo and the second side with Thomas Dinger and Hans Lampe on drums.
Klaus Dinger forms La Düsseldorf with his brother Thomas and Hans Lampe. They release their first album with Conny Plank as co-producer. Klaus Dinger installes his own Studio in Düsseldorf in 1977, releases two more La Düsseldorf albums.
Michael Rother releases three solo albums, all of which are recorded with Conny Plank as co-producer and Jaki Liebezeit (Can) on drums. Rother installs his own music studio in Forst/ Weserbergland in 1979.
La Düsseldorf splits in 1983 and end up in long court-cases. Klaus Dinger releases a solo album with Conny Plank and René Tinner, produces and releases many albums and plays live with his projects. Michael Rother releases six more solo albums and establishes his own record label Random Records in 1993. He participates in several projects with international musicians/bands, releases two further Harmonia albums and plays live.
Metronome stops production and distribution of NEU! Vinyl.
Klaus Dinger and Michael Rother record sessions for the fourth NEU! album to be called “NEU! ´86” in Grundfunk Studio, Düsseldorf, with Michael Grund as engineer after negotiations with Conny Plank have failed. In the Grundfunk sessions, Klaus Dinger and Michael Rother are joined by Georg (Gigi) Sessenhausen on drums and Konrad Mathieu on bass. Further recording and mixing sessions are held in Klaus Dinger´s studio in Düsseldorf and Michael Rother´s studio in Forst but the recordings for NEU! ´86 remain unfinished.
Several negotiations with record companies over the release of NEU! ´86 reach no agreement and the album is not released. Klaus Dinger and Michael Rother split the tapes and agree to continue working together on the project at a later time.
Conny Plank passes away.
Negotiations with Metronome over the CD release of the three NEU! Albums fail because Dinger and Rother cannot reach an agreement. Michael Rother is in favour of the offers, Klaus Dinger opposes to them.
Klaus Dinger starts a court-case against Metronome over NEU! CD rights after Metronome announces to release the NEU! Albums on the basis of the vinyl contract of 1971. Appearance of NEU! Bootlegs worldwide.
Without Michael Rother’s involvement and consent, Klaus Dinger releases recordings from the project “NEU! ´86” on CD as “NEU! 4” in 1995 and a cassette tape recording of a rehearsal as “NEU! ´72 Live!” in 1996 with CTR Tokyo. Attempts to re-work and re-release the album NEU! ´86 together fail. The distribution of the two albums are stopped.
Fundamental court-decision in Düsseldorf against Metronome (PolyGram) to the effect that CD rights of contracts from before 1979 (as was the case with NEU!) must be re-negotiated.
Negotiations with Daniel Miller of MUTE and Tim Renner of Motor Music/Universal Music over the re-release of the three “classic” NEU! albums fail because Dinger and Rother cannot not reach an agreement. Rother is in favour of the offers, Dinger opposes.
Herbert Grönemeyer contacts NEU! for his “POP 2000” compilation. For this compilation covering 50 years of popular music in Germany he wishes to include a track by La Düsseldorf, a Michael Rother solo track and two titles by NEU!: “Hallogallo” and “HERO”. Dinger and Rother consent.
After several meetings with Herbert Grönemeyer Klaus Dinger and Michael Rother sign the contract for the world-wide re-release of the three NEU! albums on Herbert Grönemeyer´s newly founded label Grönland.
Re-release of three NEU! Albums as CD and Vinyl by Grönland.
Meetings of Klaus Dinger and Michael Rother with Grönland in UK and Germany with the aim of recording a new NEU! album remain without result because Dinger and Rother cannot reach an agreement.
Klaus Dinger passes away suddenly