Accept: Breaker/Restless And Wild
Label: CD-Maximum CDM 598-96
Format: CD, Compilation, official Release
Style: Heavy Metal
3 Run If You Can
4 Can’t Stand The Night
5 Son Of A Bitch
8 Midnight Highway
9 Breaking Up Again
10 Down And Out
STARLIGHT (Breaker, 1981) The album’s opening track. It might be the first thing I ever heard by the band on The Friday Rock Show, and it’s what hooked me, making me want to hear more. This had such a strong guitar sound, and I feel the entire album was better produced than the more celebrated Restless And Wild album.
BREAKER (Breaker, 1981) The title song of that 1981 album. What I love about it is that the band could come up with a lyric like ‘icicle brains/bicycle chains’, and it works! This makes no sense, but who cares? I found out much later that what the band did in those days was write lyrics down, and then use a dictionary to see if they made sense. That was back when their English wasn’t very good. But this one obviously slipped through. I’m glad it did, because it’s part of the song’s enduring charm.
Breaker is the third album released by the German heavy metal band Accept. It was once again recorded at Delta-Studio in Wilster with Dirk Steffens producing, and was the first Accept album engineered by Michael Wagener. Bassist Peter Baltes sings lead vocal on “Breaking Up Again”, and the bridge vocal on “Midnight Highway”.
After the unsuccessful attempt at commercialism on I’m a Rebel, Accept decided not to allow any more outside people to influence the band. Pulling together in the midst of a very cold winter, the band members concentrated on making the album they themselves wanted to make. Udo Dirkschneider remembers: “Following our experiences with I’m A Rebel we made it our goal not to be influenced musically by anyone outside of the band this time.” Udo believes Breaker is among Accepts best records and marks the beginning of the bands greatest era – the album title would later become the name of Udos own record company, Breaker Records.
Wolf Hoffmann concurs: “Maybe we knew that the old approach from the record before didn’t work very well. So we were saying ‘fuck it, lets just do what we think is right. Lets not try to be somebody else, lets not try to have a radio hit anymore.'” The lone possible concession to commercial interests was the upbeat rocker “Midnight Highway”, which Wolf described as “sort of a semi-commercial attempt” and “a little too happy for my tastes.”
Much of the rest of the album is angry and defiant in tone, especially the profanity-laced “Son of a Bitch”. Udo describes that songs lyrics as “absolutely anti record company.” Wolf explains why this particular song was the only one to not have its lyrics printed inside the album: “On the initial release we thought it would be a good idea to just put “Censored” on the liner notes for the song to avoid any controversy. Well, it turns out it caused more controversy that way with everyone wanting to know who censored it.” An alternate version titled “Born to Be Whipped” was recorded with tamer lyrics. Wolf explains: “We had to change it because the British were so uptight about this kind of stuff that you couldn’t possibly release the record over there with a song called Son of a Bitch.”
All songs written and composed by Dirkschneider, Hoffmann, Fischer, Baltes, Kaufmann.
“Starlight” – 3:52
“Breaker” – 3:35
“Run If You Can” – 4:49
“Can’t Stand the Night” – 5:23
“Son of a Bitch” – 3:52
“Burning” – 5:14
“Feelings” – 4:48
“Midnight Highway” – 3:58
“Breaking Up Again” – 4:37
“Down and Out” – 3:44
Udo Dirkschneider – lead vocals
Wolf Hoffmann – lead guitar
Jörg Fischer – lead guitar
Peter Baltes – bass guitar, backing vocals, lead vocals on “Breaking Up Again”
Stefan Kaufmann – drums, backing vocals
In which our heroes slowly but surely become the Accept we know and love, absurd cover art betraying the killer, steely, German metal enclosed. We’re not quite at Restless and Wild levels of proto-thrash mayhem yet, but we’ve got brisk, speedy, economic and melodic Teutonic metal; we’ve got the excellent “Starlight.” We’ve got the title track, featuring probably the most effective use of the words “bicycle chains” in a metal chorus ever. We’ve got “Son of a Bitch.” We’ve got Baltes singing on the obligatory forgettable ballad again. We’ve got the excellent “Run If You Can,” perhaps the first example of Accept really tapping into their melodies to full effect. The great “Can’t Stand the Night” finds the band finally exploring a dark, moody space that’s not a rote ballad. The second half of the album finds the band absolutely confident and settling into their sound, “Burning” and “Feelings” standing as complete classics. And then there’s “Midnight Highway,” the band tapping into that great melodic commercial sound they also do so well and would peak with on Metal Heart.
Restless & Wild
1 Fast As A Shark
2 Restless And Wild
3 Ahead Of The Pack
4 Shake Your Heads
5 Neon Night
6 Get Ready
7 Demons Night
8 Flash Rockin’ Man
9 Don’t Go Stealing My Suol Away
10 Princess Of Te Dawn
Matrix / Runout: CDM 598-96
FAST AS A SHARK (Restless And Wild, 1982) The opening song on this 1982 album, and for me, this is a forerunner of the whole thrash movement. It’s such a pioneering track. What you might not know is that the opening ‘hi de hi’ bit actually features producer Dieter Dierks on vocals, recorded when he was a kid! It’s an old German children’s tune called ““Ein Heller und ein Batzen” (“A Farthing And A Penny). The band found it by accident and thought it would be funny to use it. And they say Germans have no sense of humour!
PRINCESS OF THE DAWN (Restless And Wild, 1982) The song is really built around one riff that builds and builds right up to the chorus. It’s simple, but brilliant.
“Heidiheidoeida” …..who doesn’t know this cult beginning, where after a scratch a scream and then speed hell breaks loose? “Fast As A Shark”, is one of the most important Metal cult songs ever. Mega hymns like “Princess Of The Dawn” you only write once in a lifetime. “Shake Your Heads”, “Neon Nights” or “Demons Night”, all immortal classics. Essential….
The album kicks off with one of the all-time greatest intros. If you haven’t heard it I wont ruin it for you, but I’m guessing the intro surprised more than a few fans who put their needle on this vinyl for the first time in 82 or 83.
The highlight of this album is, of course, the ferocious Fast As A Shark. This balls-out speed monster is a neck-snapping jack hammer of righteous metal awesomeness. In case your neck is still intact after Fast As A Shark, the album also includes one of my favorite fist-pounding anthems, Shake Your Heads. Another cool track (with a gnarly intro) is Neon Nights. Restless And Wild just goes to show that you should never doubt a heavy metal band with a troll for a singer; even if said troll is wearing a tight camouflage shirt with bright suspenders.
Udo Dirkschneider – vocals
Wolf Hoffmann – guitars
Herman Frank – guitars (credited, but didn’t actually perform)
Peter Baltes – bass
Stefan Kaufmann – drums
Restless and Wild is the fourth studio album by German heavy metal band Accept, released in 1982 in Continental Europe and in 1983 in the US and UK. It was the first Accept album to not be recorded at Delta-Studio, the band moving to Dieter Dierks’ studio in Stommeln. It is also the first Accept album in which Udo Dirkschneider sings every track, as well as the first in which manager Gaby Hauke (“Deaffy”) gains credits for songwriting. Michael Wagener took engineering and mixing duties once again. Album information:
Jan Koemmet joined the band briefly before the release of this album, but did not participate in the recording. The guitar on the finished product is done by Wolf Hoffmann alone, although Herman Frank had joined the band by the time the album was released, and is credited on the album cover.
The album is best known for the opening track, “Fast as a Shark”, considered among the fastest speed metal songs for the time.
Another well-known track is album closer “Princess of the Dawn”, a tense song that Udo describes as “a Cinderella story” and “like a Lord of the Rings fantasy” with no deep meaning.Wolf Hoffmann achieved the haunting mandolin-like effect by recording the guitar at half-speed, then having it played back at normal speed.He describes the sudden ending as “an idea that didn’t work so well.”
Versions of the album released outside Germany were issued with a different cover, replacing the picture of burning guitars with a shot of the band live in concert.
Restless and Wild has received mostly positive reviews. Eduardo Rivadavia of AllMusic praised Restless and Wild with 4.5 out of 5 stars and called it Accept’s “creative breakthrough.” He then added, “The bottom line here is that this, like its successor Balls to the Wall, is an essential heavy metal album, and any fan worth his salt should own them both.”
Restless and Wild was Accept’s first album to chart in the UK, Sweden and the Netherlands.
Udo has agreed with the general assessment of Restless and Wild as a landmark heavy metal record, calling it “surely the most important Accept album”. Wolf’s take: “looking back maybe we think ‘Fast as a Shark’ was the first speed metal song ever, but at the time we sorta just had fun and we didn’t think it was anything dramatically new. Obviously, maybe what was so cool about this time was that we weren’t thinking so much. We were just ballsy and tried to do things without having much to lose”.
1. “Fast as a Shark“ Hoffmann, Kaufmann, Dirkschneider, Baltes 3:49 2. “Restless and Wild“ Robert A. Smith-Diesel and Accept 4:12 3. “Ahead Of The Pack” Hoffmann, Kaufmann, Dirkschneider, Baltes 3:24 4. “Shake Your Heads” Hoffmann, Kaufmann, Dirkschneider, Baltes 4:17 5. “Neon Nights” Deaffy, Smith-Diesel and Accept 6:01 6. “Get Ready” Smith-Diesel and Accept 3:41 7. “Demon’s Night” Hoffmann, Kaufmann, Dirkschneider, Baltes 4:27 8. “Flash Rockin’ Man” Hoffmann, Kaufmann, Dirkschneider, Baltes 4:28 9. “Don’t Go Stealing My Soul Away” Smith-Diesel and Accept 3:15 10. “Princess Of The Dawn” Deaffy, Smith-Diesel and Accept 6:15
Well, to begin with, Accept are a German band founded in 1976 but they only released their debut album self entitled “Accept” in 1979 featuring Udo Dirkschneider’s unique vocals that lead some attention to the band. The next album, “I’m a Rebel,” was released in 1980, and the third, “Breaker,” in 1981. To be truly honest, all those albums are a pale view of Accept could and would be. Mostly if you were introduced to the band by “Restless and Wild”! As a matter of fact they really had some moments in “Breaker,” which is an appetizer for what would come. So, it took Accept four albums to be really great!
After a small search at the web I discovered that it was released in 1982 in Continental Europe and only in 1983 in the United States and UK.
I got in touch with it only in 1984, and it was a friend who bought the album and played for us. I must confess that I got stuck when I heard “Fast as A Shark” for the first time. It was something like being in the middle of a blast and being thrown to the walls! Immediately I begged to have it borrowed to make a cassette record! I remember recording all of them which was a rare stuff that time. It is very hard to explain how dear this band and album is for me! So many memories brought back, and so many feelings that it makes a hard time to write about accurately.
Accept to me means emotion, as funny as it can be! I was touched by their lyrics, feelings, anthems, and respect. They were an all male metal band that had the guts to let a woman write lyrics about sexuality on a woman’s point of view! Their manager Gaby Hauke (“Deaffy”) was the one who has got the credits for some songs. How about that?
I have to say that I felt Accept was my band. Let me explain. In our group of friends any friend represented a band, one was Kiss, other Judas Priest, another one Iron Maiden, and other Scorpions. I was Saxon because it was the first metal band that I discovered and really liked. Saxon to me is the power and the glory… and Accept the emotion. I am telling them now.
Back then, no one noticed that “Fast as a Shark” was kind of a breakthrough song that it would be the first speed metal song. But everyone noticed that it was the fastest ever. Well, this was exhaustively said and written! But what really called the attention were the drumming and its fast double bass line. Punk and NWOBHM bands regularly used accelerated tempo but with only one drum bass. It was a time that some bands as Saxon used to compute the speed as seen in “The Eagle Has Landed” credits. Accept were one of the first rock/metal bands to use a drum with two bass drums. And the effect is completely different.
The double bass technique
The double bass technique is not really new. Jazz musicians have been using it since the 1940s and 1950s by artists such as Ray McKinley and Ed Shaughnessy. In rock music, it got popular by drummers like Ginger Baker of Cream, Mitch Mitchell of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Keith Moon of The Who and Nick Mason of Pink Floyd.
Stefan Kaufmann unique contribution was to speed it up, a technique that allowed bands to write faster songs. That is not a small thing. His contribution, though most people do not say a word about it, was a breakthrough due to the speed limitations the single bass drum had. The funny thing is that he did not use regularly. I guess even him was not aware of it.
Some people repute to Dave Lombardo being the pioneer. But let’s not forget that the first Slayer’s effort was from 1983, and Accept’s from 1982.
Back to “Restless And Wild”
Another noticed difference was the fast guitar lines and their keen distortion tones which were really unusual. We supposed back than that it was the Gibson Flying Vs that made it but Metallica a little later proved us wrong.
“Restless And Wild” is an album full of surprises musically speaking. Udo’s vocal duets made us think that they were using two singers, a lead and a back, but there was really only one. Udo was only using all the possibilities of his magnificent throat. In my account there were three different tones of voices all around the album. All ten songs are really different from each other. It is a rare piece of art. It is a struggle to most past and present bands to write songs that actually sound different. It was really an inspired process of songwriting.
As any landmark album, “Restless And Wild” has its controversies. Its German original cover shows a picture of two guitars burning. Somehow, when released outside Germany, someone thought it would be best to change it for a live picture of the band – in my opinion much better. This is the LP cover I have. I guess the CD follows only the original cover, which is a big loss.
“Fast As a Shark” is opened with a snippet from a crackly old children’s recording of a traditional German tune titled “Ein Heller und ein Batzen” (A Farthing and a Penny). That intro was also a breakthrough itself. That mix was not usual that time. Udo’s utter scream was some kind of staple. It made me absolutely love any song that had one in it. Well, the band thought it would make a humorous contrast with their heavy metal sound, and the fact that a young Dieter Dierks (in whose studio the album was recorded) was singing on the recording made it even more of an inside joke. Soon an unintended controversy arose: even though the song dated from 1830, it was a popular marching song during the Nazi era and still held that connotation for many listeners, a fact the band was unaware of at the time. And so were we.
In “Restless And Wild,” Accept took aggression to another level. The fuzzy wah-wah in “Neon Nights” is simply outrageous. “Flash Rocking Man” features the most awesome use of a cowbell and a swinging rhythm hard to find in Metal bands. The lead guitar riff in “Shake Your Heads” is a killer. So simple and so catchy. Accept’s guitar duo do a marvelous job with the whammy bar. Udo’s gritty voice makes all the rest. Also heavy, very heavy. The speed contrast between “Shake Your Heads” and “Fast As a Shark” calls the attention to the band’s creativity and skills. Wolf is especially inspired in that track. “Ahead of the Pack” just means it at all. Accept was ahead of the pack during this album. No one can deny its power and pioneer. Again the cowbell steals the attention in “Don’t Go Stealing My Soul Away.” The best chorus in “Restless and Wild.” Another killer guitar riff. In the chorus it gets tricky and simple, but effective as everything Accept do. But the best for the last: “Princess of the Dawn.” Again the guitar duo is very inspired. The leads are fantastic, and melodic. The right mix between aggression and melody. Accept are a band that deal with it very well. Wolf’s interventions through the song also make it remarkable. The guy really knows how to embellish a song. And how about the plot twists in the middle? No words for them. The sick chorus in the end also bring some special emotion.
In my opinion, that Accept’s masterpiece was one of the most influential work in the history of Metal. The number of bands which drank from its inspiriting fountain made Accept’s way of playing metal the synonym of German metal band. Because of it “Restless And Wild,” and most notably “Fast As a Shark,” a subgenre of Metal, speed metal, was born.
In 1983 we were listening to some really cool heavy metal. Metallica would shortly be ruining it for everyone by placing the bar so high, that for a while at least, no one could get close.
Four albums in and here was the cracker. Although the previous two were great and so were the proceeding ones until inimitable singer Udo Dirkschneider left, including the probably better known Balls To The Wall with its crunching title track (and tracks with lyrics that raised the ‘homosexual question’ in the metal press! ), Metal Heart (better than BTTW in my opinion – not a duff track on it, although it could be argued it was slightly more commercial sounding) and Russian Roulette (patchy but still contains some outstanding tracks). Let’s pretend the debut album was by another band shall we?
So. Restless And Wild. Recorded in Dierks Studios, and sounding like it was produced by Dieter himself (although I think his engineer Michael Wagener was more heavily involved), it was recorded in 1982 and released a year later in the UK on Heavy Metal Records (how apt) outta Wolverhampton in ’83 (home of lots of early NWOBHM output and much else besides).
Here we go…
FAST AS A SHARK. Along with Balls To The Wall, probably their best known track. Incredibly fast and heavy for the time (this is before thrash metal was a thing, remember), with a sampled intro designed to lull you into a false sense of security, followed by Udo letting out an infernal screech. Stefan Kaufmann’s pounding drums, Wolf Hoffmann’s ferocious riffing and super speedy solo, and Udo shouting himself hoarse. To hear this in ’83 was a jaw dropping moment. Sensibly, and perhaps surprisingly, they never attempted to replicate this moment. A bit of an anomaly really in the overall Accept discography, in a similar way to Pretty Maids ‘City Light’s released the same year. I can accept (no pun intended) that some metal heads may not like Accept. What I would not accept is that any metal head worth his salt wouldn’t like this track. What’s the matter? Too much excitement for you?
RESTLESS AND WILD. The title track and what a killer. The more familiar sound of Accept from the previous 2 albums at the veryheight of their powers. Udo utilising the full range of his vocals, switching from the low predatory growl to high pitched screeching (used to comic effect on a subsequent split single with Geordie boys Raven).Unlike so many metal vocalists, never straying into embarrassing high pitched shrillery or at the other end of the scale, hammer horror grunting.Nihilistic lyrics about the pointlessness of it all ..”now you know all your dreams are useless…no tomorrow’s, no destinations, like a wheel turning on and on…every world that you’ve seen is senseless, keep moving on there’s no other way” Udo hammering the point home in an ultra aggressive fashion on the words ‘useless’ and ‘senseless’. A headbangers paradise this track !
AHEAD OF THE PACK. More of a straight ahead rocker this one, with Udo enunciating every syllable to it’s most extreme extent and a killer chorus with gang terrace backing vocals. Not the strongest track on the album but a good example of how the combination of an outstanding vocalist, a top notch rhythm section, an inventive guitarist and a production designed to amplify the sound without losing any of the raw powerful crunch can elevate a track.
SHAKE YOUR HEADS. A slow burner with Udo going over the top (in a good way) on the screech front. Another headbanger (“shake your heads, ’til your necks are breaking……shake your heads, ’til your brains are burning”).
NEON NIGHTS. Another absolute killer. An acoustic intro gives way to a down tuned blast of hellish doomy guitar, then intothe main riff. Udo’s vocals sound desperate and tortured. The lyrics an observation of the short term highs and long time lows of endless night life souls it seems. The chorus is to die for and the guitar only interlude leading into the main solo is a heart stopping moment, Wolf’s classical training piling on the inventive ideas. The way they speed up the track at the end is a stroke of genius, and shows how this slowish number could actually have almost been equally good as an up tempo number.
GET READY. Probably the most forgettable and weakest track on the album, but still performance wise, especially from Udo, elevated to a higher level, and on the chorus, him combined with the backing vocals is a good old shout-a-thon.
DEMON’S NIGHT. Infernal drumming from the depths of hades gives way to the main riff and Udo, not unusually, summons up the most throat shredding vocal performance to compete with even our own Neville John Holder. Wolf summons up a dark edged satanic solo and fills. Once again a great head banging / shouting number.
FLASH ROCKIN’ MAN. Top of the shop again here. Ultra powerful riff with drums clattering and thudding around. A wry look at the superficial level of fame for a rock star. I defy any one to not start moving within the first 10 seconds that this fucker starts ! Wolf taking every opportunity for some ace guitar fills. One of the highlights of Accept live at Donington in 1984 (that I taped off Tommy Vance’s Friday Rock Show – every track heavy as fuck and just as hot as the records),where one punter is seen to exclaim on the UK Rock Festivals website The Accept gig was just as amazing on radio 1 as it was on the day. Fast as a shark with feedback visible to hear, un-edited unbelievable. Elongated screeching at the end beyond any human endurance but wouldn’t be surprised if Udo actually did it in one take!
DON’T GO STEALING MY SOUL AWAY. Yet another (!) fantastic chorus where Udo ekes out every drop of sweat spitting and shouting out the words.Verses are kind of unmemorable but the chorus carries the day.
PRINCESS OF THE DAWN. DESPITE Fast As A Shark and DESPITE Flash Rockin’ Man and DESPITE Neon Nights and DESPITE Restless and Wild this could be THE track on this ‘ere platter (you can tell I used to read Sounds can’t you?). Certainly THE killer riff on here, amongst several. Good lyrics on this in a Dungeons and Dragons vein (okay, lyrics on this album overall are not a high point, but later on in life they got overtly topical regarding corporate take overs, political elites and racism but that’s another story) and the slow burn riffing with Udo’s mysterious, dark, understated vocals. The track kind of sucks you in and once again the guitars are bleeding marvellous, Wolf trying every trick and sound in the book half way through which just serve to give the track even more weight, and the way he builds it back into the main riff is pretty awesome (sorry, tried to avoid using that word all the way through). The “princess of the dawn” backing vocals at the end are a great idea, but the ending is shite because it just cuts off (as in Ian Dury’s ‘Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick’).
So , the bottom line is that this album is indispensable to any one into a bit of proper metal, but with the added bonus of much variety as detailed above, with out going into any self indulgent bollocks.
I saw them at Birmingham Odeon in 84/85 ish and they were jaw droppingly good. Also saw Udo with his U.D.O. band, post Accept at Dudley J.B’s. Our man was not happy with the shite turn out, but nevertheless did a storming set, peppered with Accept classics. The merch stand was the biggest I had EVER seen -they even had a full Udo camouflage outfit, including cap, and belt !The piece-de-resistance was when I saw Dirkschneider, his band that only plays the classics from the Accept days, at Sheffield 4 years ago. The place was heaving (and Anvil supported !!!). A night of drunken wild dancing was had with a bunch of metal strangers. My top gig of 2016 by a country fucking mile.
Later albums such as Death Row oozed a far harder sound, almost industrial, but if a great band has to move on with their sound, this was a fantastic way to do it.
Accept would eventually continue without Udo, with Wolf Hoffmann running the band, who I also saw at Sheffield. Very good indeed actually with a great singer (which was good to discover after the abortion that is now Tank, another favourite band from that era) but the Udo line up is what you need to hear first.
All hail the little short haired Teutonic terror that is Udo Dirkschneider !!!!!!!