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Lucifer's Friend

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Lucifer’s Friend was a 1970s German hard rock and progressive rock band who often incorporated elements of jazz and pop music.

Despite the band’s German origin and progressive rock stylings, they are not usually classified as krautrock.

The British-born John Lawton (Uriah Heep 1977-1979) was vocalist for a group called Stonewall. Peter Hecht, Dieter Horns, Peter Hesslein, and Joachim Reitenbach were members of a band called The German Bonds. The five joined together to record an album under the band name of Asterix in 1970, then changed their name to Lucifer’s Friend and continued under that name. Another group called The Pink Mice was a side project by some of the members in 1971 minus Lawton.

The early albums were released on the Vertigo Records label in Europe, but in the United States those albums were released on a series of small independent record labels (Billingsgate, Janus, Passport), often a year or more after their release in Europe. Thus, despite airplay in some markets and a cult following, the band’s albums were hard to find and commercial success eluded them. The band was finally signed to Elektra Records in the late 1970s who released three albums with a more commercial pop oriented sound, but by then interest in the band had waned; those albums were even less successful than the earlier ones.

Lucifer’s Friend was known for changing musical styles and influences on each album. The self-titled 1970 debut had dark lyrics and a stripped-down guitar and organ style heavily influenced by Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath.

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