Pink Bubbles Go Ape
HELLOWEEN

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HELLOWEEN - Pink Bubbles Go Ape cover
3.25 | 39 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 1991

Tracklist

1. Pink Bubbles Go Ape (0:37)
2. Kids of the Century (3:52)
3. Back on the Streets (3:23)
4. Number One (5:13)
5. Heavy Metal Hamsters (3:28)
6. Goin' Home (3:51)
7. Someone's Crying (4:18)
8. Mankind (6:18)
9. I'm Doin' Fine, Crazy Man (3:39)
10. The Chance (3:47)
11. Your Turn (5:38)

Total Time: 44:07

Line-up/Musicians

- Michael Kiske / Vocals
- Michael Weikath / Guitars
- Markus Grosskopf / Bass
- Roland Grapow / Guitars
- Ingo Schwichtenberg / Drums

Guest musicians:

- Jörn Ellerbrock / Keyboards
- Peter Iversen / Keyboards
- Phil Nicholas / Keyboards

About this release

Release date: May 21st, 1991
Label: Noise Records

2006 Remastered/Expanded edition bonus tracks:
12. Blue Suede Shoes (single b-side)
13. Shit And Lobster (single b-side)
14. Les Hambourgeois Walkways (single b-side)
15. You Run With The Pack (single b-side)

Thanks to adg211288, DippoMagoo, diamondblack for the updates

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HELLOWEEN PINK BUBBLES GO APE reviews

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Kingcrimsonprog
Helloween’s 1991 album Pink Bubbles Go Ape is a difficult album to judge. It has a strange place in the band’s discography and people have very different views on it.

In one way, it is a superbly produced slick melodic Hard Rock album. It features the absolutely phenomenal vocals and drums of Michael Kiske and Ingo Schwitchenberg, two of the genre’s finest ever musicians, both of whom are full of confidence, charisma and personality. It’s a different style than the fan’s wanted or expected, but made by damn talented guys.

On the other hand, it followed up the much beloved Keeper Of The Seven Keys albums and doesn’t live up to the insanely high standards set by those one-of-a-kind (ironic, since there’s two of ‘em) gems. Its good, but its not extra special good, and how can you call it equal without that extra magic?

Then some people complain about the strange titles like “Pink Bubbles Go Ape” and “Heavy Metal Hamsters.” Or the odd album art. Honestly though, the art is by one of the most loved and recognized artist in music-related history, who’ve worked with Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd; and the music of those two songs is pretty damn good. “Heavy Metal Hamsters” in particular is an album highlight, it’s a fun Power Metal tune almost reminiscent of Gamma Ray’s “Rich And Famous.”

With all that going on, its hard to really judge. It’s a good album, but is it the album people wanted? No. It’s a good album but is it anywhere near as good as what came before? No. Its got elements that people find off-putting, even if I don’t care should I recommend it when I know it annoys so many people? Hmmm…

The difficult thing about this album is that I want to love it on an underdog level (I do have a bit of an over-fondness for the albums in the classic run that are the least popular, like Deep Purple’s Who Do We Think We Are? or Black Sabbath’s Technical Ecstasy) so I worry that’s clouding my objectivity. Are the songs good enough or not? The tracks ‘Kids Of The Century’ ‘Back On The Streets’ and ‘Goin Home’ are all fine melodic Metal songs that have great verses. I’ve already stated ‘Heavy Metal Hamsters’ is great even if the word Hamsters annoys some people. ‘The Chance’ has some great parts too (even if its better on their Live album), even if the synths are a bit too much.

On top of that, for me personally, some of the best material from this era are the B-sides. The version of the album with bonus tracks is rewarding, because tracks like the heavier “Run With The Back” and the very summery and melodic “Shit And Lobster” are pretty great. The oddly named, slow, “Le Hamborgious Walkways” is not what you’d expect from the band who wrote “I’m Alive” and “Ride The Sky” but man, it is a seriously impressive guitar exercise. I think if these were on the original album, and if they were sequenced so the most Keepers-esque material was first, then fans and critics would’ve been a lot more forgiving.

Overall; I wouldn’t feel comfortable making a recommendation either way. I think this album has a lot to offer. I don’t know if it offers the right things though. After this, the band would go even further away from the music fans wanted (Chamelon) and then come back with some of the finest albums of their whole career (Time Of The Oath, Straight Out Of Hell), so fan’s fears that the band would go too far were both founded and unfounded. As I say, this is a tough one to judge, did it signal the end of a great era, or was it a necessary transition so we’d have both Time Of The Oath AND Land Of The Free to enjoy?
adg211288
Pink Bubbles Go Ape is the fourth album by German power metal act Helloween. The album, which was released in 1991, is the first Helloween release to not feature Kai Hansen in any role, with Roland Grapow replacing him.

Having begun their career as a speed metal band, then pioneering the power metal genre, Helloween’s music began to change once again with the release of Pink Bubbles Go Ape, and much of their imagery with it. Although the album can still be considered power metal in part, overall it features an equal measure of a much more toned down traditional metal sound, with influences of hard rock and some of it can even be considered comedy music, particularly the track Heavy Metal Hamsters, which wasn’t originally meant to be on the album. The music also feels slightly more commercial compared to the three albums that came before it.

This coupled with a drastic change in the album’s visuals, the art in particular being a vastly different style compared to the fantasy styled covers of the past, as well as the lack of the pumpkin in the band’s logo (it is replacing with, appropriately, a bubble) has ultimately led the album to not hold such a high regard as its predecessors within the Helloween fanbase.

Which is something that I think is entirely unfounded. Okay, so things did tone down a little between albums and maybe Michael Weikath in particular wanted to push the band into fully commercial territory (something which would fully come into fruition with the following album Chameleon), but although it doesn’t ultimately stand up to either of the masterful Keeper of the Seven Keys albums, and was their weakest album to date Pink Bubbles Go Ape is actually a very good heavy metal album. Michael Kiske is on top form for his vocals and there are still some high quality songs to be found within the album. Is it Helloween as people want Helloween to be? No, but it’s not as far off as some might have you believe. And there are plenty of good tracks here such as Kids of the Century, which is one of the more power metal inclined pieces, Goin' Home, which features some pretty cool riffs, and to be honest I’m actually quite fond of the humorous nature of Heavy Metal Hamsters. It’s probably true that the band should have been allowed to keep it for a b-side or bonus track but I like it all the same. All in all Pink Bubbles is a consistent release.

This is a step down from Keeper of the Seven Keys Part II, there’s no denying that, but I’ll never understand anyone who says that Pink Bubbles Go Ape isn’t true Helloween, or isn’t a good album. In truth it’s more than a good album, it’s a great album, easily the best they did in the first half of the ninties. Helloween had done and would do better again, but to have this one missing from your Helloween collection would be a shame indeed. The following Chameleon, now that’s another matter entirely, but that’s also a story for a different review.

8.1/10

(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven (http://metaltube.freeforums.org) on 08/09/2012)

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