Thomas Olivier


There are many exciting stories in rock and pop: One of them is the story of the band PARZIVAL.              

50 years ago three young German musicians caused a stir, domestically as well as internationally: PARZIVAL was the first German classic rock outfit and made pop history with the first German music video clip. The British magazine "Melody Maker“ ranked the band among the "most interesting groups in Europe“.

Now, half a century later, PARZIVAL´s co-founder Thomas Olivier and producer/composer Dieter Faber are reviving the legend - with the new concept album „David - The Hymn“. A world-spanning tonal journey in politically turbulent times - and red hot! The new magnum opus is about the destructive greed of power, set against the background of war, climate and refugee crises. But the essential momentum is the longing for peaceful community and love.

130 artists from 23 nations were involved in the recordings. They include musicians from the worlds of rock, pop and classical music, veterans of acts such as Santana, Prince, Backstreet Boys and Nigel Kennedy, Grammy Award winners, members of the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra, the German Film Orchestra Babelsberg and Master Drummers from Ivory Coast´s and Benin´s National Ensembles. No designer pop from the music computer, but handmade songs. Rock, classical music, folk, African and Arabic sounds merge into that independent sound that already distinguished Parzival five decades ago.                                                                       

The band from Bremen (Germany), named after the medieval Grail Knight Parzival, were way ahead of their time: Long before ELO, Metallica and Lady Gaga showed how to play with an orchestra, i.e. long before rock and classical music met effectively, the teenagers Thomas Olivier (drums, percussion, vocals), Lothar Siems (guitar, vocals) and Walter Quintus (violin, piano, bass ) had realized this concept: With their earlier band „Beazzic Conservatory“ in the 1960s, the schoolmates created a style of music that was unique at the time. Groups like          The Nice, Moody Blues and Procol Harum tentatively experimented with classical colourings, although this was mostly limited to organ or keyboard sounds. Jethro Tull brought the flute to rock music, but there was no rock band anywhere which strings providing half of the music.

In 1971, the legendary German producer Conny Plank (Kraftwerk, Scorpions, Ultravox, Eurythmics, Gianna Nannini) signed PARZIVAL: On the venerable Telefunken label, Teldec released the albums "Legend" (1972), "BaRock" (1973) and the single "Souls Married To The Wind“ (1972). In England, RCA signed the band exclusively.

Germany's music journalists prized PARZIVAL´S debut album "Legend" as one of the "most interesting productions of the year". At the same time, the German Ufa newsreel produced film clips of PARZIVAL´s songs. These were the first German music “video clips” to be shown in cinemas worldwide.

PARZIVAL were pioneers, however lacking the endurance of their medieval namesake: The band disbanded in 1973. Since then, the band's LPs have been reissued again and again, worldwide.