Walter over @ "A Few Good Times In My Life" recently started a new series about German Rock Music, here's his first post featuring the mighty Fehlfarben, a groundbreaking outfit from Düsseldorf.
Now, I am VERY curious how this series will continue and which choices Walter will make, this for various reasons:
1) there is and has been an unbelievable amount of really shitty music from Germany and oddly enough only THIS music is being mentioned by non-Germans when the topic comes up.
2) also there has been a great amount of BRILLIANT music from Germany as well, most of it not commonly known: no-one mentions that kind of stuff, never!
Obviously I'm not talking about multi-million megaselling mainstream artists here, but about Punk and New Wave bands from the early Eighties. A great bulk of those were just fantastic and it's a shame you don't know anything about/by them.
But why is this? Just because they are German and you don't understand the lyrics? Track those down, go to Google Translator .. as easy as that. Is it because they never achieved a certain stardom and ended up in the NME or Musical Express? Nah, you listened closely when Peel played British bands who had the same problem and I bet you can still sing along to loads and loads of obscurities which are by now several decades old.
"No", I hear you say? Here's a test for you, friends ... answers on a postcard ... listen to THIS (first/don't cheat and read any further now!!) and I'm willing to have small bet that 95% of you - a certain age provided - will be able to sing along with it, at least with the first lines: "Lost in the delta of Venus, lost in a welter of shame / Deep in the forest of evil we embark on the new crusade / Cease your foolish plea we have come to banish the land / I stand as Saint Sebastian with love for a higher command" ... oh come on: you didn't have any real problem with that, did you? Yeees, Wild Swans' 'Revolutionary Spirit' from 1982, never commonly known, almost no airplay, you never owned the record, but you still know it by heart, a long 31 years later!
But bands from Germany? No way, José! And believe me, Peel played them as well at the time, I still have the old cassettes to prove this! But you didn't care, you fools! Walter started your education and I am about to follow with some killer tunes within the next weeks or so, just to show you that we Germans had more to give than BMW, RAF and Boney M. in the 80's.
Funnily enough it wasn't Berlin where the Crème de la Crème of German Punk/New Wave bands came from, in fact they all started up in Düsseldorf. I won't bore you with all too much details, i.e. which drummer then played bass in a different band after the second single came out under another moniker: it's the music that counts, so here are three great Düsseldorf bands for you: killer tunes, as I said ... enjoy!
mp3: Male - 'Kontrollabschnitt' ('79) [from their debut album, 'Zensur & Zensur']. Led by the mighty Jürgen Engler.
mp3: Die Profis - 'Du Bist Was Du Sagst' ('82) [from their debut album 'Neue Sensationen']. Led by the mighty Ralf Schienke.
mp3: S.Y.P.H. - 'Der Letzte Held' ('85) [from their 6th album, 'Wieleicht']. Led by the mighty Harry Reg.
Fantastic stuff, ey? The lyrics, you ask? Don''t worry, it's all about love and romance and they all get married at the end ... no, seriously: if you are really interested, I'll try and translate them for you, that's the kind of nice chap I am! And the point behind all this, is, dear friends:
I would simply love it if not only Walter, but some of you as well, would participate in my self-declared 'Battle Of The Blogs' and post some German music too: I mean, there must have been something from Germany over the years that still rings a bell with you and isn't total crap at the same?!