After Bach Came Milli Vanilli?

German Music is a funny, funny thing. Germany is a land that’s given us Beethoven, Bach, Wagner, Stauss, and Milli Vanilly. Milli Vanilli?

Oh yeah, I sure did get a hearty chuckle of this. What isn’t so funny is when you under-25 folks ask me, “who’s Milli Vanilli”?

You cheeky young ‘uns, I tell ya. ;-)

Anyway, this all got me to thinking about other famous singing sensations that came from the land of Bach and Beethoven.

I’ll start with Milli Vanilli since I already mentioned them. These two guys (Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatus) were found dancing around a Munich nightclub — and seemed liked the perfect frontmen for songs like Girl You Know Its True.

Problem was, this duo weren’t the actual singers — losing their Grammy because of the deceit.

Another famous singer from Germany was Marlene Dietrich. Yeah, Black & White movie lovers might know her as a glamorous Hollywood movie star. But, she started out singing Cabaret in Berlin. Her sultry, raspy voice singing Das Lied Ist Aus is legendary.

Another German singer that’s managed to cross the Atlantic to America is Xavier Naidoo. Born in Mannheim, Naidoo has been globetrotting, singing, and song-writing for both the American and German music market. And while he’s a two-time MTV Europe music award winner, he’s yet to win a Grammy.

Too bad, his voice is smoother than a well-aged Scotch. Listen to his song Sag es laut with a glass of Johnnie Walker Blue Label, and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Chances are you might never have heard of Tangerine Dream, but watch the 1980’s flick Risky Business; and you’ll hear them. They started performing in the 1960’s — yet gained fame for doing soundtracks. Whatever, a paycheck is a paycheck.

FYI, a Cannabis Cup winner from Amsterdam was also named Tangerine Dream in their honor. I don’t know this for certain, I only read about it in High Times. ;-)

Because I got to be a teenager in the 1980’s, I got to give it up for the Scorpions. Yes, I’ve sang Wind of Change and Rock You Like A Hurricane into my hairbrush way too many times.

It must have been all the hairspray that made me a bit loopy. ;-)

Anyway, the Scorpions (from Hanover) had been performing their heavy metal and hard rock genre since 1964 — and believe it or not, they’re still performing.

A bit harsher is the music from Rammstein. This is a metal band from Berlin (they started performing in the 1990’s) — and chances are if you ask anyone under 35 to name a German band, these guys would be it.

Going back to the 1980’s for a minute, Nena is another singer and band from Germany; and you might have heard of them without knowing their name. They sang 99 Luftballoons (the German version) or 99 Red Balloons, that’s the English version. It went around the globe.

Now, don’t go expecting an exact translation of this Cold War protest diddy — the English version was changed a bit — but either way, this is quintessential 80’s music if I ever heard it.

The song’s still popular, having shown up in movies like Austin Powers Goldmember and in Euro Trip to name a couple.

If I’ve missed any that I should have mentioned — let me know. I’ll be smokin’ some Tangerine Dream — I mean, listening to Tangerine Dream. ;-)

 

3 Responses to “After Bach Came Milli Vanilli?”

  1. Ann (34 comments) says:

    ah yes, Nena and Milli Vanilli… i too was a teen in the 80’s and now-a-days force my children to listen to these awesome songs that are now considered ‘oldies’ ugh, how rude!
    i’m still kind of annoyed by the whole Milli Vanilli thing, i think their dancing and prancing and lip syncing was awesome and they deserved that grammy even if they had to share it with Charles Shaw, John Davis, Brad Howell, and twin sisters Jodie and Linda Rocco (the actual singers).
    Now, that song is going to be stuck in my head all day: “Girl you know it’s true, uh uh uh, I love you…”

  2. Ann (34 comments) says:

    oh yes, i love Terence Trent D’Arby! “Sign Your Name” just sounds timeless to me, the sound, the lyrics (and he’s not bad to look at either, lol!) i’m going to go listen to it right now…

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