Jun 112021

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Stromkern – The Mercy Seat (Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds cover)

Since the days of Kraftwerk, electronic music is popular in Germany – and the reputation has been carried out to the world. When techno arose from the clubs of Chicago, it soon made its way to our country – being mixed up, rebuilt and remodeled. And merged with many other styles and genres. This one is not as sad as the original – but even more threatening. Actually I have to admit that I got to know the cover first! Embarrassing…

Tankard – Centerfold (J. Geils Band cover)

The original rock songs speeds up some more – and is even more of a floor filler. There is the power of metal, but also some good music, some fun. The band also issued an album with the name Tankwart (gas station worker) where they cover German drinking songs in metal-style. Impossible to listen to when you’re sober…

Terrorgruppe – As Tears Go By (Rolling Stones cover)

A real nasty punk twist to this rather slow tune, with roaring electric guitars in addition. It definitely works. Then they switch into that ska-sound, which is also quite nice.

Texas Lightning – Like a Virgin (Madonna cover)

The fun project of the German comedian Olli Dittrich with some colleagues and an American singer. They even made it to the Eurovision Song Contest,” which is huge over here. I am a huge fan of country music, but rather the alternative country section. Once they were cowboy hats, I am always more than suspicious…

Tocotronic – If You Have a Racist Friend (The Specials cover)

A band that really started something new – German slacker music. A genre that is still more than alive today. And as racism is still a topic here, it is quite valuable to mention the tune.

Die Toten Hosen – (What’s So Funny) ‘Bout Peace, Love, and Understanding? (Nick Lowe cover)

Acting in their fourth decade, this is probably the most successful band in Germany. They are rooted in punk – and will state that they are still – but have gotten softer. Their concerts are not only concerts… more like a holy mass. And – what is so funny about peace, love and understanding, anyway?

The Twang – Blitzkrieg Bop (Ramones cover)

If I stated beforehand, that cowboy hats always make me suspicious, it’s alright here – they are doing it tongue-in-cheek. They do only covers, like Oasis, Bee Gees, AC/DC and Radiohead, in a funny way, but never in a ridiculous style.

Velvetone – Welcome to the Pleasuredome (Frankie goes to Hollywood cover)

Doing this is quite an idea! If you cannot imagine how the music of Frankie might work as a swing tune – it’s your turn to listen!

Vierkanttretlager – Wo gehst Du heute Nacht hin? (Peter Sarstedt cover)

Originally, rather a hardcore band, they discovered a their soft side – and covered a song of a one hit wonder. Even the original is a guitly pleasure – despite the name, Peter Sarsted was an Indian-British artist. This Northern-German band translates the lyrics close to the original – and recorded another version with a shanty choir. Works.

Vulture Culture – Take Me Home, Country Roads (John Denver cover)

It has to be admitted that the accent is extremely German, but doesn’t she add a nice voice to the song? I like the drums on speed a lot. I think they capture the real spirit of a punk-style cover. Giving all you have, you will win – winning without giving all you have, is not real winning at all.

Wisecräcker – Master of Puppets (Metallica cover)

Another strange one – Metal in a ska manner of way. Cannot say much about the band, but I like it.

Wolfsheim – Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town (Kenny Rogers cover)

Another sub-culture that is still alive (although wanting not be looking like that, ha!) is the dark-wave-gothic genre. It had its peak in the 90’s, but still there are some artists, clubs and disciples. Peter Heppner’s voice is simply adorable, I think.

Yeti Girls – Blister in the Sun (Violent Femmes cover)

Another band of the genre that was once called fun-punk (at least here in Germany). The twist between punk and independent is not that hard, so it’s as well not too astonishing that this works…

Whew! Thanks to Karsten Schroeder for this amazing overview. Subscribe to our Patreon to get a playlist version.

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  2 Responses to “An Exhaustive History of German Cover Songs”

Comments (2)
  1. Looking forward to listening. By the way, the blog Any Major Dude With Half a Heart posted two lists of Schlager covers, at http://halfhearteddude.com/2017/10/any-major-schlager-covers-vol-1/ and http://halfhearteddude.com/2020/03/any-major-schlager-covers-vol-2/. The password is amdwhah. As always, thanks for all your hard work.

    • Dear Joe,
      that looks stunning – but all the links mentioned there (as well as two others, as well looking nice (Curious German and Stars sing German) are down…
      Is there any possibility of getting them elsewhere?
      Greetz, Karsten

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