Jun 112021

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Gunter Gabriel – Heroes (David Bowie cover)

He, too, is gone for some years now. Once on stage with simple MOR (let’s call it GMOR, German Middle Of the Road), he moved towards more serious topics like the worker – and man in modern times. The music got more stripped down and he was perhaps somewhere in between a German Johnny Cash (whom he covered) and a German Billy Bragg. There was a life alcohol that ended in bankrupcy; and finally he did his German Recordings, again a nod to Johnny Cash – a kind of personal, inner striptease. Fascinating. Perhaps easy to made fun of. But you shouldn’t.

Die Geschwister Pfister – That’s Amore (Dean Martin cover)

This definitely works best on stage – in the tradition of Rat Pack stage shows, but as well combined with a gay, camp note: that’s the Pfisters! They created a fake biography of two orphan child stars going to America and coming back to Switzerland, meeting the female, a Bulgarian lorry driver. So crazy. They do classic tunes in a funny way – but without ever making fun of them.

Gigantor – Everything Counts (Depeche Mode cover)

Hamburg hardcore punk – nuff said. There was this guy I once worked with who I knew was a punk. I asked him about the music he played and what he liked. Looking at me with my sober hairdo (I had some hair, then) and my suit and tie, he stated that I would not know. Another colleague told him to go on and tell – I definitely would know. Quite the praise for my interest; I adored that a lot. And the first colleague then presented me a mixtape with Gigantor on it.

Gloria – Enjoy the silence (Depeche Mode cover)

From the TV Noir show from Germany – really a gorgeous show with a lot of covers to be seen – but many originals of German bands. The music there is more or less laid back, even if the originals are faster or harder. The singer here is a popular TV host in our country.

Frida Gold – Gold (Spandau Ballet cover)

More or less a one hit wonder – the charismatic singer was also a judge sometimes in the German version of all these talent shows. It is not just a cover, they add a lot of own artistry to that.

Die Goldenen Zitronen – Für Immer Punk (Alphaville cover)

Okay, one more German song to be covered. Instead of being “Forever Young,” it could as well be “Forever Punk.” Having been a part of Germany’s so-called “fun punk” movement, this band developed towards a more electronic, more politic approach. It still exists. Members of Alphaville took part in this cover version. And members of other punk bands, too.

Gregorian/Masters of Chant – Voyage voyage (Desireless cover)

Of course the music industry does not always wait for good things to happen. Sometimes this means inventing a whole new concept – like singing pop tunes like a medieval Gregorian choir. This project actually was invented in Germany, but most of the singers are British.

Herbert Grönemeyer – I’m on Fire/What’s All This (Bruce Springsteen cover/own)

One of the most popular artists in Germany! Texts of real poetry, sometimes a bit complicated; always in the political discussion. Many make fun of him because of his nasal voice, swallowing whole syllables. The Springsteen cover is combined with the English version of one of his early hits.

Guano Apes feat. Michael Mittermeier – Kumba Yo! (Gospel cover)

This band was already featured on Cover Me with their “Big in Japan” cover. For their retitled version of “Kumbaya” (yes, that “Kumbaya”) they team up with standup-comedian Michael Mittermeier. Crossover, once more – but really funny. Listening to to the singer, I am not quite sure if she is actually uttering words. Nah, she’s perhaps rather a shouter… Have a look at the video!

Nina Hagen feat. Freaky Fukin‘ Weirdoz – Hit Me (With Your Rhythm Stick) (Ian Dury cover)

We had her beforehand, here she conspires with a real crosssover band from Munich; a style which is completely dead, isn’t it? The original was strange, this is even stranger. And maybe a bit hard to listen to…

Continued on the next page…

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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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