Jun 112021

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Juli – Everlong (Foo Fighters cover)

In the late 90s, independent bands with female singers really exploded and added something nice to the musical scene in Germany. Wir Sind Helden, Silbermond – and Juli. The last two are still active.

Desiree Klaeukens – Working Class Hero (John Lennon cover)

The newest song on the list, so far. Despite the Belgian name, the singer is German (borders are close in Europe, you know). One more stripped down song – the melody is even more shining through than in any other. The artist is also a member of the gorgeous duo Theodor Shitstorm. I found this on a CD being issued by the German Rolling Stone each month.

Herbert Knebel & Das Affentheater – Papa Was a Rolling Stone (Whitfield/Strong cover)

This is really funny: despite being mostly a comedy troupe, they are also quite talented musicians. Uwe Lyko, who really is of a certain age, plays the retired German from an industrial region who makes a fuzz about everything. In this song, he tells the story how his mother once revealed to him, that Brian Jones is his real father! Lots more covers to be found on the net.

Justus Köhncke – Ein Riss in meiner Nüchternheit [Twist In My Sobriety] (Tanita Tikaram cover)

The original was outstanding – whenever did you hear an oboe in a pop song? This artists transports the whole of the song into German (it’s a one-on-one-text, once again) and suits it into an electronic groove.

Die Krupps – Enter Sandman (Metallica cover)

Being rooted in the late ‘80s punk movement, this band sometime switched to industrial – and they stress a cool and hard style with lots of electronic accents. Somehow German, ain’t it?

Heinz Rudolf Kunze – Lola (Kinks cover)

A real poet with a pop appeal, Kunze was educated as a teacher, but in the pop business ever since. He has issued dozens of albums, lots of books and translated musicals, such as Miss Saigon, into German. The German equivalent to “singer/songwriter” is “Liedermacher” which literally means “songmaker” – a term that rather stresses the craftsmanship over the art. Here, Kunze beams Lola’s and the boy’s story from post-war London to the Ruhr area, some 30 years later…

Klaus Lage – Mercedes Benz (Big Brother & The Holding Company/Janis Joplin cover)

One of the major artists of the 80s “Deutschrock” rush, Klaus Lage is still on stage and touring. Listening to this once again, after so many years, I just realize how soulful his voice is. An American song about a German car sung by a German artist. Welcome to globalization!

Die Lassie Singers – Lassie Singers (Steve Miller Band cover)

One of the most influential bands of the ’90s, they paved the way for many more girl bands in the riot grrrl vein; witty, funny lyrics and nice singers. They consisted mainly of the late Almut Klotz and Christiane Rösinger, who is still active nowadays, as a solo singer.

Ute Lemper – La vie en rose/Je regrette rien (Edith Piaf cover)

One of the rare non-English tracks here… and Germany’s only real star of world fame, born for stage. Singer, dancer, actress – and able to adopt so many styles, eras, artists. It must be more than impressive to see her live on stage.

Udo Lindenberg – Unterm Säufermond [The Windmills of Your Mind] (Noel Harrison cover)

A true original, being part of Germany’s public life, art and conscience for more than 40 years now. He turns “The Windmills of Your Mind” into a desperate drinker’s ballad. The embedded version was not his first release of the song, but this one being a nice version with the Filmorchester Babelsberg, the orchestra of the German Hollywood…

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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