Jun 112021

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Nena – Friday I’m in Love (The Cure cover)

I know that due to “99 red balloons,” Nena is popular (or has been) in the States as well, and one of the songs of this same covers album was featured on Cover Me’s Best Dylan Covers list. But to make the list – my list – complete a further one has also to be. One you definitely have to get used to…

No Angels – All Cried Out (Alison Moyet cover)

Germany’s first successful casted band! Completely artificially created, they obviously made the best of it. Had huge success, split up, reunited. This cover version does no harm to anyone, but you have to admit that a bit of soul is needed…

Pain of Progress feat. Eric Fish – The Weeping Song (Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds cover)

A genre that originally stems from Scandinavia, I think: mixing folk/celtic music with metal. There are powerful, blasting guitars on one hand, and, on the other, bagpipes or even flutes. Eric Fish is/was the singer of Subway to Sally – probably the most popular and successful band in that genre. They turn the gloomy ballad into kinda power-ballad.

Panzerballett – Zappa Medley from Hell (Frank Zappa cover)

Just for the Zappa fans. This is hard to consume; somewhere between jazz and experimental. The original chosen here doesn’t make it easier. There is as well a cover of Abba’s “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!” – but I could not find that online.

Rude Jolf – The Piano Has Been Drinking (Tom Waits cover)

This one is really special. I mentioned the Cologne dialect “Kölsch” (there is a beer of the same name, by the way) and this band decided to do only Tom Waits covers in this dialect. Tom Waits’ downtown trains are red VW Golfs (“Rude Jolf”s) with which the suburb girls come to downtown to have fun and to date. So the story is transferred to Cologne. Video footage is poor, but you can imagine the power the band had on stage.

Polkaholix – Das Model (Kraftwerk cover)

Okay, for once we have to mention a German original, but Kraftwerk is known worldwide and the influence of that band cannot be underrated. Here their most common tune is transferred into a Eastern-Europe, gypsy-influenced polka! The band does lots of covers in that style, most originals indeed German songs.

Der Prager Handgriff – Touch Me (Samantha Fox cover)

Spanning the genres, from Stock-Aitken-Waterman-Pop to hardcore trance. Music like it was only possible in the ’90s. Don’t ask me what a Prague handle (Prager Handgriff) is…

Die Priester – Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen cover)

These are actually priests! Of the Roman Catholic church 0 the papists, as they call them in Britain. These also seem to be quite talented singers and they issued a cappella album with more or less solemn songs – and this cover. You cannot be sure if they really checked the lyrics beforehand, but, musically, it works.

Punkles – Help! (The Beatles cover)

From the name you could guess what they do: they perform Beatles songs the rough and rowdy way (in fact, roughness and rowdyness is hidden in some Beatles classics from the beginning, don’t you agree…?).

Queen Bee – Be my number two (Joe Jackson cover)

The long gone band of Ina Müller, a famous entertainer nowadays (she has a nice show taking place in a tiny pub with interesting guests, a shanty choir outside in front of the window; the guests will sing quite often and bands are invited) and Edda on piano. You might lack the brass section of the original in the mid part, but nevertheless this is a version worth mentioning.

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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