I hope you’re ready for a fun weekend. I have only today off and then it’s back to work for four days. I’m excited about a three-day weekend next week beginning Wednesday. My weekly flashback to my favorite songs of the 1980s has a European flair today. Enjoy!
“99 Luft Balloons” — Nena
I’m leading off today with a protest song from the early 1980s. The song was written about what could happen if a balloon that could not be identified on radar were to have flown over the Berlin Wall into Soviet territory setting off a world war.
The German band, Nena, headed up by singer Gabriele Kerner scored seven top ten hits in its native country, but only had one song to chart in America.
While an English version of the song was recorded, most people remember and liked the German version better.
“99 Luft Balloons” hit #2 in 1983 becoming the highest Billboard charting German song in U.S. history.
“Twilight Zone” — Golden Earring
The Dutch band Golden Earring scored three hits in America.
Their first, “Radar Love” hit #13 in 1973 and their last hit here, “Quiet Eyes” peaked at #31 in 1986.
My favorite Golden Earring song was also its biggest. “Twilight Zone” reached #10 in 1982.
“Der Kommissar” — Falco
Most people remember the late Austrian singer Falco for his #1 international hit, “Rock Me Amadeus” from 1985. It also hit the top of the charts here in the U.S. He scored one more modest hit domestically, the #18 smash, “Vienna Calling”, that same year.
However, I remember first hearing of Falco in 1982 when an English band re-recorded his song, “Der Kommissar”. Falco’s version in 1981, only reached #72 in America, but it hit #1 in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Spain.
“Der Kommissar” — After The Fire
And, as a “Peeps’ Friday ’80s Flashbacks” extra (that is so paging homage to Casey Kasem’s “AT40 Extra”), here’s After the Fire’s English version. This song reached #5 in the U.S. in 1982 and it became their only hit here.