Monday, December 08, 2014

99 Luftballons

In 1983 to 1984, Top of the Pops had a short spell of including coverage of the European charts. There is only one thing I remember from this, and probably there is only one thing worth remembering: Nena's 99 Luftballons. The song was evidently dominating the German charts, and so week after week, it appeared.

Even for 1983, it was a bit of a throwback. It was a tasty slice of power-pop in new-wave dressing. Kim Wilde's Kids in America in 1981 covered the same sort of sonic territory. Nonetheless, Nena was hot, German (read: exotic) and had underarm hair - so I was hooked. A few months later, it was re-released in English, polished (just a smidge). And I was hooked again. Apparently, Nena carried on releasing records, but none ever crossed my path.

What did I learn? Underarm hair is nothing to be afraid of. Thus opening the door to Siouxsie and the Banshees a little while later. Also, understanding lyrics is utterly optional. It's still a great tune.

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