1-CD with 28-page booklet, 25 tracks, playing time 70:55 minutes.
Pop In Germany, episode 3
Especially in the Schlager industry, retreaded larvae and dressed up bodies have always been part of the business - just like melodious or at least interesting aliases: Roy Black, Peggy Brown and Jack White - in the past, this was simply more colourful than Gerhard Höllerich, Margit Schumann and Horst Nußbaum. Those who remained without something spiced up, had it - sadly, but true - always a little harder; artistic quality and/or potential could still be so convincing. And who then additionally lacked the whacking song or the mighty catchy tune - zappenduster, zero chance, forgotten.
So it's a good thing there's Pop In Germany. . .! Because in this row names are sound and smoke, here one may also simply (and sometimes touchingly) be called Willi Nolte, Heinz Harden, Jürgen Wenger or Renate Pichler. All of them, otherwise as much in demand as an outdoor pool in February, emerge from anonymity here - about 35 years after their active time in which they at best sang in the second league, moved far away from charts, spotlights and headlines.
Not infrequently, it is nobodies who serve as suppliers for the musical theme of this Bear Family series. German cover versions of Anglo-American pop hits in the 60s and 70s came again and again from artists such as Holger Stern, Helmut Schmidt and Tom Hagen, from Wolfgang Frey, Boris Brown or Heidi Franke. Very well possible that this was not a coincidence - Strategy: The or the little(him) known one was at least imposed a popular title to win perhaps terrain with this crutch.
This tactic was typical for the 50s, 60s and 70s. Whether rock 'n' roll, surf or twist: the German record companies - in addition to the help for the artists mentioned - always had an ear for music fans who didn't speak English. And, understandably, a second one, in order to be able to better monitor the hoped-for additional jingling in the cash register.
Bear Family has therefore already released the most astounding and worth listening cover attempts, sorted by genre, on CDs: 'Surf In Germany' (BCD 16211 AH) has dedicated itself in the past to the musical wave riders, 'Twist In Germany' (BCD 16186 AH) to the permanently breech-endangered hipwackers - with together 45 sounding treasures.
But all this was only a slight preliminary skirmish at the beginning of the Golden Sixties, in the so-called pre-Beat(les) era. The full broadside, however, that was still pending: Pop in all shades. Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones, the Beatles and Manfred Mann, the Moody Blues, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Simon & Garfunkel and innumerable others - they all traded in their Germanic blueprints. Protestsongs and 4/4-Beat were doctored, Entertainment-Pop and Flower Power. And at the turn of the decade towards the seventies, one of the ultimate UK hard rock hammers, Paranoid, was even caught - who would have been more suitable for it? . . ?! - Cindy & Bert buttoned up. 50 such gems are on 'Pop In Germany 1' (BCD 16553 AH) and 'Pop In Germany 2' (BCD 16554 AH) in the stylistically varied offer.
That there is of course also again on the now available episode 3. The focus is again on popular and/or successful originals that have been converted into German. One of the biggest 60s hits ever, (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction, was done by the Swiss Dorados: But the choice of words for the local song title proved to be rather counterproductive - no class, that had relatively little of a positive incentive to buy. . . Hit? Nothing. Although, admittedly, there was no patent recipe for it. For even the most conservative, low-risk procedure did not protect against a lack of demand at the counter: Willi Noltes Happy Jack, Hippy Hippy Shake (Dany Mann), Tony Marshalls Love Me, Please Love Me or Don't Ha Ha by Jürgen Wenger remained in their original name - nobody wanted them anyway. Even the ear-friendly Kinks anthem Lola (Nina & Mike) or the eternal Bob Dylan classic Mr. Tambourine Man (intoned by Drafi Deutscher's assistant 'Die Magics' without the master) didn't get any better with their German arrangements - no customer interest.
Also 'guessing titles' were left behind: Drafis Es ist besser du gehst had very well a linguistic amount of Arthur Alexander's You Better Move On ; Stop tapping The Two (= Jack White), yes, that came very close to Dave Edmunds' I Hear You Knocking; also Lord Ulli's Black Lady let the original Lady In Black (Uriah Heep) guess. Nevertheless: Nothing worked here either, everything remained on the track.
And if it came to its extremes in the text by being completely sealed against the direction of movement, this was just as little the carte blanche for success. For example, when - not unlike the theme of a school essay - the Dutchman Ed Viller reported on My First Concert, a lot of fantasy was involved (without an acoustic model) in order to suspect behind it the original From The Underworld from the English hearth. The fact that the Blackberries had the Jeff Beck hit Hi Ho Silver Lining on their wrap with their unadorned four o'clock thirty-five time announcements also required a shaken amount of imagination. Behind Heinz Harden's Es ist vorbei nobody was allowed to automatically expect the searchers hit When You Walk In The Room composed by Jackie de Shannon. And when after listening to the disc of a Lisa Bauer (later Fitz) the song of the unskilled worker turned out to be Dusty Springfields Son Of A Preacher Man, there was nothing but laughing anyway.
Chart abstinence hit rebuilt originals from all styles. Even when US-American soul became internationally established and the German record companies wanted to jump on this bandwagon, the fan thumbs pointed downwards. Even the most beautiful ballads died unwanted in nothingness - no matter who interpreted them. The actress and dubbing artist Renate Pichler, who lives in Hamburg, got her hands on the rare, well-realized "I - I have no one" (Ben E. Kings I Who Have Nothing) as well as the established stars Howard Carpendale (Poor old rich man = Otis Reddings [Sitting On The] Dock Of The Bay) and Manuela and Erik Silvester: They struggled in vain with the ingratiating Percy Sledge lurkers Warm And Tender Love and Take Time To Know Her, who come as tomorrow the day and you love only once missed their goal.
25 new German cover versions. Not one of them became a hit with the audience - regardless of how popular the original songs were, how well known the original performers or the postcard artists were. And yet, almost without exception, they have meanwhile become objects of desire on the local collector's scene, reaching in part considerable sums in trade. Because they're just rare? Because one can often amuse oneself with the textual contortions - sometimes more and sometimes less? Because you like to hear them (why not?!)?
Title 22, Peggy March & Benny Thomas: Only the wind knows the answer.