Saturday, January 8, 2011

Oh Nena, Nena

If you like music that isn't sung in English and you're looking for a change of pace from your artsy fartsy obscure French album from 1966 that no one has ever heard of (aside from you of course), maybe plop a Nena album on your turntable for a change! Most people probably only know their one hit, 99 Red Balloons (99 Luftballons), but I really enjoy the entire album that song is on. Nena was huge in Europe, but is really only known as a one hit wonder band in America. Many of the songs are sung in German, but it's just really fun 80's pop. Nena has that classic Chrissie Hynde look with strong Debbie Harry pop vocals. If you like The Sounds, you'll love Nena and the pre-Nena band, The Stripes (video below). The Stripes' material is really rare, at least in America, and I've only been able to find a bootlegged CD version of the album.

Most of their songs are sung in German, but they're still really enjoyable. I even try singing along, but it's mostly just me going "duh na na juh juhhh jooo" because I have no idea what the hell they are singing. However, their English songs are really awesome:

Nena has released over 15 albums spanning from 1981 to 2009. A few years ago, Nena released a 2-CD set called Cover Me where she covers songs she likes, including David Bowie, Mazzy Star and the Rolling Stones. I have yet to hear this album, but as Larry David would say, it sounds like it would be prit-tay, prit-tay, prit-tay good!

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