Monday, May 7, 2012

Cultural History Lesson: Germans - Udo Lindenberg

The Internet is brilliant, isn't it?

Every now and then I have past memory flashbacks which prompt me to look things up on the web. I saw the Liam Neeson film 'Unknown' last night and because it was set in Berlin I started humming a tune I only ever hum whenever I think of things Germanic.

The tune is 'Germans' by a guy called 'Udo Lindenberg'.  Heard of him? No? Thought not.

I only know the song because I'd heard it back in the 80s. I often recorded a music video show off the telly, and 'Germans' was on one of the episodes I'd taped onto VHS (actually, I think it might have been Max Headroom). Needless to say, I watched this episode over and over (which is why the annoying tune got stuck in my head).

To satisfy my curiosity I thought I'd look the song up on YouTube, and lo – there it was. Even though I never knew the name of the artist, I managed to find it. I honestly didn't think I'd have much luck, but the Internet is full of surprises.

'Germans' is pure, unadulterated 80s euro trash pop rock that does a great job of poking fun at the pre-unification Germans, calling on every stereotypical imaginable. The video is great fun too.

Interestingly, I don't think this song was released in Germany. Even though Lindenberg is German, it was obviously too close to the bone for his fellow Deutschslanders. 

NB You'll have to skip past some weird crap to watch the video (it starts at 0:36)

You can actually watch the Max Headroom version here, but it misses the last bit at the end and, being the completist that I am I didn't think that was right.

There's no need to thank me for my cultural contributions. It's a service I like to provide.

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