Monday, April 9, 2007


Forever Young

Big In Japan

Alphaville is a German synthpop music group which gained popularity in the 1980s. The founding members were Marian Gold (real name Hartwig Schierbaum, born May 26, 1954 in Herford), Bernhard Lloyd (real name Bernhard Gößling, born June 6, 1960 in Enger, Bielefeld) and Frank Mertens (real name Frank Sorgatz, born October 26, 1961 in Enger, Bielefeld). The band was at first named Forever Young. Alphaville are best known for the above videos and their two biggest hits, "Big in Japan" and "Forever Young."

In 1984 the re-named Alphaville released their debut single "Big in Japan", followed by "Sounds Like a Melody" and "Forever Young", quickly followed by the album Forever Young. Despite its success Frank Mertens left the band in the same year and was replaced by Ricky Echolette (born Wolfgang Neuhaus, in Cologne, August 6, 1960) in January 1985 - already credited in "Forever Young" album.

"Big In Japan" was their biggest U.S. and UK success, shooting to #1 on Billboard's Dance chart, number 8 on the official UK chart and #1 on the German Charts, in Switzerland and in Sweden, #2 in Italy and in the Netherlands, #4 in Austria and Ireland, #5 in South Africa and #6 in France. While they never again achieved a UK Top 20 hit, in the U.S. several of their releases went Top 40 on the American Dance charts. They were less successful at mainstream U.S. radio, reflected by their showing on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles charts, where "Big" only reached #66. The next single "Sounds like a Melody" reached the top 5 in Austria, Turkey, Germany, Italy, South Africa, Sweden and Switzerland where Alphaville had a huge success. The first U.S. release of the following single "Forever Young" failed to scale the charts, even it was again a Top 10 hit in France, Germany, Turkey, Italy, South Africa, Sweden and Switzerland in 1984/1985. A fourth single, "The Jet Set", from their debut album gave them another German and Swedish charts hit.

In that year, amid reports pop star Laura Branigan was featuring the song on her next album, Hold Me, Alphaville's "Forever Young" was re-released as a single in the U.S., and again floundered in the lower recesses of the chart. Branigan's version, though promoted on stickers adorning the album, subsequently remained an album cut in the U.S., though it was released to radio in South America. She would go on to perform the song as an encore at nearly every concert she performed, from her 1985 tour until her death in 2004. The Alphaville version was released a third time in the U.S. in 1988, to promote Alphaville: The Singles Collection, and peaked this time at #65. Their highest U.S. Singles chart showing, it was also their last. International re-releases of Alphaville's "Forever Young" followed in 1989, 1996, and 2001. Several covers have been recorded and remixed, featuring male or female vocalists often erroneously attributed to be Alphaville's Marian Gold, or Laura Branigan. It was the theme for many high school proms in the 1980s,[citation needed] and was featured in the 2004 film Napoleon Dynamite as well as the episode Underage Drinking: A National Concern of the sitcom It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

In 1986 the second album Afternoons in Utopia was successfully released and its first single "Dance with me" was a Top 20 hit in several countries. The album spawned two more minor hits in Germany, "Universal Daddy" and "Jerusalem". This album was followed in 1989 by The Breathtaking Blue, including the highly acclaimed singles (if not so successful chart hits) "Romeos" and "Mysteries of Love". The album was released as a CD+G, including black & white stills with original lyrics and German translation. As an alternative to individual music videos, the band enlisted nine producers, among them Godfrey Reggio (Koyaanisqatsi), to create a film entitled Songlines based on the album's tracks.

The next album, Prostitute, was not released until 1994. In 1996 Ricky Echolette left the band. Salvation, a back-to-the-root opus, followed in 1997. Stark Naked and Absolutely Live was released in 2000, followed by the remix album Forever Pop in 2001. A DVD - Little America -was released in 2001 documenting two concerts performed in Salt Lake City, Utah. Two box-sets have also been released ; rather than being collections of previously released album tracks they are actually 12 unique albums, several live, several rarities and outtakes, and several newly recorded. The first box, of eight discs, was released in 1999 (called Dreamscapes) and the second in 2003 (called CrazyShow or Dreamscapes 9-12). Part of the material of CrazyShow was previously released to the internet via the Alphaville Official website. In 2006 the band released "Dreamscapes Revisited", available by download only, which was welcomed particularly by those fans who had been unable to obtain a copy of the original "Dreamscapes" which had had a limited production run.

Big in Japan (7", 12")
Sounds Like a Melody (7", 12")
Forever Young (7", 12")
Forever Young (CA, CD, LP)
Jet Set (7", 12")
Dance With Me (7", 12")
Universal Daddy (7", 12")
Afternoons in Utopia (CA, CD, LP)
Jerusalem (7", 12")
Sensations (7", 12")
Red Rose (7", 12")
Amiga Compilation (LP, CA)
Forever Young 1988 (7", 12", CDS)
The Singles Collection (CA, CD, LP)
Forever Young / Big in Japan (7", CDS)
Romeos (7", 12", CDS, CS)
The Breathtaking Blue (CA, CD, LP)
Summer Rain (7", 12", CDS)
Mysteries of Love (7", 12", CDS, CS)
Songlines (VHS, LD)
Big in Japan 1992 A.D. (7", 12", CDS)
Big in Japan - Swemix Remix (12", CDS)
First Harvest 1984-92 (CA, CD, LP)
MoonOffice Compilation (VHS)
History (CA)
Fools (12", CDS)
Prostitute (CA, CD)
The Impossible Dream (CDS)
Forever Young promo (CDS)
Wishful Thinking (12", CDS)
Flame - promo release (CDS)
Salvation (CD)
Dreamscapes (CD)
Flame (CDS)
Salvation US release (CD)
Visions of Dreamscapes (CD)
Soul Messiah (CDS)
Stark Naked and Absolutely Live (CD)
Scum of the Earth (MP3)
Moongirl (MP3)
Moonboy (MP3)
See Me Thru (MP3)
Those Wonderful Things (MP3)
And as for Love (MP3)
Upside Down (MP3)
Parallel Girlz (Cloud Nine) (MP3)
Shadows She Said (Omerta) (MP3)
First Monday (in the year 3000) (MP3)
(Waiting for the) New Light (MP3)
Miracle Healing (MP3)
Dance With Me 2001 (CDS)
Forever Young 2001 (CDS)
Zoo (MP3)
Forever Pop (CA, CD)
Little America (DVD)
On the Beach (MP3)
Elegy - limited release (CDS)
CrazyShow (CD)
CrazyShow Excerpts - promo only (CD)
Dreamscapes Revisited (MP3)
Forever Young - the remix (CDS)

External links
Moonbase (official website)

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