Nena – In Concert from London – 1984 – Nights At The Roundtable: Concert Edition

Gabriele Kerner of Nena -  first German band to have a smash worldwide hit in a long time - and it would be the last for a long time.

Gabriele Kerner of Nena – first German band to have a smash worldwide hit in a long time – and it would be the last for a long time.

. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – Nena – in Concert for BBC Sight & Sound – March 3, 1984 – BBC Radio 1

In the scheme of things, Nena were relegated to unenviable position of being one-hit wonders. But at the time their huge hit 99 Luftballoons raced up the charts and took U.S. radio by storm, singing in original German, they had arrived and could do no wrong.

99 Luftballoons was an anti-war song. We were right in the middle of The Cold War. The Soviet Union were still in Afghanistan and a growing dissatisfaction with the way things were going in the world made a song like 99 Luftballoons (99 hot-air balloons – or 99 Red Balloons as the English version was called), a perfect song for troubled times.

Unfortunately, the massive hit wasn’t duplicated. And a follow-up single didn’t even make the Billboard Hot-100 and got no higher than #70 on the UK charts. The phenomenal success of Nena wasn’t destined to be duplicated.

But in the midst of their international popularity, they toured extensively, and this concert, which was recorded for the BBC series Sight & Sound captured them at the peak of their phenomenal rise.

Maybe you remember them – maybe you don’t. Another band who helped define the 80s and made it an unpredictable decade.

I’ll leave this one up to you whether to play loud or not. The voice of Gabriele Kerner is a definite plus.

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