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Published on Jan 15, 2007

Nina singing the German version. The banana is only a long detail. In fact this video should not be here on this profile, but in the Zekitcha3 profile, reserved for assorted piracy.
In East Germany, she performed with the band Automobil, becoming one of the country's best-known young stars. Her most famous song from the early part of her career was "Du hast den Farbfilm vergessen" (You Forgot the Color Film) in 1974. However, her musical career in East Germany was cut short when she and her mother left the country in 1976, following the expulsion of her stepfather Wolf Biermann.

The circumstances surrounding the family's emigration were exceptional: Biermann was granted permission to perform a televised concert in West Berlin, but denied permission to re-cross the border to his home country. During a period when bureaucracy was the norm, and families divided by the Berlin Wall had not seen one another in decades, Nina submitted an application to leave the country. In it, she claimed to be Biermann's biological daughter, and threatened to become the next Wolf Biermann if not allowed to rejoin her father. Just four days later, her request was miraculously granted, and she settled in Hamburg, where she was signed almost immediately to a CBS-affiliated record label. Her label advised her to acclimate herself to Western culture through travel, and she arrived in London during the height of the punk rock musical movement. Nina was quickly taken up by a circle that included The Slits and the Sex Pistols, and Johnny Rotten was a particular admirer.

Back in Germany by the summer of 1977, Hagen formed the Nina Hagen Band in West Berlin's Kreuzberg district. In 1978 they released their self-titled debut album, which included the single TV-Glotzer (a cover of White Punks on Dope by The Tubes, lyrically altered to German language and expressing the thoughts of a depressed couch potato whose life revolves around TV), and Auf'm Bahnhof Zoo, about West Berlin's then-notorious Berlin Zoologischer Garten station. The album also included a version of "Rangehn" (approximately, Go On), a song she had previously recorded in East Germany, but with different music.

According to reviewer Fritz Rumler,

... she thrusts herself into the music, aggressively, directly, furiously, roars in the most beautiful opera alto, then, through shrieks and squeals, precipitates into luminous soprano heights, she parodies, satirises, and howls on stage like a dervish.

The album gained significant attention throughout Germany and abroad, both for its hard rock sound and for Hagen's theatrical vocals, far different from the straightforward singing of her East German recordings. However, relations between Hagen and the other band members deteriorated over the course of the subsequent European tour, and Hagen decided to leave the band in 1979, though she was still under contract to produce a second album. This LP, Unbehagen (which in German also means discomfort or unease), was eventually produced with the band recording their tracks in Berlin and Hagen recording the vocals in Los Angeles, California. It included the single African Reggae and a cover of Lene Lovich's Lucky Number. The other band members sans Hagen, soon developed a successful independent musical career as Spliff.

Meanwhile, Hagen's public persona was steadily creating media uproar and she became infamous for an appearance on an Austrian talk show called Club 2, in which she simulated masturbation. She also acted with Dutch rocker Herman Brood and singer Lene Lovich in the movie Cha Cha.

  • Category

  • Song

  • Artist

    • Nina Hagen
  • Album

    • Definitive Collection
  • Licensed to YouTube by

    • SME (on behalf of Columbia); PEDL, UNIAO BRASILEIRA DE EDITORAS DE MUSICA - UBEM, LatinAutor, LatinAutor - SonyATV, Abramus Digital, Warner Chappell, BMG Rights Management, SODRAC, ARESA, Muserk Rights Management, SOLAR Music Rights Management, LatinAutor - Warner Chappell, BMI - Broadcast Music Inc., and 7 Music Rights Societies


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