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German Music:


Nena

Music style: Neue Deutsche Welle / New German Wave
Band members: Gabriele Susanne "Nena" Kerner, and in the 80s: Rolf Brendel (drums), Carlo Karges (guitar), Uwe Fahrenkrog Petersen (keyboard), Jürgen Dehmel (bass). In the 2000s: Nader Rahy (guitar), Patrick "PC" Christensen (guitar, until 2005), Derek von Krogh (keyboard), Arne Augustin (keyboard), Paul deLio (bass), Van Romaine (drums), Andreas "Bindi" Binder (guitar), Richard Fortus (guitar in 2005).



Gabriele Susanne Kerner, already called Nena as a young child, was born in 1960 in the town of Hagen in Westfalen. Though music and other interests appealed to her more than school, she appeased her parents by completing an apprenticeship as a goldsmith. She played drums in the girl band "Mausis" and before the age of 20 was singer for the new wave band "The Stripes". She worked as a waitress while touring with the band, and though they produced an album in 1980, the group, which was committed to creating English language songs, couldn't establish itself.

In 1982, Nena and Stripes drummer Rolf Brendel joined the group Spliff in Berlin to record the single "Nur geträumt." Following a television appearance by the band, now known as Nena, the single was flying off the shelves, reaching #2 on the German singles charts. The album Nena (1983) that followed proved equally popular. The band toured in 19 German cities, and the album moved to #1 on the German LP charts and quickly earned a platimum record. The energetic singer was not only a hit on the airwaves and on her live tours, but also on the big screen. She played a leading role in the film Gib Gas, ich will Spaß (1983), which was one of the most successful German film productions of the year.

The band's second single release, "99 Luftballons," was an even bigger hit than the first. Not only was it #1 on the German singles charts for 23 weeks; it also reached #2 on the US Billboard Charts and made the charts in numerous European countries. The English version, "99 Red Balloons", reached #1 in the UK (1984), and could be heard as far away as Isreal, Japan, and Australia. Their Fragezeichen LP was released and a European tour followed. An international album with some German singles and some English language translations of their existing songs was marketed in 34 countries and sold millions of copies.

Though the band's next album Feuer und Flamme (1985) easily reached top spot on the German LP charts and went gold, it couldn't meet the same sensational success the first two albums generated. Concert venues were only half-filled and the Scandanavian appearances had to be canceled due to lack of ticket sales. Though additional albums and single releases followed, sales languished and in 1987, the band decided to split.

The following two years brought challenges for Nena. In 1989, her ailing 11-month old son died. Though her first solo project Wunder gescheh'n (1989) produced a top 20 hit, the LP was not warmly embraced by fans. In 1990 she gave birth to twins and in the following years had two sons -- events which certainly influenced her recording of 6 albums of children's songs during the 90s. These were a big hit in their genre, particularly Komm lieber Mai (1990).

At the same time, Nena continued her work in the pop-rock genre. In 2001, she made an appearance at a rock concert against right-wing extremism in Berlin. She released the album Chokmah and a best-of album, Alles Gute, with remakes of her hits of the previous 20 years. In 2003, she started making appearances in various television commercials and in the following year, a TV special about the singer was produced. Her song "Liebe ist" from the 2005 album Willst du mit mir gehn reached #1 in the German single charts 22 years after her first number 1 hit "99 Luftballons."


Nena CDs

Willst du mit mir gehn (2005) || 2 CDs | LISTEN
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Nena live Nena (2003) || LISTEN
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Nena feat. Nena - 20 Jahre Das Jubiläumsalbum (2002) | LISTEN
TRACKS (mostly in re-recorded and re-mixed versions): 
1. 99 Luftballons | 2. Anyplace, Anywhere, Anytime | 3. Nur getraumt | 4. Leuchtturm | 5. ? (Fragezeichen) | 6. Wunder geschehen | 7. Jetzt bist du weg | 8. Lass mich dein Pirat sein | 9. Es regnet | 10. Lichtarbeiter | 11. Vollmond | 12. Irgendwie, irgendwo, irgendwann | 13. Ich häng immer noch an dir | 14. Wunder geschehen
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Madou und das Licht der Fantasie (2002) | LISTEN
CD of German songs for children.
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Nenas Tausend Sterne (2002) || LISTEN
CD of German songs for children.
TRACKS: 
1. Schlaflied | 2. Schlaf Kindchen schlaf | 3. La le lu | 4. Kleine Taschenlampe brenn | 5. Guter Mond | 6. Alles still | 7. Weißt du wie viel Sternlein stehen | 8. Kindlein mein | 9. Wer hat die schönsten Schläfchen | 10. Abendstille | 11. Nun ruhen alle Wälder | 12. Schlaf mein Prinzchen | 13. Guten Abend, gute Nacht | 14. Sandmännchen | 15. Der Mond ist aufgegangen

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Chokmah (2001) || LISTEN
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Nena macht Rabatz (1999) || LISTEN
CD of German songs for children.
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Jamma Nich! (1997) | LISTEN
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Die Bambus Bären Bande (1996) || LISTEN
CD of German songs for children.
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Unser Apfelhaus (1995) | LISTEN
CD of German songs for children.
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Nena Live (1995) || LISTEN
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  Und alles dreht sich (1994)
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Bongo Girl (1992) || LISTEN
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Nena, die Band (1991) | LISTEN
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Komm, lieber Mai (1990) | LISTEN
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Wunder Gescheh'n (1989) | LISTEN
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Eisbrecher (1986) || LISTEN
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Feuer und Flamme (1985) || LISTEN
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Fragezeichen (1984) || LISTEN
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Nena (1983) || LISTEN
The band's first album contained the international hit "99 Luftballoons."
TRACKS: 
1. Kino | 2. Indianer | 3. Vollmond | 4. Nur geträumt | 5. Tanz auf dem Vulkan | 6. 99 Luftballons | 7. Zaubertrick | 8. Einmal ist keinmal | 9. Leuchtturm | 10. Ich bleib' im Bett | 11. Noch einmal | 12. Satellitenstadt

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Interesting Facts About Nena
• The singer is a co-founder of the ongoing educational project "Neue Schule Hamburg," a non-traditional school where self-determination of the pupils plays a large role.


Nena Weblinks

Nena [German] - Official webpage
The Ultimate Nena Pages [German] - Website of the official Nena fan club
Nena Fanpage [German] - Amateur but up-to-date fan website



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