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Alphaville (formed in 1982) is a German new wave and synth pop five-piece who rose to ’80’s prominence with the singles “Big in Japan”, “Sounds Like a Melody”, and “Forever Young”, hailing from Münster, Germany.
Prior to the earliest incarnation of Alphaville, founders lead singer Marian Gold and keyboard player Berhard Lloyd were members of the multimedia arts collective, the Nelson Community. The pair subsequently formed the live band Chinchilla Green, before Lloyd and second keyboardist Frank Mertens invited Gold to be vocalist of Alphaville. Originally formed under the moniker “Forever Young” in 1982, in 1983 the group secured a record deal with WEA, and by 1984 the name Alphaville had been chosen, named after the Jean-Luc Godard film of the same name.
Alphaville’s debut single “Big in Japan” was released in 1994 becoming a worldwide hit single, and topping the charts in Germany, Greece, Sweden, Turkey, and Venezuela. The single paved the way for Alphaville’s debut album “Forever Young”, which earned widespread popular reviews, topping the charts in both Norway and Sweden. The album’s subsequent singles were “Sounds Like a Melody” and “Forever Young”, both of which became top European successes despite failing to make an impression in the U.S.
Mertens departed the group after the release and was replaced by Ricky Echolette, who earned his first credit on Alphaville’s sophomore album “Afternoons in Utopia”. Issued by Warner/Atlantic in June 1986, the record host over 25 guest musicians, and was marked by utopian and cosmic themes. Led by the singles “Dance with Me”, “Universal Daddy”, and “Jerusalem”, the album earned positive reviews and charted at No. 13 on the German Album Chart. The full-length “The Breathtaking Blue” appeared in 1989 spawning the singles “Romeos” and “Mysteries of Love”. It would be five years before Alphaville released any original material with the single “Fools” ahead of the full-length “Prostitute” released in 1994.
Following another short hiatus, Alphaville returned to release “Salvation”, appropriately named as it represented a resurgence in the band’s success. Waving a salutary hanky to the experimental aesthetic of their previous albums, “Salvation” saw a return to snythpop, notably on the singles “Wishful Thinking”, “Flame”, and “Soul Messiah”. Following the release of the live album “Stark Naked and Absolutely Live” in 2000, it was 13 years before Alphaville’s sixth studio album “Catching Ray on Giant” found its release, which was led by the single “I Die for You Today”.