Modern Talking

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Modern Talking

“Atlantis Is Calling”…come in “Brother Louie”, it’s time for some Modern Talking!

Between 1984 and 1987, German duo Modern Talking racked up six number one singles and four chart topping albums across mainland Europe, although there was only limited success in the UK and even less internationally. Formed in the former West Berlin in 1983, friends Dieter Bohlen (b.1954) and Thomas Anders (b.1963) have achieved combined single and album sales of over 120 million, and all from one continent! They released their debut single, “You’re My Heart, You’re My Soul” in October 1984 which topped the German, Austrian, Swiss and Belgium charts while making the top ten across the rest of mainland Europe.

“You’re My Heart, You’re My Soul” fared less well in the UK, where it stalled at No.56, but the duo soon followed this with “You Can Win If You Want” in early 1985, again topping the German and Austrian chart and landing a top five placing ion a further twelve countries. Both songs featured on their debut album, conveniently titled “The First Album”!, which was a number one , being Platinum certified in most countries it was released. But not resting for very long, the boys soon had a second album to deliver in 1985, “Let’s Talk About Love”, which featured only one single, “Cheri, Cheri Lady”, another chart topper in five countries, while the album went to number one in Switzerland and No.2 in Germany.

Modern Talking were Europe’s hit production factory at this time and continued to write and record new material at an alarming rate. Just six months after “Let’s Talk About Love” was released, a third album was delivered, “Ready For Romance”. The lead single, “Brother Louie” gave them a fourth chart topper in Germany and a number one in Spain and Switzerland as well as a top five hit everywhere else, including the UK, where it registered their first top 40 hit single! “Ready For Romance” was another number one selling over three million copies and taking the second single, “Atlantis Is Calling (S.O.S. for Love)” to the top of the German chart for a fifth time as well as another sure fire hit almost everywhere else. Almost, as the song did miss the UK chart, peaking at No.55.

The group’s fourth studio album, “In the Middle Of Nowhere”, was delivered six months apart once again, in 1986. This time three songs were released separately, “Geronimo’s Cadillac”, a top five hit in ten countries and the first single not to top the German singles chart, and “Give Me Peace On Earth”, which did not do very well at all. The album, however, was a number one in their home country and a top ten success elsewhere. Perhaps the magic was beginning to wear off as their 1987 album, “Romantic Warriors”, missed the mark totally as did the one and only single to come from it, “Jet Airliner”. Following the release of their now standard second album of the year “In The Garden of Venus”, which flopped big time, the duo separated and pursued their own projects for a while.

Dieter formed the band Blue System, who achieve top ten hits in Austria, Spain and Germany from 1987 to 1991 while Anders released five studio albums between 1989 and 1995 and achieving his biggest hit, “Love Of My Own”, in 1989. After ten years and with a new perspective, Modern Talking regrouped in 1998, much to the delight of fans everywhere, as they announced their comeback album, “Back For Good”, a collection of re-recorded hits and four new songs. “You’re My Heart, You’re My Soul” 1998 took them to No.2 in Germany, their biggest hit since “Atlantis”, twelve years earlier. A new version of “Brother Louie” also found favour making No.2 in France and Spain, while “Back For Good” sold a whopping three million copies across mainland Europe, 1.5 million coming from their home country alone!

Their first new material proper since the break up came the following year. “Alone” was a million seller and featured two chart hits, “You Are Not Alone” and “Sexy, Sexy Lover” as the relentless songwriting and production gathered pace once again to deliver another album in 2000, “Year Of The Dragon”. The album was Platinum certified in Germany and featured the top ten hit “China In Her Eyes”. Modern Talking were in the top ten again the following year with “Win The Race”, the lead single from their tenth album, “America”. 2002 saw their eleventh (“Victory”) while 2003 saw a twelfth album (“Universe”) as well as two further top ten hits, “Ready For The Victory” (2002) and “TV Makes The Superstar” (2003), which went to No.2 in Germany, their seventh top two hit since their first, nineteen years earlier.

After another near-ten years of success once again, Modern Talking separated and went their own ways with Dieter now working as a songwriter and producer for other artists while Anders resumed his solo career with some degree of success, gaining two hit albums, “Pures Leben” in 2017 and “Ewig mit dir” in 2018. Thomas Anders write his autobiography in 2003 while Dieter wrote two volumes in 2006, the first book of which has sold over a million copies. To this day, Anders continues to perform Modern Talking songs when playing live, although there does not seem to be a rekindling of flames for the pair to regroup again and perform together. But who knows, time has brought them together before, so perhaps, very soon, there will be a third, and probably final time for some Modern Talking…?(!)

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Written by Christopher Smith

So perhaps you’ve read an article or two that I’ve written and wondered “just who is this character?”! Well I thought maybe it would be time to introduce myself and what I’m all about. Well it’s all about the music! Having been born in the late 1970’s I was heavily influenced by my parent’s love of ‘popular’ music and rock and roll of the 1950’s and 60’s. My Mother always said she should of married Elvis and my father was, and is still, in love with Sandie Shaw! But while my Dad’s tastes stopped in about 1967, my Mum carried on loving music throughout the 70’s, 80’s and beyond. My first memory was playing on the floor whilst my Mother was ironing one day with the radio on, and hearing ABBA’s “Super Trouper” dancing my nappy off to it! Maybe that’s where it all went wrong…?! Having been subjected to all and sundry in my infant years, I finally found my feet in the mid-1980’s and began ‘partying’ to the likes of Culture Club, Stevie Wonder(!), Elkie Brooks and Bananarama to name but a few! The year 1987 would have a profound effect on my listening tastes and from thereon in my life would be dominated with buying and listening to music. Any number of outstanding songs were released and listened to that year, most notably “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “La Isla Bonita”. That Summer my mind was completely taken over with music and sounds I’d never heard before and I was totally taken in by it all. My father would say “whaaar rubbish you got on naaaaao?” (I’m from Norfolk!) but I was hooked. And it continued so for the rest of the decade and the next. At the beginning of 1988 I ‘met’ my true love and the singer I’ve worshipped more than any other artist or group. You may know of her. She’s from Australia…! Aside from pop music, my tastes are many and varied and continues to grow and expand as I ‘mature’ in age. I’ve always been heavily interested in films and in particular the mechanics of film making and of course film music, so scores and subsequently orchestral music takes up a lot of my tastes and collection. 90’s dance and club tunes also takes up much of the space in my head and I’m surprised my brain has stopped shaking from the years of abuse it took being dragged to nightclubs, often three times a week in my 20’s! I find with each year that passes I regress back to my youth and of course the 1980’s. 80’s music dominates and the lust to see as many 80’s acts and singers play live now is insatiable. I’m still getting into the groove as much as every breath I take, but I’m never gonna give up listening to my heart and pumping up the volume, simply because I LOVE MUSIC…any kind of music!