“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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