Rosenstolz performing live in Leipzig (2004)
|Labels||Polydor/Island (Universal Music Group), Traumton/Indigo, Pool|
Rosenstolz (German pronunciation: [ˈʁoːzənʃtɔlts]) were a German pop duo from Berlin that were active from 1991 to 2012 and had chart success in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The band created pop music that embraced a range of genres, including classical, rock, chanson and R&B, and were known in particular for their ballads. The band changed stylistically over the course of their career, becoming in their later years an established mainstream pop act appealing to a broad audience. The duo consisted of the singer AnNa R. (also lyricist) and musician Peter Plate (also vocalist, lyricist, composer and producer).
- 1 Members
- 2 History
- 2.1 1991–1995: Formation and early history (Soubrette werd' ich nie, Nur einmal noch and Mittwoch is' er fällig)
- 2.2 1996–1999: Objekt der Begierde, Die Schlampen sind Müde and Zucker
- 2.3 2000–2004: Kassengift, Macht Liebe and Herz
- 2.4 2005–2011: Das große Leben, Die Suche geht weiter and Wir sind am Leben
- 2.5 2012: Indefinite break
- 3 Charity work
- 4 Music awards
- 5 Film, television and other media
- 6 Discography
- 7 References
- 8 Further reading
- 9 External links
AnNa R. (real name: Andrea Neuenhofen, née Rosenbaum) was born on 25 December 1969 in Berlin-Friedrichshain and grew up in the former East Germany. She sang in a choir during her youth. After leaving school, she auditioned for a place at Musikschule Friedrichshain (Friedrichshain Music School), but was not accepted. Consequently, she took up private singing lessons. She also trained as a laboratory assistant after leaving school, but soon changed career to become a music seller. She has been married since 2002 to Nilo Neuenhofen.
Peter Plate was born on 1 July 1967 in New Delhi, where his grandfather was a diplomat, and spent his childhood in Hamburg and Goslar. He learnt to play the electronic organ during his youth and wrote a musical with friends at the age of 17. While living in Braunschweig, where he did his civilian service and then became a student, he was a member of a short-lived band. In 1990, he moved to Berlin with his partner Ulf Leo Sommer (who later became one of Rosenstolz's contributors as producer, composer and lyricist). The pair entered into a registered partnership in 2002, but later separated after a relationship of 20 years.
1991–1995: Formation and early history (Soubrette werd' ich nie, Nur einmal noch and Mittwoch is' er fällig)
Peter Plate and AnNa R. first met in Berlin-Friedrichshain shortly after Plate had moved to the German capital in December 1990. Plate had dreams of making pop music and needed a singer, while AnNa R. had ambitions of becoming a bar singer. They got in contact with each other through the lessor of Plate's flat, who knew them both. After their initial meeting in AnNa R.'s flat, they went on to Plate's flat the same evening, where they recorded a song together.
The duo began to meet regularly in Plate's kitchen to write new songs. After about 4 months, they had enough material to produce their first cassette and were eager to give their first concert. They needed a name for their band and considered many possibilities – one of the favourites was A & P – but were not completely satisfied with any of them. Eventually, they somehow came up with the name Rosenstolz, which immediately appealed to them.
The first Rosenstolz concert took place on 4 October 1991 in Berlin at the Galerie Bellevue, where most of the people present were friends of the duo. The next concert at the SchwuZ gay club in Berlin was in front of an audience of 400 people. However, the audience, who were waiting for the main act, became restless after Rosenstolz had played a few songs and eventually shouted at the duo.
Rosenstolz continued to perform live and were soon discovered by the music producer Tom Müller, who had previously worked with Nina Hagen. Recording began on their debut album, Soubrette werd' ich nie, which was released towards the end of 1992 by the indie label Pool. However, the album received little attention and was not a commercial success. Müller was not concerned whether the album would be a hit or not and provided Plate and AnNa R. with temporary financial support so that they could devote more time to writing new songs for their next album and to performing live.
Eventually, Rosenstolz were giving around 10 concerts per month, mostly in the eastern states of Germany. By 1993, the band were able to hold their first proper concert, which took place at the WABE culture centre in Berlin and had 600 fans attending. Two years later in 1995, the band's planned concert at the Metropol in Berlin quickly sold out, resulting in the band deciding to hold an additional concert at the same venue. The audience of 1500 people at the Metropol was the band's largest to date.
Rosenstolz also recorded two further studio albums: Nur einmal noch (1994) and Mittwoch is' er fällig (1995). By then, the band had left Pool owing to a disagreement and had moved to the small record label Traumton. The first single from Nur einmal noch, also of the same name, received frequent airplay on local radio in Berlin, helping to give the band more exposure. At the same time, the discos in Berlin started to play Rosenstolz's music.
Rosenstolz's range of musical styles made it difficult for journalists to categorize the band, and this led to the use of the term Mondänpop in the media to describe the band's music. The term was invented by one journalist who, upon seeing a photo of AnNa R. wearing a hat, commented that she looked mondän (chic). Prior to the formation of Rosenstolz, Plate and AnNa R. had differing musical aspirations: Plate had imagined himself making English pop music, while AnNa R. had a preference for sophisticated chanson with minimal percussion.
1996–1999: Objekt der Begierde, Die Schlampen sind Müde and Zucker
By the mid-nineties, major record labels were starting to show an interest in Rosenstolz. After considering various offers, the band decided to switch to Polydor, where they were able to retain their artistic independence. The move to a major label meant that the costs of producing the band's albums were no longer borne by Müller, but instead by the record label. In addition, the band now had more resources available to them, such as the use of a 20-piece string ensemble for the production of the song "Der Moment". The song was part of the band's next studio album, Objekt der Begierde, which was released in 1996 and coincided with a tour lasting half a year. The tour was success, with the band seeing increased audience numbers in the western states of Germany and performing in front of over 4000 people in the final concert in Berlin.
In 1997, Rosenstolz were invited by the Goethe-Institut to perform at a concert in Novosibirsk, Russia. The audience of about 10,000 people was their largest so far. In the same year, they also entered the German charts for the first time with Die Schlampen sind müde, their fifth studio album. Despite the lack of airplay, the album remained in the charts for several weeks, peaking at No. 31.
Rosenstolz gained more exposure in 1998 when they participated in the televised qualifying competition to find Germany's next representative for the Eurovision Song Contest. Although they did not win and were runners-up, their song "Herzensschöner" was the first Rosenstolz song to enter the German singles charts, peaking at No. 34.
In 1999, Rosenstolz released their sixth studio album, Zucker, which was their most successful to date, entering the charts at No. 2. They also toured the same year and released their first live album, Zuckerschlampen:live, which was also a success, entering the album charts at No. 5.
Also in 1999, Rosenstolz released the song "Ja, ich will" in support of the introduction of same-sex marriage. At the time, Germany had not yet legalized registered partnerships for same-sex couples. The song was a collaboration with the German comedienne Hella von Sinnen, who sang a duet with Plate in the song.
2000–2004: Kassengift, Macht Liebe and Herz
The start of the new millenium saw Rosenstolz topping the German album charts for the first time. Kassengift, the band's seventh studio album, was released in September 2000 and went straight to No. 1. The band also received more airplay on music television channels through the music video for the single "Amo Vitam", which was from the new album and sung entirely in Latin. Coinciding with the release of Kassengift, Rosenstolz re-recorded two songs from the album as collaborations with other artists: "Total Eclipse", which was recorded with Marc Almond, and "Die schwarze Witwe", which was recorded with Nina Hagen.
Rosenstolz's next studio album, Macht Liebe, came out in 2002 and differed from earlier albums, with electro-pop elements to be seen in songs such as "Sternraketen". Macht Liebe was a success, reaching No. 3 in the German album charts, and the accompanying concert tour was a sell-out, with seven sold-out concerts at the Columbiahalle in Berlin. At the concerts, Rosenstolz performed "Laut", a protest song they had written against the invasion of Iraq.
In the summer of 2003, Rosenstolz released their second live album and their first live DVD, both titled Live aus Berlin, which were recorded during the Macht Liebe tour. In the same summer, Rosenstolz also gave their first open-air concert tour, which ended in Berlin in front of an audience of 17,000 people.
The release of Herz (2004), Rosenstolz's ninth studio album, marked a change in the band's direction: in an interview in 2008, Plate expressed his opinion that there were two phases of Rosenstolz, the first one ending with Macht Liebe and the second one starting with Herz. Herz was also a big hit, reaching gold status after just one week and then platinum status shortly afterwards. The singles "Liebe ist alles", "Ich will mich verlieben" and "Willkommen" from the album were top 10 hits in the German singles charts, and a record number of people attended the concert tour following the album release. The song "Liebe ist Alles" has subsequently been covered by Melanie C and Grégory Lemarchal. Their versions of the song are titled "Let There Be Love" and "Je deviens moi", respectively.
2005–2011: Das große Leben, Die Suche geht weiter and Wir sind am Leben
In March 2006, Rosenstolz released their tenth studio album, Das große Leben. Consisting mostly of ballads, the album was the most successful in the band's history, staying at No. 1 in the German charts for four consecutive weeks and selling over one million copies. It was also the band's first album to top the Austrian charts. All the singles from the album entered the German top 20: "Ich bin ich (Wir sind wir)", "Nichts von alledem (tut mir leid)", "Ich geh in Flammen auf", "Auch im Regen" and "Aus Liebe wollt ich alles wissen". The tour encompassed 36 concerts and concluded in Berlin with three sold-out open-air concerts at Kindl-Bühne Wuhlheide in Berlin.
In August 2008, Rosenstolz topped the German singles chart for the first time with "Gib mir Sonne". The song was from the band's eleventh studio album, Die Suche geht weiter, which was more emotional than earlier albums and written at a time of personal tragedy affecting the band. The album itself went straight to No. 1 in the German charts and received platinum status. Two further singles from the album, "Wie weit ist vorbei" and "Blaue Flecken", reached the top 10 of the German singles charts. In November 2008, Rosenstolz began their 2008/2009 Bist du dabei tour, which ended prematurely in Hamburg in January 2009. It was later announced that Plate was suffering from burnout and that all future tour dates were cancelled.
After a break of nearly three years, Rosenstolz returned to the spotlight in September 2011 with the release of the single "Wir sind am Leben" and a new studio album of the same name. Wir sind am Leben was well received by fans, reaching No. 1 in the German album charts. 2011 was also Rosenstolz's 20th anniversary and to mark this occasion, the German broadcaster ARD broadcast the one-hour documentary Rosenstolz – Wir sind Wir! – Die Erfolgsgeschichte eines Popduos by Marc Boettcher.
2012: Indefinite break
In February 2012, there were rumours in the media that Rosenstolz were going to split up. These rumours were fuelled by cancellations of appearances on a TV show and at the 2012 ECHO awards. However, the band's record label said the cancellations were due to illness.
At the end of 2012, Rosenstolz posted a message on their website and on Facebook and Twitter to announce that they would be taking a break for an indefinite period of time. After many years together, the duo felt now was the best time to give each other some space and to go their separate ways. As of 2013, the duo are pursuing separate music careers, Plate as a solo artist and AnNa R. as the lead singer of the newly formed band Gleis 8.
During their career, Rosenstolz were active in raising money for AIDS charities. At their concerts, the band collected donations for Deutsche AIDS-Hilfe (German AIDS Aid) and highlighted the issue of AIDS.
In 1993, Rosenstolz released the limited edition CD Sanfte Verführer and donated the proceeds to Deutsche AIDS-Hilfe. In March 2007, Rosenstolz released the charity single "Aus Liebe wollt ich alles wissen", with all proceeds going to the Deutsche AIDS-Stiftung (German AIDS Foundation). They then held a benefit concert on 18 June 2007 in the Columbiahalle in Berlin, where they presented a cheque for 100,000 euros to the Governing Mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit, who accepted it on behalf of the Deutsche AIDS-Stiftung.
Rosenstolz received two official awards in recognition of their efforts in the fight against AIDS. The first was the Sächsische Ehrenmedaille »Für herausragende Leistungen im Kampf gegen HIV und Aids« (Saxon medal of honour "for outstanding achievements in the fight against HIV and AIDS"), which was awarded on World AIDS Day 2009. The second was the Bundesverdienstkreuz (proper name: Verdienstorden der Bundesrepublik Deutschland) (Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany), which was awarded on 31 August 2011.
Rosenstolz won numerous German music awards during their career. Among their achievements, they were six-times winners of a Goldene Stimmgabel, five-times winners of an ECHO award and two-times winners of a Comet award.
In 2003, the band won three awards. These were an ECHO for best website by an artist, a Comet for best national music video ("Es tut immer noch weh"), and a Goldene Stimmgabel for best German pop duo.
A few years later in 2007, Rosenstolz was the recipient of four awards. The band won a Goldene Kamera for best national pop act and an ECHO for best national rock/pop group. In addition, the band were awarded the Fred-Jay-Preis for song writing and Plate received the Paul-Lincke-Ring in recognition of his contribution to music.
Film, television and other media
Scenes from one of Rosenstolz's first concerts can be seen in the 14th episode of the gay television series Licht und Schatten by Andreas Weiß.
The song "Willkommen" from the album Herz forms part of the soundtrack for Sommersturm (2004), a coming-of-age film about a teenage boy coming out, and is played during the closing credits. Scenes from the film can be seen in the music video for "Willkommen".
Around 2011, Rosenstolz wrote and sung the title song for Tiger Taps, a series of children's audio dramas about the adventures of a tiger and his jungle friends. The title of the song is "Weil wir Freunde sind (Der Tiger Taps Song)".
- Soubrette werd' ich nie (1992)
- Nur einmal noch (1994)
- Mittwoch is' er fällig (1995)
- Objekt der Begierde (1996)
- Die Schlampen sind müde (1997)
- Zucker (1999)
- Kassengift (2000)
- Macht Liebe (2002)
- Herz (2004)
- Das große Leben (2006)
- Die Suche geht weiter (2008)
- Wir sind am Leben (2011)
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- Official Sommersturm website
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- Official Tiger Taps website
- Rosenstolz (1997). Lieb mich, wenn du kannst, nimm mich, nimm mich ganz (3rd ed., July 1998). Munich, Germany: dtv. ISBN 3-423-20058-8. (German)