The Breathtaking Blue

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The Breathtaking Blue
Studio album by Alphaville
Released April 4, 1989
Recorded 1987 - November 1988
Genre Synthpop
Length 42:59
Label Warner Music
Producer Klaus Schulze and Alphaville
Alphaville chronology
Alphaville: The Singles Collection
(1988)
The Breathtaking Blue
(1989)
First Harvest 1984-92
(1992)
Singles from The Breathtaking Blue
  1. "Romeos"
    Released: March 1989
  2. "Summer Rain"
    Released: June 1989
  3. "Mysteries of Love"
    Released: 1990

The Breathtaking Blue is the third album released by the German band Alphaville in 1989. A companion video, Songlines was released in 1990. The Compact Disc release of this album was one of the first commercial CD+G format discs. In addition, about 400,000 copies of the album have been sold.

Reviews[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars link

Reviewers tended to be less enthusiastic about Alphaville's third album than their previous two. One reviewer called the album "somewhat disappointing" compared to their previous releases, and notes that "the production, by Klaus Schulze and Alphaville ... is met with mixed success." In particular the reviewer found that the songs suffered due to the band's "experiments with a somewhat richer instrumentation, adding strings, saxophone, trumpet, double bass, electric and even acoustic guitars." That said, reviewers did like some of the individual tracks on the album, calling "Heaven or Hell" "interesting," and saying that "For a Million" was "as genuine as the band gets."1 A separate reviewer was more positive, calling the album "a highly polished cluster of glimmering technopop" and saying that "the overall effect is accessible and often breathtaking."2

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Summer Rain" – 4:10
  2. "Romeos" – 5:29
  3. "She Fades Away" – 4:57
  4. "The Mysteries of Love" – 4:55
  5. "Ariana" – 3:42
  6. "Heaven or Hell" – 3:27
  7. "For a Million" – 6:09
  8. "Middle of the Riddle" – 3:19
  9. "Patricia's Park" – 4:12
  10. "Anyway" – 2:48

Many of the album's tracks would find their way, in remixed, instrumental or demo form, to 1999's album Dreamscapes.

Album cover[edit]

The cover of the album is a composite of two works: the first being The Tower of Babel by Pieter Bruegel; the second being the blue sun. The face in the blue sun is credited to Michelangelo, from a sibyl on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel3. The halo of sunrays is of unknown origin4. The year '1989' (the year the album was released) is displayed in Roman numerals across the bottom of the cover. The back cover has a drawing of Pharaoh Akhenaten and Queen Nefertiti.

Musicians and credits[edit]

  • Summer Rain
    • String arrangement ... Rainer Bloss
    • Additional percussion ... Hansi Behrendt
  • Romeos
    • Guitars ... Blacky Schwarz Ruszczynski
    • Backing vocals ... Miriam Stockley and Mae McKenna
  • She Fades Away
    • String arrangement ... Klaus Schulze
    • Crescendo guitar ... Kenneth Ward
  • The Mysteries of Love
    • Guitars ... Blacky Schwarz Ruszczynski
    • Saxophones ... Thomas Keller
    • Backing vocals ... Patti Calore
    • Additional percussion ... Hansi Behrendt
  • Ariana
    • Guitar solo ... Micael Ryan
    • Backing vocals ... The Lunapark Office Choir
  • Heaven or Hell
    • Drums ... Hansi Behrendt
    • Guitar ... Eff Jott Krueger
    • Double bass ... Ernst Deuker
    • Saxophones ... Friedemann Graef
    • Backing vocals ... Gabi Becker
  • For a Million
    • Guitars ... Manuel Goettsching
    • Additional guitar ... Eff Jott Krueger
    • Vocoder voices ... Julie Ocean
    • Backing vocals ... Gabi Becker
  • Middle of the Riddle
    • Guitars ... Blacky Schwarz Ruszczynski
    • Strings ... Klaus Schulze
    • Additional percussion ... Hansi Behrendt
  • Patricia's Park
    • (Instrumental)
  • Anyway
    • Trumpet ... Michael Junker
    • String & brass arrangement ... Rainer Bloss
  • Musicians Hansi Behrendt, Eff Jott Krueger and Ernst Deuker, who helped with some of the songs on this album (see above for specifics), were themselves from the German band Ideal
  • Gabi Becker would record with Alphaville again, on 2003's CrazyShow

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ http://mog.com/music/Alphaville/Breathtaking_Blue, All Music Guide
  2. ^ http://www.musicfolio.com/modernrock/alphaville.html, Q Magazine (June 1989)
  3. ^ The Breathtaking Blue liner notes
  4. ^ http://www.iol.ie/~carrollm/av/merch.htm