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? (Nena album)

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? (Fragezeichen)
A low-light photo of the band framed in a filmstrip with the album title and band name in the top-left corner in red.
Studio album by
Released27 January 1984 (1984-01-27)
RecordedOctober–December 1983
GenreNeue Deutsche Welle, pop rock, pop
ProducerReinhold Heil, Manfred Praeker
Nena chronology
? (Fragezeichen)
99 Luftballons
Singles from  ? (Fragezeichen)
  1. "? (Fragezeichen)"
    Released: December 1983
  2. "Rette mich"
    Released: 1984
  3. "Lass mich dein Pirat sein"
    Released: 1984
Professional ratings
Review scores

? (Fragezeichen) (German for "Question mark") is the second album by German pop rock band Nena and the third studio album to feature its lead singer, Gabriele "Nena" Kerner. It was released on 27 January 1984, just a few months before the band's first international album 99 Luftballons, which contains songs from their debut album Nena (1983) and this album, some of them re-recorded with English lyrics.

Like its self-titled predecessor, this album was produced by Reinhold Heil and Manne Praeker of Spliff.[2]

Title track[edit]

The album's title track was co-written by Nena and the band's keyboard player Jörn-Uwe Fahrenkrog-Petersen and is so called since, having written the song, Nena was unable to settle on a title and so indicated its spot in the band's live set list with a question mark.[3] It reached No.3 in the German charts in 1983.[4] The lyrics – written by Nena – comprise the thoughts of someone racked by indecisiveness ("Today I'm coming, today I'm also going... Perhaps I'll stay, yesterday that wasn't for me, today I need endless love") but still adamant that they know what's best for them ("No-one can tell me what is best... and who is best... because I know exactly").[5] The song is a mainstay of Nena's live concerts and seems to be particularly popular with female fans although it is not uncommon for Nena to interrupt her performance of the song, apparently to laugh at the absurdity of the lyrics.[6] In the middle of the version recorded for the 2004 album Nena Live Nena she says, "I felt so small when I wrote this".

Like most of the band's greatest hits, "? (Fragezeichen)" was anglicised for the international album 99 Luftballons and then updated for the Nena feat. Nena album, which reignited Nena's solo career in 2002.

Track listing[edit]

Side A contains tracks 1 to 6 and Side B contains tracks 7 to 12.

1."Rette mich" (Rescue Me)Carlo KargesKarges3:17
2."? (Fragezeichen)" (Question Mark)Nena KernerJörn-Uwe Fahrenkrog-Petersen4:28
3."Das Land der Elefanten" (The Land of the Elephants)Karges, FahrenkrogFahrenkrog3:42
4."Unerkannt durchs Märchenland" (Unrecognized Through Fairyland)KernerJürgen Dehmel3:21
5."Küss mich wach" (Kiss Me Awake)Rolf BrendelBrendel2:43
6."Lass mich dein Pirat sein" (Let Me Be Your Pirate)BrendelKerner, Brendel4:51
7."Ich häng' an dir" (I'm Hangin' on You)KernerFahrenkrog4:13
8."Sois bienvenu" (French: Welcome)BrendelFahrenkrog3:22
9."Keine Antwort" (No Answer)KargesDehmel3:18
10."Der Bus is' schon weg" (The Bus Has Already Left)KargesKarges0:15
11."Es regnet" (It's Raining)KargesKarges4:45
12."Der Anfang vom Ende" (The Beginning of the End)KernerKerner3:53
Total length:42:16


Credits adapted from Allmusic[7] and Discogs.[2]


"? (Fragezeichen)" and "Lass mich dein Pirat sein"[edit]

Technical personnel[edit]

  • Imre Sereg – engineering (on all tracks, except "? (Fragezeichen)" and "Lass mich dein Pirat sein")
  • Manfred "Manne" Praekerproduction
  • Reinhold Heil – engineer (on all tracks, except "? (Fragezeichen)" and "Lass mich dein Pirat sein"), production
  • Jim Rakete – cover design
  • Roman Stolz – cover design
  • Rico Sonderegger – mastering


Chart (1984) Peak
Austrian Albums Chart[8] 1
Dutch Albums Chart[9] 2
German Albums Chart[10] 1
Norwegian Albums Chart[11] 17
Swedish Albums Chart[12] 11
Swiss Albums Chart[13] 1

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Germany (BVMI)[14] Platinum 500,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[15] Gold 50,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

Release history[edit]

Region Year Label Format Catalog
West Germany 1984 CBS LP CBS 25 870
Bertelsmann CBSCL 40383-2 (Club edition)
Netherlands CBS CBS 25 870
Yugoslavia CBS, Suzy
West Germany CBS cassette CBS 40-25870
CD CDCBS 25870
Japan Epic/Sony 35.8P-55
Yugoslavia CBS, Suzy cassette CBS 40-25870
Europe 1993 Columbia CD COL 47365 2 (reissue)
Germany 1998 COL 47365 9 (reissue)


  1. ^ Severa, Alan. "Review of ? (Fragezeichen) by Nena". Allmusic. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
  2. ^ a b "? by Nena". Discogs. 1984. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
  3. ^ Brendel, Rolf (2014). Nena Geschichte einer Band. Berlin: Aufbau Verlag GmbH & Co. p. 140. ISBN 9783351050153.
  4. ^ "German charts - Nena". Officialcharts.de. GfK Entertainment. Archived from the original on 4 December 2014. Retrieved 27 November 2014.
  5. ^ "Lyrics and credits to "? (Fragezeichen)"". Nena.de. 11 May 2013. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  6. ^ See "Made in Germany Live" 2009 DVD
  7. ^ "Credits for ? by Nena". Allmusic. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
  8. ^ "Nena – Nena". AustrianCharts.at (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
  9. ^ "Nena by Nena". MegaCharts (in Dutch). Hung Medien, DutchCharts.nl. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
  10. ^ "Chart positions for Nena by Nena". Media Control (in German). Charts.de / media-control.de. Archived from the original on 5 November 2014. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
  11. ^ "Chart history of Nena". NorwegianCharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
  12. ^ "Chart history of Nena". SwedishCharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
  13. ^ Click on "Charts"→"Alben":
  14. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Nena; 'Fragezeichen')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 26 June 2019.
  15. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Nena – Fragezeichen" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Retrieved 26 June 2019. Enter Fragezeichen in the "Artiest of titel" box. Select 1990 in the drop-down menu saying "Alle jaargangen".

External links[edit]