Arabesque (group)

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Arabesque, 1980.jpg
The classic Arabesque lineup, shown here in 1980.
Background information
Origin Frankfurt, Germany
Genres Euro disco
Years active 1977–1984
Labels RCA/Victor
Associated acts Rouge, Sandra, Enigma, Michael Cretu
Members Michaela Rose
Catherine Chance
Silke Brauner [1]
Past members Sabine Kaemper
Sandra Lauer
Michaela Rose
Jasmin Vetter
Elke Brückheimer
Heike Rimbeau
Karen Ann Tepperis
Mary Ann Nagel

Arabesque was an all-girl trio formed at the height of the European disco era in 1977 in Frankfurt, Germany. The group's changing lineup worked with the German composer Jean Frankfurter (Erich Ließmann) and became especially popular in Japan[2] and USSR.


1975-1978: Formation and early years[edit]

In 1975, children's music singer, Mary Ann Nagel proposed a girl group to producer, Wolfgang Mewes. He accepts and 2 other girls are recruited through a song contest.[3] An Englishwoman (Karen Ann Tepperis), Mexican (Michaela Rose) and German (Mary Ann Nagel) comprised the initial group.[4] After the first album, the band lineup was changed by keeping only the original member Michaela Rose and replacing the two other girls, Karen Ann Tepperis and Mary Ann Nagel with new members Jasmin Vetter and Heike Rimbeau, respectively. Nagel was replaced due to her becoming tired of the long daily commute from Karlsruhe to Frankfurt am Main - where the group was based. Tepperis was replaced due to the fact that she was pregnant and could not go on tour. The surprising overnight success of Hello Mr. Monkey in Japan urged the producers schedule an immediate tour to Japan. The duration of Heike Rimbeau in the group was also short lived. Due to her pregnancy in 1978, she was briefly substituted by Elke Brückheimer.[5] This German country singer appeared only in a few live performances during the year 1979. However, shortly afterwards she too was replaced by Sandra Lauer. Lauer had previously attended the Young Star Music contest in 1975, where she achieved a record deal and released the song "Andy mein Freund". [6]Now in 1979, at age 17 she was invited to become the lead singer of Arabesque. The trio would remain in this lineup from 1979 until their split in 1984.

1979-1984: Breakthrough[edit]

Arabesque became extremely popular in Japan, and also had a great deal of success in the USSR. The group first appeared in Japan in 1979 for a television special, performing Hello Mr. Monkey on the 11PM TV show. Lauer even spent her 18th birthday in Japan while they were on tour there in May 1980. They later took part in the Seoul Song Festival in 1981. Further, the group performed a number of concerts in Japan between 1980-1982. During these, they released a live album, dubbed "Fancy Concert". All in all, Arabesque came to Japan on tours a total of 6 times during their career. Back at home in Germany in 1980, the single "Take Me Don't Break Me" became a hit, which only scraped the German Top 40. Their next single, "Marigot Bay", would become their only Top Ten hit a few weeks later. They made multiple TV appearances in Europe with this song about a lost love. [7] Arabesque never had the same level of success in Germany than in the Far East. Albeit they were almost identical in appearance to other European disco trios (i.e. A La Carte or Luv'), their songs were mostly written to cater a Japanese audience instead of the European discotheque scene. A mere 5 albums were released in their entirety in Germany. The group did release in some 20 other countries, such as Italy, Mexico, Scandinavia, and even became Number 1 in Argentina for some time. [8] [9] [10] Their last singles, "Ecstasy" and "Time to Say Goodbye", became hits only after their split, in various European countries, as they sounded very close to the Italo disco sound, a very popular music genre on the European dance scene at that time. Those songs spread and gained success through LP compilations of dance/pop music, and bootleg tapes, so, the band could never take advantage of this success, as neither of those songs could properly appear on any music charts as "singles" anyway. (That was a common problem for many '80s European dance artists.) After they split up in 1984, Jasmin and Michaela continued on as the duo "Rouge". The duo aimed to continue the tradition and style of Arabesque, and surprisingly featured Jasmin Vetter as the lead singer. [11] Meanwhile, Sandra Lauer started her own career as a solo artist, collaborating with Michael Cretu as Sandra and later as part of Enigma.

These last Arabesque singles also introduced the "Italo disco" sound to Japan, under the term "eurobeat", previously used in the UK for the Stock Aitken Waterman productions. That soon lead to Japan's Super Eurobeat music style.

2006-present: Comebacks[edit]

  • On 16 December 2006, Arabesque (featuring Michaela Rose and two new members, Sabine Kaemper and Silke Brauner) headlined the second "Legends of Retro FM" festival in Moscow.[12] According to Russian press they are planning a tour in Japan and possibly releasing a new album.[13] The current trio has been performing across many of the former Eastern Bloc countries, as of 2018.
  • In 2009, Fake Blood released the dance single "I Think I Like It" in which he used a sample of the 1979 Arabesque song "In the Heat of a Disco-Night".
  • In 2017, Michaela Rose re-recorded one of the Arabesque songs, "Zanzibar", that was released with a support from Monopol Records[14] Also in 2017, Jasmin Vetter launched her own reincarnation of the group (Arabesque with Jasmin Vetter), as part of a celebration of the 40 year anniversary of the group. [15][16]


Studio albums[edit]

  • 1978 - Friday Night (also called Arabesque-I)
  • 1979 - City Cats (also called Arabesque-II)
  • 1980 - Marigot Bay (also called Arabesque-III)
  • 1980 - Midnight Dancer (also called Arabesque-IV)
  • 1981 - In for a Penny (also called Arabesque-V)
  • 1982 - Caballero (also called Arabesque-VI)
  • 1982 - Why No Reply (also called Arabesque-VII)
  • 1983 - Dance Dance Dance (also called Arabesque-VIII)
  • 1984 - Time to Say Good Bye (also called Arabesque-IX)


  • 1977 "Hello Mr. Monkey"
  • 1978 "Friday Night"
  • 1979 "Fly High Little Butterfly" (Japan only)
  • 1979 "Rock Me After Midnight" (Japan only)
  • 1979 "City Cats" (Germany only)
  • 1979 "Peppermint Jack"
  • 1980 "High Life" (Japan only)
  • 1980 "Parties in a Penthouse" (Japan only)
  • 1980 "Make Love Whenever You Can" (Japan only)
  • 1980 "Take Me Don't Break Me" (Germany only)
  • 1980 "Marigot Bay" (Germany only)
  • 1981 "Midnight Dancer" (Japan only)
  • 1981 "In for a Penny, in for a Pound"
  • 1981 "Billy's Barbeque" (Japan only)
  • 1981 "Hit the Jackpot" (Japan only)
  • 1982 "Young Fingers Get Burnt" (Japan only)
  • 1982 "Indio Boy" (Germany only)
  • 1982 "Tall Story Teller" / "Caballero"[17]
  • 1983 "Why No Reply"
  • 1983 "Pack It Up" (Japan only)
  • 1983 "Dance, Dance, Dance" (Japan only)
  • 1983 "Loser Pays the Piper" (Japan only)
  • 1983 "Sunrise in Your Eyes" (Germany only)
  • 1984 "Hearts on Fire" (Japan only)
  • 1985 "Time to Say Goodbye"
  • 1986 "Ecstasy" (Germany only)
  • 1998 "Hello Mr. Monkey (Remix)"
  • 2008 "Marigot Bay 2008" (feat. Michaela Rose) (digital release)
  • 2014 "Dance Into The Moonlight" (feat. Michaela Rose) (digital release)



  • 1988 Rouge (Japan only)[18]


  • 1986 "Hold On" / "Perfect Timing"
  • 1987 "Einer Von Uns" / "Nobody Knows" (Entry in the German Eurovision selections 1987)
  • 1987 "The Leader of the Pack" / "So Close"
  • 1988 "Love Line Operator" / "Love Line Operator" (Instrumental)
  • 1988 "Love Line Operator" (Extended version) / "Love Line Operator" (Real Life Mix)
  • 1988 "Koi Wa No Time" (Japan only)
  • 1989 "Koi Wa No Time ~Loving Me Totally~" (Japan only) (English version of above, performed in the Tokyo Music Festival 1989)[18]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc (1995-11-18). Billboard Nov 18, 1995. p. 78. 
  3. ^ file:///home/chronos/u-d42c273639c1ce5b9902b9e6b435d9ab38faa897/Downloads/ARABESQUE%20feat%20Karen%20Ann%20Tepperis%20-%20Infomappe%20Young%20Star%20Records%20(3).pdf
  4. ^ file:///home/chronos/u-d42c273639c1ce5b9902b9e6b435d9ab38faa897/Downloads/ARABESQUE%20feat%20Karen%20Ann%20Tepperis%20Presse%20Artikel.pdf
  5. ^
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  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
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  13. ^ 16.12.06 Retro FM (in Russian) Archived 2007-02-21 at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ Same coupling in Japan and Germany. But In Japan, "Caballero" is A-side. In Germany, "Tall Story Teller" is A-side.
  18. ^ a b "[Wɂ". 

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