Auf Wiedersehen (song)

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"Auf Wiedersehen"
Single by Cheap Trick
from the album Heaven Tonight
A-side "Surrender"
Released June 1978
Format 7"
Recorded 1977
Genre Rock, power pop
Length 3:42
Label Epic
Writer(s) Rick Nielsen, Tom Petersson
Producer(s) Tom Werman

"Auf Wiedersehen" (German for "Goodbye") is a song co-written by Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen and bassist Tom Petersson and first released on the band's 1978 album Heaven Tonight.[1][2] It was also released as a single as the B-side of "Surrender". Since its original release, it has also been released by Cheap Trick on several live and compilation albums, including Budokan II, Sex, America, Cheap Trick, The Essential Cheap Trick, and the 30th Anniversary Edition of Cheap Trick at Budokan, which also includes a DVD with a video performance of the song.[3] Allmusic critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine described the song as one of the peaks of Heaven Tonight and as one of Cheap Trick's "stone-cold classics."[1][4] Since its original release, it has been covered by Anthrax, John Easdale and Steel Pole Bath Tub.

The subject of the song is suicide and is one of two suicide themed songs on Heaven Tonight, the other being the title track.[2][5] However, different commentators have different views of the Cheap Trick's attitude towards the subject matter. Mitchell Schneider of Rolling Stone Magazine finds some of the lyrics "compellingly moronic," making the song an example of Andy Warhol's philosophy that "We should really stay babies for much longer than we do, now that we're living so much longer."[6] Dennis Cooper of SPIN Magazine considers the song as virtually extolling the virtue of suicide.[7] Critic Bryan Wawzenek also remarked that the song makes suicide seem fun.[5] Billboard Magazine considered "Auf Wiedersehen" to be a powerful anti-suicide song.[8] And music critic Robert Christgau described the song as "a sarcastic ditty about suicide."[9]

Like "Surrender," "Auf Wiedersehen" was one of the earlier songs in Cheap Trick's repertory, and a version was originally recorded for the band's eponymous debut album.[2] It is a powerful, vital song.[2] Some of the music quotes lines from Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower".[2] Wawzenek comments that the song requires a "Broadway caliber performance" from Cheap Trick lead singer Robin Zander to pull it off, and the song is one of Zander's favorites.[2][5] Heaven Tonight producer Tom Werman feels that despite his slick production, the subject matter of "Auf Wiedersehen" validated the band's new wave credentials.[2] Indeed, Bradley Bambarger of Billboard Magazine described the song as being "punkier than thou."[10]

Anthrax covered "Auf Wiedersehen" as a bonus track on their 1993 album Sound of White Noise.[11] John Easdale and Steel Pole Bath Tub also covered the song.[12][13]


  1. ^ a b Erlewine, S.T.. "Heaven Tonight". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-09-04. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Hayes, M. & Sharp, K. (1998). Reputation Is a Fragile Thing. Poptastic. pp. 39, 50–56. ISBN 978-0-9662081-0-8. 
  3. ^ "Auf Wiedersehen". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-09-04. 
  4. ^ Erlewine, S.T.. "The Greatest Hits". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-09-04. 
  5. ^ a b c Wawzenek, B. (September 4, 2010). "Saturday Night Special: Cheap Trick, Heaven Tonight". Retrieved 2011-09-04. 
  6. ^ Schneider, M. (August 10, 1978). "Heaven Tonight". Rolling Stone Magazine. Retrieved 2011-09-04. 
  7. ^ Cooper, D. (August 1994). "Cheap Trick Live at Budokan II". SPIN Magazine. pp. 90–91. 
  8. ^ "Vital Reissues". Billboard Magazine. November 7, 1998. p. 24. 
  9. ^ Christgau, R.. "Robert Christgau Cheap Trick". Retrieved 2011-09-04. 
  10. ^ Bambarger, B. (August 10, 1996). "Legacy Box Reintroduces Cheap Trick's Timeless Pop". Billboard Magazine. pp. 1, 85. 
  11. ^ Connolly, D. "Sound of White Noise". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-09-04. 
  12. ^ Campbell, A. "Cheap Dream: A Tribute to Cheap Trick". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-09-04. 
  13. ^ "Steel Pole Bath Tub: Auf Wiedersehen". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-09-04. 

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