Forever Young (Alphaville song)

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"Forever Young"
Alphaville - Forever Young Single.jpg
Single by Alphaville
from the album Forever Young
B-side"Welcome to the Sun"
Released20 September 1984
StudioStudio 54
Lyricist(s)Marian Gold
  • Colin Pearson
  • Wolfgang Loos
  • Andreas Budde
Alphaville singles chronology
"Sounds Like a Melody"
"Forever Young"
"Jet Set"
Music video
"Forever Young" (Ver. 1)
"Forever Young" (Ver. 2)

"Forever Young" is a song from German synth-pop band Alphaville's 1984 debut album of the same name. The single was a hit in Scandinavia and in the European German-speaking countries in the same year.

The single achieved more success in the United States than in the United Kingdom, but it failed to reach the American top 40 despite three separate US single releases. Though not the group's highest-charting European hit, "Forever Young" became one of the band's signature songs and has subsequently been covered by numerous artists. "Forever Young" is written in the key of C major.[1]

Alphaville versions[edit]

Original 1984 version[edit]

Background and video[edit]

Originally released by Alphaville as a single in 1984, "Forever Young" was available in both its original mix and in a dance version, entitled the "Special Dance Mix". Over the years the band has released several remixes and demo versions of the song.

The single initially reached number 93 in 1985 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and the top 40 on the U.S. Hot Dance Music/ Club Play Singles.[2] When the song was re-released in 1988, the song managed to peak at number 65 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The song's music video directed by Brian Ward, shows the band performing in one of the halls at Holloway Sanatorium in Virginia Water, England. A number of people ranging from children to the elderly, dressed in ragged finery, awake to watch the band, then walk through a diamond-shaped glowing portal.

Track listings[edit]

7-inch single

  1. "Forever Young" – 3:45
  2. "Welcome to the Sun" – 3:09

12-inch maxi

  1. "Forever Young" (special dance version) – 6:06
  2. "Forever Young" – 3:45
  3. "Welcome to the Sun" – 3:09
  • "Welcome to the Sun" also appeared (in a remix and a re-recording) on 1999's Dreamscapes.

Other releases[edit]

The original album version has also appeared on the following official Alphaville releases:

The "Special Dance Version" and the B-side "Welcome to the Sun" were both included on 2014's so80s presents Alphaville.

Other versions[edit]

This song has been released several times in various forms, including remixes and demos, on:

  • Alphaville: The Singles Collection, 1988 (remixed)
  • History, 1993 (covered live)
  • Dreamscapes, 1999 (demo, demo remix, performed live and re-recorded acoustically)
  • Little America, 1999 (performed live)
  • Stark Naked and Absolutely Live, 2000 (performed live)
  • Forever Pop, 2001 (remixed)
  • "Forever Young 2001" (see below)
  • "Forever Young The Remix", 2006 (see below)


Sales and certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[14] Gold 45,000double-dagger
Germany (BVMI)[15] Gold 250,000^
Italy (FIMI)[16] Gold 25,000double-dagger
United Kingdom (BPI)[17] Silver 200,000double-dagger

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Forever Young 2001[edit]

In 2001, Alphaville released a new set of remixes in a "limited fan edition" called "Forever Young 2001". This single contained three music tracks, one spoken word track, and a PC-only track.

This CD was released to fans for free, only postage needed to be paid. The names of every fan who had requested a copy were printed on the inside cover. Copies were hand-signed by the band. The remixes that appear on the single have not appeared on other releases.

The cover is a still image from the video, which was created by The Cartoon Saloon.

Track listings[edit]

CD single

  1. "Forever Young" (F.A.F's Diamonds in the Sun Mix) – 3:56
    • Remixed by: F.A.F
  2. "Forever Young" (Factory Mix) – 4:21
    • Remixed by: José Alvarez-Brill
  3. "Forever Young" (Original Demo 1983) – 4:43
  4. "Thank You" (Spoken Version) – 3:44
  5. "Forever Young" (Magix PlayR) (PC only)
  • The "Thank You" track consisted of then-member Bernard Lloyd thanking the fans, while speaking over one of his "favorite tracks," which was a remix of "Lassie Come Home," as it was to appear on the 2001 remix album Forever Pop.
  • The Magix PlayR track was a PC-only application that allowed fans to customize the FAF remix to their liking.

CD promo single

  1. "Forever Young (F.A.F's Diamonds in the Sun Mix)" — 3:56
  • This promotional CD was produced in a strictly limited run of 500 copies and not sold commercially.[18]

Forever Young the Remix[edit]

Released in 2006, this CD contains two new remixes by notable remix artist Bill Hamel. It also includes a digitally remastered version of the original album version of the song. The remix reached number 31 on the Australian ARIA Singles Chart, peaking higher than the original version in 1986, which only charted at number 47.[19]

Track listing[edit]

CD single

  1. "Forever Young" (Hamel album mix) – 4:58
  2. "Forever Young" (Bill Hamel club mix) – 7:39
  3. "Forever Young" (remastered original version) – 3:47

Laura Branigan version[edit]

In 1985 Laura Branigan covered the song in her Hold Me album.

The song was also included in her 2010 digitally remastered two-disc greatest hits compilation album Shine On: The Ultimate Collection.

Interactive version[edit]

"Forever Young"
Interactive-Forever Young.jpg
Single by Interactive
  • Blow Up
  • Intercord
  • A. Schneider
  • J. Lissat
  • R. Zenker
Interactive singles chronology
"Can You Hear Me Calling"
"Forever Young"
"Living Without Your Love"
Music video
"Forever Young" on YouTube

In 1994, German electronic group Interactive released a cover which reached number 7 in Germany, number 10 in Denmark and the Netherlands. It also made the top 20 in five other countries and on the Eurochart Hot 100, the song reached number 34. This electronic dance version does not contain most of the song's lyrics and only includes a slightly modified chorus as the sole vocals. In 2002, German DJ and music producer Kosmonova remixed their version of Forever Young. It peaked at number 21 in Germany and number 37 in the UK.

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Forever Young" was directed by Basil Schlegel.[20] It features kids attending and partying in a night club.

Track listing[edit]

CD Maxi (Germany)
  1. "Forever Young" (Radio Edit) - 3:40
  2. "Forever Young" (Extended Version) - 5:59
  3. "Mobilé" - 5:04
  4. "Waves Of Balah" - 5:44

Charts and sales[edit]

Youth Group version[edit]

"Forever Young"
Youth Group - Forever Young.jpg
Single by Youth Group
from the album Casino Twilight Dogs
Released27 February 2006
GenreIndie rock
LabelIvy League
Youth Group singles chronology
"Baby Body"
"Forever Young"
"Catching and Killing"

In 2005 Australian rock band Youth Group were asked by the producers of the American television series The O.C. to record a version of "Forever Young" for use in the show, following a positive response to the use of their single "Shadowland" in a previous episode. Their version of "Forever Young" was used in the show and the show's trailers, and was included on the soundtrack album Music from the OC: Mix 5. A single release in Australia reached number 1 on the ARIA Charts. The song was included on their album Casino Twilight Dogs, released later that year.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Forever Young" – 4:33
  2. "Someone Else's Dream" – 2:36
  3. "Forever Young" (edit) – 3:26

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (2006–2009) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[31] 1
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[32] 7
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[33] 44
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 (Billboard)[34] 10
US Pop 100 (Billboard)[34] 76

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2006) Position
Australia (ARIA)[35] 7


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[36] 4× Platinum 280,000double-dagger

double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Becky Hill version[edit]

"Forever Young"
Single by Becky Hill
Released13 November 2020
StudioSarm West Studios, London
Producer(s)Charlie Hugall
Becky Hill singles chronology
"Forever Young"
"Wake Up With You"

In 2020, British singer Becky Hill released a cover version of the song. It was released on 13 November 2020 by Polydor Records and Eko Records.[37] The song was selected as the soundtrack to the 2020 McDonald's Christmas advert in the UK.


The song will raise money for FareShare, which will see McDonald's donating five million meals for charity. Hill will also be donating 10p from every download, going to food charity FareShare.[38] She said on her Twitter account, "'forever young' is bigger than just a nice christmas advert & song. @mcdonaldsuk has committed to funding @fareshareuk to redistribute over 5 million meals by April 2021 to families in need. at least 10p of every download goes towards a great cause. no child should be hungry".[39]


Credits adapted from Tidal.[40]

  • Charlie Hugall – producer, mixer, recording engineer, studio personnel
  • Bernhard Lloyd – composer
  • Frank Mertens – composer
  • Marian Gold – composer, lyricist
  • Adam Rust – associated performer, keyboards
  • Becky Hill – associated performer, vocals
  • Matt Colton – mastering engineer, studio personnel


Chart (2020–2021) Peak
UK Singles (OCC)[41] 35

Cover versions and samples[edit]

  • In 1989, reggae artist Wayne Wonder released a cover version that achieved some popularity in Jamaica. A recording of Wonder's version was released on the Alphaville Fan Club release History (1993).
  • In 1993, German heavy metal guitar player Axel Rudi Pell covered "Forever Young" on his album The Ballads, and also released as a single.
  • In 2009, American hip hop music artist Jay Z sampled a reworked 1992 version of the Wayne Wonder cover (which now featured Buju Banton & Stone Love) for his album The Blueprint 3. Retitled "Young Forever", Jay Z's rap version featured Mr Hudson and reached number 10 in the UK Singles Chart.[42]
  • American singer Brandi Carlile included a live performance of "Forever Young" as a hidden final track on her Live at Benaroya Hall with the Seattle Symphony album (2011).
  • In 2019, Undressd released a cover that charted in Sweden peaking at number 44 on Sverigetopplistan, the official Swedish Singles Chart.[43]
  • At the end of 2019, a version of the song, sung by American singer-songwriter Andrea von Kampen, was recorded for the Hafod Hardware Christmas advertisement.[44][45]


  1. ^ Marian, Gold; Frank, Mertens; Bernhard, Lloyd; Alphaville (9 November 2012). "Forever Young". Retrieved 3 June 2021.
  2. ^ Alphaville. "Alphaville | Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  3. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Forever Young", in various singles charts (Retrieved 24 February 2008)
  5. ^ "RPM 100 Singles - June 22nd, 1985"[1] (Retrieved 3 January 2019)
  6. ^ Dutch Top 40 Archived 2 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine (Retrieved 21 September 2008)
  7. ^ German Singles Chart Archived 25 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine (Retrieved 4 August 2008)
  8. ^ "Notowanie nr 134" (in Polish). 10 November 1984. Retrieved 17 January 2021.
  9. ^ South African Springbok Top 20 [2] (Retrieved 13 August 2017)
  10. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  11. ^ "ALPHAVILLE | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company".
  12. ^ "Alphaville Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
  13. ^ Billboard (Retrieved 4 August 2008)
  14. ^ "Danish single certifications – Alphaville – Forever Young". IFPI Denmark. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  15. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Alphaville; 'Forever Young')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie.
  16. ^ "Italian single certifications – Alphaville – Forever Young" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 23 July 2018. Select "2018" in the "Anno" drop-down menu. Select "Forever Young" in the "Filtra" field. Select "Singoli" under "Sezione".
  17. ^ "British single certifications – Alphaville – Forever Young". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 24 July 2020.
  18. ^ "Welcome to Moonbase - Alphaville's official web site".
  19. ^ Alphaville: Forever Young Charts, retrieved 23 October 2013
  20. ^ "Interactive Forever young VIVA VHS". YouTube. Retrieved 21 October 2019.
  21. ^ " – Interactive – Forever Young" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  22. ^ " – Interactive – Forever Young" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  23. ^ Danish Singles Chart 10 March 1995
  24. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100" (PDF). Music & Media. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  25. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Interactive" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  26. ^ " – Interactive – Forever Young" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  27. ^ " – Interactive – Forever Young". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  28. ^ " – Interactive – Forever Young". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  29. ^ "Top 100 Single-Jahrescharts" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 26 November 2019.
  30. ^ "Jaarlijsten 1995" (in Dutch). Stichting Nederlandse Top 40. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  31. ^ " – Youth Group – Forever Young". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  32. ^ " – Youth Group – Forever Young". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  33. ^ " – Youth Group – Forever Young" Canciones Top 50. Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  34. ^ a b "Chart Search: Youth Group". Billboard. Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  35. ^ "ARIA End of Year Singles Chart 2006". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 3 June 2020.
  36. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2019 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on 29 July 2020. Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  37. ^ "Forever Young (From The McDonald's Christmas Advert 2020) - Single by Becky Hill". Apple Music. Retrieved 13 November 2020.
  38. ^ "McDonald's Christmas advert 2020: Who sings 'Forever Young' in the festive..." Smooth Radio. 13 November 2020. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  39. ^ "Becky Hill on Twitter". Twitter. 20 November 2020. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  40. ^ "Credits / Forever Young (From The McDonald's Christmas Advert 2020) / Becky Hill – TIDAL". Tidal. Retrieved 13 November 2020.
  41. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  42. ^ "MR HUDSON | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company".
  43. ^ " - Undressd - Forever Young".
  44. ^ "Christmas advert made for £100 stars two-year-old Arthur". BBC News. 4 December 2019. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  45. ^ "The £100 Christmas ad that blows John Lewis out of the water". the Guardian. 4 December 2019. Retrieved 25 February 2021.

External links[edit]