Münchener Freiheit

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Münchener Freiheit
Münchener Freiheit live in concert at Alte Oper Erfurt in March 2006.
Münchener Freiheit live in concert at Alte Oper Erfurt in March 2006.
Background information
OriginGermany
GenresPop
Rock
Pop rock
Schlager
Neue Deutsche Welle
Synthpop
Years active1980–present
LabelsCBS Schallplatten
Crocodile Music
WebsiteOfficial website
MembersTim Wilhelm
Aron Strobel
Michael Kunzi
Alex Grünwald
Rennie Hatzke
Past membersStefan Zauner
Freddie Erdmann
Günter Stolz

Münchener Freiheit (known sometimes simply as Freiheit) is a German pop and rock band that had released seventeen albums by 2007, six of which have gone gold and have sold over five million copies in Europe. They are named after a square in the city of Munich in Germany, meaning "Munich liberty". It is considered part of the Neue Deutsche Welle musical movement.

They are best known in the English-speaking world for their single "Keeping the Dream Alive". This song became a #14 hit single in the UK Singles Chart when released in December 1988, making Münchener Freiheit a one-hit wonder there.[1]

The early years[edit]

The band, composed of Stefan Zauner (vocals, keyboards), Aron Strobel (guitar and vocals), Rennie Hatzke (drums), Michael Kunzi (bass and vocals), and Alex Grünwald (keyboard), formed in the early 1980s. Their first album Umsteiger, released in 1982, was a 'rough-around-the-edges' form of new wave showing an aggressive side to Zauner's otherwise smooth vocals. This was followed a year later by Licht, which took them in a more 'synthpop' direction. The band's next album Herzschlag einer Stadt in 1984 was a more commercial new wave record which spawned a Top 30 hit in Germany, Oh Baby.

Breakthrough[edit]

The band's first big hit album came in 1986 with Von Anfang an, meaning From the Beginning. Living up to its title, the album contained a selection of new singles, a previously unreleased live version of "Zeig mir die Nacht" (from Umsteiger), two remixes and the occasional track from their previous two albums. Its success was due largely to its two original hit singles, Ohne Dich (schlaf' ich heut' nacht nicht ein) and Tausendmal Du.

The international years[edit]

Following the success of Von Anfang an and its follow-up, Traumziel, the band aimed for international success and began recording tracks from both albums in English. The result was Romancing in the Dark, containing English version of six tracks from Traumziel plus their three biggest German hits. The majority of the English lyrics were written by the band themselves with some assistance from outside lyricists. (Later the band relied on English lyrics written by professional lyricists Tim Touchton and Curtis Briggs.) The album was released throughout Europe, and there were big hits in Greece (where Every Time was a No. 1 single), Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands.

In 1988, Münchener Freiheit released Fantasie in Germany and its English counterpart, Fantasy. Unlike Romancing in the Dark, Fantasy contained all tracks from its German counterpart. The album went un-noticed throughout the US but was moderately successful in Europe. Freiheit never again released an English album in the US. However, in their homeland, Fantasie (DE#4) was a great success spending eight weeks in the Top 10 and spawning two Top 15 singles: "So lang' man Träume noch leben kann" and "Bis wir uns wiederseh'n". "Keeping the Dream Alive" is the English-language version of So lang' man Träume noch leben kann. This single became the band's sole hit in the UK, reaching number 14 in the UK singles chart in December 1988.

Their follow-up, Purpurmond, was the last album to be re-recorded in English under the title Love is No Science. Nine of its eleven tracks were re-recorded in English, along with a second re-recording of "Tausendmal Du", this time entitled "All I Can Do".

1991 to present[edit]

Although 1991 was a quiet year for the band, Zauner and Strobel were still active, releasing the album Living in the Sun under the name of Deuces Wild. The album was recorded in English with most of the lyrics written by Tim Touchton, who had worked with the band since Fantasy.

Despite the moderate reception of Purpurmond, the band returned to the German Top 10 in 1992 with Liebe auf den ersten Blick, earning a Top 15 hit with the title track. The band also represented their country in the 1993 Eurovision Song Contest, finishing in 18th place with their song, "Viel zu weit". The band returned a year later with the album Energie (1994), which gave them another Top 30 album in Germany, although their next two albums, Entführ' mich (1996) and Schatten (1998; with a sleeve design by Klaus Voormann), failed to chart at all.

Leaving Sony Music for the EastWest label, the band moved towards conventional dance-pop on their next album, Freiheit die ich meine (2000). The album saw the band re-enter the German Top 50 following their two album absence. The band changed labels again to Koch International, releasing the albums Wachgeküsst (2002) and Geile Zeit (2004). Although these albums used a similar 'radio-friendly' formula to Freiheit die ich meine, both albums peaked in the lower regions of the German Top 100.

Münchener Freiheit continue to record and tour, celebrating their 25th anniversary with the Double CD retrospective Alle Jahre, Alle Hits (2005) and a new single, "Du bist das Leben". Stefan Zauner left the band in 2012 to pursue producing solo-albums; his latest CD is Zeitgefühl (2012).[2] Tim Wilhelm replaced Zauner as a singer in the band.

Discography[edit]

For detailed discography and peak position, see Münchener Freiheit/Diskografie

German-language studio albums[edit]

Year Album English translation Peak positions Certification
GER
AUT
[3]
SWI
[4]
1982 Umsteiger Changer
1983 Licht Light
1984 Herzschlag einer Stadt Heartbeat of a City
1986 Traumziel Dream Destination 15 GER: Gold
1988 Fantasie Fantasy 4 29 14 GER: Gold
1989 Purpurmond Magenta Moon 17 GER: Gold
1992 Liebe auf den ersten Blick Love at First Sight 7 21 38 GER: Gold
1994 Energie Energy 28
1996 Entführ' mich Kidnap Me
1998 Schatten Shadows
2000 Freiheit die ich meine Freedom That I Mean 46
2002 Wachgeküsst Kissed Awake 76
2003 Zeitmaschine Time Machine 85
2004 Geile Zeit Great Time 82
2007 XVII XVII (17) 57
2007 Eigene Wege Own Ways 10
2010 Ohne Limit Without Limit 60
2013 Mehr More
2016 Schwerelos Weightless

German-language live albums[edit]

Year Album English translation Peak positions Certification
GER
AUT
SWI
1990 Freiheit Live! Freiheit Live!
1990 Live in der Grossen Freiheit 69
2005 Alle Jahre-Alle Hits
(DVD of live concert, 24 Feb. 2005)
All Years - All Hits

German-language compilations[edit]

Year Album Peak positions Certification
GER
AUT
SWI
1986 Von Anfang an 6 13 6 GER: Gold
1992 Ihr großten Hits 18 GER: Gold
1994 Schenk mir eine Nacht (Ihre schönsten Lovesongs) 56
1998 Definitive Collection (1998)
2003 Definitive Collection (2003)
2005 Alle Jahre – Alle Hits – Die Singles 82
2007 Die Hits der 80er
2008 Hit Collection
2009 Das beste aus 40 Jahren Hitparade
Maxis, Hits & Raritäten
2010 Alle Jahre – Alle Hits – 30 Jahre Münchener Freiheit
Ihre besten Lieder 1980-2010

German-language singles[edit]

Year Album Peak positions Album
GER
AUT
[3]
SWI
[4]
1984 "Oh Baby" 23 Herzschlag einer Stadt
1985 "Ohne dich (schlaf ich heut Nacht nicht ein)" 2
(Gold)
1 1 Von Anfang an
1986 "Tausendmal du" 9 7 25
"Es gibt kein nächstes Mal" 24 Traumziel
1987 "Herz aus Glas" 24
"So lang’ man Träume noch leben kann" 2 17 Fantasie
1988 "Bis wir uns wiedersehn" 11
"So heiß" 47
1989 "Verlieben verlieren" 31 Purpurmond
1990 "Ich will dich nochmal" 50
"Komm zurück" 54 Freiheit Live!
1991 "Liebe auf den ersten Blick" 16 31 Liebe auf den ersten Blick
1992 "Einfach wahr" 52
"Einmal kommt das Leben" 62 Ihre Größten Hits
1993 "Tausend Augen" 52
"Viel zu weit" 53
1994 "Du bist Energie für mich" 56 Energie
"Du weißt es, ich weiß es" 72
1998 "Hit-Mix" 80 Schatten
2004 "Geile Zeit" 93 Geile Zeit
2007 "Nichts ist wie du" 84 XVII
2009 "Sie liebt dich wie du bist" 47 Eigene Wege

Other German non-charting singles

Year Album Peak positions Album
GER
1982 "Zeig mir die Nacht" Umsteiger
"Baby Blue"
1983 "Ich steh’ auf Licht" Licht
"Rumpelstilzchen"
1984 "SOS" Herzschlag einer Stadt
1985 "Herzschlag ist der Takt"
1988 "Diana" Fantasie
1990 "Ihr kommt zu spät" Purpurmond
1994 "Schenk‘ mir eine Nacht" Schenk‘ mir eine Nacht –
ihre schönsten Lovesongs
1995 "Du bist da" Energie
1996 "Komm doch zu mir" Entführ Mich
1997 "Liebe, Lust und Leidenschaft"
1998 "Dann versinkt die Welt in Schweigen" Schatten
"Schuld war wieder die Nacht"
2000 "Du bist nicht allein" Freiheit die ich meine
"Solang"
2000 "Wachgeküsst" Wachgeküsst
"Wieder und wieder"
2003 "Tausendmal du (Version 2003)" Zeitmaschine
2005 "Ein Engel wie du" Geile Zeit
"Du bist das Leben"
2010 "Seit der Nacht" Ohne Limit
2013 "Meergefühl"

English-language studio albums[edit]

  • 1987: Romancing in the Dark
  • 1988: Fantasy
  • 1990: Love is No Science

English-language singles[edit]

Year Album Peak positions
AUS
IRE
UK
1988 "Keeping the Dream Alive" 55 20 14

Others

  • "Every Time"
  • "Play It Cool"
  • "Baby It's You"
  • "Back to the Sunshine"
  • "Kissed You in the Rain"
  • "Diana"
  • "All I Can Do"

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 214. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  2. ^ "Stefan Zauner: Zeitgefühl (Deluxe Edition) (2 CDs) – jpc". Jpc.de.
  3. ^ a b "Discographie Münchener Freiheit - austriancharts.at". Austriancharts.at.
  4. ^ a b "Münchener Freiheit". Hitparade.ch.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Wind
with "Träume sind für alle da"
Germany in the Eurovision Song Contest
1993
Succeeded by
Mekado
with "Wir geben 'ne Party"