Monarchie und Alltag

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Monarchie und Alltag
Monarchie und Alltag.jpg
Studio album by Fehlfarben
Released October, 1980
Recorded June 1980 at EMI-Studios, Cologne, Germany
Genre Neue Deutsche Welle, post-punk
Length 39:12
Label Welt-rekord-label
Producer Fehlfarben, Horst Luedtke
Fehlfarben chronology
Monarchie und Alltag
(1980)
33 Tage in Ketten
(1981)

Monarchie und Alltag (Monarchy and Daily Life) was the 1980 debut album of German rock band Fehlfarben, released on the Welt-rekord-label, a subsidiary of EMI. The album was not well-received initially, but developed a following over time, entering the charts seven months after its release and gradually climbing to peak at #37. The album belatedly spawned a hit single in 1982, "Ein Jahr (Es geht voran)", and certified gold in 2000, after a re-release during the post-punk revival.

The poor initial reception of the album and a scheduled lengthy tour prompted the departure of vocalist and songwriter Peter Hein, who did not return to the band until following a 2000 reunion. Guitarist Thomas Schwebel took over as lead vocalist for the tour and subsequent releases.

The album is regarded as highly influential in the Neue Deutsche Welle movement of Germany and the German punk scene. It secured a position for the band and its first lead singer as prominent figures in the German punk movement.

Response[edit]

The album was not critically well received on its release, but in spite of line-up changes the band managed to increase public interest over time through live performance and the release of new material.[1] Months after its October 1980 release, in May 1981, the album entered the German album charts where it gradually climbed to #37,[1][2] only earning gold status in 2000 after a reissue coincident with the post-punk revival.[1][3] Over time, however, the album has developed a tremendous reputation.[4] Die Zeit described the album as a "revolutionary monument".[5] Telepolis described it as "an unsurpassed masterpiece".[6] It has been variously termed "a cornerstone of modern German rock",[1] "the most important German punk album",[7] and "the best German-language album overall".[8][9] Bayerischer Rundfunk states that the group and the album were the "epicenter of the German punkscene in the early 1980s" and that with the release of Monarchie und Alltag the band became "the first volume in the German new wave".[10]

At the time of release, the album did not secure any hit singles, but two years after the album was released label EMI issued "Ein Jahr (Es geht voran)" to capitalize on the rising popularity of the German new wave (Neue Deutsche Welle) movement. The song reached the top 20 in the charts.[1]

According to Der Tagesspiegel, the album has lost nothing of its appeal over the years, to those who were punk at the time or even those who were not yet born, as it retains its forcefulness, directness and relevance.[11]

Background[edit]

The band was formed from two former members of foundational German punk band Charley's Girls—Peter Hein and Markus Oehlen—who had gone on to play in the influential punk group Mittagspause.[1] The pair decided to form a post-punk band with other prominent members of the Düsseldorf punk community: Thomas Schwebel, Michael Kemner, Frank Fenstermacher and Uwe Bauer. Influenced by the ska-punk music of London, they brought their interpretation of the style to live performances in Germany and to a 7" single released on their own independent label, Welt-Rekord-Label. In summer of 1980, the band's label was purchased by EMI, who gave them studio space to record Monarchie und Alltag, which was released in October of that year.

Although many of the band's members had a hand in composing material, much of the album was penned by vocalist Peter Hein during free time at his job at Xerox.[12] Der Spiegel credits the best compositions of the album to Hein and guitarist Thomas Schwebel, who wrote the iconic song of the German "No-Future" generation, "Paul ist tot" ("Paul is dead"), one refrain of which translates, "What I want, I cannot get. And what I can get, I don't like."[13] The album, at the cutting edge of musical styles,[14] pushed Fehlfarben to the forefront of the German punk movement and made Peter Hein its point figure, even though he had quit the band three days before the lengthy Monarchie und Alltag tour to dedicate himself to his job at Xerox.[15]

In an interview years later with die tageszeitung, Hein indicated that he found the then-security of his job preferable to the stressful life of a musician on the road and that returning to work felt almost like a vacation.[16] It was a decision that puzzled the press at the time. Questioned about his work ethic in that interview, Hein stated that he was puzzled by the "arrogance" of those who looked down on the working class.[17]

The band continued performing with Schwebel on vocals and releasing albums after Hein's departure, but reunited with its first vocalist in 2000 after the belated receipt of a gold record for the album[18]

Track listing[edit]

Music by F. Fenstermacher, G. Nicolaidis, M. Kemner, P. Hein, T. Schwebel, U. Bauer.
Except where otherwise noted, lyrics by F. Fenstermacher, G. Nicolaidis, M. IKemner, P. Hein, T. Schwebel and U. Bauer.

Side one[edit]

  1. "Hier und Jetzt" – 2:44
  2. "Grauschleier" – 2:25
  3. "Das sind Geschichten" – 3:21
  4. "All That Heaven Allows" – 3:37
  5. "Gottseidank nicht in England" – 2:40
  6. "Militürk" (lyrics by Delgado-Lopetz) – 5:22

Side two[edit]

  1. "Apokalypse" – 3:11
  2. "Ein Jahr (Es geht voran)" – 2:51
  3. "Angst" – 2:16
  4. "Das war vor Jahren" – 2:35
  5. "Paul ist tot" – 7:56

Personnel[edit]

  • Uwe Bauer – drums
  • Kurt Dahlke (aka Der Pyrolator) – synthesizer
  • Fehlfarben – producer
  • Frank Fenstermacher – saxophone
  • Rolf Hanekamp – recording and mixing
  • Peter Hein – vocals
  • Michael Kemner – bass guitar
  • Harald Lepschies – recording and mixing
  • Horst Luedtke – producer
  • George Nicolaidis – synthesizer
  • Thomas Schwebel – guitar

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Fehlfarben at AllMusic
  2. ^ "Fehlfarben - Monarchie und Alltag".
  3. ^ Hairapetian. "...dem großen Erfolg des Albums "Monarchie und Alltag"...", "...nur die Goldene Schallplatte für "Monarchie und Alltag", die die eigens dafür wieder zusammen getrommelte Band im Jahr 2000 mit 20-jähriger Verspätung erhielt..."
  4. ^ cf. Leber, "„Monarchie und Alltag“ inzwischen etwas Heiliges hat". Translated: "Monarchie und Alltag, meanwhile, has become something holy."
  5. ^ Zinsmaier, Markus (2007-12-04). "Verschwende deinen Mythos". Die Zeit. pp. Nr.16 S. 52. Retrieved 2008-09-09. Ihr Revoluzzer-Monument Monarchie und Alltag bildete für viele ihrer damaligen Hörer, also die heutigen Mitt- und Endvierziger, die Tonspur ihrer Jugend. 
  6. ^ Hanekamp, translated. Original text: "ein unübertroffenes Meisterwerk"
  7. ^ Leber, translated. Original text: "Das wichtigste deutsche Punkalbum, heißt es.
  8. ^ Leber, translated. Original text: "Das wichtigste deutsche . Für manche das beste deutschsprachige Album überhaupt."
  9. ^ cf. Hanekamp, "für viele gar das bis heute beste deutschsprachige Album".
  10. ^ "Fehlfarben - Monarchie und Alltag", translated. Original text: "dem Epizentrum der deutschen Punkszene in den frühen 80ern"; "Fehlfarben waren damit die erste Band der neuen deutschen Welle..."
  11. ^ Leber, "Weil es bis heute nichts von seiner Direktheit und Wucht verloren hat, und weil es Textzeilen enthält, die einen beim Hören immer noch umhauen. Ganz gleich, ob man damals selber Punk war oder noch gar nicht geboren."
  12. ^ Brinckmann, Fritz (2002-10-27). "Spielt das Zeug bloß nicht!". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). Retrieved 2008-09-09. 
  13. ^ Hairapetian, "Für viele stehen und fallen die Fehlfarben allerdings mit Peter Hein, der seine besten Texte jedoch stets zusammen mit Thomas Schwebel schrieb: "Was ich haben will, das kriege ich nicht. Und was ich kriegen kann, das gefällt mir nicht" ("Paul ist tot") wurde einst gar zum Credo der übersättigten No-Future-Generation."
  14. ^ Hairapetian. "Die 1979 bei einem London-Besuch von den beiden Mittagspause-Mitgliedern Peter Hein und Thomas Schwebel spontan gegründete Band wollte die jeweils neuesten musikalischen Strömungen noch schneller als die Briten verarbeiten."
  15. ^ Leber. "Fehlfarben waren die Spitze der deutschen Punkbewegung, und Peter Hein, in diesem Nischenuniversum als Janie Jones unterwegs, war der größte Poser weit und breit. Bis er drei Tage vor ihrer ersten großen Tour aus der Band ausstieg. Angeblich, weil ihm sein Bürojob bei Rank Xerox wichtiger war."
  16. ^ Dax, "Nach allem, was man mit dem Rock-'n'-Roll-Geschäft so erlebt hat, ist Sicherheit besser, als auf der Straße zu leben.... Ich gehe zur Erholung ins Büro."
  17. ^ Dax, "Was mich an dieser Gegenkultur immer gestört hat, ist diese Arroganz, auf arbeitende Menschen herabzuschauen."
  18. ^ Hanekamp, "Wir haben uns 2000 getroffen, als wir die Goldene Schallplatte für "Monarchie und Alltag" bekommen haben, und beschlossen, ein neues Album zu machen."

References[edit]