Wise Guys (band)

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This article is about the German a cappella band from Cologne. For the English hip-hop band, see The Wiseguys.
Wise Guys
Wise Guys Tanzbrunnen 2011.jpg
Wise Guys performing at Tanzbrunnen 2011
Background information
Origin Cologne, Germany
Genres A cappella, pop
Years active 1995–present
Labels EMI, Pavement, Universal Music Group
Website www.wiseguys.de
Members Daniel (Dän) Dickopf , Edzard (Eddi) Hüneke, Marc (Sari) Sahr, Björn Sterzenbach (since 2016), Nils Olfert (since 2009)
Past members Christoph Tettinger (1995), Clemens Tewinkel (1995–2008), Ferenc Husta (1995–2012), Andrea Figallo (2013-2016)

The Wise Guys are a band that began in early 1990 in Cologne, Germany. They are an a cappella group.

History of the group[edit]

Apart from Nils Olfert and Björn Sterzenbach, the members all attended the Hildegard-von-Bingen-Gymnasium in Cologne from 1981 to 1990. With their schoolmates Clemens Tewinkel and Christoph Tettinger, who also founded a brass band with them, they formed a rock band. At a school event, the band performed a single a cappella song.

After graduating from high school with their A-levels (Abitur) in 1990, the group have focussed on a cappella songs. They soon named themselves the "Wise Guys". Eddi's (Edzard's) 18-month alternative service for conscientious objectors in Brussels left the group as a quartet. In the meantime, the other four joined the Ersten Kölner Barbershop Choir. In early 1994 the group were placed third in a Barbershop Quartet competition; however, this type of music was not representative of their later work.

When Christoph Tettinger could no longer sing for professional reasons, Ferenc Husta joined the group in April 1995 as the bass voice. Christoph Tettinger became the group manager.

After their first album "Dut-Dut-Duah!" (1994), which was mostly in English along with two-thirds cover songs,[1] the band concentrated on German language, rhythm-based compositions with intelligent and often funny lyrics. In 1997 the Wise Guys turned professional. In the same year, the band released their third album "Alles im grünen Bereich" which signalled the beginning of their work with producer Uwe Baltrusch. Their following album was with EMI. With their Live-Album (2000), the band moved to Pavement Records.

With the song and videoclip from "Jetzt ist Sommer" and the album "Ganz weit vorne", the band achieved wider recognition. Their next album reached the top of the charts on Media-Control-Charts; the 2006 album "Radio" opened in third place, behind only Red Hot Chili Peppers and Silbermond.

Because of their mainly German songs, most of their concerts are in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The exceptions are rare concerts in USA, Canada, Poland, Luxemburg, and London.

The usual tours are supplemented by big events such as "Tanzbrunnen", "Totalnacht", and "Spezialnacht", festivals taking place in Cologne. In 2001 they got a world record for the concert on "Tanzbrunnen" (a big area for concerts in Cologne) with 12,500 spectators. Their open-air concerts at the "evangelischer Kirchentag" in 2005, 2007 and 2009 (Protestant church congress) were visited by 35,000, 70,000, and 65,000 viewers respectively.

In 2012, the band released an album in two parts entitled "Zwei Welten". It consisted of an a capella album released in May 2012 and an instrumental album released in September 2012. "Zwei Welten" was also released as a two-disc package with two bonus tracks in December 2012, which brought them to their fifth gold record.[2]

In March 2012 Ferenc Husta decided to leave the group at the end of that year.[3] Andrea Figallo took his place in December 2012.[4] In February 2016 the band gave an official statement on their web site that they will stop performing as a group in summer 2017; also, they announced that their bass Andrea Figallo will already leave the band in April 2016.[5] Björn Sterzenbach replaced Andrea Figallo in May 2016.

Aggro Hürth[edit]

'Klassenfahrt', the first album with Nils Olfert, featured the Wise Guys' version of rap, with their hip-hop duo 'Aggro Hürth', made up of Marc Sahr (MC Deutschmakk) and Nils Olfert (Soulsprotte). The name Aggro Hürth is a reference to the German record label Aggro Berlin.[6] After the track 'Hamlet', another Aggro Hürth track followed in 2012, 'Ich bin aus Hürth'.[7] The first Aggro Hürth mini-album appeared in June 2013 with the name 'Mein Herz macht Bumm!'.[8] Because of copyright issues with Aggro Berlin, however, the album could only be published under the name A. Hürth.

Current formation[edit]


Protestant Church Congress 2007


Year Title Chart Positions[9]
1994 Dut-Dut-Duah! (Dut-Dut-Duah!)
1996 Haarige Zeiten (Difficult Times [lit. Hairy Times])
1997 Alles im grünen Bereich (Everything OK [lit. Everything in the Green Zone])
1999 Skandal (Scandal)
2000 Live (Live) 93
2001 Ganz weit vorne (two meanings: Right in Front / Really Great) 49
2003 Klartext (Straight Talk) 10
2004 Wo der Pfeffer wächst (Long Way Off [lit. Where the Pepper Grows]) 13
2006 Radio (Radio) 3
2008 Frei! (Free!) 2 67
2010 Klassenfahrt (School Trip) 2 48
2012 Zwei Welten – a cappella (Two Worlds - a capella) 3 5 45
Zwei Welten – instrumentiert (Two Worlds - instrumental)
Zwei Welten Komplett (Two Worlds Complete) 64 58
2013 Mein Herz macht bumm! (My heart goes boom!) 36
2014 Achterbahn (Roller Coaster) 2
2015 Läuft bei euch (What's up) 6 22
2016 Live in Wien (Live in Vienna) 22 58
2016 Das Beste komplett (The Best complete) 33

Singles and EPs[edit]

(Numbers in brackets indicate highest position achieved on the German Music Hits List.)

  • 1996 - (Die Frau hat) Rhythmus [--] ([The Woman's Got] Rhythm)
  • 1997 - Alles Banane [--] (Everything in Order [lit. It's all Bananas])
  • 1999 - Nein, Nein, Nein [--] (No, No, No)
  • 2000 - Die Heldensage vom heiligen Ewald [--] (The Heroic Saga of Saint Ewald)
  • 2001 - Höher Schneller Weiter (Projektsingle) [--] (Higher, faster, further)
  • 2001 - Jetzt ist Sommer [78] (It's Summer Now)
  • 2001 - Wenn sie tanzt [--] (When She Dances)
  • 2002 - Kinder [--] (Children)
  • 2004 - Früher (Mini-Album) [51] (In Past Times)
  • 2005 - Weltmeister (Mini-Album) [38] (World Champion)
  • 2006 - Klinsi, warum hast du das getan? [published as a single track at the iTunes Music Store] (Klinsi, why did you do this?)
  • 2012 - Lauter (Mini-Album) [49] (Louder)
  • 2012 - Mach Dein Ding! [--] (Do Your Thing!)
  • 2013 - Antidepressivum [88] (Antidepressant)


  • 2003 - Wise Guys - die DVD
  • 2005 - Wise Guys Spezialnacht Philipshalle Düsseldorf, 6. November 2004
  • 2009 - Wise Guys - Live im Capitol


External links[edit]