Sunday, September 21, 2008

Nina Hagen - New York, New York 12" - 1983

I was so excited when found this record this summer. I had some faint recollections of this song. I could really remember the main lyric of "New York City is the ..." In my mind I remember the line as "New York city is the craziest place", but I don't think that is actually anywhere in the song. Funny how the mind is. I hadn't heard the song in 2 years, but I remembered that as a I kid I thought it was strange and I liked it. I think it had some weird video, that I can't really remember. So it was nice to finally hear it again and confirm that the song was actually even better than I remember. It is still weird and quirky but the music track lying under Nina's unique lyric deliveries is pretty good. Reminds me of Tom Tom Club. There is definitely some "Genius Of Love" thing going on. The track has some real New York club and hip hop influences from the early 80's which was a pleasant surprise.

The only other thing I really know about Nina Hagen is that I think she performed at the Berlin Wall shortly after that came down. I believe I remember hearing that at the time and thought "oh she's still around." Nina may have lost momentum in the states, but I think she kept an international if not German presence going for years after this single.

"Zarah" is fun and off beat just as you would expect from Nina. It's an interesting mix of Germaness, hip hop and club. It's worth a listen as well.

And for you German speaker there a German version of "New York, New York". I love hearing songs I know in other languages.

2 comments:

Matracas said...

Nina Hagan had a minor hit in Mexico; not with "New York, New York", but with "Smack Jack". This song (Smack Jack) was included in the first of a yearly compilation series made by CBS/Columbia records titled "Llena tu cabeza de rock" (Fill your head with rock)back in 1983. Thanks to the inclusion, the song picked up a bit of airplay on radio stations. I know little about Nina Hagen but I do do that she is best friends with another European artist named "Lene Lovich" who had a minor hit in Mexico with the song "Lucky Number" (1980-1981).

Spencer said...

I remember Lene Lovich from other friends, but I couldn't tell you a single song.