80’s Flashback

After The Fire, Der Kommissar, 1983. One year after Falco took his (mostly) German-language version of Der Kommissar to #1 in most of Europe (but only #72 in the U.S.), British prog-rockers After The Fire recorded a (mostly) English translation, taking it to #5 U.S., #47 UK. Falco’s hit came during an unprecedented (and unrepeated) string of U.S. hits by German artists, when English and German versions of songs by Nena, Trio, and Peter Schilling garnered heavy American radio play and rotation on MTV. I loved the “Neue Deutsche Welle” (new German wave) while it lasted and was properly annoyed when After The Fire’s tepid cover far outsold Falco’s innovative original. (And don’t even get me started on Laura Branigan’s version.) But I do have a fond memory of meeting four guys from Kent State who’d decided they needed a “song of the trip” for their 14-hour spring break drive from Ohio to Fort Lauderdale and only played After The Fire’s Der Kommissar for the entire time. I met them poolside at the Marlin Beach and after about three plays of the song on our way to dinner that day, I boldly ejected the cassette. “Nooooooo!” Anyway, a group called “After The Fire” seems appropriate for today’s 80’s Flashback selection.