Along with countrymen Die Toten Hosen, Die Aerzte were the founding members of Germany’s old-school punk generation. The Berliners still command massive respect.

DA-133 stars13

(100% native)
Cracking pace throughout with enough sing-along choruses to keep the pissheads of the Berlin Kellers swaying in unison for years to come. Standout tracks: Ein Lied Fuer Dich (Song for You), Liebe Und Schmerz (Love & Pain), Rebell.

I wouldn’t say they were as versatile as DTH but that’s no insult. Die Aerzte do what they do very well, never, ever take themselves too seriously (important for any punk band) and realise the calming effect of humour in music. They can often surprise: Maenner sind Schweine [Men are Pigs] from 13 is a tongue-in-cheek, jaunty number in the style of the German Schlaeger of old. It was a massive hit in the late 90’s and I still remember the disconcerting sight of a girl of about seven skipping along the road in Meerbusch happily singing the chorus.

DA-Debil2 starsDevil
(100% native)
A 2005 re-release of Die Ärzte’s first ever album (Debil) which was on restricted distribution for “Kinder und Jugendliche sozialethisch zu desorientieren”, that’s socially corrupting children and youngsters to you and me. Standout tracks: Micha, Roter Minirock (Red Mini-skirt).

The second album listed here is well-known in Germany for two songs whose lyrical content eventually caused it to be taken off the shelves by the authorities in 1984. Both songs are pretty stupid and typical of the kind of puerile, tongue-in-cheek stuff today’s punk bands like The Bloodhound Gang and Blink 182 are still capable of carrying off. ‘Claudia Hat ‘nen Schaeferhund’ is about a lass’s saucy antics with her dog while ‘Schlaflied’ concerns a vampire and features intentionally pathetic ‘slurp’ sound effects which must have sounded as dumb 20 years ago as they do today. The geezer the band got to update the liner notes is a tad over-earnest in his attempt to retrospectively apply ‘meaning’ to these songs: personal responsibility and the value of life respectively. Why not admit they were just trying to do what every good Punk band worth its salt should always be aiming for, having fun by irritating authority? Unbelievably the ban on the album was only lifted in 2004.


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