Trans Europa Express – Day Five: Peter Gabriel, The Mobiles, Axelle Red & Choir of Young Believers

On today’s exciting instalment of ‘Trans Europa Express’ : How Peter Gabriel help me get my German A-Level….

Not a lot of people know that Peter Gabriel was in the habit of re-recording whole albums in German and this is – appropriately enough – a German recording of  ‘Games Without Frontiers’.
jeuxsansAs older readers may recall, back in the 70s we didn’t just have Eurovision to warm our competitive European hearts, we also had the European version of ‘It’s A Knock Out’ – Jeux Sans Frontières, in which teams from (Western) Europe would compete in the sort of wacky games now  beloved at horrific corporate bonding away days – for example  dressing up as Ostriches and throwing eggs at Belgians. Think ‘Wipeout’ crossed with Euro2016.

jsf90_banja06It all got surprisingly competitive and I can’t help feeling that the Brexit referendum would not be necessary had we not just channeled Nigel Farage’s frustrations into  dressing as a giant snail somewhere on a rain-soaked athletics ground in Ghent.

It was satirised by Gabriel in today’s entry from 1980. So it is a song about European (dis) harmony sung in German: that should get me double points and as a result I am playing my joker today….

Choices from Roy and Andy are below, whilst the list so far is here



11 thoughts on “Trans Europa Express – Day Five: Peter Gabriel, The Mobiles, Axelle Red & Choir of Young Believers

  1. So, from German A levels in the early 80’s, we move seamlessly to a song about the German capital city. This band, from Eastbourne, could also have featured in the one-hit wonders countdown of a couple of years ago because I certainly don’t recall them doing anything else of note, although I gather from Wikipedia that the follow-up, “Amour, Amour” reached number 45 and “continued the European theme”. However, this reached number 9, in the Hit Parade, it features a little bit of spoken German and a view of Norwegian ace artist, Edvard Munch’s most famous painting, and so I feel it is a worthy inclusion. Take it away Anna Maria, who looks uncannily like Pat Benatar’s younger sister – discuss!

    1. Thanks for jogging another musical memory.
      I wonder who came up with the singing style first – Anna Maria or Lene (Lovich)?

  2. Crikey I do remember this. You could make a pretty good album out of tracks that weren’t top 40 in the early 80s. Rather like Liverpool recently it does blow it in the second half though, specifically at 2:05!

  3. That was below the belt! Still, if we’re going to have a go at each other’s teams, then perhaps I should say something like “is Gary Monk still Leeds manager? I know he was only appointed this morning, but they’ve got to do something in the afternoon!”

    1. At last Cellino makes a sane decision; although Monk hasn’t won any games yet so is probably just a defeat away from the chop. As much as I like Klopp, any Manager that can’t find a regular starting place for the Welsh Iniesta,Joe Allen, deserves the sack.

  4. Country number 10 – Denmark. This lot are best known in the UK for their startling theme tune ‘Hollow Talk’ to the wonderful Nordic noir series,The Bridge. Its certainly how they came to my attention. This track is a good example of their Radiohead-esque orchestral pop. The title translates from Danish as ‘New Number One’ which is nothing if not ambitious !

  5. Speaking of Belgians!
    You may recall that Axelle Red sung with Youssou N’Dour on the official anthem of France ’98: Do You Mind If I Play?
    Well, here she is again with a pleasant summery groove from the mid ’90s – the video contrasts with the title ‘Le Monde Tourne Mal’ … The World Goes Wrong

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