United By Music: Germany's Eurovision groups and bands
Today, 3 October, is 'Tag der Deutschen Einheit' or German Unity Day in the largest of the Contest's "Big Five" Eurovision countries and the nation with the most appearances (66 entries to date). It commemorates the reunification of East and West Germany in 1990 to form a united state once more.
So what better opportunity to look back at just some of the acts which have represented the nation as groups of vocalists and musicians "united by music"?
The most successful group
It seems only right to begin with the group which represented their country on a record three occasions, finishing as the Contest's runners-up twice in just three years: the successful schlager-singing sextet Wind.
At the 30th edition of Eurovision held in Gothenburg in 1985, the group's sweetly-sung song of unity 'Für alle' ('For Everyone') was one of only three entries to receive over 100 jury points, securing Germany its third of four second-place finishes in the 1980s.
Two years later, the six-member act returned to the Contest in Brussels with an entry imploring the juries to "let the sun into (their) hearts" ('Lass die Sonne in dein Herz') ... and their plea was almost heard! Once all the votes had been tallied, Wind took out the "silver medal" and provided the only real competition to Johnny "Mr Eurovision" Logan and his second Eurovision-winning juggernaut of a song 'Hold Me Now'.
The most international group
The costumes! The choreography!! The lyrics - an ode to a Mongol warrior!!! It's safe to say that few Eurovision fans could ever forget the camptastic Eurodisco pop number performed by another six-piece act on the Jerusalem stage in 1979: 'Dschinghis Khan' by the group of the same name.
The song finished up in a very creditable fourth place and its sales secured it a place on several Western European music charts. However, the story doesn't end there.
Some three decades later, two cover versions of the song would enjoy success much further afield ... in Japan! The first to be released was the A-side of a Top 5 single by girl band Berryz Kobo, the second a remix collaboration between the same Japanese group and Dschinghis Khan themselves.
And there's more: an English-language version of Dschinghis Khan's follow-up single 'Moskau' ('Moscow') topped the charts here in Australia, largely thanks to the track being used as the theme music for the national broadcasts of the 1980 Summer Olympics.
The connected girl groups
As well as having two female soloists to thank for its two wins to date (Nicole in 1982 with 'Ein bisschen Frieden' and Lena in 2010 with 'Satellite'), Germany's Eurovision girl groups also have a strong record in the Contest, with two acts making the Top Ten in their respective years. And there's a connection between them!
1977 saw soulful disco trio Silver Convention sending a 'Telegram' to their loved one in a bop of a song ultimately ranked eighth by the juries. Fast forward 17 years, and the group's Rhonda Heath would return to the Eurovision stage providing backing vocals and keyboards for a German entry by another three-member girl group: Mekado's party pop number 'Wir geben 'ne Party'.
Mekado's third place finish also became the reunified Germany's first podium placing in the Contest.
The most recent group
Although the German group and song at this year's Contest in Liverpool (Lord of the Lost and their metal/glam rock number 'Blood & Glitter') sadly continued the country's poor run of recent Eurovision results, there's no doubting the guys' passion for the Contest, and in particular that of lead singer Chris Harms, who revealed that the band had applied to represent Germany on a number of occasions previously.
In addition, the entry seemed to go down pretty well with the Australian voting public, only just missing out on televote points after being ranked 11th out of the 25 songs Aussies could vote for in the Grand Final.
So, will we see another group or band seek to achieve Germany's (elusive) third Eurovision win in 2024? Well, we'll find out on 16 February at the end of the 'Das Deutsche Finale 2024', the retitled national selection contest for Malmö.
Thanks for looking back with us at some of Germany's past Eurovision groups and bands! And Happy Unity Day to our German readers and supporters!
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