Recently I’ve been listening to Amiga A Go-Go, a sampler full of groovy tunes from the German Democratic Republic. Some of it sounds like, well, Germans trying hard to get a groove going but failing miserably at it. Pretty much what you would expect. Other songs, however, could be right off a Minnie Riperton or Dusty Springfield album if it wasn’t for the German lyrics. If you want to give it a listen, there should still be a working copy of “Es steht in Haus in New Orleans”, a cover of the Animals’ “House of the rising sun”, by Orchester Guenter Gollasch on my Blip.fm profile.
Whilst listening to the album at my parents’ place, I remarked to my mother how well arranged and performed some of the songs were, to which she replied: “Of course these guys were good. They enjoyed years of training and if they still weren’t any good at that point, they simply would not have been allowed to perform!” I’d never thought of it that way, but perhaps sparing us an Eastern German Modern Talking was one of socialism’s greatest accomplishments. If you ever want to get into a discussion about the merits of socialism with me, I’d lead with that.