Modern Talking Overview

Modern Talking was a German dance pop duo consisting of Thomas Anders and Dieter Bohlen. Genre-wise they were often classified under Europop. Modern Talking, who by sales are the most successful and po***r group in Germany, have had a number of hit singles reaching the top-5 in many countries. Some of their most po***r and widely known singles are "You're My Heart, You're My Soul", "You Can Win If You Want", "Cheri Cheri Lady", "Brother Louie Brother Louie (Modern Talking song) ", "Atlantis Is Calling (S.O.S. for Love)" and "Geronimo's Cadillac Geronimo's Cadillac (Modern Talking song) ".

Modern Talking's first period of activity was from 1984 to 1987. After the breakup they reunified in 1998 and made a successful comeback, releasing more music from 1998 to 2003. To accommodate central European music markets of the late 1990s, they changed their original 1980s mellow Europop sound to an up-tempo Eurodance. The duo released singles which again entered the top-10 not only in their home country but also abroad. Some of those singles were "You're My Heart, You're My Soul '98", "Brother Louie '98", and "You Are Not Alone You Are Not Alone (Modern Talking song) ".


The beginning


First formed at the end of 1984, they unexpectedly became immensely po***r with their eurodisco hit single "You're My Heart, You're My Soul" with which they occupied the number one position in 35 countries including their homeland where the single perched at the top for six consecutive weeks, the single eventually went on to sell eight million copies world-wide. The track was then followed by another number one hit "You Can Win If You Want" which was released in the middle of 1985 from the debut album The First Album The First Album (Modern Talking album) . The album went on being certified platinum in Germany for selling over 500,000 units. The single, being the only track released from their second album Let's Talk About Love Let's Talk About Love (Modern Talking album) , managed to push the album to a platinum status in Germany for sales of over 500,000 Like most European pop acts, they were almost unknown in North America, never appearing in the US charts, although they did become one hit wonders in Canada when "Brother Louie" peaked at number 34 in 1987. They released two albums a year between 1985 and 1987 while also promoting their singles on television all over Europe eventually selling 65 million records within three years.

Between 1987 and 1998

Immediately after the duo split up in 1987, Bohlen formed his own project Blue System and enjoyed several high chart positions with tracks like "Sorry Little Sarah", "My Bed Is Too Big", "Under My Skin", "Love Suite" and "Déjà Vu". Anders went solo and recorded some of his new pop like material in Los Angeles and London, and also in his native country. As a solo artist, Anders toured in places like Moscow, Sun City Sun City, North West , Hong Kong and Santiago de Chile Santiago, Chile during which time he would sing songs from his pop solo albums, in the meantime keeping his thousands of enthusiastic loyal fans satisfied with former Modern Talking material. Anders recorded five solo albums in English Different Different (album) , Whispers Whispers (album) , Down on Sunset, When Will I See You Again When Will I See You Again (album) and Souled and one album in Spanish Barcos De Cristal. Both his voice and vocal delivery advanced with every album he recorded; however, he found more success in foreign countries than at home. Despite all the quarrels and disagreements that Dieter and Thomas experienced between themselves in the past, Anders and Bohlen began keeping in touch again after Anders moved back to Koblenz, Germany in 1994.

The Reunion: 1998–2003

In the beginning of 1998 the duo reunited, and had their first performance together in March on Germany's biggest TV show Wetten, dass..?. The duo re-started things off with the re-packaged version of their '84 single You're My Heart, You're My Soul '98. The single; however, no longer sounded like a mellow Europop track, instead it was a typical up-tempo Eurodance number featuring rapper Eric Singleton on the rap vocals. Their first comeback album Back For Good Back For Good (Modern Talking album) which included four new tracks as well as all of the previous hits redone with modern techniques stayed at number one position in Germany for five consecutive weeks and managed to top the charts in 15 countries,

Bohlen followed his '80 Modern Talking pattern as he chose to release two singles from each album again as in the past. A series of singles and four more albums followed such as Year of The Dragon, America, Victory and Universe. After reaching the point where they had already collected over 400 gold and platinum awards worldwide, Bohlen and Anders decided to split up again in 2003. Bohlen's involvement in Deutschland sucht den Superstar, the German edition of the UK's Pop Idol was one of the major reasons and he said he knew it was best to stop while still on top. They released one more compilation album in 2003 calling it The Final Album which contained all of the duo's singles. Thomas Anders started another solo career immediately, while Bohlen had by now begun devoting most of his time to new talents, especially those he discovered on DSDS.In 1984, Bohlen quoted the hit single Precious Little Diamond by Fox the Fox as his inspiration for using falsetto choruses. The studio vocal line up of Rolf Köhler, Michael Scholz, Detlef Wiedeke and (on early albums) Birger Corleis, in addition to Bohlen and Anders, produced the high choruses characteristic of Modern Talking. Köhler, Scholz and Wiedeke later went on to work with Bohlen in Blue System, before joining with songwriter Thomas Widrat to form Systems in Blue. Köhler, Scholz and Wiedeke were never credited on the Modern Talking albums, and eventually went to law over the matter. They received an out of court settlement and Bohlen published a sleeve note for his next release (Obsession Obsession (Blue System album) , by Blue System), acknowledging the trio's contribution.

Further influences include German-language Schlager music, disco pop (Bee Gees) and romantic English-language songs of Italian and French origin, like Gazebo Paul Mazzolini 's I Like Chopin. After the 1998 reunion Bohlen produced eurodance, as well as American-style MOR Middle of the road (music) ballads.

Global sales of Modern Talking records were 120 million units, according to BMG Bertelsmann Music Group in June 2003, and they have become the biggest-selling German music act in history, so far outselling even Frank Farian's projects Boney M. and Milli Vanilli, Michael Cretu's Enigma Enigma (musical project) , Sandra Sandra Cretu as well as Scorpions Scorpions (band) and Rammstein.

Dieter Bohlen also worked with other artists even while Modern Talking existed, among them Chris Norman of Smokie Smokie (band) fame whose song "Midnight Lady" (1986) remains Bohlen's most po***r composition. He also wrote a large number of disco tracks for C.C.Catch Caroline Catharina Müller using an accelerated, less romantic sound. Some English Bohlen songs like "You're My Heart, You're My Soul" were also recorded with German lyrics by Mary Roos using the same playback tracks. When Modern Talking split up in 1987, a number of tracks written for the last album were instead moved onto Dieter Bohlen's first solo album which appeared almost at the same time, among them his first solo single Sorry Little Sarah.In 2006, Bohlen included a secret message in his song Bizarre Bizarre which was played backwards: "There will never be an end to Modern Talking". However, Bohlen said: "He meant to say that the music of Modern Talking will live forever". Anders has kept the Modern Talking songs in his repertoire and produced songs in a similar vein for his solo records (Independent Girl). In 2006, he produced an album Songs Forever of Swing Swing music and Jazz versions of po***r songs (including Modern Talking's first hit). Bohlen has written two autobiographical books, one of which also detailed Modern Talking's history from his perspective, and sold a million copies in Germany. The sequel was heavily criticised for his unfairness towards the people he worked with. As a result of that, he withdrew from the public for a year until 2006, when he said he regretted putting out the second book. Anders had not been the only one pressing charges against Bohlen and demanding that sections of the book be modified. Frank Farian was angered by Bohlen's literary output and released a book in which he tried to expose Bohlen as a fraud. Bohlen's first book was the basis of an animated comedy film called Dieter - Der Film. The soundtrack of this film Dieter: Der Film (soundtrack) contained one previously unreleased Modern Talking song Shooting Star Shooting Star (Modern Talking song) which had been written for the Universe Universe (Modern Talking album) album.


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