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Music / Die Toten Hosen

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The band in 2017. L-R: Michael "Breiti" Breitkopf, Andreas "Kuddel" von Holst, Campino/Andreas Frege, Stephen George "Vom" Ritchie und Andreas "Andi" Meurer.
Die Toten Hosen (lit. "The Dead Trousers") are a German punk band from Düsseldorf formed in 1982. Their name comes from a slang term ("tote Hose") for nothing going on (based on an euphemism for male impotence), which was their opinion on the German music scene at the time. Through the years, they've been one of Germany's most successful acts, and with 15 studio albums to date, also one of the most prolific. The band members are most known by their stage names: Campino, Kuddel, Andi, Breiti, and Vom Ritchie (singer, melody guitarist, bassist, rhythm guitarist, and drummer, respectively). The former drummer, Wolfgang "Wölli" Rodhe, left the band due to injuries. The studio discography in chronological order is as follows:

  • 1983: Opel-Gang
  • 1984: Unter falscher Flagge ("Under false flag")
  • 1986: Damenwahl ("Ladies' Choice")
  • 1987: Never Mind the Hosen, Here's Die Roten Rosen
  • 1988: Ein kleines bisschen Horrorschau ("A little bit of horrorshow")
  • 1990: Auf dem Kreuzzug ins Glück ("On the crusade to happiness")
  • 1991: Learning English Lesson 1
  • 1993: Kauf MICH! ("Buy ME!")
  • 1994: Love, Peace & Money note 
  • 1996: Opium fürs Volk ("Opium for the people" note )
  • 1998: Wir warten auf's Christkind …note  ("Waiting for Baby Jesus")
  • 1999: Crash-Landing note 
  • 1999: Unsterblich ("Immortal")
  • 2002: Auswärtsspiel ("Away game")
  • 2004: Zurück zum Glück ("Back to happiness/fortune/luck")
  • 2008: In aller Stille ("In complete silence")
  • 2012: Ballast der Republik ("Dead weight/Burdens of the Republic"note )
  • 2017: Laune der Natur ("Freak of Nature")

While some of their songs are irreverent and just for fun, a lot of them have political and social messages contained. Most often you will find songs decrying racism, xenophobia, corruption, and blind religious faith. The album Opium fürs Volk (Opium for the People) features heavy criticism of the Ten Commandments and the idea of paradise especially. Several of their songs also touch on more sensitive topics, often in order to bring more attention to a particular issue - with their fanbase, it can have quite an effect. Quite a few songs also deal with the personal lives of Campino & Co. note , and the band's evolution from their rebellious roots to their current lives. Especially the stance on religion of the band has notably softened by the time Auswärtsspiel was released, but it still holds a humorous/sarcastic edge to it.

They're also very popular in South America for some reason, though given how much that region loves its rock music, this should come as no real surprise.

Tropes concerning them and their works include:

  • Can't Stand Them, Can't Live Without Them: The Attitude expressed by the protagonist of "Niemals einer Meinung".
  • Car Song: "Opel-Gang".
  • Drinking Song: Zehn Kleine Jägermeister, Auld Lang Syne (with all verses) and Eisgekühlter Bommerlunder among them. Bonus to "Bommerlunder" in their Polish version … which sings about one of the most expensive Vodka in the world, Wyborowa, and its video being set to a Polish wedding.
    • Drunken Song: Auld Lang Syne is this as well. Also "Still, Still, Still" (Quiet, Quiet, Quiet).
      • Mercilessly parodied in their version of Advent/Christmas song "Leise rieselt der Schnee" (Snow is falling quietly), with the band mimicking being high on cocainenote . And in "Ihr Kinderlein Kommet" (Oh, come, little children), they mimic being stoned with marihuana, even referencing the drug in the lyrics.
  • Due to the Dead: A surprising number of songs on mortality and death are found on Laune der Natur; specifically, "Alles passiert" (Everything happens), "Eine Handvoll Erde" (A Fistful of Earth; a funeral song), "ICE Nach Düsseldorf" (Express train to Düsseldorf) and "Kein Grund zur Traurigkeit" (No Reason for Sadness).
    • "Kein Grund zur Traurigkeit" is a literal Due to the Dead: Wölli died in 2016.
    • Feeling Their Age: A good deal of Laune der Natur is about getting older (Wieviel Jahre – Hasta La Muerte goes through three different birthdays of Breiti) and mortality.
  • Greatest Hits Album: Several...
    • 1993: Reich & Sexy ("Rich & Sexy")
    • 2002: Reich & Sexy II ("Rich & Sexy II")
    • 2011: All die ganzen Jahre: Ihre besten Lieder ("All these years: their best songs")
    • 2022: Alles aus Liebe: 40 Jahre Die Toten Hosen ("All because of Love: 40 years (of ) Die Toten Hosen")
  • Guttural Growler: Campino. His voice is a distinctly smoky, raspy low Tenor/high Baritone due to an injury that scarred his vocal cords early in the band's existence.
  • My Country, Right or Wrong: Somewhat of an example with "1000 Gute Gründe" which mentions many reasons Germany is great, but ends with them unable to really think of one at that particular moment.
  • Location Song: "Modestadt Düsseldorf", found on Opel-Gang.
  • Long-Runner Line-up: They have pretty much run the same lineup since 1983 (founded 1982, their original guitarist got the boot because of drugs), with the only position changing hands in all these years being that of the drummer for various reasons: Trini Trimpop sat behind the set from their first concert to 1985, was replaced by Jakob Keusen for a time, who then subsequently was replaced by Wolfgang "Wölli" Rhode in 1986 (Keusen was part of another band). The latter-most gave up the position in 1999 due to health problems and took over management of the band, with his replacement being the band's current drummer Vom Ritchie.
  • One-Steve Limit: Enforced with their stage names and very necessary – out of five members, three sport the given name Andreas.
  • Talking to the Dead: "Nur zu Besuch" (Just visiting) and "Draußen vor der Tür" (Outside, in front of the door) are this, being respectively for Campino's mother and father."Letzte Wache" (Final Guard) also counts, as the Protagonist talks to a deceased person right as they lie on their Deathbed.