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Trivia / Alphaville

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The band

  • Artist Disillusionment: One of the reasons why Frank Mertens left Alphaville after Forever Young. Even before the band took off, he rarely gave interviews and was absent from most press appearances. Once the first album became a hit, he was totally unprepared for all the attention. He formed another band called Lonely Boys just to record enough songs to honor his contract with the record company, then gave up being a musician.
    "I am shy and I don't like to talk. I prefer to look and listen. Marian and Bernhard talk quite enough." -Frank Mertens, 1984
    "Frank began to show the white feather. He was not ready for all this." -Marian Gold, 1995
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  • Creative Differences: One of a few reasons Bernhard Lloyd gave for leaving the band. Marian wanted to focus on touring, Bernhard did not.
  • Fan Nickname: The Amiga Compilation is really titled, simply, Alphaville.
  • In Memoriam: Strange Attractor is dedicated to keyboardist Martin Lister, who died during that album's production.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes:
    • While Alphaville's studio albums are easily available, most of the early singles haven't been released since the mid-80s, and a lot of early b-sides are hard to track down. Considering songs were often mixed differently from studio album, to 7-inch single version, to 12-inch single version, it's difficult to maintain a comprehensive collection, as what rereleases there are are rereleases of just one mix. Even the so-called Singles Collection is very sparse on material. The Dreamscapes box set includes several rare b-sides, but Dreamscapes itself is extremely rare and expensive.
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    • Also applies to their music video anthology, Songlines. Only released on VHS and LaserDisc, and long out of print.
      • A DVD of Songlines will be included in the remastered May 2021 release of The Breathtaking Blue.
    • A compilation album collecting the band's b-sides and 12-inch mixes produced from 1984-1989 released in October 2014.
    • Bernhard Lloyd himself, posting on a web forum, once tacitly suggested that anyone interested in listening to Dreamscapes could find a torrent somewhere.
  • No Export for You:
    • The single "Sensations" was only released in Austria, France, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. The 12-inch version contains two mixes of "Sensations," both of which sound very dissimilar from the album version except for the vocals.
    • The Amiga Compilation was the band's attempt to rectify this for East Germany, where Forever Young and Afternoons in Utopia didn't get a proper release.
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  • Old Shame: According to Marian, "Sounds Like A Melody" and "Universal Daddy" were written only because the record company wanted more singles. He's come to like "SLAM" over the years, but not "Universal Daddy."
  • Promoted Fangirl: Janey Klimek was a backup singer on Afternoons in Utopia, and became a fan of the band. She submitted poetry to the band's fan club newsletter. The band ended up adopting some of her poems as lyrics to their songs, where she is credited as Janey Diamond.
  • Recycled Script:
    • The lyrics "You need a friend without a doubt, I wonder why you came around / Are you awake or do you dream? You're stuck inside a frozen scene" have been used in three different songs. First in "Cosmopolitician," a song from Marian Gold's solo album United. Second in "Dream Machine," the first track of Dreamscapes. Third in a song recorded for but left off of Strange Attractor.
    • Much of the second verse of "Flame" consists of lyrics recycled from "Thunder and Lightning," a song that was cut from Marian Gold's first solo album, So Long Celeste.
  • Schedule Slip: Strange Attractor was first announced in 2012, then given an initial release date of September 27th, 2014. See Troubled Production below.
  • Screwed by the Network: The band and their European label, WEA, clashed over the band's refusal to go on tour. Rumor has it that the poor marketing behind The Breathtaking Blue and Prostitute was WEA's quiet way of punishing them. Eventually, Marian Gold went on tour with a backup band that did not include Bernhard Lloyd or Ricky Echolette. Members of that backup band eventually became official members of Alphaville after Lloyd and Echolette departed.
  • Troubled Production:
    • According to Marian, he and Bernhard fought a lot during production of The Breathtaking Blue. The album was recorded in a brand new studio which the band designed and financed themselves. The plan was they could record material as soon as it was written without the added process of creating demos, streamlining the production process. Instead, with no demos to fall back on, each band member tried to steer the recordings into their own artistic direction, and since they owned the studio and had no time limits, they developed a long, meticulous process for recording, mixing, and probably arguing. Klaus Schulze, who co-produced the album, intended to work on it for a few weeks, which turned into a year and a half. Additionally, while Alphaville's first two albums had a cohesive direction planned from the beginning, there was little idea of what direction The Breathtaking Blue would take. When the album was finished, none of the band members spoke to each other for two years. Prostitute came about only after Ricky Echolette insisted that they record another album.
    • Strange Attractor, which was originally slated for September 27, 2014, eventually released on April 7, 2017. The sudden death of band member Martin Lister is likely one factor in the delay, but Marian Gold has said that, like The Breathtaking Blue, recording on Strange Attractor started without much idea of what kind of album the band would create. Strange Attractor is also being recorded in between Alphaville's most active touring schedule in recent memory.
  • Uncredited Role: Alex Merl is credited as bassist on Strange Attractor even though Maja Kim was the bassist for most of the album's four-year production.
  • What Could Have Been: Marian Gold and Klaus Schulze nearly recorded a full, collaborative album, but work on it was never finished. Two songs from this collaboration did, however, appear on Crazyshow.note 

The film

  • Fan Nickname: Older American film collectors who came across posters/reels of the film used to nickname it Dick Tracy on the Moon, so much that it's still listed by that subtitle on some database sites.


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