Yosha recently posted this on the mailing list and I thought it was worth sharing here. It's an interesting look at those years between the "Ekstasy" and "Nina Hagen" albums, pondering what happened to certain songs that were released as singles and some which didn't make the cut.
Fortunately I've changed my views about Nina Hagen in many ways, but well I know a lot of her unreleased songs (originals and covers) but wonder if there were many more that haven't made it beyond the rehearsal studio, and what songs or what kind of album she had in mind when we read there were talkings about a record deal with Warner Brothers in spring 1986 with a new album to come in autumn the same year, as I don't know much songs from that particular year, except "Don't Kill The Animals" (written spring 1986), "Jealousy", "World Now", "Teenie Idol" (don't know when exactly the last ones were written), and a few covers, like "I'm a Believer" (Monkees), "Pumping (My Heart)" (Patti Smith), "Diana" (Paul Anka/German version), "Light My Fire" (The Doors), "We Are The World" (German lyrics by Nina Hagen).
But maybe she was just talking about planning to do an album without most of songs yet been created. Regardless, that deal with Warner never came about.
1987 saw the new live songs "Dirty Deutschland", "Südafrika", "Tschernobyl", "Punkhochzeit" (the four of them in German and English versions"), "Schlümpfe und Elfen", "Ich bin ein Berliner" (also with studio version, performed playback in at leat two 1988 TV shows), "Super Freak Family", "Himalaya", one song against smoking cigarettes, and covers like "Holidays In The Sun" (Sex Pistols), "Foxy Lady" (Jimi Hendrix).
Also, when she got a record deal with Phonogram/Mercury in late summer or autumn 1988, she presented them with three different album concepts – wonder what they were. Perhaps one of them was the "party album" she announced in early 1988 (with new song "Where's The Party?", apparently also the planned album title for some time), in spring 1988 she thought of the new album title being "Ich bin ein Berliner", or "Nina for President – Ich bin ein Berliner", which was finally not used as the song "Ich bin ein Berliner" didn't make it on the album. That time she was also talking about one German and one English version of the album.
Additional live songs first heard in 1988 were "You Couldn't Do It Without My Love" (with Nina For President" incorporated into the song), "Berlin – Hauptstadt der DDR", "Zwischen Erfurt und Gera", and covers "Dope Sucks" (Herman Brood), "Try" (Janis Joplin).
The live arrangements from 1988 shows were pretty different than 1987 (also for the same songs) although it was the very same band. In 1987 they've used more electronics. I've read about three songs from the time that I haven't heard yet – "One Kiss Daily", "James Dean Dream" (could be identical with "Tennie Idol" though), and that song against smoking cigarettes she did live in late 1987.
Well as I said I'm not sure what were the "three album concepts" she presented the new record company with in late 1988.. and I don't know about possible unheard material from the years between "Nina Hagen in Ekstasy" and "Nina Hagen".
I've read the new company wasn't happy with the songs of a political content ("Dirty Deutschland", "Tschernobyl" and so on). When the album was recorded in London in late 1988/early 1989, from the existing songs they used "Super Freak Family", "Dope Sucks", "Where's The Party?", and chose to use "Move Over" (which she played live from the early 70s, also in 1979 live shows), "Live On Mars" and "Only Seventeen" might be totally new songs, as they were co-written with the album's producer, but I don't know if the ideas of the remaining songs were born in the studio (or short time before), or if they were around already for longer, even before the new record deal.
Her 2002 books says two songs are on the album because she heard them blasted out from some shops she went by when walking to/from the recording studio (one of them was "Viva Las Vegas", well she did it already live in some 1983 shows, perhaps it means she remembered this when hearing it near the studio and therefore used it for the album), the other one was "Hold Me" I believe, but the idea of doing a gospel cover dates back to 1983 because then her girlfriend, the peep-show model Angelyne told her to do a gospel song after looking into her crystal ball, or something stupid like that, and then around 1988 Mahalia Jackson came into one of Nina's dream and told her the same, and hearing "Hold Me" when walking by some shop near the studio may be the reason she chose that particular song.
Who knows, it could even be that "Live On Mars" and "Only Seventeen" were written before the new record deal, because she got to know the album's producer (who co-wrote them) when he was producing Udo Lindenberg's new album in 1988 for the same company (Nina did guest vocals), and that's how Nina's new record deal finally came about.
After all, it was all a mess, and unlike with her first album she wasn't really in control and didn't have much of a say against record companies.
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