Sunday, February 11, 2018

Cloud of Sparrows





On  February 11, 1978 Nina Hagen Band, featuring the eccentric vocalist with an operatic howl, released their debut album, a European smash. Born in Communist Germany, Hagen renounced her citizenship after her dissident stepfather was exiled. She visited London, worked with The Slits, and discovered punk... or it it "Pank"?  With fellow Germans, she recorded this album for CBS.


"Naturträne" (Tear of Nature) is the stand out track to these ears. Hagen's range is extraordinary. Listen to the notes she hits at the end of the song.  You also get the sense that she may be a bit of a strange person to spend a day with.

Her career would see her demonstrating masturbation techniques on Austrian TV, singing about a UFO she witnessed in Florida and New York discos,  and marrying a teenage fan .


All of that was to come. Here we get Nina Hagen at the beginning of her career, performing a cover of The Tubes "White Punks on Dope", no less. 


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