is a German synthpop group which gained popularity in the 1980s. The founding members were Marian Gold (real name Hartwig Schierbaum
, born May 26, 1954 in Herford), Bernhard Lloyd (real name Bernhard Gößling
, born June 6, 1960 in Enger, North Rhine-Westphalia), and Frank Mertens (real name Frank Sorgatz
, born October 26, 1961 in Enger, North Rhine-Westphalia). The band was at first named Forever Young
before changing to Alphaville. They are best known for their two biggest hits, "Big in Japan" and "Forever Young".
In 1984, the re-named Alphaville released their debut single "Big in Japan", quickly followed by the album Forever Young. Despite its success, Frank Mertens left the band that year and was replaced by Ricky Echolette (born Wolfgang Neuhaus, in Cologne, August 6, 1960) in January 1985 – already credited in the "Forever Young" album. Marian Gold is still performing today.
"Big In Japan" was Alphaville's biggest hit, topping the charts in Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and the U.S. Billboard Dance Chart (the group's only Top 10 on any Billboard chart), and reached the Top Five in Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Ireland and South Africa. It also became the group's only Top 20 single in the UK, peaking at #8.
The band's next two singles, "Sounds Like a Melody" and "Forever Young", were also both European Top 10 successes.
Afternoons in Utopia
In 1986, their second album, Afternoons in Utopia, was successfully released and its first single "Dance with Me" was a big international hit, reaching the Top 20 in Germany, France, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and South Africa, and n°25 in Austria. The LP was followed up in 1989 with The Breathtaking Blue, including the highly acclaimed singles "Romeos" and "Mysteries of Love". The album was released as a CD+G, including black & white stills with original lyrics and German translation. As an alternative to individual music videos, the band enlisted nine producers, among them Godfrey Reggio (Koyaanisqatsi), to create a film entitled Songlines based on the album's tracks.
The next album, Prostitute, was not released until 1994. In 1996, Ricky Echolette left the band. Salvation, a back-to-the-root opus, followed in 1997. Stark Naked and Absolutely Live was released in 2000, followed by the remix album, Forever Pop the following year. A DVD – Little America – was released in 2001 documenting two concerts performed in Salt Lake City, Utah.