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German synth pop group Alphaville enjoyed major success in the United States with their early hits "Forever Young" and "Big in Japan," and went on to a lasting career in Europe, South America, and Asia. Alphaville were formed by vocalist and lyricist Marian Gold and keyboard player Bernhard Lloyd, both of whom were members of the Nelson Community, a multimedia art collective based in Berlin. Gold and Lloyd were part of a short-lived band called Chinchilla Green (other members went on to form the groups Melody Nelson and Girl Next Door), and when Lloyd began putting together a new act with fellow keyboardist Frank Mertens in 1982, they invited Gold to be their lead singer. Originally known as Forever Young, the band borrowed the name Alphaville from the acclaimed 1965 film by Jean-Luc Godard. In 1983, Alphaville landed an international record deal with WEA, and the following year they released their debut single, "Big in Japan." The song soon became a major worldwide hit, and Alphaville's first album, Forever Young, quickly followed. Despite the band's sudden success, Frank Mertens opted to leave the band by the end of 1984, and the group added former Chinchilla Green member Ricky Echolette on guitar and keyboards. In 1986, Alphaville released their second album, Afternoons in Utopia, which introduced a more lush and ambitious sound for the trio, with dozens of studio musicians contributing to the project, and for their third LP, The Breathtaking Blue, the trio collaborated with producer Klaus Schulze, a former member of Tangerine Dream and Ash Ra Tempel. The group invited several noted filmmakers to create videos for each of the album's nine songs, which were released under the collective title Songlines; one of the videos, Balance, went on to win the 1990 Academy Award for Best Animated Short Subject. In 1992, Marian Gold released a solo album and Alphaville began work on their fourth album; sessions took place over the course of two years, and in 1993, the previously studio-only group took a break and gave its first public live performances, in Lebanon and Finland. The album Prostitute was finally issued in 1994, in 1996 Ricky Echolette left Alphaville as the group prepared for a world tour in London. (Some of Echolette's songs and performances would appear on the next Alphaville album, 1997's Salvation.) Alphaville performed regularly in Europe and South America and celebrated their first 15 years in 1999 with Dreamscapes, an ambitious eight-disc retrospective release, and soon after began releasing their music in Europe through their own label. That same year, Salvation received a belated release in the United States, and the group celebrated by playing its first American dates, a pair of concerts in Salt Lake City that were filmed and released on the DVD Little America. In 2003, Bernhard Lloyd announced his departure from Alphaville; the group's official lineup was then Gold on vocals, Martin Lister (their live musical director) on keyboards and electronics, Dave Goodes on guitar, and Jakob Kiersch on drums. In 2010, after several years of steady touring, live and remix releases, and various solo projects, Alphaville returned with the album Catching Rays on Giant, their first commercial effort in over a decade. In May 2014, Lister passed away unexpectedly. His duties were assumed by Carsten Brocker. Bassist Maja Kim parted ways with the group in 2016, replaced by Alexandra Merl. The following year, Alphaville issued their seventh LP, Strange Attractor. ~ Mark Deming
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Top Songs by

  1.   Song
  2.   Forever Young
  3.   Big in Japan
  4.   Forever Young 2001
  5.   The Jet Set
  6.   Rendezvoyeur
  7.   End of the World
  8.   Sounds Like a Melody
  9.   I Die for You Today
  10.   Jerusalem
  11.   Phantoms
  12.   All in the Golden Afternoon
  13.   Carol Masters
  14.   Ain't It Strange
  15.   Miracle Healing
  16.   The Things I Didn't Do
  17.   Sensations
  18.   Next Generation
  19.   In the Mood
  20.   Summer in Berlin
  21.   Some People
  22.   Faith
  23.   The Impossible Dream
  24.   The Voyager
  25.   IAO
  26.   Red Rose
  27.   A Victory of Love
  28.   For a Million
  29.   Fantastic Dream
  30.   Universal Daddy
  31.   A Handful Oo Darkness
  32.   Beyond the Laughing Sky
  33.   Heartbreak City
  34.   Fever!
  35.   Nevermore
  36.   Mafia Island
  37.   House of Ghosts
  38.   La Escalera
  39.   De Mascaras y Enigmas
  40.   Concrete Soundtraxx For Imaginary Films I
  41.   Vingt Mille Lieues Sous Les Mers
  42.   The Nelson Highrise Sector 2: The Mirror incl. The Other Side Of U / Airlines / T.O.S.O.U. (Reprise)
  43.   Gravitation Breakdown
  44.   Song for No One
  45.   Call Me Down
  46.   Call Me
  47.   Giants
  48.   Anyway
  49.   Patricia's Park
  50.   Heaven or Hell
  51.   Apollo
  52.   Spirit of the Age
  53.   Control
  54.   Point of Know Return
  55.   Guardian Angel
  56.   Inside Out
  57.   Soul Messiah
  58.   Monkey in the Moon
  59.   Flame
  60.   She Fades Away
  61.   Ariana
  62.   Cosmopolitician
  63.   Carry Your Flag
  64.   Pandora's Lullaby
  65.   New Horizons
  66.   Welcome To the Sun
  67.   Seeds
  68.   Wishful Thinking
  69.   Lies
  70.   Fallen Angel
  71.   To Germany With Love
  72.   Apolla
  73.   Euphoria
  74.   The One Thing
  75.   Iron John
  76.   Romeos
  77.   The Mysteries of Love
  78.   Lassie Come Home
  79.   Dance With Me
  80.   Summer Rain
  81.   Fools
  82.   Afternoons in Utopia
  83.   20th Century
  84.   Lady Bright
  85.   The Paradigm Shift
  86.   Beethoven
  87.   Ascension Day
  88.   Marionettes With Halos
  89.   Middle of the Riddle
  90.   Heaven on Earth (The Things We've Got to Do)
  91.   Enigma
  92.   Dangerous Places
  93.   Oh Patti
  94.   Sexyland
  95.   The Deep
  96.   Parade
  97.   Ivory Tower
  98.   Around the Universe
  99.   Paisajes Nocturnos