Herbert Grönemeyer‘s career really took off after the release of 1981’s Das Boot. In the film, a young Grönemeyer portrays Lieutenant Werner, a journalist reporting from a German submarine during World War II. The lengthy film keeps you on the edge of your seat as the crew encounters one issue and misfortune after another. But while Das Boot was widely successful and received strong reviews, Grönemeyer’s career took off in a completely different direction not long after. He has continued to act — albeit sparingly.
These days, and for much of the past two decades, Grönemeyer has been best known as a musician. The most successful artist in Germany with a combined album sales of over 13 million to be exact. So it makes perfect sense for German language learners to give Grönemeyer a listen and get some practice!
While Grönemeyer did release several albums between 1979 and 1983, it was his 1984 album 4630 Bochum that was the turning point in his musical career. The album went to the top of the German charts, number seven in Austria and twelve in Switzerland.
It was a precedent that Grönemeyer’s musical releases would continue to follow. Every record he’s released since 4630 Bochum has gone to number one in Germany and almost the same in Austria and Switzerland. Since then he has won countless awards and even started his own record label: Grönland Records.
Grönemeyer has tried to reach out to English speakers. 2012’s I Walk was his English language debut. It features guest appearances by Bono, as well as members of the Manic Street Preachers and Antony and the Johnsons. A successful tour of the United States also followed the album’s release.
2014’s Dauernd jetzt was Herbert Grönemeyer’s thirteenth full-length release and his most recent.
To get a taste of Herbert Grönemeyer’s music — if you are still unfamiliar — let’s check out three German language tracks to shake up learning German. Highlighted below are “Mensch” and “Der Weg” from the album Mensch and “Was soll das?” from 1988’s Ö.
Looking for another Ohrwurm to help you learn German? Check out previously featured musicians and bands!
Photo by Henning Heide from Grönemeyer’s Facebook page.