Recently I have been working to make a dent in Panikherz, the recently released nearly 600-page memoir from one of my favorite German authors, Benjamin von Stuckrad-Barre. In the book, Stuckrad writes of his life growing up and his later battles with drugs and an eating disorder. Throughout the book he weaves in the thread of musician Udo Lindenberg. Lindenberg was his childhood music hero who has since become a close friend. While I do not know if it is a coincidence or not, just over a month after Stuckrad released Panikherz, Lindenberg himself is releasing a new album. Stärker als die Zeit is set to hit stores in late April. So it seems the time has never been better to highlight Udo Lindenberg for those German language learners looking to listen to some good old rock ‘n’ roll.
2016 is a big year for Udo Lindenberg. The singer will be turning 70 and Stärker als die Zeit will, somewhat amazingly, be his 36th studio album. For those watching the German music scene, Lindenberg has been hard to miss since he first showed up in the 1970s. He is known as much these days for his somewhat raspy voice and mannerisms as he is for the hat that seems perpetually perched on his head and the cigar dangling from his fingers. But it was his flair for the German language that made him pop in the German language pop rock scene.
If you only notice a few references to Hamburg in Lindenberg’s music then you are not paying attention. Consider him the honorary mayor of the port city where he lives, full-time, in a hotel. Some days he does not even have to leave the hotel to work. 2011’s MTV Unplugged – Live aus dem Hotel Atlantic was one of his biggest hits and one of Germany’s biggest selling live albums. The unplugged album saw him collaborate with younger contemporaries like Clueso and Jan Delay.
It goes without saying that Udo Lindenberg has made a lasting impression and impact on German language music. Get to know Udo Lindenberg better with the four selections below. From the classic rock sound of 1973’s “Andrea Doria” to “Durch die schweren Zeiten,” his latest single that was released merely weeks ago, there is plenty to explore when it comes to Lindenberg.
Looking for another Ohrwurm to help you learn German? Check out previously featured musicians and bands!
Photo by Tine Acke and used courtesy of Udo Lindenberg’s official website.