Federal Republic of Germany 1950–1989
Until the 1960s, German rock music was based on the imitation of American or British models, the latter also following the American model. Singers like P. Kraus and Ted Herold (* 1942) offered no real alternative to E. Presley and C. Berry, but merely proved that the German hit, which had already successfully integrated elements of jazz and musicals, also included rock music understood how to use. In this sense, hits like “Marble, Stone and Iron Breaks” (1965) by Drafi Deutscher (* 1946, † 2006) could still be heard years later.be heard as rock music. Authentic rock music, on the other hand, was imported, largely on phonograms, but also through films. The feature film “Blackboard Jungle” (1955; director: Richard Brooks; German “Die Saat der Demokratie”) with the song “Rock around the clock”, recorded a year earlier by B. Haley, established rock music in Germany on the one hand Germany as youth music, but at first led to their extensive social ostracism. German musicians did not dare to imitate the American interpreters of this rebellious music directly, but instead stuck to role models such as Perry Como (* 1912, † 2001), P. Anka, Ricky Nelson (* 1940, † 1985) and v. a. the British C. Richard. An audience used to Schlager would find songs like “Sugar, sugar baby” much easier to offer than German-language versions of songs by C. Berry, for example. Nevertheless, there were numerous amateur rock ‘n’ roll bands in Germany. The Beatles’first successes, many of their early appearances in Hamburg, led to a wave of bands being formed in the early 1960s. Even if young German bands such as The Rattles and The Lords were not inferior to the British in terms of instrumental and compositional skills, they had a more difficult position in Germany than the British musicians in their home country.
Until the mid-1960s, radio and television took only marginal notice of rock music; the possibility and necessity of special youth programs was initially not seen. A youth culture developed in which rock music, which was released on records and heard in concerts, formed the basis until the 1960s. It was not until the end of the 1960s that rock music, now featured in the radio charts, found its place in initially one-hour daily broadcasts (such as the “5 o’clock Club” on Norddeutscher Rundfunk or “Hallo Twen” on Saarländischer Rundfunk). The television rejected his series “Beat Club” (Radio Bremen since 1965; Director: Michael “Mike” Leckebusch) to the British series »Ready Steady Go« (since 1963) and gained its own profile in the 1970s.
German rock music that only indirectly follows Anglo-American models has been possible since around 1968, when German rock groups with their own musical influences performed at the »Essener Songtagen« and the first records by bands such as Amon Düül, Amon Düül II, Faust, CAN, Birth Control, Tangerine Dream, Frumpy (around the singer Inga Rumpf), Guru Guru and countless others have been published. Sometimes it was also called “Free Rock”, but German rock music was not noticed abroad, only, especially in Great Britain, disrespectfully called “Krautrock”. At the beginning of the 1970s, also in the wake of the diverse possibilities that rock music after the »Beatles« and after Woodstock opened, German rock music was able to establish itself. Groups such as Kraftwerk and Clay Stones, Shards were sometimes known beyond Germany, and Kraftwerk was even more successful in the USA than in their home country. The first records by Ash Ra Temple, Cluster et al. Bands. At the end of the 1970s, singers such as U. Lindenberg, M. Müller-Westernhagen, Ina Deter and H. Grönemeyer also stood for independent rock music that came from the major German cities of Hamburg, Düsseldorf, Berlin, Frankfurt am Main and Munich.
When first punk rock and a little later until the end of the 1970s the New Wave split Anglo-American rock music, musicians and record companies in Germany countered this development with the “Neue Deutsche Welle” (NDW). Until then, the use of the German language was not undisputed. B. German-American friendship, Din A test picture, Einstürzende Neubauten, false colors, extra wide, Hans-A-Plast, Ideal, Neonbabies, Der Plan, PVC and Tempo. The groups and musicians often took over the marketing of their music themselves and founded labels and own independent distributors. Conversely, the record industry signed bands and musicians more or less indiscriminately and in large numbers who had little more to offer than one or two successful songs that would have been received as hits just a few years earlier. Even those that followed well-known hard rock patterns, such as Nena or the Nina Hagen band, published their records under the name »NDW«. But already at the beginning of the 1980s, the momentum of the NDW slackened, only those bands and individual musicians could assert themselves who preferred a rather conservative, mostly perfectly crafted music based on the Anglo-American model. Even if most of the German musicians were not known beyond the borders of their home country, a few managed to gain a foothold even in the USA and other countries, for example the hard rock band Scorpions and Nena. In the meantime, bands such as Fury in the Slaughterhouse or Element of Crime have established themselves in the Federal Republic of Germany. Overall, by the end of the 1980s, German rock music had established itself as a permanent fixture on the German music market, with a few stars (e.g. Grönemeyer, Müller-Westernhagen, P. Maffay, Rio Reiser) facing numerous bands that only had one played an insignificant role in musical life. At an international level, German rock music has never really been of any importance.