From Boney M. to Rammstein: pop and rock from Germany

America invented rock’n’roll, England gave us beat music. But Germany too has played its part in shaping the history of pop and rock. Psychedelic krautrock became a byword for German music in the 1970s and 'Munich Disco' enriched the dance-pop scene and paved the way for techno. Punk, hardrock and electronica from Germany are also popular around the world.

Nena's massive hit 99 Luftballons (1983) was a catchy peace song protest against the deployment of Pershing-II missiles. Good fortune meant that Nena's song reached the USA and, after being released as 99 Red Balloons, it went to the number one spot even in Japan, Mexico, Canada, Australia and the UK.

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No German band has had a greater influence on international music than Kraftwerk. The band formed by Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider, two former architecture students, laid the foundations for the development of electronic pop music and the techno aesthetic.

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Herbert Grönemeyer's honest, open and committed style has won the singer many admirers. Since his hit album Mensch (2002), he has had three number one hits in Germany including the 2006 World Cup anthem Zeit, dass sich was dreht.

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This band formed by singer/songwriter Campino (real name: Andreas Frege) are one of Germany's most successful punk rock bands. Their social satire sometimes has traits of cabaret (Eisgekühlter Bommerlunder, Kein Alkohol ist auch keine Lösung).

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Die Ärzte's provocative punk humour isn't for everyone. For almost 20 years, Debil their 1984 debut album was deemed unsuitable for playing on certain public media, and two other albums are still listed today. But since reforming in 1993, the cocky trio has enjoyed greater success than ever before.

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Although band leader and singer Wolfgang Niedecken sings in Cologne dialect, BAP's Kölschrock is understood all over the world. Niedecken modelled himself on Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen – and his band's music is just as direct and honest as theirs.

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Identical twins Bill and Tom Kaulitz were not even twelve years old when they formed their band in Magdeburg in 2001. Four years later Tokio Hotel had their first number one hit in Germany – with the song Durch den Monsun.

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