From the first time I heard NENA’s amazing 1983 song 99 Luftballons I was riveted to the power and beauty of her voice and song! When I heard it again a half dozen months later in English I liked it even more, because the lyrics were telling a story that needed to be told. She didn’t slow down for a minute from then to 1987, at which point the band sadly imploded. She returned as a solo artist in 1989, with the second stage of her career going full tilt until 1997. She has had the full support of her original band members the whole time, including her ex, for both live and studio events. Not something many rock stars can say in that same situation.

After some film work and time to raise here family, she returned to the music scene with new tunes around 2005; during the between time she did manage to release a bunch of live albums. She kicked off the third stage of her music career with the 2 CD set of original music Would you like to go with me followed by a 2 CD collection of covers of some of her favorite music called, appropriately enough Cover Me. I particularly like that one of the covers was the most important song from Bowie’s Berlin Trilogy, called Helden in German, Heroes in English. After that she seems to have been releasing around an album of original music each year.

Then came the pandemic. She had few shows last year, and this year she has a handful of tour dates scheduled, 2 major festivals per month ending in September. Starting in March of 2022 she will return in force, with what seems to be 2 concerts scheduled for every 3 days for the whole rest of the year. With lots of other bands following the same pattern, this has become the New Normal.

It was easy to pick the first tune to include here, since it chose itself: 99 Luftballons. This version was posted from a live tour performance from 2018, as was the 2nd track, Willst Du Mit Mir Gehn. For the third one I went with Licht; Enjoy!