Thursday, December 9, 2021

"Forever Young" by Alphaville

Song#:  3696
Date:  10/29/1988
Debut:  91
Peak:  65
Weeks:  14
Genre:  Synthpop

Pop Bits:  This German trio's first US single, 1984's "Big in Japan," would be a #1 Dance hit, but it could only manage to reach #66 at Pop. Their next charting single would be the title track to their debut album Forever Young. Upon initial release it didn't get very far peaking at a very minor #93 at Pop and #32 Dance. Their second album, 1986's Afternoons in Utopia, would feature three tracks that reached the Dance chart, but none were able to make the Pop chart. Still looking for a US breakthrough, their label, Atlantic, decided to toss a compilation album together of songs that made the US dance chart in hopes of generating more interest in the trio. The LP consisted of four songs with each one presented in two different remixes or versions. One of the songs selected for the project, titled Alphaville: The Singles Collection, was "Forever Young." Both the special extended remix would be on the LP along with the original album version. To help promote the package, "Forever Young" was reissued out as a single. It was able to get back on the Pop chart and on its second run the tune hung on the chart for a good length of time, but it still couldn't break through in a bigger way. The Collection LP was then unable to chart. It would be the trio's last single to make a US chart.

ReduxReview:  There's not much I can add to what I originally posted when it first hit the chart. Although it never became a big hit in the US, it certainly has had a long shelf life. It has been remade by several artists including Laura Branigan and more recently in a live version by Grammy winner Brandi Carlile. It was even the basis of the Jay-Z rap track "Young Forever," which was from his 2009 LP The Blueprint 3. It would be released as a single and get to #10 Pop/#86 R&B/#16 Rap. Alphaville's original track would be featured in a few movies as well like 2004's Napoleon Dynamite. It should have been a much bigger hit back in the day, but at least it certainly wasn't forgotten.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  While the band's fortunes dipped heavily with their third LP, 1989's The Breathtaking Blue, they continued to perform over the years and drop the occasional album. They had a bit of a comeback in their homeland of Germany in 2010 when they issued out the LP Catching Rays on Giant. It would end up getting to #9 thanks to a pair of charting singles including the #15 "I Die for You Today." By that point, the only original member left in the band was lead singer Marian Gold.


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