15. How Munich and Frankfurt Brought (Electronic) Dance Music to the Top of the International Charts with Eurodisco and Eurodance – and Why Germany Was Not Involved



1. Silver Convention, “Fly, Robin, Fly”

From: Silver Convention, Jupiter Records, 89 100 OT, 1975, 33 1/3 rpm.



Germany played a key role in developing a new subgenre of disco which soon became known as “eurodisco”. “Fly, Robin, Fly” was not only a no. 1 hit in the US but became landmarks of eurodisco and the so called “Munich Sound”. Compared to earlier US-American disco songs, the beat and the bass were more repetitive and less syncopated while the songs in general were more focused on the bass drum and the bass. Eurodisco tracks often also prominently featured strings, which became a typical element especially for Silver Convention.


2. Donna Summer, “I Feel Love”

From: I Remember Yesterday, Casablanca, Bellaphon, NB 7037, 1977, 33 1/3 rpm.



The last song on Donna Summers album I Remember Yesterday should represent the future and this proved to be true: with this song Giorgio Moroder produced an international hit that became a blueprint for hi-NRG, techno and house and can be seen as the most important German influence on electronic dance music next to the music of Kraftwerk.


3. Boney M., “Rivers of Babylon”

From: Nightflight to Venus, Hansa International, 26 026 OT, 1978, 33 1/3 rpm.



The obvious strategy for producer Frank Farian to conquer the British and US-American charts with Boney M was to create an international image and not an image connected to Germany. And the arithmetic seemed to work. The song “Rivers of Babylon” was a hit in many countries, including the UK and the US.


4. Snap!, “The Power”

From: World Power, Logic Records, BMG, 260 682, 260 682-222, 1990, CD.



With its combination of a female singer who performed the refrain and a male rapper responsible for the verses, the international eurodance hit “The Power” established a formula that was applied in the production of many international chart breakers by eurodance producers in the first half of the 1990s. And this song has something in common with the aforementioned songs from the 1970s: the consequent downplaying of a German identity.