Lost in the ’80s: Nena

Written by Lost in the '80s, Music

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NenaGerman new wave combo Nena secured their place in rock history with the one-hit wonderdom of “99 Luftballons” in 1984, but I’ve always been a bit of a sucker for the equally catchy follow-up, “Just a Dream” (download) (an English-language remake of a German hit titled “Nur Geträumt”). With its Blondie ambitions and playground sing-along chorus, “Dream” was taken from the 99 Luftballons LP, a U.S. compilation of Nena’s first two German albums with some English translation added on one side. “Dream” was accompanied by one of those wacky, made-on-the-cheap videos that were de regur at the time — look at us and the shenanigans we get into while on tour! And I wasn’t the only one that found lead singer Gabriele “Nena” Kerner kinda hot, hairy European armpits and all:

[kml_flashembed movie="http://youtube.com/v/uTtqweesc7o" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Despite the band’s best efforts, “Just a Dream” failed to crack the Hot 100, which was incredibly disappointing coming off a huge #2 single like “99 Luftballons.” Perhaps the lack of any kind of melody in the verses hurt. The video did grab some light MTV rotation and alternative radio play, but not enough to make too much of an impact. The album, however, remains in print, which is sort of surprising when you consider the number of compilations on which “99 Luftballons” has been featured.

“Just a Dream” peaked at #102 on the Billboard Bubbling Under Chart in 1984.

Get Nena music at Amazon or on Nena