Udo Lindenberg Bookmark and Share


17 May 1946

Udo Lindenberg starts his musical career at the age of 11 as a drummer for the Oldtime Jazzband. After school he keeps on playing in jazz and Dixieland groups. In the sixties he plays briefly for groups like Emergency and Klaus Doldinger Passport before trying on his own. On his debut Linderberg in 1971 he sings in English but he soon decides that he lacks enough knowledge of the language. Therefore he switches to German mixed with typical English rock terminology. In doing so he is one of the first German rockstars that mix schlager and rock

Slowly the german public gets used to Lindenberg and in 1974 the Ball Pompös sells 70000 copies in the first four months. The album also brings Lindenberg to TV with his own shows. This helps to boost sales of the follow up Votan Wahnwitz to 160.000 copies. In his lyrics Lindeberg is politically outspoken but he never loses the tongue-in-cheek humor. In 1976 he picks up a science fiction theme under the title 'Humanity in the future, man or machine'. The concept of the album 'Galaxo Gang' is build around the character Gene Galaxo who gets to outspoken for the government and is replaced by an artificial copy. The follow albums aren’t as surprising and feature more of the same. Critics at the time feared that Lindenberg had it. But he refinds himself with 'Panisch Nächte'. With the album he combines the fantasies of the previous albums, the political awareness and his romantic songwriting. The album is a success an Udo decides to take it to the stage as a rock revue. In 1978 he undertakes an extensive tour called 'Dröhnland Symphonie' with singers Inga Rumpf, Ulla Meinecke, Freya Wippich and 15 penguins (that open the show). The main theme of the revue is a song written about the drama at the ship the Andrea Doria. The success of this revue kind touring gets a sequel in 1979 when the central theme is the Detective.

For the international tour he is accompanied by Eric Burdon. In 1980 he takes up another discipline an makes he own feature film under the title 'Panische Zeiten'. The two million costing production sees Udo in the double role of artist and detective Coolman. After being brainwashed by the secret police the main character becomes Bundskansler and forms a new style of government. In real life Udo is also politically active by participating in the leftwing Freiheit Statt Strauss Kollektiv. His first idea was to create a Panik-Partei but that turns out to be unrealistic. Between 1980 en 83 he is very active for the Grünen. In 1984 he comes up with another concept called 'Götterhämmerung'. With the song 'Hallo DDR' he insinuates that he’s going to tour East Germany but this idea is abandoned as to provoking. The West German tour is spectacular never the less. With dancers, midgets, muscleman and acrobats he tries to recreate an old fashioned circus atmosphere. He tops this spectacle with the 'Feuerland-Revue' in (1988).

At the end of the eighties Lindenberg grows autobiographical with two musical projects and a book. 'Hermine' (88) is about his mother, 'Gustav' (91) about his father. His own life is described in the book 'El Panico, oder: Wie werde ich Popstar'. At the start of the millennium Lindenberg gets more and more attention from the gossip press who criticize his eccentric lifestyle (he only lives in hotel rooms in Berlin and Hamburg) and call him a clown. With his Panik Band he stays popular however. Albums like 'Panik Panther' (1992), 'Kosmos' (1995) and 'Und ewig rauscht die Linde' (1996) always get positive acclaim although they are hard to tell apart. In 1997 he reworks his songs in classical manner with the Filmorchester Babelsberg for the album 'Belcanto'. In spring of 2001 the political conscience of Lindenberg speaks out when he organises the demonstration and spectacle 'Rock gegen rechte Gewalt' against the upcoming Neonazi feelings. Artists like Nina Hagen, Peter Maffay, Nena, City, Söhne Mannheims, Ayman, Ben Becker und die 3 Highligen, Marius Müller-Westernhagen perform at the show. In 2002 he undertakes another musical and cinematic project under the title 'Atlantic Affairs'. This turns out to be his last album project for five years. In 2007 he does team up with Jan Delay for the single 'Im Arsch' but a new album has to wait untill 2008 when he releases the album 'Stark wie Zwei'.

* information amongst others from Das neue rock und pop lexicon and OOr’s pop encyclopedia.

On the web:

- Udo's website: http://udo-lindenberg.artists.warner.de

If you like this, you probably like.. / european counterparts:

Renato Zero (Italy)

What do we think:

DB: One has to get used to Udo. The husky voice and the projects can come off as pretentious. But Udo is completely sincere. It's hard to pinpoint an certain album of Udo that one has to own. Musically his albums all sound alike. Udo Lindenberg is straight forward rock 'n roll German style. He has a unique style but been doing so since 1970. A husky voice, msucially between schlager and rock and the songs that report from life at the dark side of society. If I had to pick two favourite albums I would probably choose 'Sister King Kong' (since it was the first Udo album I bought) and 'Gustav' (because of the different feel it has to the rest of the catalogue).

PR: One of Germany's most famous pop stars... for many decades now. He seems like a nice and sincere guy tom. His lyrics are often very personal and every once in a while he tries some experiment on his records. However, I doubt wether collecting all his records will ever become my quest... He has a nice, intersting voice and his albums are mostly of high quality. So your Europomusic collection should at least comntain one or two Lindenberg records.


♪♪♪♪ - Alles klar auf der Andrea Doria - 1973

♪♪ - Galaxo Gang - 1976

♪♪♪♪♪ - Sister King Kong - 1976

♪♪♪ - Panische Nächte - 1977

♪♪♪♪- Der Detektiv -1979

♪♪♪ - Udopia - 1981;

♪♪ - Keule - 1982 (DB: Udo tries Neue Deutsche Welle)

♪♪ - Feuerland - 1987

♪♪♪ - Casanova - 1988

♪♪♪ - Hermine - 1988

♪♪♪ - Bunte Republik Deutschland - 1989

♪♪♪♪♪ - Gustav - 1991

♪♪♪ - Benjamin - 1993

♪♪♪♪ - Stark wie zwei - 2008

- Starker als die zeit - 2016

Further listening:

Lindenberg - 1971; Daumen im Wind - 1972; Ball Pompös - 1974; Votan Wahnwitz - 1975; No Panic - 1976; Panik-Udo - 1976; Waldemar Wunderbar - 1976; Lindenbergs Rock-Revue - 1978; Dröhnland Symphonie - 1978; Livehaftig - 1979; Profile - 1980; Panische Zeiten - 1980; Alles klar - 1984; Honky Tonk Show - 1985; Lindstärke 10 - 1983; Götterhämmerung - 1984; Radio Eriwahn - 1985; Sündenknall - 1985; Phönix - 1986; Horizonte - 1986; Gänsehaut - 1987; Ich will Dich haben - 1990; Unter die Haut - 1991; Panik Panther - 1992; Kosmos - 1995; Und ewig rauscht die Linde - 1996; Belcanto - 1997; Ich schwöre - 2001; Atlantic Affairs - 2002;

♪♪♪♪♪ = outstanding album, an absolute must-have
♪♪♪♪ = great album, highly recomended
♪♪♪ = nice album
♪♪ = be careful, requires listening before buying
♪ = best to be avoided


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