Fascinating facts about 'I'm in Love with a German Film Star':
Contrary to popular belief, the German Film Star referred to in the song is not Klaus Kinski, Curd Jürgens, Jürgen Prochnow or even Marlene Dietrich. In fact he was neither German nor a star but a certain Steve Connelly, aka Roadent, one time roadie for the Clash and the Sex Pistols. However, he did appear in several minor German films
The echoplex guitar sound was inspired in part by the early 1970s recordings of the late John Martyn.
The strange bass drum sound on the record was achieved by feeding the signal through a vocoder.
The track was produced by Pete Wilson who was the in-house Polydor producer at the time. He also worked with the Jam and produced ‘Waiting for a Miracle’ with the Comsat Angels. He was responsible for the ‘drums in the stairwell’ sound on that album.
David on how the band wrote German Film Star: ‘It was a song that almost seemed to write itself. We were ‘rehearsing’ at Clink studios in Southwark, which meant standing around holding instruments while sipping really bad tea. Clive and I were jamming a three chord progression which Barbara liked. She scribbled a few words. We stopped. “I’m in love with a German film star” Barbara said. Richard put his fag out and picked up his drum sticks. “That’s a hit single” he said….’
The song seems to pop up regularly as a question on the BBC's Popmaster quiz.
The record was single of the week in all the music weeklies (see NME cutting right), ‘Peoples Choice’ on London’s Capital Radio and sold more than 130,000 copies in the first few weeks of release. Despite all this and two ‘Top of the Pops’ appearances, it only reached number 25 in the UK charts. Strange but true. Did this have anything to do with the record company not being able to get sufficient records into the shops because they hadn’t pressed enough?
The song has been covered by, amongst others, Fiorious, Dubstar, Pet Shop Boys & Sam Taylor-Wood, Burnt Out Stable Girl , Kish Mauve, Rufus D Poindexter, Foo Fighters, Linoleum, The Names, Sushirobo, Katell Keineg & Nina Hynes, Chris Whitley, Katsen, Antonio,The Glimmer Room, P4 (None Night of Flexipop Volume 2), Dave Clarke (remix). If you know of any other covers, please contact us.
'I'm in Love with a German Film Star'
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