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Rock und Roll deutschen Stil
August 14, 2013 2:15 PM   Subscribe

The Baseballs are a German rock and roll band founded in Berlin in 2007. They became popular with 50s and 60s style rock cover versions of modern hits such as "Umbrella","Hot n Cold","Call Me Maybe", "Tik Tok", and "Poker Face".
posted by The Whelk (37 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
I have seen them live in a town in regional Poland and the show was great fun. Not so much when they asked everyone in English to thank the Lord Jesus for the wonderful evening, but overall pretty great.
posted by mdonley at 2:19 PM on August 14, 2013


I never thought I'd say this in a million years, but: This music needs more saxophone.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:28 PM on August 14, 2013 [6 favorites]


Nice to see the Barenaked Ladies have a new look.
posted by unSane at 2:31 PM on August 14, 2013


It's like the 50s rock version of The Boss Hoss, a German band that became famous for their modern country covers of pop and rap songs (e.g. "I Say a Little Prayer", "Hey Ya!", "Hot in Herre").
posted by jedicus at 2:37 PM on August 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


And Max Raabe . Chronoclastic covers are a German thing i guess
posted by The Whelk at 2:40 PM on August 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh man I could have sworn I heard about them from here! Loved them for years.

Umbrella is definitely my go-to for convincing friends to go along with my crazy suggestions.
"It's a german band that sound like Elvis and cover pop songs!"
"no."
*plays Umbrella*
"Ok yes!"

And that's when I bring on the truly weird music
posted by Lemurrhea at 2:41 PM on August 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's been done before*: Big Daddy.
Whip It, Safety Dance, Ice Ice Baby, Once in a Lifetime, Welcome to the Jungle,

*and with better source material... or am I exposing my "these dumb kids and their dumb music" bias?
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:55 PM on August 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


*and with better source material... or am I exposing my "these dumb kids and their dumb music" bias?

Yes. ;-)

Anyway, they are definitely slicker than I was expecting. I hoped for down-and-dirty, rockabilly-style, fuzz and stomp covers. I wanted them to drag Lady Gaga through mud and scuzz and motorcycle exhaust. These are a bit more like ... I dunno ... "Walk of Life."

Maybe Billy Childish should produce their next album.
posted by mykescipark at 3:04 PM on August 14, 2013


The Poker Face medley was pretty great, but the icing on the cake was Unimpressed Rihanna at the end.
posted by psoas at 3:48 PM on August 14, 2013


Maybe Billy Childish should produce their next album.

Billy Childish needs to produce the stupid April March record we're all waiting for. Get to it, Billy.
posted by mintcake! at 3:59 PM on August 14, 2013


Somewhat related: I didn't know until I got the complete Beatles collection a couple years ago that they recorded German-language versions of "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" ("Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand") and "She Loves You" ("Sie Liebt Dich").
posted by zombieflanders at 4:08 PM on August 14, 2013


Loved them all, except for Poker Face (glad that was the last one, I might not have listened to the others, if it had been first).

Is no one going to mention how adorable they are?

Okay, I will: they're adorable!
posted by MoxieProxy at 4:08 PM on August 14, 2013


I never thought I'd say this in a million years, but: This music needs more saxophone.

Love in this Club has a pretty bitchin' sax part.
posted by Nanukthedog at 4:16 PM on August 14, 2013


It's been done before*: Big Daddy.

Oh god foop, I had their cover of Welcome To The Jungle on a mix CD like a million years ago and never got the name of the band and I've been looking for it on and off FOREVER.
posted by The Whelk at 4:27 PM on August 14, 2013


It's been done before*: Big Daddy.

Big Daddy deserves some credit for covering an entire an entire landmark album (their version was merely Sgt. Pepper's -- here is the capstone with an unfortunately amateurish video made by a fan) but doing each song as a different artist; "When I'm Sixty-Four," for example, was "Sixty Minute Man" by the Dominoes.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:57 PM on August 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh man, I thought they'd be playing instruments. They're like a boy band doing 50s-style versions of new songs.
posted by ChuckRamone at 5:51 PM on August 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


I like all these period remakes but I have to say the winner in this thread is definitely Welcome to the Jungle.
posted by immlass at 5:54 PM on August 14, 2013


I like it all right but I feel like the arrangements are all a little too fast.
posted by sweetkid at 6:24 PM on August 14, 2013


I didn't know until I got the complete Beatles collection a couple years ago that they recorded German-language versions of "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" ("Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand") and "She Loves You" ("Sie Liebt Dich").

Quite a few native English-speaking artists recorded phonetic German translations in the 60s. F'rinstance, here's Johnny Cash walking the line in German.

Ooh, we're coming full circle now, aren't we?
posted by Spatch at 7:25 PM on August 14, 2013


For reference Max Raabe, same gimmick, except it's modern hits transposed to 20s cabaret music.

I think it works a little better actually.
posted by The Whelk at 7:40 PM on August 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


Ha I knew you'd like them, Whelk.
posted by Rory Marinich at 8:37 PM on August 14, 2013


I BLAME YOU RORY.

I BLAME YOU.
posted by The Whelk at 8:45 PM on August 14, 2013


Holy cats I just listened to that Boss Hoss cover of Hey Ya, and that guy's Roger Miller voice before the break is Spot. On.
posted by Spatch at 9:55 PM on August 14, 2013


In similar vein from Finland: Francine - She Bop
posted by Authorized User at 10:06 PM on August 14, 2013


The Whelk: "For reference Max Raabe yt , same gimmick, except it's modern hits transposed to 20s cabaret music.

I think it works a little yt better actually. yt
"

That's pretty awesome. If I had to complain about something, the affected 20s vocal style seems perhaps a bit too affected, like an over the top parody of that style instead of an honest imitation. But it's a small complaint, because that Tainted Love cover is great.

(The OP covers are good too, although the slight but noticeable German accent grates a bit.)
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 10:28 PM on August 14, 2013


Oh god can't stop grinning.
posted by hopeless romantique at 10:30 PM on August 14, 2013


Max Raabe (und his Palaster Orchestra, don't forget) is more than just a "do modern songs in a twenties stylee" gimmick; they're serious in a way only a German can be about their approach to twenties camp.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:20 PM on August 14, 2013




yes so I live inside 1939 what's it to you
posted by The Whelk at 11:28 PM on August 14, 2013


I wanted to like these, but is it just me or are they all a bit atonal? It's weird. Is this a feature of rockabilly-ish music I never noticed before?
posted by lunasol at 2:22 AM on August 15, 2013


I expected to like this, but I didn't. Too bad. I really did want to. I like the concept, FWIW.
posted by Malice at 2:40 AM on August 15, 2013


yes so I live inside 1939 what's it to you

Well, are you going to get a shock come September 1st.
posted by MartinWisse at 3:58 AM on August 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


> I wanted to like these, but is it just me or are they all a bit atonal?

Not atonal, just featuring the weird (from a '50s point of view) chord progressions that are common now but make it impossible to play this music in a genuinely period way. Basically, these are just sped-up versions of modern pop tunes with Elvoid vocal stylings. They don't sound even a little bit like actual rock-'n'-roll. Which is interesting; I've felt for a long time that rock was dead, and this is a nice bit of proof. (No, I'm not telling you to get off my lawn, just pointing out that music changes. Although actually, now that I think about it: Get off my lawn.)
posted by languagehat at 6:20 AM on August 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


I used to visit this one shop downtown every month or so. Without fail, The Baseball's "Umbrella" would play while I spent no more than about 10 minutes in the shop. This went on for the better part of a year. I never figured out if they had a rather short playlist on loop or if this was just a bizarre coincidence.
posted by knile at 10:39 PM on August 15, 2013


And then there's Texas Lightning. German band, Australian lead singer, country music. Their cover album Meanwhile, Back at the [Golden] Ranch... is brilliant. Sadly, it's not available in the U.S. through conventional means, and most of their stuff isn't on YouTube, either. (Aside from their Eurovision performance of original song "No, No Never.")

That said, here are a few. Like a Virgin, Enjoy the Silence, Bad Case of Loving You.
posted by Shmuel510 at 7:22 AM on August 16, 2013


It's been done before*: Big Daddy.

This spoof dates from 1972.

Godfrey Daniel, Hey Jude

Allegedly, the members of Godfrey Daniel were the Amboy Dukes sans Ted Nugent playing under another name. The rest of the Dukes sound like pretty cool guys. Wonder how they put up with the Nuge for all those years?
posted by jonp72 at 1:39 PM on August 16, 2013


If anybody in this thread is still following it, the latest episode of Coverville may be relevant to your interests.
posted by Shmuel510 at 10:07 AM on August 22, 2013


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