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Biography of Modern Talking
Modern Talking was a German duo consisting of singer Thomas Anders and arranger, songwriter and producer Dieter Bohlen, with the participation of Luis Rodríguez in the production, the choir and background voices of Rolf Köhler, Michael Scholz and Detlef Wiedeke. They have been referred to as Germany’s most successful pop duo, and have had a number of hit singles, reaching the top five in many countries. Some of their most popular and widely known singles are «You’re My Heart, You’re My Soul», «You Can Win If You Want», «Cheri, Cheri Lady», «Brother Louie», «Atlantis Is Calling (S.O.S. for Love)» and «Geronimo’s Cadillac».
Modern Talking worked together from 1984 to 1987, then the band split up. In 1998, they reunited and made a successful comeback, recording and releasing music from 1998 to 2003. The duo released singles which again entered the top ten in Germany and abroad. Some of those singles were the re-recorded version of «You’re My Heart, You’re My Soul ’98». After the duo’s second and final break-up in 2003, their global sales had reached 120 million singles and albums combined.
First formed at the end of 1984, they unexpectedly became immensely popular in the beginning of 1985 with «You’re My Heart, You’re My Soul», with which they occupied top ten positions in thirty-five countries including their homeland where the single perched at the top for six consecutive weeks, the single eventually went on to sell eight million copies worldwide. The track was then followed by another number-one hit, «You Can Win If You Want», which was released in the middle of 1985 from the debut album The 1st Album. The album was certified platinum in Germany for selling over 500,000 units.
Soon after their second hit, Modern Talking released the single «Cheri, Cheri Lady» which also quickly climbed to the top of the charts in West Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Norway, meanwhile entering the top ten in Sweden and the Netherlands. The single, being the only track released from their second album Let’s Talk About Love, managed to push the album to a platinum status in West Germany for sales of over 500,000. The success continued with two other number one singles such as «Brother Louie» and «Atlantis Is Calling (S.O.S. for Love)» both from the third album Ready for Romance. The duo also charted high with their sixth single «Geronimo’s Cadillac» from the fourth album In the Middle of Nowhere and «Jet Airliner» from their fifth album Romantic Warriors.
Due to their lacklusterly received sixth album, Bohlen announced the end of the project during an interview, while Anders was in Los Angeles. This sparked further animosities between the two, who had had a tumultuous and quarreling relationship even when they were together. According to Bohlen, the main reason for breaking up the group was Anders’ then-wife Nora, who refused to have her husband interviewed by female reporters, and constantly demanded huge changes made to shows, videos or recordings, a fact that Anders later admitted in his biography. After a final phone call during which both men heavily insulted each other, they refused to speak with each other for over 10 years.
During this era, Modern Talking were successful in Europe, Asia, South America, Middle East, particularly in Iran. In the United Kingdom, they entered the top five only once, with the song «Brother Louie». They were almost unknown in North America, never appearing on the US charts. They released two albums each year between 1985 and 1987, while also promoting their singles on television all over Europe, eventually selling sixty-five million records within three years.
Particularly notable is that Modern Talking were the first Western bloc band in the Cold War which was allowed to officially sell their records in the Soviet Union, as part of Mikhail Gorbachev’s Glasnost reforms in 1986. Modern Talking were the first Western band to be authorized because they did not come directly from the United States and the United Kingdom and also because of the apolitical nature of their lyrics. As a result, they still maintain a large fanbase in Eastern Europe.
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