The Top 10 German music acts of the 90s
In the 90s the Berlin club scene boomed and millions of techno fans danced at the annual Love Parade festival. Techno and eurodance from reunified Germany were defining genres of the decade, gaining worldwide popularity.
Number 10: Haddaway
Born in Trinidad & Tobago, Alexander Nestor Haddaway moved to Germany in 1987. He started out playing in an American football team, but then decided his true calling was in music. Released in 1992, “What Is Love” was initially snubbed by radio stations – but nevertheless became a global smash hit. The album it was taken from, Haddaway’s debut, likewise charted highly across Europe.
Number 9: Captain Hollywood Project
And our artist at #9 in the 1990s rankings is another leading light of eurodance. Tony Dawson-Harrison came to Germany 1980 with the US Army. His dancing antics in full uniform earned him the nickname “Captain Hollywood”. After working as a choreographer he founded the Captain Hollywood Project and went on to conquer the international charts.
Number 8: M.C. Sar & The Real McCoy
In the 1990s Europe and the US grooved to eurodance hits by M.C. Sar & The Real McCoy. The group is the brainchild of Berlin producer and rapper Olaf Jeglitza, alias O-Jay. "Another Night" was their greatest hit.
Number 7: U96
The German music scene underwent radical changes in the early 1990s. The advent of the techno club scene in big cities across the country also helped this Hamburg DJ into the charts in 1992. The international #1 hit saw Alex Christensen laying down electro beats to the title music from the movie “Das Boot”: a mix that launched his career as a producer.
Number 6: The Kelly Family
The Kelly Family have Irish-American roots, and half were born in Spain, but it was after settling in Germany in 1978 that the clan’s music career began in earnest. Among their greatest hits was “An Angel”, which together with the album “Over the Hump” cemented their breakthrough in 1994.
# 5: Sash!
The beat of the 1990s was dictated by non-nonsense techno and the poppier sounds of eurodance. Sash! were masters of both genres. The project was founded in lowly Nettetal by Sascha Lappessen together with a producer duo in 1995. They enjoyed a string of international hits such as "Equador" and "Encore une Fois".
Number 4: Culture Beat
Culture Beat really took off in 1993, when the single “Mr. Vain” topped the charts in Germany, the UK, Australia and ten other countries. The band was formed by Frankfurt-based producer and DJ Torsten Fenslau in 1989. He was sadly killed in a car crash soon after their breakthrough, but the eurodance outfit lived on – with considerable success.
Number 3: Enigma
Gregorian chants meet breakbeats: a magic combination, as Enigma came out of nowhere in 1990 to storm the global charts with the single “Sadeness (Part I)”. The identity of the man behind the project remained a mystery for several months, before producer Michael Cretu finally made himself known as the mastermind. He and Enigma have sold around 50 million records to date.
Number 2: Scooter
Scooter are another outfit to hit the big time in the 1990s. Originally from Hanover, frontman H.P. Baxxter and his gang moved their base and studio to the record industry hub of Hamburg. Their recipe for success: stomping beats, familiar melodies, and phrases for the masses to shout out such as “Hyper, Hyper”.
# 1: Snap!
Snap! are the most successful pop act to hail from Germany in the 1990s. Founded by producer duo Michael Münzing and Luca Anzilotti in Frankfurt, the project helped unleash the eurodance wave of the early 1990s with "The Power". The über-hit is featured in movie soundtracks and TV ads top this day – and is one of 14 tracks by Snap! to make it into the international charts.