frank mertens

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On this day in music history: September 27, 1984 - “Forever Young”, the debut album by Alphaville is released. Produced by Andreas Budde, Wolfgang Loos and Colin Pearson, it is recorded at Studio 54 in Berlin, Germany from July - August 1984. Inspired by British art/glam rockers Roxy Music and German synth pioneers Kraftwerk, Alphaville is formed in West Germany in 1982 by band members Marian Gold (born Hartwig Schierbaum) and Bernhard Lloyd (born Bernhard Gößling). A short time later, they are joined by Frank Mertens, with the trio writing and performing all ten songs on their debut album. The band are signed to WEA International in their native Germany and throughout the rest of the world, and are picked up by Atlantic Records in the US. It spins off four singles including the title track (#65 Pop, #2 Club Play) and “Big In Japan” (#66 Pop, #1 Club Play). Though their singles chart only modestly in the US, “Forever Young” becomes an anthem, through its original version and subsequent uptempo dance remix. The song is released twice, in 1985 and again in 1988. In spite of not cracking the US top 40 on either occasion, it also becomes a favorite at graduation ceremonies and other events. In later years, “Forever Young” is regarded as one of the quintessential synth pop albums of the 80’s. “Forever Young” peaks at number one hundred eighty on the Billboard Top 200.