Though the Pete Wolf Band just released their second album on 6th December 2019, they are big names in the German music business. The reason for that is that their lead singer, Wolfgang Petry dominated the German schlager scene in the 1990s and early 2000s. The Pete Wolf Band performs English lyrics – and is quite a country music sound. Definitely the right ingredients for a must review, not just because I wanted to have more German artists on the website.
Wolfgang Petry – About The Artist
Wolfgang Petry was born in 1951 in Cologne. His civil name is Franz Hubert Wolfgang Remling. He found a band while at school, the Screamers had quite some regional success. During a gig at a disco in 1975, two producers liked Petry’s music, so that one year later, he was releasing, the (German) album Ein Freund – Ein Mann (“A friend – A Man”). It also contained his first hit single, Sommer in der Stadt (“Summer in the city”), which climbed up to the twelth spot in the German single charts. He had a lot of reasonably successful singles. His most well-known song is likely Wahnsinn, which was not too successful, when he released it in 1983, but became very popular in the years thereafter, especially during the early 1990s. The only two singles which ever made it to the Top 10 are non-stop mixes of his songs, which he published in 1996 and 1999. Below is a live recording of Wahnsinn:
At that time, his albums aready regularly climbed up to the very high positions of the German charts. The 1997 Nie genug (“Never enough”) reached double platinum status, while the following Einfach geil! (“Just great”) was his first chart-topper. Live on stage, he was extremely popular. Despite he was very successful, Petry stopped his Schlager career in 2006. He did not have too many appearances in the media thereafter. The more it was surprising that he released an album with re-recordings of his songs in 2014 and went back to public by starring in a music video of his son Achim. In 2015, he released new Schlager songs in an album. Brandneu (“Brand new”) topped the German album charts. The first album as Pete Wolf, which contained English songs, was published in 2017 and was not too successful. 2084 is the second album of this project.
Pete Wolf Band – 2084 – Track by Track
The album features 14 songs. There is also an edition available, which adds short stories about the songs, similar to the Cassadee Pope upgraded album I recently reviewed. The short stories are no interpretations, though. They are just the underlying stories, told by professional speakers, not by the artists. The stories are told in German and English. Thus, there are 52 tracks overall with over two hours of duration
1. Another Life
Another Life tells about the transformation from Wolfgang Petry to Pete Wolf and is thus very autobiographic. Very catching and rocking. Pete Wolf is singing with a strong accent – but it is also a strong song! He just knows how to do it!
2. The River
After the rocking start, The River is slower, even starts like a ballad. But it is swinging, so that I really like to listen to it.
First of all, 2084 is a catching song, which has a very strong country music song. It is a comparably pessimistic future vision (The green grass has turned to grey, for example).
4. And If
The fourth song of the album was the first single to be released of 2084. Nice track with a good arrangement. It stays in your mind – though I love other ones even more.
5. The Oak
Would you wait for me in another life?
Would you wait for me on the other side?
Would you wait for me and now I could die
Would you wait for me?
This song is four minutes long – and the German version of the short story attached to it even takes five minutes (the English version is some one minute shorter). A song about deep friendship with bitter moments. Amazing to listen to.
6. The Last Man
The Last Man is a catchy and speedy song – one of my absolute favorites on the album. The song is about greed and wanting more and more. Lovely to listen to the story and the song. Great songwriting.
7. Fool’s Paradise
Fool’s Paradise is very similar in the story told, but the melody is just so amazing. That’s my Top Pick of the album. Wow, this song just nails it!
8. Broken Door
After these quicker tracks, Broken Door is thoughtful, a bit of melancholic, but by that also quite catchy.
9. Behind The Hero
Behind The Hero even has some electric elements, but the powerful voice and guitars dominate the track again. A song about a boxer, who is giving all his powers for his fans, but then realizes that he wants another life.
Wow! If I would not already have been fallen in love with Fool’s Paradise, Angel could easily be my favorite song as well. Very different songwriting than the seventh track. But the chorus… Just… deep…
11. So Long
So Long is a country music ballad about a private loss. It has a touch of a hymn to me as well. Love to stay calm and listen to the songs.
12. Strung Out
The song starts like the Dire Straits, but then does the blues just like Gary Moore once did. Pete Wolf still got the blues.
A lovely play to lyrically switch between the flower and a deep love song. Acoustic guitars, a lot of atmosphere. Well done!
14. Not Coming Home
Another rather slow ballad about a guy who just decided to leave his life and breaks out and decides not to come home again.
Pete Wolf Band – 2084 – Spotify
The Spotify widget allows you to pre-listen into the songs and the stories behind it (German and English):
Pete Wolf Band – 2084 – My View
First of all, congratulations to the amazing concept, Pete Wolf, Wolfgang Petry or Wolfgang Remling. Releasing underlying short stories together with the song is just a great concept. Whenever you doubt that this album has sufficient depth in songwriting, just listen to the second (German) or third (English) part to be persuaded that this is a masterpiece. The tracks are very different, a lot of different styles in fourteen songs. If you don’t give this album a chance, you do something wrong, I promise! Top Pick!
Flyctory.com Country Music Reviews
Here are reviews of all country music albums and EPs I reviewed earlier on the website:
Here are all Flyctory.com postings dealing with German Artists: