Even though we are currently struggling in Germany to build a (modern) country music scene, there has always been some quite popular and commercial country music in my home country. While acts doing modern country music are typically labelled as pop, rock or folk, the acts people usually connect with “country music” typically represent very traditional style of the genre. The long runners of that part of German country music are definitely Truck Stop, who have been founded in 1973 already. On 2nd April 2021, they release a new album called Liebe, Lust und Laster (“Love, passion and trucks / vice”) – trucks and vice are the same word in German.
Truck Stop – About The Artists
Truck Stop has been founded in 1973 in Hamburg – or in Seevetal-Maschen, how you would state precisely. Three of the six founding members, Günter “Cisco” Berndt, Burkhard “Lucius” Reichling and Erich Doll, already died in the meantime. Only drummer and singer Teddy Ibing is a founding member, who is still in the current lineup. Uwe Lost, who is part of the band since 1978, and Knut Bewersdorff (since 1983) are the other rather famous faces of the band. Apart from them, the band consists of Chris Kaufmann, Andreas Cisek and Tim Reese. They are singing in German nowadays, but their first four albums were English. They are very active and already released some 50 studio albums. Their albums still make it to average placements in the German charts nowadays. Their latest, the 2019 Ein Stückchen Ewigkeit, peaked on 21st position in Germany and was Top 50 in Switzerland.
The band had two major single hits. Their German breakthrough Ich möcht’ so gern Dave Dudley hörn (“I long to listen to Dave Dudley that much”) in 1978 was in the German charts for 16 wees. In 1980, Der wilde, wilde Westen (“The wild, wild West”) even stayed there for 24 weeks and had a fourth position in the Austrian charts. As guest musicians of Stefan Raab’s Maschen-Draht-Zaun, they topped the German and Austrian charts and peaked second in Switzerland.
Truck Stop – Liebe, Lust und Laster – Track by Track
The fourteen song album lasts 40 minutes.
1. Liebe, Lust und Laster
The album starts with its title track. A typical Truck Stop song, which is referring to Truck Stop stereotypes: truck driving, money, girls.
Liebe, Lust und Laster Sind die besten Pflaster Für all die harten Stunden Zum Schutz der vielen Wunden Die uns der liebe Alltag so beschert
(“Love, Passion and trucks
Are the best patches
Against all the hard hours
To protect the many wounds,
which are caused by the dear everyday life”)
I feel it is a quite good listen – in fact it is a general topic if this is really country music – but I will come to that topic during he review.
2. Mein Zuhaus
Mein Zuhaus is da wo Du bist – “My home is where you are”. Is that really a country song? It feels so much like German schlager… Wait, ain’t (especially: traditional) country music the schlager music of the United States? Truck Stop is definitely going for the country music branding (even though the promo package calls it “schlager” itself).
I feel this is a classic “love it or hate it” track. People who enjoy Yeehaw, the latest single of the album, will say it is a nice stomping country music party song. They are not too wrong about it. Vice versa, you can state that the song is just extremely thin. I just cannot stop listening to the lyrics and fail enjoying that vibe.
Yeehaw! Yeehaw! Auf die Pferde Treibt die Herde – Yeehaw! Yeehaw! Brigt die Kuh nach Hause! Yeehaw! Yeehaw! Einmal um die ganze Erde – Yeehaw! Yeehaw! Bringt die Kuh nach Hause!
(“Yeehaw! Yeehaw! On the horses
Drive the herd – Yeehaw! Yeehaw!
Bring the cow home! Yeehaw! Yeehaw!
Once around the world – Yeehaw! Yeehaw!
Bring the cow home!”)
4. Wie’n schönen Country Song
The only thing which is really separating this song from a kitschy schlager track is the instrumentation – and Truck Stop’s hats, which you simply don’t see in an album review. The band states that “I love you like a beautiful country song.” I am sure that this song is a good reason to stop listening to this album for many German modern country fans latest. I personally feel it is not that bad.
5. Endlich wieder auf Tour
Wann geht es endlich wieder auf Tour – “When is finally touring going on again?” is undoubtedly the unofficial Covid-19 song by Truck Stop.I feel it is a really catching and energetic song.
Großstadt (“Big City”) is a musical praise to Hamburg, the home town of the band. To me, the song is one of the best ones of the album. Finally, I love this city songs, and Hamburg is definitely a nice place as well. Nice one.
7. 7.000 Meilen
7,000 Meilen is a mid-tempo country song, rather with a touch of a ballad about longing to coming home, 7,000 miles away from home. I feel it is a nice fit into the album.
8. Wird schon geh’n
Wird schon geh’n (“It will work out somehow”) is a song about staying motivated even in difficult situations. It comes with a nice sound, even though I would not list it as one of the best songs of the album.
9. Sinnlos verprasst
The melody of Sinnlos verprasst (“Senselessly blowing [money] out”) is about spoiling money for party, cars and girls. The melody feels a bit too sleazy at first sight, but I like the irony in that song, so that I feel that the ninth track is better than average.
10. Einsame Insel
This song is pondering about what you would take with you on a lonely island – in order to finally see that home is better than fleeing abroad. Even though I relate to the general message of the song, it does not catch me too much.
11. Morgen gleich Morgen
The album unfortunately gets a bit thinner. This song about deferring work to the following day. There is a nice irony in the songs again, but I just have trouble to relate to it.
Morgen, gleich morgen, da pack ich es an, Irgendwie, irgendwo, irgendwann
(“Tomorrow, Soon tomorrow, I will do it
Somehow, somewhere, at some time”)
The traditional Truck Stop fans will praise that song, which feel like some of their 1980’s production. This thin song has in my point of view no chance to attract new fans. This song is really a shame to me, the album has some really nice pieces of a modern touch.
13. Easy Rider Keep On Ridin’
This song about an old Harley Davidson bike (which is sung in German, despite the title) comes with a quite powerful and present melody. The story of the song is not too deep. At least the second last song does not hurt as much as Supermann.
14. 40 Wagen westwärts
40 Wagen westwärts (“40 waggons westbound”) is a melancholic slow track. I feel it comes with a really nice feeling and vibe. The album closes with one of its best songs.
Truck Stop – Liebe, Lust und Laster – Spotify
Here is the 2021 Truck Stop album on Spotify:
Truck Stop – Liebe, Lust und Laster – My View
“Liebe, Lust und Laster” is a perfect illustration of the struggle in the German music scene with country music. There are bands which do great modern country sounds, but record companies are very hesitant to call it country music and rather call it rock, pop, whatever. Then there is Truck Stop. The keep this “country music” banner up high. And as they are the only ones – apart from some exceptions – people tend to feel that this is the whole variety of country music. It is a shame, because it gives a limited, very schlager-alike picture in the German public.
Is that Truck Stop’s fault? Not at all in my point of view. They definitely do country music and they even promote the genre. It is the fault of the other bands and companies who are not brave enough. And there are some quite modern songs on this 2021 album. A couple of tracks are really (as a modern country listener) good vibes for me. On the other hand, I would beg on my knees to the band to skip songs like Supermann on their next one. The album offers a nice variety of songs and ends with a lovely story. Due to some average and worse songs, it just cannot touch the very high rating classes, but it offers some nice songs, indeed.