Skip to Next Poll »
8
One Hit Wonders - NENA (1984)
One Hit Wonders - NENA (1984) Photo


MUSIC VIDEO/SONG

99 Luftballons by Nena - 

This was one of the songs in the '80s to make a point about the brinkmanship and paranoia/hysteria surrounding the issue of war. The song talks about Nena and the listener buying 99 Balloons in a shop and letting them go, for fun. These balloons show up on the radar as unidentified objects and both sides scramble planes and go to full alert to counteract a perceived nuclear attack, when in fact it is the most childlike of things, a bunch of balloons.

The song, though difficult to understand, is about the dreams of the German people that were lost after World War II. The 99 balloons represent the many dreams that each person had. At the end of the song, she just wants to prove that the German people did have dreams by finding one balloon - she finds one balloon, a dream, and lets it go.

Nena's guitarist, Carlo Karges, got the idea for the song after watching balloons being released at a Rolling Stones concert in West Berlin. He wrote the lyrics and Nena's keyboard player Uwe Fahrenkrog-Petersen wrote the music.

Nena's real name is Gabriela Kerner. She was is a band called The Stripes before forming her own group.

This was released in Germany, where Nena was from. Their record company had no intention of releasing it in America until a disc jockey at radio station KROQ in Los Angeles found a copy and started playing it. They recorded an English version (the original words are in German, and yes, "Captain Kirk" in German is still "Captain Kirk") with the title translated as "99 Red Balloons" and released it in the US, where it was a big hit.
Nena is a true one-hit-wonder outside of Germany, where she didn't even come close to another hit. Before this, however, her single "Nur Getraumt" was a #1 hit in Germany.

Goldfinger did a cover of this that was used on the soundtrack of the 2001 film Not Another Teen Movie. Their version features one verse in German; the lead singer of Goldfinger said he had to take lessons to learn how to say some German words before recording this song. 

The English-language version was #1 in the UK for three weeks in March 1984. It was the first of two songs about nuclear war to top the charts in the UK that year; the other was "Two Tribes" by Frankie Goes To Hollywood.

"Luftballons" literally translates to "Air Balloons" in German, and means regular party balloons.

http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=2511

Billboard Top 10 Songs of 1984 - Year End Charts

1 Prince When Doves Cry
2 Tina Turner What's Love Got To Do With It
3 Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson Say Say Say
4 Kenny Loggins Footloose
5 Phil Collins Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now)
6 Van Halen Jump
7 Lionel Richie Hello
8 Yes Owner Of A Lonely Heart
9 Ray Parker Jr. Ghostbusters
10 Culture Club Karma Chameleon

28 Nena 99 Luftballons

| Closed on 08/01/13 at 05:00PM
FanIQ Pts? No | Locker Room, Music | Multiple Choice Opinion Poll
11 Fans 
18%a. 10 (Great Song)
36%b. 7-9 (Good Song)
36%c. 5-6 (Ok Song)
0%d. Who? What? Huh?
9%e. 99 SUCKY BALLOONS!

  
2 Comments | Sorted by Most Recent First | Red = You Disagreed
Vote for your favorite comments. Fans decide the Top Comment (3+ votes) and also hide poor quality comments (4+ votes).
#1 | 485 days ago

I like it. I think I like the remixes with it more than the original, but whatever. Fun.
7-9 (Good Song)  
#2 | 484 days ago

I actually liked the German language version better.
7-9 (Good Song)  

Post a Comment   Already a user? Sign in here
Join FanIQ - It's Free
FanIQ is the ultimate free community for sports fans.
Talk sports with fans from all over - 1,649,417+ Comments
Track your game picks - 38,670,182,382+ Sports Predictions
Prove you know sports - 116,275+ Trivia Questions
Find fans of your teams - 11,453,110+ New Friends
8-08; Fan IQ's Summertime Music Poll in Review
Asked by hclcdestin | Locker Room, Music | 5 questions asked 08/08/14
60 opinions | 4 comments | Last by Burrellfan1
What is your single of the year #4
Asked by huskerdoug2009 | Locker Room, Music | 10 questions asked 12/10/12
120 opinions | 5 comments | Last by SOONERS1980
What is your single of the year #2
Asked by huskerdoug2009 | Locker Room, Music | 10 questions asked 12/10/12
110 opinions | 5 comments | Last by SOONERS1980
What is your single of the year #3
Asked by huskerdoug2009 | Locker Room, Music | 10 questions asked 12/10/12
120 opinions | 5 comments | Last by SOONERS1980
Which song is your favorite
Asked by huskerdoug2009 | Locker Room, Music | 10 questions asked 12/07/12
240 opinions | 9 comments | Last by SOONERS1980