memories of the ’80s – Berlin

Formed in 1978, this Los Angeles-based band had no ties to Germany, but loved the music coming out of the European nation to name themselves Berlin.

John Crawford, Teri Nunn, David Diamon and Ric Olsen were the core founders of the band, but in late 1979, Nunn left to pursue an acting career. The band used vocalist Virginia Macolino to record vocals for their first album Information, released in 1980.

The album didn’t do much for the band, who with Nunn returned, continued to play in LA and recorded an EP for Enigma Records named Pleasure Victim in 1982, following the success of the racy single “Sex (I’m a….)”.

The single was controversial but got airplay on the band’s favourite LA radio station KROQ, known for playing unusual tracks and avoided top 40 artists.

And the band got noticed by Geffen Records, who agreed to release Pleasure Victim as an album in 1983, and spurred another hit for the band: “The Metro”.

In 1984, Berlin released their next album Love Life, with the first single “No More Words” with a stylish video starring the band as a Bonnie and Clyde team escaping the law. It became the band’s first top 20 Billboard hit.

Gaining heavy airplay on mainstream radio stations and video airplay on MTV, Berlin was touring across the US and Europe and was asked to record a song to the Top Gun soundtrack, released with the film in 1986.

The song “You Take My Breath Away”, written by Giorgio Moroder and Tom Scott was written for the film and became the band’s hottest selling single. The song went on to with the Academy Award for Best Song and the Golden Globe for Best Original Song.

The song was also found on the band’s album Count Three and Play, also released in 1986.

But in 1987, the band broke up, aruging over the lack of notice and sales of Count Three and Play and the global success of single “You Take My Breath Away”, which hadn’t been written by the band.

Nunn eventually won the rights to continue the band with all new members in the following decade, but have never achieved the success that had happened for them in the 1980s.

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About Waheeda Harris

A pop culture junkie with a penchant for exploring our planet.
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