Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Rammstein from Worst to First

Rammstein is comprised of six members: Till Lindemann, Flake Lorenz, Richard Kruspe, Paul Landers, Oliver Riedel, and Christoph "Doom" Schneider. To date they have released six studio albums, two live albums, and three DVD's. They will soon be releasing a greatest hits compilation entitled Made in Germany 1995-2011 and I wanted to celebrate by making a Rammstein list. The new compilation features a new song called Mein Land. 

Rammstein is one of those bands that I know what I can expect from them with each album. Eleven songs, lyrics with double meanings (all of them in German), crazy music videos, and so on. One thing I always hear about Rammstein is that their albums sound the same, but I disagree with that. Just like I believe that no AC/DC album sounds like another. Similar, but not the same.

6. Rosenrot (2005) - Sort of a part two to their previous album Reise, Reise and I think it even features a few songs that were excluded from Reise, Reise for some reason or another. The design of the album covers are even similar. It's a pretty solid release and there are a few standout moments. Te quiero Puta! is a song sung entirely in Spanish along with an accompanying trumpet section. Stirb nicht vor mir (Don't Die Before I Do) is a ballad where vocalist Till Lindemann and guest-vocalist Sharleen Spiteri exchange verses in peculiar fashion. Till sings verses in German and Sharleen sings verses in English. It's a quite a feat to do that and make the song sound sincere. It really works. Benzin, Mann gegen Mann (which is a song about homosexuality from the point of view of a homosexual man), and Rosenrot are also worth mentioning because they are probably the best songs on the album and it makes sense that they would also be the first songs on the album.

Benzin 3:46
Mann gegen Mann 3:50
Rosenrot 3:54
Spring 5:24
Wo bist du 3:55
Stirb nicht vor mir (Don't Die Before I Do) (featuring Sharleen Spiteri and Bobo) 4:05
Zerstören 5:28
Hilf mir 4:43
Te quiero Puta! (featuring Carmen Zapata) 3:55
Feuer und Wasser 5:17
Ein Lied 3:43

5. Herzeleid (1995) - Rammstein's debut album is remarkably solid and their brand of Neue Deutsche Härte is already intact and waiting to be heard and built upon. Just how good of a debut album this is is often overlooked. Of course it was embroiled in controversy because the original album cover was accused of Nazism. The members appeared without shirts and some folks believed they were making themselves out to be "the poster boys of the master race." The song Weißes Fleisch was also accused of sparking the Columbine Massacre. The song is about a rapist, but the first line of the song translates to "You, in the schoolyard. I, ready to kill." Well, the rest of the song is even more disturbing, but I guess no one bothered to read the rest of it. It's about rape from the point of view of the predator. At any rate, I'm not going to let all the accusations stop me from enjoying the song or the album. The album doesn't make me want to kill people. It just makes me want to rock out and continue learning German. Most of the the songs on this album can be heard on their live album/DVD Live aus Berlin.

Alternate album cover:

Wollt ihr das Bett in Flammen sehen?  5:18
Der Meister 4:08
Weißes Fleisch 3:36
Asche zu Asche 3:51
Seemann 4:48
Du riechst so gut 4:49
Das alte Leid 5:44
Heirate mich 4:44
Herzeleid 3:41
Laichzeit 4:21
Rammstein 4:25

4. Sensucht (1997) - It seems the only Rammstein song most people know (most people in the U.S.A., anyway) is Du hast. While I like the song I can't say it's my favorite on the album or my favorite Rammstein song at all. I believe this album is the only album entirely in German to be certified platinum in the U.S.A. Quite an accomplishment, but it's mostly due to Du hast. I think Engel, Bestrafe mich, and the title track are better songs. Anyway, there are a few sordid tracks on here. Spiel mit mir is a song about incest as sung from the point of view of a sister who wants to have sex with her brother. All of Till's lyrics are "first person" lyrics and if you take all of his lyrics seriously you'll think he's one sick guy. Bück dich is about sodomy with another guy. The title of the song actually means "bend over." And like I said, it's all sung in the first person. So keep that in mind. I am not gay, but I have no problem listening to the song and rocking out to it. Some folks might not be so comfortable with that, though.

Sehnsucht 4:05
Engel (featuring Bobo) 4:25
Tier 3:48
Bestrafe mich 3:37
Du hast 3:56
Bück dich 3:23
Spiel mit mir 4:46
Klavier 4:26
Alter Mann 4:25
Eifersucht 3:37
Küss mich (Fellfrosch) 3:30

NOTE: Some versions have different bonus tracks. One version has English renditions of Du hast (even though the English lyrics are not accurate... I think Rammstein just wanted to screw with anyone who couldn't speak German) and Engel, but the version I have includes a remarkable cover [sung in English] of Depeche Mode's Stripped

ANOTHER NOTE: There are six different covers for Sehnsucht. All of them feature a different member of the band and their face in some sort of bizarre torture device. 

3. Liebe ist für alle da (2009) - Rammstein have balls. The main reason I state this is because of the song Pussy and its music video. The music video is a porno. I don't think any of the musicians can be seen naked because there are body doubles for the penis and ejaculation scenes. And yes, I've actually seen the music video. It was the first new Rammstein song in three years and I thought the whole porn site thing was a joke. Well, it wasn't, but I listened to the song anyway. The song itself is pretty funny. It's in both German and English so you could probably understand at the least the verse: "You have pussy. I have dick. So what's problem? Let's do it quick." The rest of the album is also stellar. The song title B********* is not bleeped because it's a cuss word. In the song the word is Bückstabü and it's a word that doesn't exist. It's just a word that can stand for whatever you want it to mean and  the chorus translates to "Whatever you want is what I get." 

Didn't I say they had balls? Considering that the title of the album means Love is there for everyone...
Alternate cover:

Rammlied 5:20
Ich tu dir Weh" (I Hurt You) 5:02
Waidmanns Heil 3:33
Haifisch 3:45
B******** (Bückstabü) 4:15
Frühling in Paris 4:45
Wiener Blut 3:53
Pussy 4:00
Liebe ist für alle da 3:26
Mehr 4:09
Roter Sand 3:59
Führe mich (special edition bonus track) 4:34
Donaukinder (special edition bonus track) 5:18
Halt (special edition bonus track) 4:20
Roter Sand (Orchester Version) (special edition bonus track) 4:06
Liese (special edition bonus track) 3:56

2. Mutter (2001) - Absolutely amazing. There's a reason that five songs from this album are going to be released on the greatest hits compilation. Every single song on here is extremely good, but I think the first six are great. The song Ich will had a music video about a bank robbery where a bomb goes off and the video was set to debut in the U.S. on Sept. 11, 2001. Links 2-3-4 is a response to allegations of Nazism. In the song they say "my heart beats to the left" which means they aren't "far right Nazis." Zwitter is apparently about the joys of being a hermaphrodite.

Mein Herz brennt 4:39
Links 2-3-4 3:36
Sonne 4:32
Ich will 3:37
Feuer frei! 3:11
Mutter 4:32
Spieluhr 4:46
Zwitter 4:17
Rein, raus 3:09
Adios  3:49
Nebel 4:54

1. Reise, Reise (2004) - This was the first Rammstein studio album I ever bought. I had Live aus Berlin and I thought it was amazing, but I wanted to wanted to hear some of their studio work. Something other than Du hast anyway. Every song on here is great. Most of the songs appear on the live album/DVD Völkerball and they all work really well both live and in the studio. Amerika (some scathing commentary sung partly in English), Moskau (sung partly in Russian), Mein Teil, Stein um SteinKeine Lust, the acoustic jam Los, and the beautiful ballad Ohne dich are all highlights for me. I think this is the quintessential Rammstein album and that's why I put it at number one.

Reise, Reise 4:11
Mein Teil 4:32
Dalai Lama 5:38
Keine Lust 3:42
Los 4:25
Amerika 3:46
Moskau (featuring Viktoria Fersh) 4:16
Morgenstern 3:59
Stein um Stein 3:56
Ohne dich 4:32
Amour 4:50

1 comment:

  1. I'd like to see Beavis and Butthead review that video.