80’s Music Rules ~ Criminally Underrated Artists/Bands ~ The Twins (Germany)

The Twins….the 80s….must be “Thompson Twins,” right? Wrong! Thanks to my Canadian friend Chris and his FaceBook-featured The Betamax Video Vault, I was introduced to a German 80s band I had no inkling even existed.

The spare information I found on them (and that I had to translate from German) includes that The Twins were formed in West Berlin by Dohrow Sven and Ronnie Schreinzer. The German Wiki article goes on to say that they oriented themselves stylistically to Gary Numan (as if!) among others.

Although their extensive use of synth-pop definitely orients them to many synthesizer-based groups of that era, that’s where the so-called “Numan orientation” ends. Gary Numan uses his synthesizers as an integral part of his music, whereas The Twins use it for typical synth-pop aural ear candy. Nothing wrong with that; but, it’s like saying that I am in the same league as Mario Andrettti because we both drive a car.

That said, it’s best to just let The Twins music speak for itself. There are quite a few videos on YouTube which tells me they were very popular in Germany, and possibly all of Europe. I have a feeling that wasn’t the case here across the Atlantic. They do deserve to be heard, however, as their sound is truly classic 80s synth-pop. Enjoy!

Purchase The Twins music here.

More information on The Twins on their official website.

“Ballet Dancer” via YouTube user merlotje:

“Love System” via YouTube user TheTwinsTribute:

“Face To Face, Heart To Heart” via YouTube user hersounds:

“Desert Place” via YouTube user The TwinsTribute:

“Time Will Tell” via YouTube user duttaji:

“Tonight” via YouTube user nicosbod:

The Twins 80s Discography

Passion Factory (1981)
Modern Lifestyle (1982)
A Wild Romance (1983)
Until the End of Time (1984)
Hold on to Your Dreams (1986)

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80’s Music Rules ~ Criminally Underrated Artists/ Bands ~ Camouflage

Here’s a group whose most notable 80’s hit, “The Great Commandment,” I probably heard numerous times when it was released in 1987. I also probably misidentified it as a Depeche Mode song. Aw, c’mon, stop looking so smug. You know you did, too. Admit it!

The band formed in 1984 in Bietigheim-Bissingen, Germany as a trio comprised of Heiko Maile, Marcus Meyn, and Oliver Kreyssig. They set up their first recording studio in Heiko’s parents’ basement. After shopping some demos around and signing with Metronome, the band recorded “The Great Commandment.” Two singles followed, all doing well on the German charts, so the band decided to record their first album, Voices & Images. The album charted well in the US, leading the band to record a second album in 1989, Methods of Silence.

“Love Is A Shield,” from their sophomore effort, did well once again on the German charts. I heard it for the first time a few years ago on the advice of a friend. It was also around then that I realized “The Great Commandment” was Camouflage and NOT Depeche Mode. The styles are very similar, especially the blend of synths, electronica, and compelling lead vocals.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing; look at Depeche Mode’s success and longevity. Camouflage, however enormously talented, never seemed to enjoy the far-reaching success that Depeche Mode did. One reason may be internal conflicts. Another may be lack of first-rate promotion. Whatever the reason, Camouflage had the stuff of a great 80’s New Wave band, but never was able to hit that wildly successful groove.

Browsing through the band’s music that’s available via YouTube, I am finding there is very little Camouflage music that I don’t enjoy. It definitely hits that 80’s New Wave/Electronica sweet spot of mine. If you feel the same way, fortunately for us, some of their music is still available here.  With a little digging, you can probably uncover the rest of their discography, as well.

“The Great Commandment” via YouTube user divasfever:

“Love Is A Shield” via YouTube user np2ij:

 “Suspicious Love” via YouTube user helgabohemia20:

“Neighbours” via YouTube user ColourOfSpring:

 

Discography

Voices & Images (1988)
Methods of Silence (1989)
Meanwhile (1991)
Bodega Bohemia (1993)
Spice Crackers (1995)
Best of – We Stroke the Flames (1997)
Rewind – Best of 85-97 (2001)
Sensor (2003)
Relocated (2006)