40 years of music

Musikmesse’s 40th anniversary also stands for four decades of music history distinguished by a variety of genres and outstanding musicians. To mark this occasion, we have composed a Spotify playlist covering the musical trends of the last forty years. We hope you enjoy listening to it.

The 1980s

Musikmesse 1980

AC/DC: "Hells Bells"
With this song AC/DC made their way to a supergroup: loud, raw, lusty – and yet with real musical class. Moreover guitarist Angus Young has got to be mainly responsible for the success of the Gibson "SG."

Spliff: "Deja Vu"
People always speak of the "New German Wave" – yet this German musical phenomenon was extremely many-faceted. And on occasion highly musical, as Spliff – a rock band composed of top musicians – certainly proved. Herwig Mitteregger delivered a brilliant performance, for instance, on the electronic Simmons drums.

Sugarhill Gang: "Rapper‘s Delight"
Nobody could suspect that the "Sugarhill Gang" recording act would create a musical earthquake with their hit "Rapper's Delight." The track, based on the chic song "Good Times", became the initial spark which ignited the rap.

Harold Faltermayer: "Axel F"
Harold Faltermeyer, from Baldham near Munich, was one of the most successful soundtrack composers of the 80s. In 1986 he received a Grammy nomination for "Axel F", from the film "Beverley Hills Cop" (and received the actual Grammy award a year later for the "Top Gun" theme). "Axel F" is moreover a good example of the sounds produced by the then hip Yamaha DX7 keyboards.

Falco: "Rock Me Amadeus“
NDW (Neue Deutsche Welle / New German Wave) once more: Johann "Hans" Hölzel, who comes from Vienna and is better known as "Falco", was the first, and so far the only artist to make it in the American charts with a German-language song, "Rock me Amadeus." The rest: an exciting chapter of musical history.

Ozzy Osbourne: "Crazy Train"
The former Black Sabbath singer Ozzy Osbourne is indeed regarded as a bit "crazy." But equally regarded as a fantastic singer and rocker – who constantly surrounded himself with the best musicians of his genre. Including Randy Rhoades. This exceptional guitarist, who met an early death, will be remembered by Musikmesse on 2 April with the show "Randy Rhoades Remembered."

Level 42: "To Be With You Again"
What a groove, what a bass player: In the 80s – and for many even today – Mark King of Level 42 rose to be the pioneering funk base-player and song writer. His Status Graphite Headless Bass became a best-seller in the process.

Michael Jackson: "Beat It"
He was the King of Pop – and the tragic figure of more recent musical history. With his album "Thriller" he broke all sales records. We shall remember this too at the Ultimate Jam Show on 1 April 2020 – with his guitarist of many years, Jennifer Batten, as star guest.

Phil Collins: "In The Air Tonight"
With this song, the singer, drummer and composer entered on his solo career – the 80s and 90s were his period. And with his barnstorming drum break he created recording history.

Toto: "Rosanna"
It was this American studio music band's greatest time. Their Album Toto IV won six Grammys, even now a timeless classic – and shuffle-groove drummer Jeff Porcaro still drives many learner drummers to desperation. 

The 1990s

Musikmesse 1990

Nirvana: "Smells Like Teen Spirit"
Take sombre rock, long hair and lumberjack shirts – grunge was not just a musical genre; it was also an attitude and a fashion statement. With his Fender Strat, Kurt Cobain became a guitar hero and the tragic figure of 90s rock.

Oasis: "Wonderwall"
Brit Pop in the UK was what grunge was in the USA. Leading them all: Oasis, the band surrounding the two Gallagher brothers, notorious for their public feuds. Of what the two men were capable they showed in such immortal songs as "Wonderwall."

Metallica: "Enter Sandman"
Metallica finally made metal respectable – and with their song "Enter Sandman" they also supplied, it is said, the riff most played by guitar or amp testing customers in music shops.

Snap!: "The Power"
From Frankfurt to the world: the project, founded back in 1989 from the work of the Frankfurt producers Michael Münzing and Luca Anzilotti, scored multiple world hits – including "Rhythm Is A Dance" and "The Power." Frankfurt was thus nothing less than the navel of the techno-world.

The Who: "Behing Blue Eyes"
Though at this time the band had several decades of a musical career under its belt, The Who were still always one of the biggest acts on the scene. Their keyboarder of many years, John "Rabbit" Bundrick, brought it all to mind at the Ultimate Jam of 2019 (as a star guest) – with exactly that Who original.

Police: "Dont Stand So Close To Me"
Who would have believed that the mix of punk, new wave, reggae, rock and jazz would give such a heady and hit-laden brew? Sting's bass and song style, licks by guitarist Any Summers, plus the syncopated grooves of drummer Stewart Copeland, influenced hordes of musicians – right up to the present day.

Guns N´ Roses: "Knockin On Heavens Door"
In the 90s, Guns N' Roses were the yardstick of all things in rock. For the Randy Rhoades Remembered Show on 2 April 2020 we shall be bringing their guitarist of many years to Frankfurt – Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal.

Eric Clapton: "Running On Faith"
With his mtv unplugged album master guitarist Eric Clapton initiated a new genre: unplugged, without electricity, acoustic – and yet with real gusto. Even today the album, which has sold over 26 million copies and earned three Grammys, is a milestone in music history.

Prince: "Cream"
He could do simply everything: sing, compose, play guitar, drums and bass, dance and perform. An inkling of it all was enjoyed by visitors to the Musikmesse "Ultimate Jam" Show of 2019 – with bassist Ida Nielsen, who had played for some years in the Prince Band and, in the process, successfully learned something from the great master.  

Doro: "Unholy Love"
The German "Queen of Metal" is an ever welcome guest at Musikmesse. Perhaps Dorothee Pesch, which is Doro's real name, will grace us with a visit again this year?

The 2000s

Frau stöbert in Songbooks

Linkin Park: "Numb"
Metal meets pop – hardly any other band has succeeded more agreeably with this daring mix than Linkin Park. With over 130 million recordings sold to date, the band from Los Angeles has actually made it to be the most commercially successful formation of the twenty-first century.

Amy Winehouse: "Back To Black"
Great voice, great talent – but also great drama. With "Back to Black" Amy Winehouse reached the summit of her career. With her incredible voice she made sophisticated jazz and soul sounds capable of reaching the widest audience in the charts.

Peter Gabriel: "My Head Sounds Like That"
Always a non-conformist from the start, always in search of something – and always finding it: it was for good reason that in 2006 former Genesis singer Peter Gabriel was awarded the Frankfurt Music Prize.

Till Brönner: "Your Life"
This coveted prize also went to the German world-class trumpeter Till Brönner. His influence on the popularity of the traditional wind instrument cannot be overestimated. In 2018 this master musician performed a fantastic show at Musikmesse in Frankfurt.

Sven Väth: "Komm"
Sven Väth is as much part of the Frankfurt music scene as the Römer and Musikmesse. Whether as a DJ, running a label, as a musician or club proprietor – born in Obertshausen in 1964, this Sound-of-Frankfurt pioneer and international star is constantly at the heart of contemporary developments.

Rammstein: "Feuer frei"
Since the earlier 2000s, if not earlier, Rammstein have been the yardstick for things in metal. Above all when live the band provides an incomparable spectacle in the shape of singer Till Lindemann – as shown by their sell-out world tours. No surprise that this year the band has once again been nominated for an LEA.

David Garrett: "Little Wing"
Many people see in David Garret the poster boy of the classic crossover – and fail to notice his incredible talent. He began the violin at the age of four, at five he won the "Jugend musiziert" competition, at twenty-eight he was in the Guinness Book of Records as "the fastest violinist in the world." That this international star, who comes from Aachen, can also perform rock, was something he demonstrated as early as 2008 on the album "Encore", with the Hendrix classic "Little Wing."

Radiohead: "No Surprises"
From alternative rock band to international career: in the early 2000s Radiohead were the true representatives of intelligent hand-made rock – which the band surrounding singer Thom Yorke supplies above all with fine vintage equipment.

Daft Punk: "One More Time"
No other act has joined successful DJ technique and disco with handmade funk and rock. And when it comes to equipment, the two creative Frenchmen seek – and find – a close alliance between vintage and high-end technology: at Daft Punk, Studer tape machine meets Neve console.

Brian Setzer: "Sixty Years"
With Stray Cats in the early 80s Brian Setzer was already successfully reviving Rockabilly – as a solo performer he also produces big band, country and blues sounds. One way or another: Setzer, 60 years old from New York, is world class – something he can be guaranteed to prove at Musikmesse 2020.

The 2010s

Band spielt auf der Bühne

Ed Sheeran: "Sing"
From street musician to megastar: Ed Sheeran has written one of the most splendid chapters of musical history. And more: with his Martin guitar he helped the acoustic segment to celebrate a sparkling comeback.

Al Jarreau: "My Old Friend"
Style-forming singer, charismatic artist: in 2016 Al Jarreau, who died in 2017, was awarded the Frankfurt Music Prize – because, among much else, his music featured a perfect marriage of jazz, soul, R&B and pop.

Dead Daisies: "Midnight Moses"
Timeless rock. Straight ahead, without embellishments – but with plenty and plenty of power. An intimation of things to come was revealed by ex-Dead Daisies Bassist Marco Mendoza at his ultimate jam show in 2019.

Alexandr Misko: "Careless Whisper"
Aged just 21, this finger-style virtuoso from Russia is currently stirring up the acoustic scene. What that means – is something he will certainly demonstrate at his ultimate jam show in 2020.

LaBrass Banda: "Nackert"
New sounds from Upper Bavaria: with their crossover drawn from folk music, brass, reggae and ska punk, the seven members of LaBrass Banda have created a completely new genre. A sound which fill millions of fans with enthusiasm – as the preliminary decision for the 2013 Eurovision Song Context demonstrated: the band surrounding singer and trumpet player Stefan Dettl was the public's clear favourite.

Andreas Kümmert: "Heart Of Stone"
Called "Germany's Joe Cocker", powerful singer and "Voice of Germany" winner Andreas Kümmert has won the hearts of German rock fans. He too will be a guest performer at the 2020 Ultimate Jam.

Jamie Cullum: "What a Difference A Day Makes"
Young, attractive, temperamental: Jamie Cullum makes even worn-out jazz classics into sexy, hip tracks. At the first LEA Awards in Frankfurt back in 2011 this pianist and singer received the award for his 2010 show at the Hamburg Stadtpark in the category "Concert of the Year."

AnnenMayKantereit: "Pocahontas"
In the second decade of the twenty-first century other rules apply in the music industry: it's all about clicks and followers – and in that league the four-member band from Cologne surrounding singer Henning May is the absolute top – as over 60 million clicks for songs such as "Pocahontas" demonstrate.   

Bundesjazzorchester + Wolfgang Niedecken: "Kristallnaach"
Vital, many-sided and recognised world-wide: the German jazz scene. Including such terrific formations such as the "Bundesjazzorchester." Jointly with BAP front man Wolfgang Niedecken, this ensemble thoroughly exploits the boundaries of the genre in an artistic way. Their deserved reward: the Frankfurt Music Prize for 2018.

Billie Eilish: "Bad Guy"
The future belongs to her. But so does the present time. At this year's Grammys this singer-songwriter, born in Los Angeles in 2001, collected prizes in the four main categories. Plus the title song in the new James Bond film. You can't get more than that! Oh yes, over 780 million users have clicked her song "Bad Guy" on YouTube.


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