History of the song "I'm In Love With A German Film Star" (1981)
"I'm In Love With A German Film Star" (1981) / "I Love A German Film Star" is a romanticised song by British post-punk band The Passions. It was released as a single on Polydor Records in January 1981. Reaching number 25 on the UK Top 25 chart, "I'm In Love With A German Film Star" became the band's only single.
The story of the song's creation
The German film star Barbara Gaughan sings about is not Klaus Kinski, Rutger Hauer or any other brutally handsome 1980s film star who hails from Germany... The lyric is addressed to Steve Connolly, a British actor who was quite popular in the late 1970s on German television. Connolly was in The Clash vs The Sex Pistols, and rose to fame playing the Joker in the mini-series Das Ding!
The Passions' bassist David Agar later recounted:
"This song was written quickly, and seemed to be born of itself. We were rehearsing at Clink Studios in Southwark, which meant standing around leaning on instruments and sipping really bad coffee..." Clive (Timperley is the guitarist) and I played three chords which Barbara really liked! She picked up a notepad and started writing something... After an hour she chimed in: "I love a German film star..." We loved her lyrics! Then Richard - our drummer - picked up the drumsticks saying, "It's a hit single!" The song really turned out to be a cool song, very unusual for us..."
By the way: with the release of the song, many listeners were delighted by the interesting sound of the bass drum. To achieve it, The Passions signalled through a vocoder!
"I'm In Love With A German Film Star" saw the light of day in the winter of 1981, as a full-length, and the only single by The Passions. On the B side was the more dynamic "(Don't Talk To Me) I'm Shy".
The song was released on vinyl, under Polydor Records.
A little later, "I'm In Love With A German Film Star" fittingly graced the band's second album entitled Thirty Thousand Feet Over China.
Covers by other artists
Formed by former Nirvana member Dave Grohl - American rock band Foo Fighters have released "I'm In Love With A German Film Star" as the B-side to their single "Best of You".
The Pet Shop Boys with Sam Taylor-Wood on vocals, who contributed the full-length "Symphonic Mix", got a pretty good cover!