If you need something to lift you up out of a gloomy situation, ‘99 Red Balloons’ is your song. Infectiously upbeat synths and bouncy vocals blend into the wildly danceable classic. For those of us soon headed to university, grappling with the contrasting emotions of impeding independence, a rollickingly enjoyable playlist is just what we need, and the 1983 anti-war anthem should be at the top of your list.
Dubbed in its original German, ‘99 Lufballons’ and featured on Nena’s self-titled album, the English version, while still containing much of the same meaning, has been marginally altered. Despite the band’s subsequent trepidation that they made a mistake in creating the English translation – to the point where keyboardist and songwriter Uwe Fahrenkrog Peterson commented, “We made a mistake there. I think the song loses something in translation and even sounds silly.” – ‘99 Red Balloons’ received an incredible amount of success.
So if you’re ever in need of a true 1980’s pop song to get you back on your feet, Nena’s classic is the one.
Words by Skye Mallac