Listen: Zarah / Nina Hagen
She never sat in my office at Columbia. Nina Hagen was before my time, but during Howard’s. I don’t recall his memories being flattering. Not unlike her records, she was apparently rather primal.
Her vocal styled in that walking dead voice always took the prize for best dynamic moment on any track, although I’d have to say Mike Thorne was best at dragging that out of her on NUNSEXMONKROCK from ’82, one album and one year prior to ‘Zarah’. In fact, my all time favorite Nina Hagen track from said album, ‘Born In Xixax’, never graced a 7″. Luckily, ‘Zarah’ came in a close second.
Good call on someone’s part paring her with Giorgio Moroder, and, the 80′s version of today’s Mark Ronson fifteen minutes of fame producer, Keith Forsey. The track is superb, soldiering along proudly in the shadow of Sparks ‘Beat The Clock’, another Giorgio Moroder production from three years earlier.
Man, remember when records began to sound really expensive? Looking back, ‘Zarah’ was totally in that fast lane.