Monday, December 1, 2014

Berlin - Masquerade

Fronted by the provocative and gorgeous Terri Nunn, Berlin was a LA-based synth pop group that had nothing to do with Germany (the band admired the late 1970's German synth scene; hence the name).  The group was formed by bassist John Crawford in 1978 and featured a shifting lineup with Nunn as the lead singer, though she briefly left Berlin to pursue an acting career in 1979-80.

Berlin's first LP (1980's Information) was released when Nunn was acting and featured Virginia Macolino on vocals.  Although that album did not chart, the group's second effort, 1982's Pleasure Victim became Berlin's biggest success, and featured several early MTV staples.  "The Metro," "Sex (I'm A ...)," and "Masquerade" all broke the top 100, but none of them hit the top 40.

Berlin continued to have success with 1984's "No More Words" (#23) and 1986's "Take My Breath Away" (a #1 hit from Top Gun).  However, creative tensions over whether to focus on a pop or new wave sound doomed the band and the group called it quits in 1987.

Terri Nunn has had the legal use of the Berlin name since the late 1990's, and continues to record and perform to the present day.

For the blog, we went with "Masquerade," a somewhat lesser-known Berlin cut.  The video picked up a bit of airplay on MTV back in the day, and the song reached #82 on the charts.

Cool trivia fact:  A remixed version of "Masquerade" was featured on the soundtrack to Perfect (a no-so-great movie starring John Travolta and Jamie Lee Curtis ... probably the less said about the movie, the better).