J.B.O. - Deutsche Vita
Actually there are a lot of parallels between Finnish humppa kings Eläkeläiset and German fun metal band J.B.O. Both bands have been around for quite some time already, and are known for their humorous cover versions. In the beginning of the millennium, both bands tried their hands on own material, which wasn’t so funny anymore. More people must have thought so, because both bands are back this decade with albums consisting mostly of cover versions.
The concept of Deutsche Vita, the band’s already twelfth studio album, contains songs with which the musicians grew up and that have inspired them accordingly. As I am more or less the same age than the J.B.O. musicians (who haven’t had a line-up change since 2001!), I know of course the songs quite well.
The opener and first single is Alles nur geklaut from Die Prinzen. This song from the early Nineties comes in a fun if a bit harmless outfit. Understandable though, as the lyrics fit well with the spirit of the album. The following Du hast dein Smartphone vergessen is a humorous tribute to Nina Hagen’s classic DDR hit Du hast den Farbfilm vergessen. Ich will Spaß, Nur geträumt, Blaue Augen and Hurra Hurra Die Schule brennt are four renditions of Neue Deutsche Welle über-hits. My favourite moment comes with Wer ist der Fahrer?, where Spliff’s Carbonara is transformed with silly lyrics. J.B.O. also cover children’s classic songs from that era. Das Lummerlandlied and Wickie both have been turned into heavy rocking songs, teaching children that their old favourites are actually quite cool when performed on distorted electric guitar. As Carnival is something very important to many Germans, we also get Karneval in Sodom, a crazy version of Sodom’s Bombenhagel mixed with Carnival music. You have to hear it to believe it! Udo Lindenberg’s Grande Finale, a genuine classic of German rock music, is also covered towards the end of the album.
The album contains also two own compositions. Gewiss ist nur der Tod shows parallels to Die Ärzte, and the title track which is a hymn of praise to Germany but also denounces the rising tide of fascism. The bonus track is a live version of Fränkisches Bier that most people should be more familiar with as Griechischer Wein.
J.B.O. are like a good bottle of wine. The older they get, the more they seem to mature and improve. Already their previous albums 11 and Nur die Besten werden alt displayed a great sense for puns. From a musical point of view, there are certainly many bands that are more skilled, but this is about funny lyrics and entertainment, and in those departments J.B.O. are undisputable professionals.