The Foreign Correspondent – Stories About German Rock Music # 26

Let’s cross the border to Austria today. Wolfgang Ambros is a well known singer/songwriter in the German and Austrian scene. He got famous by his song Schifoan, telling us about what fun it could be driving in a fresh snow downhill. This song is very popular at the hot spots in the alps when you finish skiing at your your local bar. Lot’s of people singing along to his song – especially the refrain. Sure, it is some kind of freedom that you can have when you are driving in a fresh snow. But Wolfgang Ambros was more than a one hit wonder in the skiing scene. He has made an album about the mountaineering and has made clear like the mountain dwellers think and feel. It was very local and no one out of Gemany/Austria would ever recognized it. Anyway it was a record I grew up with. In the late 70s he made a record with songs from Bob Dylan in Austrian language. He didn’t translate his words one to one into German – he tried to transfer Dylan’s meaning and intentions into my native language. And I have to say it was a very good job. Many songs on this record have a deep melancholy in it. This is typical for music made in Vienna these days. It is nearly 40 years ago that I listened to this songs and I forgot how wonderful they are. Wolfgang Ambros had a feeling for the meaning of these songs. And I don’t know anyone better to sing these songs in German (maybe Wolfgang Niedecken from BAP – but this is another story to be told). A few years ago he made another record with cover version in Austrian language. This time he interpreted songs by Tom Waits – a very good record as well.

Wolfgang Ambros – Des Sandlers Flucht (Drifters escape)
Wolfgang Ambros – I bins ned (It ain’t me babe)
Wolfgang Ambros – Früher oder Später (One of us must know)
Wolfgang Ambros – Denk net noch (Don’t think twice)
Wolfgang Ambros – Da Mensch in mia (The man in me)

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