Monday, June 2, 2008

The Other Ones Take Us On An Aussie-German Holiday

The late 80s saw a dramatic increase in the level of my single buying. It wasn’t that I was less discerning in what I bought, but as the economic models would illustrate, I had a greater means with which to satisfy my demand for quality new music. I also started to broaden my musical tastes a bit, and I can thank the then new all night music show ‘Rage’ on the ABC. One of the clips I saw on ‘Rage’ that caught the ear as well as the eye was ‘Holiday’ by The Other Ones. I knew nothing of the group initially other than the fact that ‘Holiday’ was one of the catchiest songs I’d heard in years and was the purest kind of pop fare - I mean it just made you feel good listening to it. I also couldn’t help but think of B-52’s due to the male vocalist sounding similar to Fred Schneider. Come to think of it ‘Holiday’ would have sat well in a songbook next to ‘Love Shack’.

I bought the vinyl 45 as soon as I could track it down at my local record bar (remember those?), and I cranked up the ole turntable repeatedly until I thought the belt-drive was going to snap. I recall hearing around that time that The Other Ones were a German based act but with an Aussie connection. Well, as it turns out that Aussie connection took the form of Aussie ex-pat siblings Jayne (vocals), Alf (vocals) and Johnny (bass) Klimek (all hailing from Melbourne), who together with Germans Andreas Schwarz-Ruszczynski (guitar), Stephen Gottwald (keyboards) and Uwe Hoffmann (drums) comprised the line-up for The Other Ones (no connection with the 90s group of the same name which featured ex-Grateful Dead members Bob Weir and Phil Lesh, or with the cast of the Nicole Kidman film).

‘Holiday’ was the only single to chart for The Other Ones in Australia (#87), but the sextet did have moderately more success in the U.S. where ‘Holiday’ was their second chart hit (#29 late ‘87) following on from the ‘anthemic’ single ‘We Are What We Are’ (#53 mid ‘87). Both tracks were lifted from the group’s eponymous debut album, released on the Virgin label, and featuring a platter of cheesy 80s pop delights. The Other Ones released a follow up album in 1988 with ‘Learning To Walk’ which didn’t chart beyond some local European markets.

The Other Ones formed during 1984 and sharing the same management as Alphaville, they based themselves in Berlin throughout their tenure. Following on from the dissolution of the band the members have gone on to various music and film related work. Johnny Klimek has composed scores for the films ‘Run Lola Run’ and ‘Wintersleepers’, in addition to composing the music for the popular cable TV shows ‘Deadwood’ and ‘John From Cincinnati’. He also did a lot of production work for techno acts Paul Van Dyk and Dr. Motte. Johnny’s twin sister Jayney Klimek was co-vocalist (along with Marillion’s Fish) on Genesis member Tony Bank’s 1989 solo album ‘Bankstatement’ and again on his 1991 album ‘Still‘. Most recently Jayney Klimek and Andreas Schwarz-Ruszczynski founded the band You Pretty Thing in 2006.

‘Holiday’ was remixed and re-released as ‘Another Holiday’ in 1991.

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