The German synth-pop band Alphaville made a splash in the mid-1980s with their first two albums, though the band’s later efforts didn’t equal the commercial success of their early work.
• Marian Gold, Bernhard Lloyd, and Frank Mertens formed Alphaville as a trio in 1982. They broke through with their 1984 debut single, “Big in Japan,” which hit No. 1 in Germany and reached the Top 10 on charts across Europe. In the US, “Big in Japan” reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Club chart.
• Alphaville’s first album, Forever Young, yielded two subsequent Top 10 hits in Germany: the title track and “Sounds like a Melody.” The album reached No. 3 in Germany, where it has sold more than 1.5 million copies.
• The group’s second album, 1986’s Afternoons in Utopia, peaked at No. 13 in Germany—Alphaville’s highest chart placement for nearly 25 years.
• After increasingly disappointing commercial fortunes, Alphaville took a long break from releasing albums after their fifth LP, 1997’s Salvation. They returned in 2010 with Catching Rays on Giant, which reached No. 9 in Germany.
• “Forever Young” was heard in the prom scene in the 2004 film comedy Napoleon Dynamite. Later, rapper JAY-Z reworked the song into his 2009 single “Young Forever.”