1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Bands performing in their second language

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by MakiSupaStar, Aug 27, 2007.

  1. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    So my wife threw this link at me. At first I was laughing. Then I thought it was kind of clever. Even Sublime and the Pixies did it. These dudes are getting popular in Japan now. Now I'm just not sure what to think. I think I like the concept, just not the execution. So throw up your own examples of this. Performers playing songs in their second language. No the british singing like americans, or vice versa doesn't count. ;)

  2. Mark Wilson

    Mark Wilson Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Toronto, Ontario
    Endorsing Artist: Elixir® Strings
    Abba didn't speak any english.

    Also, I didn't click the link. I'm listening to music.

    Also, I didn't read what you wrote. I will later. ;)
  3. Rune Bivrin

    Rune Bivrin Supporting Member

    Oct 2, 2006
    Huddinge, Sweden
    I don't know if this is a good example of that. Two of the guys in the band come from Canada but lives in Japan, the other two are Japanese. So it's basically a mix of first languages. But it's an intiguing mix, I'll give you that, and a deft attempt at market broadening.

    Most of the non-english speaking world have scads of artists performing in a second language, even for their domestic market. So for us it's not really that much of an issue. It's more fascinating and somehow more cunning when they perform in a language they don't understand at all. ABBA recorded a fair number of songs in Spanish, even though I don't think anyone in the band knew one bit of Spanish. With the possible exception of "cerveza" :)

    The jury is still out on that one, but a good song is a good song, and it's quite concievable a lot of people will appreciate it more when they understand the lyrics. Heck, even opera gets translated these days!
  4. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    Yeah. I think it's an interesting concept. Not sure these guys are exactly the kind of execution of the concept that I would personally appreciate but you can tell they're targetting the j-pop market.
  5. Vorago

    Vorago (((o)))

    Jul 17, 2003
    Antwerp, Belgium
    Most bands here sing in English. With horrible accents as well sometimes.
  6. I think Abba did an incredible job of singing in a second language. Better english than some english.

    +1 to the previous post

    Celine Dion did pretty good considering she had to learn english on the go too.
  7. IanStephenson

    IanStephenson UnRegistered User

    Apr 8, 2006
    David Lee Roth: Eat 'em and Smile: "Canto en Espanol".
    He redid the vocals for the entire album in spanish. Sounds pretty cool, though I don't speak a work of spanish.

  8. ROON


    Aug 5, 2006
    Sydney, Australia
    I always though Abba couldn't speak English when they were first getting big (winning Eurovision), but had to learn it because they were becoming a supergroup.
  9. marcray


    Nov 28, 2006
    Englishman in Oyster Bay, NY
    Aging Former Bass Player
    HIM... not one of my faves but an example I guess? Finnish being their first language it's possible that they are more comfortable singing in Finnish...


    I always prefer Shakira's stuff in Spanish, she sounds awkward in English...
  10. What about Nena?
  11. Rune Bivrin

    Rune Bivrin Supporting Member

    Oct 2, 2006
    Huddinge, Sweden
    I'm quite certain they knew English even then, even though it might have been somewhat underwhelming pronounciation-wise. I know Björn Ulveaus takes great pride in his ability to write better English lyrics than most English speakers. It's easily seen there was great improvement over the years :)

    English has been mandatory in Swedish schools since 1945-ish. Before that it was German, but somehow that changed quite suddenly...

    I've done 10 years of English, starting in 3rd grade. I figure it has some correlation to my abilities.
  12. Bryan316

    Bryan316 Banned

    Dec 20, 2006
    3/4 of my CD collection consists of bands not singing in their native tongue. Kamelot's singer is a Norwegian, Epica is from the Netherlands, Blind Guardian is a bunch of Germans, Manticora are Danish, Vision Divine are from Italy, Angra are Brasilian....
  13. ROON


    Aug 5, 2006
    Sydney, Australia
    Power metal fan Bryan? Wintersun and Sonata Arctica are awesome.

    As Bryan said, about 3/4 of my CD collection are bands singing in their second language. Nearly all music I listen too is metal from Finland and Sweden.
  14. Rune Bivrin

    Rune Bivrin Supporting Member

    Oct 2, 2006
    Huddinge, Sweden
    Figures. Sweden exports a lot of steel and iron ore:)
  15. ROON


    Aug 5, 2006
    Sydney, Australia
    :rolleyes: :p

    EDIT: Sweden's last Eurovision entry SUCKED!!! I was expecting something cool and heavy like Finland. :meh:
  16. I just couldn't imagine the Scorpions singing in a perfect American accent :)
  17. Got the link working (sadly)... and I closed the video the second I saw it was Monkey Majik. I can't stand them.

    While I was in Japan they were promoting Saiyuuki like crazy so everywhere I went, I kept not only hearing their awful song from the movie, but also seeing them on television every time I happened to turn it on.

    If you want some true hilarity you should watch the dir en grey video for Clever Sleazoid and then look at the lyrics. The lead singer's English is not very good to say the least. I still love that band though...
  18. JNowiski


    Jan 16, 2006
    ditto, i think the original is much better though.
  19. On his album 'Transverse City' Warren Zevon did one song ('Turbulence') with a verse in Russian. It sounded as though he worked hard to get it right even if he wasn't a native speaker.

Share This Page