Various Artists

Ruf Doch Mal an! Telefon

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A thematic compilation of German songs about telephones, Ruf Doch Mal an! Telefon assembles 25 pop recordings from 1949-1972, cross-licensed from nearly a dozen different labels. About a third of the selections are German-language adaptations of pop hits from other countries, particularly the United States. Paul Anka's "Kissin' on the Phone" and Brenda Lee's "The Waiting Game" and "You Can Depend on Me" are three such hits that are transformed into sparkling schlager in the hands of these mostly German pop vocalists. Mostly pop (teen and otherwise) in style, these are infectious ditties that tap into the popular infatuation with telephones, especially with regard to their role in facilitating private romantic conversations. The theme is possibly more compelling than ever considering the ubiquity of cell phones, and the songs, in that respect, are fascinating for turning a magnifying glass on something that most people take for granted today. A few songs feature German-language recordings by American and British stars such as Eve Boswell of the Boswell Sisters and Alma Cogan, but most feature schlager singers. The essay, in German, recounts the history of the telephone in Germany before offering a photo gallery of picture sleeves and artist photos for each song.

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