Dschinghis Khan

Headed by producer Ralph Siegel and vocalist Peter Alexander, Germany's Dschinghis Khan offered a respite from standard pop music subject matter by spinning campy historical sagas in a shiny Euro-disco package. Partly inspired by the Boney M. hit "Rasputin," Siegel put together an elaborately costumed group featuring distinct characters (sort of like what the Village People might have resembled if they'd been Mongol invaders rather than gay archetypes), and entered his composition, "Dschinghis Khan," in the 1979 Eurovision music contest. Although it didn't win, Dschinghis Khan's stylized visuals and quirky lyrical preoccupations eventually helped make the song a hit in German dance clubs later that year. The accompanying self-titled album was a commercial success as well, but Dschinghis Khan abandoned the qualities that made the group so distinctive over the course of albums like 1980's Rom, 1981's Wir Sitzen Alle Im Selben Boot, 1982's Helden, Schurken & der Dudelmoser, and 1983's Corrida. By that time, they had already faded from the public eye. A collection of their best work, Die Großen Erfolge, was released in the U.S. in 1995. ~ Steve Huey

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