Reinterpreting Bruttosozialprodukt for a New Era

Capturing the zeitgeist of Cold War 1980s West Germany, the Neue Deutsche Welle adapted the twin influences of British punk and New Wave music while putting a uniquely German spin on it. 

One pioneering example was Geier Sturzflug’s (Vulture Nosedive) iconic tune, ”Bruttosozialprodukt,” (Gross national product) an anthem that dominated the Swiss, Austrian and German pop charts in 1982 with its catchy ska rhythm and cutting social critique about the stresses of everyday working life. 

Originally written by street musicians Dicke Lippe in 1978 under the title “Jetzt wird wieder in die Hände gespuckt,” (Now we’re spitting into our hands again) the song was transformed by Geier Sturzflug frontman Friedel Geratsch in 1982. Due to its critique of the German work ethic and the changing of the political guard in Germany with the election of Helmut Kohl, the song was quickly associated with the CDU, leading to broadcasters refusing to play it due to accusations of propaganda. Nonetheless, the massive success of catchy tune led to the band being signed by Ariola Records and helped define their success as one of the vanguards of the new wave movement. 

Now the song has a new life in the 21st century. Business website creator Jimdo has transformed “Bruttosozialprodukt” into a “hymn for the self-employed”, celebrating the resilience of entrepreneurs, changing the lyrics from working hard as a company man to starting your own thing. In a new and exciting spot, taking place on a sound-stage and featuring various self-employed people united as one, it pays tribute to the power of being your own boss and juggling various responsibilities at once. It shows how one of West Germany’s defining anthems still has relevance in the present day. 

Please feel free to check out the 80-second spot below! 

Brand: Jimdo | Music Supervision: Tracks & Fields

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