Nina Hagen ‘Universal Radio’ at Rock in Rio 1985: Repeat Rotation Video



Nina Hagen’s ‘Universal Radio‘ at Rock in Rio, 1985. God, I haven’t heard this song for years. Since I used to play it on my radio show in the US. But today, I was looking for German singers (I’m teaching myself German…… long story), and came across this blast from the past. Nina Hagen’s ‘Universal Radio’ liveĀ and I knew it just had to be my Repeat Rotation Video today. It’s brilliant.

Nina Hagen, by the way, is a German singer who is often known as the ‘Godmother of Punk’, due to her crazy outfits, wildly dyed hair, eccentric make-up and elaborate stage shows.

Her roots are an interesting mix of opera (she was considered an opera prodigy as a child) and the German and British punk scenes of the late 70s, all of which she carried on into the 80s and 90s, while still constantly redefining herself.

Hagen was pretty popular in the US back in the mid to late 1980s, but after that continued her career more in Europe than anywhere else. I’ve always loved her, though, as she’s so different than anyone else in how she sings — her voice is incredibly strong, she has a superb range, and her vocal performances are so theatrical and operatic, they’re fabulous — and is so eccentric and wild, she’s phenomenal.

To get a feel for her, listen to Nina Hagen sing ‘Universal Radio’ live at Rock in Rio in 1985 for my Repeat Rotation Video. The song is from her 1985 album ‘In Ekstasy‘, and it’s the coolest thing ever.

“Talking to myself, talking to myself, talking to myself”. I know the feeling.


About Michelle Topham

Brit-American journalist based in Austria, former radio DJ at 97X WOXY, and Founder/CEO of Leo Sigh. I've covered anime, manga, K-drama and music news for over a decade.