Nina Hagen: Universal Radio

ninahagen_universalradioFormat: 12″

Label: Columbia

Country: US

Year: 1985

Price paid: $2.50

Purchased at: Angry Mom Records, Ithaca NY


Hey brothers and sisters from the universe we’re drowning in a pot

Universal Radio Radio release your soul from mental pollution and mental activity

Of all the Nina Hagen songs I’d have to say this one’s my favorite. In part because it was my first, heard on what passed for college radio way back in 1985. For a kid used to nothing more exotic and Joan Jett and The Go-Go’s it totally blew my mind. Well, if not that, then I certainly found it strange indeed.

I also find it one of the most listenable of her songs. More structured than what came before, more immediate and ‘vital’ than what would come later. Nina and her most Hagenish. As a bonus it’s got a beat and you can dance to it.

‘Universal Radio’ was the first single from her fifth album (fourth if you’re only counting solo work independent of the ‘Nina Hagen Band’) ‘In Ekstasy.’ Amazingly it rose to #39 on the US dance charts. More amazing still this was her THIRD top-fifty entry on the US charts, but sadly her last (to date.)

This 12″ includes the ‘Universal Dance Mix’, album, and dub versions.

The sleeve art is as bold and bright as the woman herself, a potent target design that in its simplicity lets the bizarre visage of Nina speak for itself.


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