Industrial metal, flamethrowers, and rolled Rs, this is Rammstein.
Since their formation in 1994 Rammstein have gone through seven studio albums, two members getting arrested for a stage show involving BDSM and a foam squirting dildo, and the most dramatic stage collapse ever recorded on film. Yet, through it all, their sound has remained as consistent as their lineup, with not a single band member being switched out in the whole of their Neue Deutsche Härte outfit’s career.
This year marks the twenty-fifth with anniversary of the band’s debut album Herzeleid and, on December the 4th, Rammstein have released a remastered version to commemorate the occasion. As our own commemoration we have put together this list of our Top 10 Rammstein songs spanning their whole career. Let us know if you agree with our list or which songs would be in your Top 10 in the comments below.
10. Ich Tu De Wir (Liebe Ist Für Alle Da – 2009)
Shocking as this may sound, Ich Tu De Wir caused a lot of controversy upon its release (Rammstein? controversial? surely not). Due to the song’s lyrics, which delve into sadomasochism, Rammstein were forced to re release Liebe Ist Fur Alle Da with a censored version of the song. Then of course we have the music video, which comes with its own story: ever wondered how Lindemann got his mouth to light up like that? The short answer is that there is a light mounted inside his mouth. In order to do this the rest of the band suggested running a wire down his cheek and into his mouth, which could then be disguised with makeup. However, Lindemann wanted the effect to be as real as possible and had his cheek pierced in order to feed the wire straight through. As if Rammsteins front man was not already scary enough.
9. Benzin (Rosenrot – 2005)
Strangely enough Rammstein’s first number one single comes from one of their most underrated albums. Taking its title from the German word for gasoline, Benzin offers a simple solution to all your problems… burn them. The way Flake Lorenz’s keyboard part warbles underneath it all lends an inescapable eeriness to the sentiment. As for the stage show… anyone get the feeling they had had one too many stage crashers at this point?
8. Keine Lust (Reise Reise – 2004)
We had to include the famous fat suit song, for a start the band need some credit for getting into those things: Lindemann sat in makeup for 3 hours to get the finished look while the rest of the band sat for 2. Then of course there are the makeup artists themselves, a team of 12, who spent a month creating the looks which the band described as ‘unreal, to look so fat and still be able to move freely’ (Oliver Riedel). The concept came from Rammstein’s drummer, Christoph Schneider, who thought, given the 3 year break between the release of Reise Reise and Rammstein’s last album, Mutter, it would be funny if the band came back old, obese, and completely saturated by their decadent lifestyles. It only makes sense to unleash the concept on a song all about the flaws of living like a sloth. Guitarist, Richard Kruspe, said the idea at that stage is to go back to the beginning, just making music ‘with none of the paraphernalia’ (Richard Kruspe).
7. Du Riechst So Gut (Herzeleid – 1995)
“You reek so good”, that’s the translation of Rammstein’s first ever single. A fan favourite from the very beginning, Du Riechst So Gut featured in the first ever Rammstein show, ended the set for every show on the Herzeleid tour, and has kept popping up in various setlists since. Although released in 1995, the song got a reboot in 1998, with a slightly different edit and a whole new music video filled with gothic imagery and blood hungry wolves.
6. Pussy (Liebe ist für alle da – 2009)
Yes, this song is exactly what you think it is, all about pussy. Only Rammstein could get away with blending their own brand of industrial metal with straight up Euro-trash. Somehow they managed to become that weird online band that one friend would show you at school as a result. The band went even further and created what is to this day their most NSFW video, featuring the band member’s faces being superimposed on the bodies of porn stars. Given how heavily censored the video is we decided there is little point sharing it here and have gone for the live version instead, keep an eye out for the enormous penis cannon…
“Take me now, oh, don’t you see? I can’t get laid in Germany!”
5. Links 2 3 4 (Mutter – 2001)
From the very beginning Rammstein were the subject of Nazism accusations. The cover artwork of Herzeleid spawned the idea the band wanted to be Herrenmenschen (the master race in Nazi ideology) and since then the band’s lyrical content, exploring the darker sides of human nature, including World War 2, has only led to further criticism. Links 2 3 4 is the band’s response to such accusations, referencing the communist revolutionary song, Das Einheitsfrontlied and containing the lyric, ‘My heart beats to the left’. While there may still be people out their desperate to criticize Rammstein for their lyrical content, at least the band have put the message out for those of us willing to hear it.
4. Radio (Untitled -2019)
When the members of Rammstein were growing up in the German Democratic Republic (GDR), under the Soviet Union, any Western arts and culture was banned. This meant they had 1 television channel and radio stations that played nothing but German Schlager Music. The second single from Rammstein’s latest album details what it was like, trying to pick up the sounds of a world one was completely cut off from, spending hours each night listening to radio static until the latest music form a Western radio station came through.
3. Feuer Frei (Mutter – 2001)
Beyond question a song to get the heart beating, blood umping, and body shaking faster than any drug can manage. It is little wonder Feuer Frei was chosen as part of the soundtrack to action movie xXx. As if Rammstein were not already high octane enough, this song saw the introduction of the flamethrower face masks, a feature which has persisted through their live shows. What else could you expect from a song with a title that translates into the German command to fire at will (literally, Fire Free).
2. Deutschland (Untitled – 2019)
Regular readers of By The Freaks will remember Deutshcland made it to number 1 in our Top 10 Guitar Riffs of the 2010s. How could we not include it here! Once again, the band sparked a lot of controversy with the release of this one, not just for the song, but also for the 9 minute video that accompanies it. It is an exploration of German history, and the dissonance Lindemann feels between being proud of his country and struggling to reconcile with the atrocities it has committed. Despite its controversial subject matter, featuring the band themselves being executed in a scene from the holocaust, Deutschland made it to number 1 in Germany, as well as Hungary and Switzerland.
1. Du Hast (Sehnsucht – 1997)
How could our number 1 spot go to any other? First and foremost, this song manages to sum up exactly what makes Rammstein so great: a German speaking band somehow managed to write a song that any non-German speaker can sing along to with ease, and if you need proof just watch the video below. Not only that but the guitar riff highlights just how fow powerful Rammstein are as a rhythm powerhouse, while underneath Flake’s keyboard playing, that would not seem out of place in an EDM hit, somehow fits just perfectly in this industrial stampede. Finally, while the band have countless phenomenal stage antics (as detailed throughout this list) the rocket launcher used for Du Hast takes the prize for most awe-inspiring!
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Finally, let us know what your Top 10 would be, or if you want to see any other Top 10s not yet covered, in the comments below
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