Today you can stand by Udo Lindenberg as you please. There are a thousand reasons to love him, just as many to hate him, but you can't ignore the phenomenon "Udo". For some he is still the No. 1 German rocker, the personified coolness that lets all external influences bounce off him and does exactly "his thing". Others see him as an art figure hiding behind himself, a mummy of pop pop pop with alternative painting, a self-caricature with sunglasses, hat, cigar and thick lip.
In any case, Udo Lindenberg is one of the great authorities of the German language. Singing German was frowned upon in the Federal Republic, which in '72 squeezed itself between the Rhine and Elbe rivers and did not yet reach the Oder. German was the idiom of Schlager, and Schlager didn't work at all. In the GDR, on the other hand, only German was sung, not because the kids - excuse me, the half-stars - had wanted it that way at the time, but because it was prescribed by the government of the workers and peasants state. German was the language of the Miefs, which was hung between the CDU and the SED and was therefore banned twice.
And then came Udo Lindenberg in 1972 with his second album "Thumbs in the Wind". The title song and its mumbling anthem "Hoch im Norden" were expressions of a creative total refusal. If you listen to the record from today's perspective, you might ask yourself what was actually there. Banal texts, casually arranged and sung in a way as if Mr. L. had to go to the toilet. But that was exactly what made it special. Udo Lindenberg did not pretend a perfect world à la "bright red rubber boat". His songs were the soundtrack at a decelerated time, which unfolded so much subversive potential because basically everything was boring as shit. That was a time when the left-wing intellectual youth still found it difficult to profess German values - whatever you want to call them. In the East it was the progressive legacy of the working class, in the West the echo of the economic miracle euphoria, both interspersed with Goethe, Schiller, Schubert and Beethoven.