Berlin was formed in the Summer of 1979, jumping on the new wave techno pop bandwagon that was starting to permeate the music scene. The initial line up which included Terri Nunn as vocalist recorded a single for Renegade Records (pictured at right). The single featured "Matter Of Time" and "Overload". Soon after its release Terri Nunn left to pursue her acting career. She was replaced very briefly by a very young Toni Childs! But less than a month later, Virginia Macolino became lead vocalist. At this time they put out an album on their own label (Zone H Records) and were signed to I.R.S. Records in 1980.
They only managed to put out one single for I.R.S., a reworked version of "Matter Of Time"
with an instrumental, "French Reggae" on the B-side, before they broke up in early 1981... But they
weren't idle for long...
After reforming a few months later, with Terri Nunn returning to the line-up, they began to work on what ultimately would gain them a LOT of attention: an EP for (now defunct) Enigma Records which featured the controversial "Sex, I'm a..." and a popular MTV staple, "The Metro". During the recording and subsequent supporting tour the line up went through some drastic changes. Ultimately only Terri Nunn and John Crawford remained from the original Berlin.
Their popularity grew and soon they found themselves on Geffen Records and reached their peak of popularity (and the Charts) when they performed the love song for the Tom Cruise Film TOP GUN. "Take My Breath Away" was produced by famed Donna Summer and europop production wizard Giorgio Moroder. After a disappointing follow up LP Berlin packed it in once again.
They have reformed a few times for nostalgia's sake and and in 2000 went on a "Millennium Tour" (never mind that the millennium didn't really start until January of 2001). Only Terri Nunn remains from the original line up.
Gina Macolino Vocals
John Crawford Bass & Backing Vocals
Jo Julian Keyboards & Backing Vocals
Chris Velasco Guitar
Dan Van Patten Drums
The first thing you notice, if you are a big Berlin fan, is the stridently different vocals. This is because familiar vocalist, Terri Nunn, is NOT the singer on this one single. She was off pursuing her "acting career" so the vocal duties went to Virginia Macolino. If you've heard both singer's versions of this tune you'd be hard pressed to pick the better of the two. Nunn has a better singing voice, but Macolino's timbre fits the tune better and dovetails well with the sort of music that was coming out of LA in 1980...
The B-side is an instrumental, "French Reggae" and is mistitled for it really isn't true reggae. A catchy number indeed, but the single failed to score big on the charts or in LA airplay... Berlin briefly broke up soon after its release...
IRS GREATEST HITS VOL 1 (SP 70950): features "Matter Of Time".
While websites devoted to BERLIN are not exactly plentiful, the few that are out there are excellent! Below are three of the best we found: