Jello Biafra used to say that Heino, in bleached-blonde hair and sunglasses, was the original punk rocker. The liners to some Heino albums, however, reassure fans that the deep baritone has resisted commercial pressure to sing hard rock. What is punk about Heino, besides Dead Kennedys' courageous act of spinning his LPs before their concerts, is that he existed in post-War Germany at all. His popularity and number of albums is staggering. Hausfrau as far removed even as San Francisco, for instance, reportedly have treated Heino like Tom Jones in his heyday.

Rigidly stiff in his natty, mod threads (turtlenecks and blazers), Heino comes across as a poster boy for Germany at its creepiest. Beneath the sinister shades his eyes stare ahead two different ways, and no amount of heartfelt sincerity can make him sound anything like a typical [non-German] folksinger. Though accused of appealing to war criminals in an abundance of South American songs, Heino probably is not the decadent monster one might believe him to be. Still, he is exceedingly creepy, and therein lies the appeal.

Heino's full act can be appreciated in old television clips (Canadian TV is a North American source). Also appearing on many of his records and in some clips are the Botho Lucas Choir. One clip from a WFMU compilation shows them to be equally astounding. And you can bet that Heino has his share of imitators, including film star "Freddy," who on at least one LP replicates the Heino-as-cowboy.

Buying: When not marching in step to the music of his forebears, Heino is a one-man international tour. Names of countries provide a tip-off to his juiciest stuff. Hit themes include cowboys, Mexico, sailors, Hawaii, the Orient, and drinking (usually whiskey). There may be just one wacky track per album, but that is plenty.

Heino LPs

Kein schoner Land; EMI 1C-062-28-149
Heino und Sehnsucht uns begleitet; EMI 1C-062-28-161
7Seine großen Erfolge (Great Hits No. 1); EMI 1C-062-28-858
Halli, hallo, wir fahren; EMI 1C-062-28-870
Festliche Chorale und Weihnachtslieder; EMI 1C-062-28-472
5Liebe Mutter; EMI 1C-062-28-897
6Seine großen Erfolge Nr. 2 (Great Hits No. 2); EMI 1C-062-29-422
6Die schoensten Volkslieder der Welt; Gema/Horzu SHZE-349; 1972 (EMI 1C-062-29-703)
Seine großen Erfolge Nr. 3 (Great Hits No. 3); EMI 1C-062-29-467
Heino meine schoensten Lieder; EMI 1C-188-29-267/68 (2-LP)
Seine großen Erfolge Nr. 4 (Great Hits No. 4); EMI 1C-062-29-504
Sonntagskonzert; EMI 1C-062-29-500
4Deutsche Weihnacht und festliche Lieder; EMI 1C-064-29-539; 1974 (gatefold pop-up Nativity scene)
5Wenn abends die Heide traumt; EMI 1C-062-29-553; 1975
Fahrtenlieder-Album; EMI 1C-188-29-573/574 (2-LP)
7Seine großen Erfolge Nr. 5 (Great Hits No. 5); EMI 1C-062-29-593; 1975 (Peters PILPS-7020)
Heino: Superhits; Peters PLD-7029
Sing mit Heino No. 1; Peters PLD-7048
Heino: Mein Vaterland; Peters PLD-7053
Sing mit Heino No. 2; Peters PLD-7055
Sing mit Heino No. 3; Peters PLD-7060
6Seine großen Erfolge Nr. 6 (Great Hits No. 6); EMI 1C-066-32-895; 1978 (Peters PLD-7067)
Sing mit Heino Folge 1 & 2; EMI 1C-066-32-446
5Sing mit Heino Folge 3 & 4; EMI 1C-066-32-495; 1977
Sing mit Heino Folge 5 & 6; EMI 1C-066-32-496
Sing mit Heino Folge 7 & 8; EMI 1C-066-45-715
Sing mit Heino Folge 9 & 10; EMI 1C-066-45-322
Sing mit Heino Folge 11 & 12; EMI 1C-066-45-323
5Sing mit Heino Folge 13 & 14; EMI 1C-066-45-324; 1980/1979
6Seine neuen großen Erfolge (Latest Hits); EMI 1C-066-46-508; 1981/1975-81 (Peters International PLD-7067)
5Seine neuen großen Erfolge No. 7 (Latest Hits No. 7); EMI; 1981 (Peters International PLD-7115)
Supergold; EMI 1C-134-45-478/79 (2-LP complilation)
5Wir Lagen Vor Madagaskar; EMI (compilation/reissue; Fiesta FLPS-1757)
7Hey Capella; EMI (compilation/reissue; Fiesta FLPS-1796)
7Wir Lieben die Sturme; EMI (compilation/reissue; Fiesta FLPS-1816)
6Sing-a-long with Germany's Heino; Capitol of the World ST-10355

Heino-Clone LPs

Freddy und das Lied der Prarie; Polydor HI-FI 46-789; 1964

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