Trio was a German band, formed in the small German town of Großenkneten in 1980. The band is most noted for the song "Da da da, ich lieb dich nicht, du liebst mich nicht, aha aha aha" (usually simply "Da Da Da") which was a hit in 30 countries worldwide. Trio was part of the Neue Deutsche Welle (or NDW); however, the band preferred the name "Neue Deutsche Fröhlichkeit", which means "New German Cheerfulness", to describe their music. At that time, as now, popular songs were based on extremely simple structures that were ornately produced. Trio's main principle was to remove almost all the ornamentation and polish from their songs, and to use the simplest practical structures (most of their songs were three-chord songs). For this reason, many of their songs are restricted to drums, guitar, vocals, and just one or maybe two other instruments, if any at all. Bass was used very infrequently until their later songs, and live shows often saw Remmler playing some simple pre-programmed rhythms and melodies on his small Casio VL-1 keyboard while Behrens played his drums with one hand and ate an apple with the other.
The band produced a number of albums. There are many versions of Bye Bye (marked with different advertisements on the cover); versions in North America are called TRIO and Error and feature no advertisements. The 1997 CD of TRIO and Error was also released as Da Da Da in the United States, in response to the 1997 US Volkswagen commercial that featured the song "Da Da Da I Don't Love You You Don't Love Me Aha Aha Aha", often contracted to simply "Da Da Da". The re-release had some changes: two songs were added and the album was digitally remastered.
The band never became hugely popular outside of Germany, and are largely forgotten even for their one hit. However, in its time, Trio had some popularity in Germany. For instance, the German version of "Da Da Da" was a No. 2 hit on the charts (April 1982). Their most notable songs, other than "Da Da Da", are probably "Broken Hearts for You and Me", "Boom Boom", "Hearts are Trump" and "Anna Letmein Letmeout". All of these songs except the first have a corresponding German version, which sometimes differs considerably, and these were also released in the English-speaking world. "Da Da Da" hit No. 2 on the UK Singles Chart in July 1982, and No. 3 in Canada in December 1982. They had another three top ten hits in Germany until the end of 1983, then disbanded the following year. Every member launched a solo career, with only Remmler managing to be somewhat successful.
They produced a movie called Drei gegen Drei, meaning "Three Against Three". In the movie, three people (played by Trio) kill doubles of themselves as part of a twisted scam to gain riches. However, the movie flopped miserably; even avid Trio fan Matthias Klein said, "the members of Trio are not actors". The corresponding soundtrack is the album Whats the Password; however, drummer Peter Behrens did not perform on any of the songs, despite appearing on the album's cover. He left the band due to dissatisfaction with Kralle and Remmler over financial matters, leading to the complete breakup of Trio in 1985.
"Da Da Da" in popular culture:
Many cover versions of "Da Da Da" have been recorded worldwide in various languages including the Spanish version by disc jockey Nacho Dogan, which was a No. 2 hit in Spain in 1982; a Mexican version by the band Molotov on their 2004 cover album Con Todo Respeto; alternative band Elastica on their 1999 album The Menace; and Filipino entertainer Yoyoy Villame in 1982. Pett Productions used "Da Da Da" in the second series of Tittybangbang for the intro to Pete Wade's sketches. An Italian version (Mundial Da Da Da) was also released in 1982 to celebrate the Italian Team's winning the FIFA World Cup.
In addition to the famous Volkswagen ad, several others have featured "Da Da Da". A Pepsi ad for the 2006 FIFA World Cup starred several footballers including Thierry Henry, Raúl, Roberto Carlos, Fernando Torres, Frank Lampard, Ronaldinho and David Beckham playing football inside of an Oktoberfest tent. Christina Aguilera sang the tune in several Pepsi spots, including duets with Rain and Elissa. Ariston used the song in their 1987 spots featuring animated white goods, clothing and kitchen utensils forming dancing humanoids. Some ads used modified lyrics. Teletext replaced "da da da" with "blah blah blah" (vocalized by Ewan Bailey); as did Lois Jeans. Others who have use the tune in advertisements include Vicks Cough Drops, and Speeds shoe stores.
Following the popular Volkswagen commercial, ABC aired a promo for the sitcom Spin City parodying the car ad. In the original VW commercial, two men drive around and pick up a smelly couch, which they quickly dispose of. In the ABC ad, Michael J. Fox and Michael Boatman's characters pick up Richard Kind's character, who becomes so obnoxious that they throw him out the car.
The brand of rice cracker Sakata also used the song with the lyrics changed to "sa-ka-ta".
The song has been used in the Italian movie Il Divo, directed by Paolo Sorrentino, a fictional biography of Italian politician Giulio Andreotti. The song was also included in the movie Bio-Dome, directed by Jason Bloom, starring Pauly Shore and Stephen Baldwin.
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