Oops… – Heino did it again. With his new album “Songs of My Homeland”, Germany’s pop legend once again ventures out of the classic hit corner and dedicates himself to German songs that are particularly popular with party-loving young people. The result is a thoroughly original late work by the blonde baritone bard that is well worth listening to.

Heino (84) actually wanted to retire almost 20 years ago. After his first official farewell tour in 2005, he revealed to “Zeit” about his future plans: “I once bred German Shepherds in the 1970s. It may be that I’ll get another dog and say: I’ll start again.” As music history shows, the pop icon ultimately decided against a quiet retirement as a dog breeder and instead really took off again.

After a few more albums in the usual style, he suddenly turned things around radically in 2013 and – much to the astonishment of the predominantly Heino-hating youth at the time – broke out of the tight corset of his previous image. While Heino’s previous concept was based on strict humorlessness and a lack of irony inherent in the system, he suddenly broke new ground with the cover album “With Kind Regards”.

The “new Heino” wore a leather jacket and a skull ring and, with his unmistakable baritone, delved into new genres outside of classic hits. In a striking contrast to his previous songs, he now sang songs by the Ärzte, Rammstein and the Fantastischen Vier. At the latest after his acclaimed Wacken appearance with Rammstein in August 2013, the revitalized pop icon had tasted blood and pursued new developments with the metal album “Schwarz blumen der Enzian” (2014) and the football anthem record “Arschkarte” (2016). Listener groups continue to advance systematically.

With his latest cover project “Songs of My Homeland” he is now also opening up the promising territory of the Ballermann party hit. His label’s press release reads like a declaration of war on the previous top dogs on Playa de Palma: “One of Germany’s biggest folk music and hit icons will grab the microphone this year and with it the crown as the new party king – when Heino will be the most successful German-language party hits over the last few years into its incomparable world of sound.”

In keeping with the new target group, Heino now presents himself in an airy Hawaiian shirt instead of heavy rocker clothing. When selecting the songs, he reveals a special preference for the particularly raunchy Ballermann hits by Mickie Krause, of which six pieces are represented. In addition to the two cover versions of the hits “Ten Naked Hairdressers” and “Go Get Beer” that were already published in advance, there are other Krause classics such as “Finger in the Po – Mexico” and “She Only Had Shoes on”.

Scene greats such as Julian Sommer (“Dicht im Flieger”), Almklausi and Specktakel (“Mama Lauda”), Lorenz Büffel (“Johnny Däpp”), Andreas Gabalier (“Hulapalu”) and Die Zipfelbuben (“Mama Lauda”) are also given new interpretations of their works. Olivia”). Of course, the scandalous 2022 summer hit “Layla” by DJ Robin and Schürze couldn’t be missing from Heino’s party hit list.

The way in which the self-proclaimed new party king grabs the popular songs of his young colleagues and puts his Heinoesque stamp on them has undeniably great entertainment value. While the originals are all accompanied by electronic fairground techno beats and stimulating synthesizer sounds, in his cover versions he reduces them to relaxed pop band arrangements.

In combination with his operatic, dramatic singing, the lyrics of the nerve-wracking party hits suddenly appear in a completely new light. He sings lines like “Go get a beer / You’re getting ugly again / One or two beers / And you’re beautiful again” with the same old-fashioned pathos that you know from “High on the Yellow Car” and conveys them that way an even higher level of absurdity.

The fact that the lyrics of the Ballermann hymns, due to the genre, revolve exclusively around the topics of sex, alcohol consumption and party excess, forces the former Schlager Saubermann to let many a rude offensive thunder through his majestic vocal cords. And so, at almost 85 years old, he fervently belts out verses like “If your mother knew, Olivia / Show everyone your breasts, Olivia / If your mother knew, Olivia / In the box with everyone, Olivia” into the microphone as if he never had did something different.

In order to do justice to his new role, he pulled out all the stops in the videos of the pre-released singles and didn’t miss any break with previous Heino taboos. To the horror of his traditional hit fan base, he appeared in the video for “Ten Naked Hairdressers” surrounded by nine scantily clad strippers and a half-naked male hairdresser. As “Bild” reported, his wife Hannelore was anything but enthusiastic about it: “When Heino told me that he wanted to sing a song about ten naked hairdressers, I was horrified and asked him if he had lost his mind. How does he come up with ideas like that at his age?!”

While Hannelore was publicly outraged, media professional Heino immediately picked up on the apparent scandal on RTL and classified the delicate story as pure pragmatism. There he said: “You have to move with the times. Songs change, people change, and we get older. What good does it do me if I sing the most beautiful hit and no one wants to hear it?”