From the introduction to the Afternoons in Utopia music book
Translated by Tanya Chang

Inspired by film makers such as Godard and Hitchcock as well as rock models like Depeche Mode or Roxy Music, Marian Gold, Bernhard Lloyd and Frank Mertens, about four years ago, began to experiment musically and with their ideas about working with studio electronics. At that time, naturally, they were in modest surroundings because money was obtained with difficulty and everyone had to have a sturdy job on hand for living expenses and instruments. From this ground, they shifted from Berlin to favourably costing Münster, where Ariane, then Marian's girlfriend, could supply a flat. Here together with friends they started the Multi-Media Project "Nelson", from which Alphaville emerged.

With their first demos, among them Big in Japan, Alphaville went on a search for partners and quickly gained experience. From the start on 1984 Big in Japan was released as a single, and already the first media response showed that every participant was in the right place: good spontaneous radio broadcasts prepared Alphaville for their first TV debut on February 1, 1984 and paved the path for the way into the charts. Big in Japan, to begin with, climbed to number 1 in the German charts, followed by its triumphant advance through entering every European chart. Even in England, no easy terrain for German music, Alphaville climbed up to number 8 in the charts. With that, it was not enough: After placement in the official Billboard Charts of the USA with Big in Japan, Alphaville became excited. It even went to number 1 in the Disco / Dance charts of America!

After the second hit single Sounds Like A Melody during the end of September 1984, Alphaville released their first album with the title of their third single, Forever Young. In a short time it excitedly received gold status in Germany, just like in other, more distant, countries: Switzerland, Norway, South Africa and France, and platinum in Sweden. Over 1.5 million Alphaville albums were bought world-wide, and altogether 3.5 million copies of the three singles were distributed over the stores.

With Jet Set the fourth Alphaville single was released, but this publication was not taken from the album but completely rerecorded. By this studio engagement, Ricky Echolette was already present: a new man replacing Frank Mertens on keyboards, and also playing bass and guitars. Marian Gold and Ricky Echolette knew each other from a band they played in together in Berlin. Within 2 days after he joined, he contributed to Jet Set, his debut. The maxi version was remixed by the New York studio wizard, John "Jellybean" Benitez.

The basis for the new Alphaville action was then Berlin. The group was drawn back to their old dream city and gave themselves a well-deserved break for the studio work for the new album. The result was Dance With Me, which was published in April of 1986 and written by the members Marian Gold, Bernhard Lloyd and Ricky Echolette together. This single and Fantastic Dream were produced in New York. Guest musicians were Carmina Rojas (bass), Dave Lebold (keyboards) and Alan Childs (drums) - famous from tour bands of David Bowie and Julian Lennon. For it, Alphaville selected producer Steve Thompson, a sought-after studio pro well-known for his remixes of songs by Elton John, A-ha, Rolling Stones and many others.

The LP production continued at the Berlin Hansa Studios at the end of March. Every title up to the song Jerusalem was recorded there. The producer in this case, among others, produced Simple Minds, Saga and China Crisis. The titles were engineered by Stephen Chase, well-known through his work with Howard Jones, Simple Minds, Chris de Burgh, and Phil Collins. Then all titles were mixed at Manor Studio, Oxford. Lastly Jerusalem completed the album. This song was recorded and produced by Wolfgang Loos at Studio 54 in the fall of 1985.