Musikladen: So Much To Answer For
by Cory Vielma
The legendary German live-music TV show Beat Club ended its run on December 9, 1972. Newly christened as Musikladen, the show picked up exactly where it left off with its first episode running a mere four days later. All told, Musikladen would end up running 12 years, with its 90th (and final) episode appearing November 29, 1984. In its 12 years, an incredible number of performers would grace its stage, from the top acts of the day to bands whose only point of reference today is their appearance on the show. Together, Musikladen and Beat Club had a huge impact on how music is presented on television, not just in Germany but in the rest of the world. If you are old enough to remember the early days of MTV, think about how often they played clips labeled “Closet Classics”— a hefty chunk of those videos were actually just clips from Musikladen or Beat Club. This is also interesting because I would posit that MTV and the rise of the music video were at least partially responsible for the demise of Musikladen, but more on that later.
Early in Musikladen’s history it seemed that while the show was trying to keep going with what it had built as Beat Club, they had also made small changes to set it apart. Anyone familiar with (the later years of) Beat Club knows that they embraced emerging video effect technologies whole-heartedly and were by no means shy…