Element of Crime

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Element of Crime
Element of Crime 2015 in Wiesbaden
Element of Crime 2015 in Wiesbaden
General information
Genre (s) skirt
founding 1985
Website www.elementofcrime.de
Founding members
Sven Regener
Jakob Friderichs (aka Jakob Ilja )
Paul Lukas (aka Veto, until 1995)
Jürgen Fabritius (until 1986)
Uwe Bauer (until 1986)
Current occupation
Singing, guitar, trumpet
Sven Regener
Jakob Friderichs (aka Jakob Ilja )
David Young (since 2002)
Richard Pappik (since 1986)
former members
Christian Hartje (1995-2002)
Element of Crime live at the Leverkusener Jazztage 2019
Interview excerpt 1987: Richard Pappik and Eckard Fietze-Fischer
Band founder and singer Sven Regener
Bass player David Young
Band founder and guitarist Jakob Ilja
Drummer Richard Pappik

Element of Crime is a German band that plays guitar , bass , drums and vocals / trumpet in a melancholy , chanson-style pop and rock music .

Band history

The band was founded in 1985 by Sven Regener , who was born in Bremen , who later became known as the author of the book Mr. Lehmann and as the screenwriter of the film of the same name . Regener sings and plays guitar , trumpet and piano . The band name is borrowed from the title of a film by Lars von Trier of the same name .

Another founding member who is still active in the band today is the guitarist Jakob Friderichs (alias Jakob Ilja , born in 1959). He got to know Regener through their common funk band “Neue Liebe”. The original line-up also included bassist Paul Lukas alias Veto. The drummer Uwe Bauer and the saxophonist Jürgen Fabritius left the band in 1986. Richard Pappik became the new drummer.

The first successes came in 1987; the album Try to be Mensch produced by John Cale was sold over 10,000 times. The first major tour outside of Berlin also took place.

On October 17, 1987, during an unofficial appearance in front of 2,000 listeners in the overcrowded East Berlin Zionskirche in Prenzlauer Berg, right-wing extremist skinheads attacked the audience after the concert , see attack on the Zionskirche .

The adaptations of several songs by Kurt Weill at the “Festival de la Bâtie” in 1989 were not very successful . Overall, Element of Crime's success seemed to be over. As they could not afford a creative break for financial reasons, it was decided to reform: The texts of Element of Crime were exclusively in German. In 1991, Damals hinterm Mond was released, the first completely German-language album. In 1992 Element of Crime played in the opening act with Herbert Grönemeyer on about half of his tour.

In 1993 an Element of Crime album landed in the charts for the first time with Weißes Papier . David Young, who has been recording the band's albums as a sound engineer and producer since 1988, accompanied them from then on as guitarist and later as bassist in live performances.

In 1995, Element of Crime separated from their bassist Paul Lukas; Christian Hartje took his place. In 1996, Die Schönen Rosen was made , a record that, with its sparse sound and somewhat brittle charm, tied in with the group's early English works. The album shared the success of its predecessors and, after its release in autumn 1996, entered the German album charts at number 24.

Element of Crime began writing new songs in the spring of 1998 and recorded them immediately after they were composed. In the course of the year, during a series of four-day sessions, the album Psycho was created , which was released in spring 1999.

Following this, the band members began to get involved in side projects. Jakob Ilja was active with the 17 Hippies and “Das dreckige Dutzend”, Richard Pappik composed music for children. Christian Hartje and Sven Regener were guest musicians on “Das Holz”. In 2000 and 2001 the band experimented on new paths and worked for Leander Haußmann ( Sonnenallee , Peter Pan , Herr Lehmann ) in the field of theater and film music .

In November 2001, Romantik appeared , which stayed in the charts for a long time. Rather unusual for Element of Crime were the appearances at Rock am Ring and Rock im Park in 2002, when Hartje left the band and David Young became their bassist.

On September 30, 2005, the album Center of the World was released , which entered the album charts at number 7. The single Delmenhorst , released on September 12, 2005, brought the band first place in the German single charts: It was in the top 100 for four weeks (402 in the annual evaluation).

After an extensive tour to Center of the World and a subsequent creative break, Element of Crime returned in August 2008 with the release of seven new songs (including three instrumental pieces) in the soundtrack of the Leander Haußmann film Robert Zimmermann is amazed at love . This brought the band a 2009 nomination for the German Film Prize in the Best Film Music category . The song Ein Hot Dog down at the harbor was also released as a limited vinyl single .

On September 18, 2009, the new album Immer da wo du bist I am never was released, which entered the official media control charts at number 2, the highest ranking in the band's history. Element of Crime had played a few concerts the previous summer. From her appearance on Inas Nacht on November 19, 2009, her song Am Ende I Always Only Think of You was published along with nine other guest appearances on the bonus CD Inas kleine Nachtmusik with Ina Müller's album Ich bin die .

In early 2010 the band toured Germany, Austria and Switzerland. In August 2010, Element of Crime received their first gold record for their album Always there where you are I am . Fremde Federn is the title of the CD released by Universal in November 2010, which contains a collection of cover versions that the band has recorded over the years. Her new album Favorite Colors and Animals was released on September 26, 2014 . In January 2015, the band made an appearance in the crime scene The Crazy Ivan . Since spring 2017, the band has been working on the follow-up album of Favorite Colors and Animals . After the band played concerts as part of the release of this album until late summer 2017, the new album was announced for October of the same year in June 2018. Already at the concerts in summer 2017 and appearances in spring 2018 - the band played in May 2018 in Hamburg's Elbphilharmonie - two previously unreleased pieces from the upcoming album were presented, which has since been released under the title Schafe, Monster und Mäuse .


Studio albums

English language studio albums

  • 1986: Basically Sad | Polydor
  • 1987: Try to Be Mensch | Polydor
  • 1988: Freedom, Love & Happiness | Polydor
  • 1989: The Ballad of Jimmy & Johnny | Polydor

German-language studio albums

year title Top ranking, total weeks, awardChart placementsChart placements
(Year, title, rankings, weeks, awards, notes)
1991 Back then behind the moon - - -
First published: August 21, 1991
1993 White paper DE29 (13 weeks)
- CH30 (6 weeks)
First published: January 22, 1993
1994 On a Sunday in April DE23 (12 weeks)
- CH35 (3 weeks)
First published: March 30, 1994
1996 The beautiful roses DE24 (8 weeks)
- -
First published: September 16, 1996
1999 Psycho DE11 (6 weeks)
AT48 (1 week)
First published: March 8, 1999
2001 romance DE19 (10 weeks)
AT51 (2 weeks)
First published: November 19, 2001
2005 Center of the world DE7 (18 weeks)
AT14 (5 weeks)
CH75 (4 weeks)
First published: September 30, 2005
2009 Always where you are, I am never DE2

(23 weeks)DE
AT6 (9 weeks)
CH22 (2 weeks)
First published: September 18, 2009
Sales: + 100,000
2014 Favorite colors and animals DE3

(24 weeks)DE
AT1 (12 weeks)
CH14 (4 weeks)
First published: September 26, 2014
Sales: + 100,000
2018 Sheep, monsters and mice DE2 (19 weeks)
AT5 (11 weeks)
CH6 (6 weeks)
First published: October 5, 2018

More albums

Live albums

year title Top ranking, total weeks, awardChart placementsChart placements
(Year, title, rankings, weeks, awards, notes)
2019 Live in the Tempodrom DE5 (5 weeks)
AT15 (2 weeks)
CH48 (1 week)
First published: October 11, 2019

More live albums

  • 1990: Live: Crime Pays | Polydor (CD and LP)
  • 2006: The Cologne Concert Cologne (download album)
  • 2006: The Berlin Concert Berlin (download album)
  • 2010: Bluebird Tapes , Pier 2 , Bremen; February 6, 2010 (download album)
  • 2010: Bluebird Tapes , Gasometer, Vienna; February 9, 2010 (download album) (1 week 49th place in Austria)
  • 2013: Bluebird Tapes , Lido, Berlin; April 23, 2013 (download album)
  • 2013: Bluebird Tapes , Fondation Beyeler, Riehen near Basel; June 16, 2013 (download album)
  • 2015: Bluebird Tapes , Jahrhunderthalle , Bochum; March 4, 2015 (download album)

Special editions

  • 1993: Dicte-moi ta loi (limited international version of "White Paper", edition: 2000 pieces) | Polydor


year title Top ranking, total weeks, awardChart placementsChart placements
(Year, title, rankings, weeks, awards, notes, trivia)
Remarks Trivia
2002 "1985–1990" (Best Of) - - -
First published: November 25, 2002
In contrast to other groups, Element of Crime did not want to bring out a conventional " best of " for their 20th anniversary , as had already been the approach with Crime Pays , but a selection of their strongest and most meaningful numbers. The fans helped them with the selection via a forum on their homepage. The first CD contains a selection of works in English and the video for Surabaya Johnny; the second CD, on which the albums Psycho and Romantik were deliberately left out, contains the video for When the morning is graying .
"1991–1996" (Best Of) - - -
First published: November 25, 2002
2010 Foreign feathers DE28 (7 weeks)
AT20 (4 weeks)
CH61 (1 week)
First published: November 19, 2010
At the folklore festival in Wiesbaden


year Title
Top ranking, total weeks, awardChart placementsChart placements
(Year, title, album , rankings, weeks, awards, notes)
2005 Delmenhorst
center of the world
DE52 (6 weeks)
- -
First published: September 12, 2005
2006 Tram of death
center of the world
DE67 (3 weeks)
- -
First published: February 17, 2006
2014 Favorite colors and animals
Favorite colors and animals
DE75 (1 week)
- -
First published: August 29, 2014

More singles

  • Something Was Wrong 1987 | Polydor
  • Nervous and Blue 1987 | Polydor
  • Long Long Summer 1988 | Polydor
  • Murder in Your Eyes 1988 | Polydor
  • The Ballad of Jimmy and Johnny (Promo Single) 1989 | Polydor
  • Satellite Town 1990 | Polydor
  • Surabaya Johnny (Live) 1990 | Polydor
  • Turn off the light when you leave 1991 | Polydor
  • Back then behind the moon 1992 | Polydor
  • Blue light and twilight 1992/1993 | Polydor
  • Always energized 1993 | Polydor
  • Heavy seas 1993 | Polydor
  • Lock me in 1993 | Polydor
  • More than it allows 1993 | Motor Music
  • On a Sunday in April 1994 | Motor Music
  • My your day 1994 | Motor Music
  • The beautiful roses 1996 | Motor Music
  • When the morning comes 1996 | Motor Music
  • Element of Crime Playing the Fantastic Bee Gees Classic I Started a Joke 1998 | Motor Music
  • Young and beautiful (promo single) 1999 | Motor Music
  • You told me 1999 | Motor Music
  • Michaela says 1999 | Motor Music
  • Somewhere in Nowhere [EP] 2000 | Motor Music
  • Since Heaven (Promo Single) 2001 | Motor Music
  • The Hope You Bring (Promo Single) 2001 | Motor Music
  • Only with you 2005 (promo single) | Universal
  • A hot dog down by the harbor 2008 | Universal (vinyl)
  • Always where you are I'm never 2009 | Universal
  • In the end I only think about you 2009 | Universal (Download EP)
  • Great white shark 2010 | Universal (download single)
  • Love is colder than death 2014 | Universal / Vertigo (10 "vinyl or download EP)
  • Christmas 2018 | Universal / Vertigo

Sampler and soundtrack contributions


Web links

Commons : Element of Crime  - collection of images, videos and audio files


  1. https://www.egofm.de/musik/enthaben/element-of-crime-zu-gast-bei-max
  2. taz.de: The night of the Nazis in the Zionskirche
  3. cf. German Film Award: An overview of the nominations at welt.de, March 13, 2009
  4. ^ Foreign springs ( Memento from February 13, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  5. Ulf Kubanke: Fremde Federn: Cover versions between inspiration and insignificance on www.laut.de
  6. Element of Crime appear in the Weimar crime scene , Musikexpress November 2014, online version accessed on January 1, 2015
  7. Element of Crime - Homepage. Retrieved on July 30, 2018 (German).
  8. Element Of Crime: Schafe, Monster und Mäuse (Including MP3 Code) (2 LPs) - jpc. Retrieved August 2, 2018 .
  9. a b c d Chart sources: DE AT CH
  10. Gold / platinum database