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Gölä are a Swiss/German rock band that enjoyed chart-topping, award-winning success in their homeland for several years before switching languages from Swiss German to English in 2004 and consequently alienating much of their homegrown audience. Led by singer/songwriter/guitarist Marco "Gölä" Pfeuti (born June 7, 1968, in Thun), the band's original core lineup also included Zlatko "Slädu" Perica (guitar), Thomas "TJ" Gyger (keyboards), René Maurer (bass), and Urs Frei (drums), along with sisters Sandra and Barbara Moser on backup vocals. This original lineup performed songs in Swiss German (i.e., Mundart rock) and made its recording debut in 1998 on the Sound Service label with the album Uf u Dervo. The album spawned a pair of hits singles ("Keini Träne Meh," "Schwan" -- the former a Top Ten hit) and became a remarkable success, topping the Swiss albums chart in its ninth week of sales and ultimately charting for two years (i.e., 110 weeks) overall; additionally, the album won Gölä the 1998 Prix Walo award in the rock category. The band's follow-up album, Wildi Ross (1999), was another huge success, likewise topping the albums chart and spawning a pair of hit singles ("I Hätt No Viu Blöder Ta," "Scho Lang Verbi" -- the former a Top Ten hit). Gölä continued to enjoy success in the years that followed, releasing the live albums Volksmusig (2000) and Live: 02 (2002) -- which charted at number two and three, respectively -- as well as their third studio album, Gölä III, which was another chart-topper and spawned three hit singles ("Gfüeu," "Nacht," "Nimm Mi Mit"). Then in 2004, after signing a long-term recording contract with Capitol Records, Gölä left behind Mundart rock and not only began singing songs in English, but they essentially became another band. Renamed Burn and pared down to a trio lineup (Pfeuti, Perica, and Gyger), this new incarnation of the band released the self-titled Burn (2004), and though the album charted fairly well at number five, it spawned no hit singles and dropped off the albums chart quickly. More importantly, there was a serious backlash among fans, particularly given the band's working-class identity. Taking heed, the band switched its name back to Gölä and returned to a quintet lineup, hiring an entirely new backing band comprised of Ueli Bleuler (guitar), John Woolloff (guitar), Peter Keiser (bass), and Walter Keiser (drums). Despite these key changes, the band continued to perform English-language songs, and consequently the resulting albums Gimme a Band (2005) and Rock & Roll (2007) were received relatively poorly in commercial terms, charting at number 31 and 25, respectively, and spawning no hit singles. In a bid to reclaim some of their old fan base, Gölä subsequently released the double album Tättoo, whose first disc (Best of Bärndütsch) featured newly recorded Swiss German versions of the band's greatest hits, along with a couple new songs, and whose second disc (So Damn Sexy) featured a new platter of English-language songs. The bid paid off well, as Tättoo debuted atop the Swiss albums chart and spawned the Top Ten hit single "D'Stadt." ~ Jason Birchmeier

Top Songs


2002 in Düsseldorf, Germany

Years Active:

'90s, '00s, '10s