The celebrated recording career of German singer Ina Deter was a long one, stretching across several decades, from the mid-'70s into the 21st century. Her popularity peaked in 1983, when Neue Männer Braucht das Land (1982) and its title track were riding high on the German charts; she performed a whopping 180 concerts on her Männer-Tour during this point in time. Deter's popularity held fairly steady for a couple years afterward, though her recording output slowed considerably once she dropped off the charts at the close of the 1980s. Every few years she released an album and embarked on an occasional tour, but she never recaptured the commercial success and momentum that she maintained during her mid-'80s zenith. A collective of fans -- past and present, old and new -- celebrate her body of work nonetheless. Born January 14, 1947, in Berlin, Deter studied to become a graphic designer and took her first job in 1966, working at an advertising agency. In 1969, at age 22, she moved from Berlin to Cologne. In 1974 she wrote her first song, "Ich Habe Abgetrieben," and in 1976 enjoyed her first hit, "Wenn Du So Bist Wie Dein Lachen." A debut solo album, Ich Sollte Eigentlich ein Junge Werden (1977), followed. Deter recorded full-length albums at a fairly regular rate thereafter: Heute (1978), Wenn Wir Unsern Neid Besiegen... (1979), Aller Anfang Sind Wir (1980), Neue Männer Braucht das Land (1982), Mit Leidenschaft (1984), Frauen Kommen Langsam -- Aber Gewaltig (1986), Das Live-Album (1987), Ich Will die Hälfte der Welt (1987), Soll Mich Lieben Wer Will (1990), and so on. Among these releases, some of which were billed to the Ina Deter Band, Neue Männer Braucht das Land was the biggest success, spawning the hit title track in 1983; the successive couple albums, namely Mit Leidenschaft and Frauen Kommen Langsam -- Aber Gewaltig, also charted well. Deter was a major concert draw during this period, as showcased on Das Live-Album, itself a testament to her mid-'80s popularity.
Ich Bereue Nichts (1991), a best-of compilation, rounded up Deter's highlights from 1980-1990. Like many such releases, it also quietly marked the end of her days as a hitmaker; later came a companion compilation of odds and ends, Hits und Flops (1998). Her chart run was indeed over and her recording output slowed significantly from that point forward. Only on occasion did albums of new material surface, generally every few years -- Ver-Rückte Zeiten (1993), Mit Früher Ist Heute Vorbei (1997), Spieglein, Spieglein (2000) -- and with small concert tours accompanying them. Voilà: Lieder von Edith Piaf auf Deutsch (2003), a covers album paying tribute to the French chanson legend, was a notable depature for Deter. It found her re-energized for a stretch, to the rejoice of her fans, many of whom were eager to hear new material and see her tour. ~ Jason Birchmeier