Maria Magdalena - Sandra - 80sneverend - A woman in history

A woman in history

Sandra – (I’ll Never Be) Maria Magdalena

We have said many times that the months between December 1984 and Live Aid were probably the most creative and fertile period of all the 80s. Every week, every day there was a new record, album or even a new band. The last week of February, for example, saw the beginning of the career of Peter Cox and Richard Drummie’s Go West, with the beautiful We Close Our Eyes. And the first week of March instead saw the entrance on the scene of one of the European queens of the second half of the 80s, especially outside the United Kingdom: Sandra.

To be honest, the beautiful Sandra Ann Lauer was certainly not a rookie: in Germany and in other countries of the world including the Soviet Union, South Korea and Japan she was very famous, because since 1977 she was part of a very successful trio, called Arabesque , along with Michaela Rose and Jasmin Vetter. In 1984, however, Arabesque disbanded, and Sandra embarked on a solo career, while Jasmin and Michaela founded Rouge, a a group that never had much visibility outside Germany.

Sandra, as we said, embarked on a solo career, assisted by the producer of Arabesque, a guy that will become a well-known name of the 80s: Michael Cretu. Yes, the one who in a few months will reach a sensational success with Samurai, and who had also become Sandra’s partner.

Sandra’s first solo song was a cover, or better, the German version of a song in English by a German group. In fact, her first single was Japan ist Weit, the German version of Alphaville’s Big in Japan! A few months later, however, in March 1985 Sandra released her first single written all for her (and also produced by Cretu), the unforgettable (I’ll Never Be) Maria Magdalena.
In fact, the song, which after another eight months will show up on Sandra’s first solo album, The Long Play, struggled a lot when it came out. The turning point came during the summer of 1985, because some German DJs who worked in Greece in the summer began to play it in their disco nights, in front of tourists from Germany, but also from many other countries (although traveling was not so easy like today).
Well, at the end of the summer, when everyone returned to their countries, the song became very famous throughout the continent!

Let’s say it: the song is irresistible. Michael Cretu’s electronic arrangements are still very modern today. Sandra’s voice is fantastic, and of course her indisputable beauty of her twenty-three years instantly made her the singer of the moment. I think the title also contributed a lot to launching the song’s success. Let us reflect: the title, although it is certainly familiar, at least for Catholics, also has something strange. In fact, since the song is in English, perhaps it should have been called “Mary Magdalene”! Michael Cretu and the other authors, however, needed a seven-syllable name for metric issues in the choir’s lines, and therefore opted for the German version of the name.
The Mary Magdalene of the text is absolutely the Mary Magdalene of the sacred scriptures: the sinner who, freed from demons thanks to the intervention of Jesus, has the opportunity to redeem herself. But this ending is not what the protagonist of the song wants! In fact, the text tells us about a love story that is failing due to the multiple relationships of the woman, who, however, has no intention of giving up her sexual freedom, and therefore she will never be like Mary Magdalene!
(I’ll Never Be) Maria Magdalena didn’t even have a real video: the producers had to go for a fairly simple recording of Sandra singing with musicians, and that became the official video of the song.
At this point Sandra’s career literally took off, and within a few months the German singer became one of the true icons of the 80s, and still today she is one of the most popular performers in nostalgia and revival concerts and TV shows!

Sandra on Wikipedia

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