|Released 27 January 1984 (1984-01-27)|
Recorded October–December 1983 at Spliff Studio, Berlin and A&R Studios, New York City
Genre Neue Deutsche Welle, pop rock, pop
? (Fragezeichen) (German for "Question mark") is the second album by German pop-rock band Nena and the third studio album to feature its lead singer, Gabriele "Nena" Kerner. It was released in 1984, just a few months before the band's first international album 99 Luftballons (1984), which contains songs from their debut album Nena (1983) and this album, some of them re-recorded with English lyrics.
Like its self-titled predecessor, this album was produced by Reinhold Heil and Manne Praeker of Spliff.
The album's title track was co-written by Nena and the band’s keyboard player Jörn-Uwe Fahrenkrog-Petersen. It reached #3 in the German charts in 1983. The lyrics – written by Nena – comprise the thoughts of someone racked by indecisiveness (“Today I’m coming, today I’m also going….Perhaps I’ll stay, Yesterday that wasn’t for me, Today I need endless love") but still adamant that they know what’s best for them (“No-one can tell me what is best….and who is best…because I know exactly.“) The song is a mainstay of Nena’s live concerts and seems to be particularly popular with female fans although it is not uncommon for Nena to interrupt her performance of the song, apparently to laugh at the absurdity of the lyrics. In the middle of the version recorded for the 2004 album Nena Live Nena she says, “I felt so small when I wrote this.”
Like most of the Nena's band greatest hits, ?(Fragezeichen) was anglicised for the international album 99 Luftballons and then updated for the Nena feat. Nena album which reignited Nena’s solo career in 2002.
Side A contains tracks 1 to 6 and Side B contains tracks 7 to 12.
Credits adapted from Allmusic and Discogs.