There’s nothing quite like the wild, demented glam stomp of La Düsseldorf and “Viva” is possibly the maximum distillation of this crazed party music. There is something so euphoric and uplifting about it. It’s nothing short of dance around your room with your hands in the air ecstatic rock n roll madness. You would have to be a joyless churl not to crack a smile when the opening title track kicks in. The sound is all heavy drums and clean, joyous keyboards with everything else bar the vocals being quite subtle in the mix.
It’s hard to reconcile them with Neu! but it is that same Klaus Dinger with his younger brother Thomas and Hans Lampe who joined in for side two of Neu! 75. La Düsseldorf is a massive landmark in the development of punk, new wave, new romantic and house music. Dinger’s lyrics are quite hippy-ish, full of utopian idealism and promotion of peace and love but he delivers them with the mad, frenetic energy of a punk.
“Rheinita” starts off more sedate and laid back like one of a Neu! sonic travelogue but suddenly goes into a keyboard break that would end up being recreated thousands of times twenty years later on thousands of ecstatic house music records. “Geld” is all fuzzed out guitars and stomp with more of Dinger’s proto-punk singing like he demonstrated on “Hero” but whereas back then he sounded furious now he just sounds like a man in command of the whole world, effortlessly cool.
All of side two of the record is given over to the big, ballsy epic “Cha Cha 2000”. It starts with the whispered promise “the future is calling” and then those keyboards of joy begin and the rhythms roll in. It peaks and peaks and peaks even more with Dinger crying out “This will be paradise / If we open our heart / If we open our eye”. There is something so simple, heartfelt and sincere about him that you cannot mock his words. The track even veers off into a classical breakdown where the utopian keyboards become pastoral and elegant before returning for the big climax.