In 1983, the musical world was taken with Nena, a German band whose one hit had an infectious synth bass line, changing tempos and mysterious lyrics about balloons accidentally causing World War III.
“99 Luftballons” and its English-translated counterpart, “99 Red Balloons,” was a monster smash for the pop group, hitting No. 2 on the U.S. Hot 100 behind Van Halen’s “Jump” — the highest position for a West German band since “Fly, Robin, Fly” by Silver Convention spent three weeks at No. 1 in 1975.