Now you might be wondering why, of all the Helloween albums, that I would pick this one. It’s not the most maligned album by the famous German Power Metal band, that would be 1993’s Chameleon. By the way, I love that album too. The album Pink Bubbles Go Ape would be the start of a new era for the band. After their first three albums set the bar for what Power Metal would be known as, they were left without their lead guitarist and former lead singer, Kai Hansen. Pink Bubbles Go Ape would be a slight departure from the epic, hard, grand scale of their first three albums. Without Kai Hansen in the fold, the band brought in Roland Grapow to replace him. In addition to the new sound for the band, their lyrical content would go to more humorous tones. Sometimes at the detriment of the album’s quality.
The band would see the start of a rift forming because of this new sound and tone from lead singer Michael Kiske. Kai Hansen left the band after a tour in 1989 due to fatigue from touring and problems with the band’s record label. The rest of the band would run into these issues with Noise International. Eventually the two sides would agree to release the band from their contract. The band signed with EMI and release Pink Bubbles Go Ape on March 11th, 1991.
Considering that Walls of Jericho, Keeper of the Seven Keys Part 1, and Keeper of the Seven Keys Part 2 are all classics of the genre, it would be hard to keep up with that kind of quality. They didn’t make an album better than those, but they made one that after many years, has some really quality music on it. Let’s dig in.
Pink Bubbles Go Ape Is Not Perfect
The two singles released for the album were “Kids of the Century” and “Number One”. “Kids of the Century” is a classic album opening track filled with heavy riffs and lots of energy. It’s one that I hope they can bust out on their upcoming United Alive World Tour. A tour you can read about right here. The song fits in with a bunch of their other catalog. It’s not my favorite song on the album, but it’s probably the best and fits with the overall Helloween vibe. “Number One” is a weaker song definitely. It’s a wonder why they decided that one was fit for a single off the album. It just doesn’t show off the side of this album that I think it could.
The song that 100% should have been the second single off the album was “The Chance”. This is far and away the best song on this album and my favorite from the No Hansen/Kiske era of Helloween. The song is fast, amazingly played, and has one of the best messages I’ve seen in a heavy metal song.
The chance you got comes never twiceHelloween “The Chance”
Do your best, (and) do it right
Time will come but don’t you hide
You are on your way
Written by Roland Grapow, this album was the first of his major contributions to Helloween. On later albums with Andi Deris, his output would be lessened, and by the time of his departure, he was only writing one song per album. This one, he fully knocked out of the park though. I can always fire this one up during a workout or when I’m feeling a little unmotivated.
The Bad Of Pink Bubbles
To this day, I have no idea what Pink Bubbles Go Ape means. I don’t really want anyone to tell me either. It’s a silly title that doesn’t really describe the album very well while also describing the album perfectly. Michael Kiske took control of the band during this time period. His style changed what Helloween wrote and recorded at the time. It was a silly era. With songs like “Heavy Metal Hamsters” (about their former record label), “Shit And Lobster”, and “I’m Doin Fine, Crazy Man” they went to a space creatively that just wasn’t the same as their previous efforts. Fans wanted more epic quality songs that didn’t include acoustic guitars and weird lyrics. The next era of Helloween with Andi Deris in 1994 would be a major return to that style.
After all of this and Michael Kiske’s firing in 1993, the band would come back stronger than ever for their Pumpkins United World Tour in 2016. The band has promised a new album and recording is underway right now. Helloween and the pumpkins are back, and better than ever.
For more on Helloween, Pink Bubbles Go Ape, heavy metal, or any other general pop culture, make sure to check back to That Hashtag Show.
Check out Helloween’s website here.
To see yesterday’s April Fools Music Rec click below: