Berlin is an American New Wave/Synthpop band. The group was formed in Los Angeles in 1978 by John Crawford (bass guitar). The band contained Crawford, Terri Nunn (vocals), David Diamond (keyboards), Ric Olsen (guitar), Matt Reid (keyboards) and Rod Learned (drums). Learned left during the first EU tour and was replaced by Rob Brill (drums). The band first gained commercial success in the mid 1980s with singles including "The Metro", "Sex (I'm A...)", "No More Words" and the chart-topping single "Take My Breath Away" from the 1986 film Top Gun.
Berlin was formed in Los Angeles, California in the late 1970s. They were inspired by the what they felt was unique keyboard work of Kraftwerk and Ultravox Their first single, "A Matter of Time," was released in 1979 on Zone-H Records. The single was re-issued in 1980 featuring a replacement vocalist, Virginia Macolino, after Terri Nunn had temporarily left the band to pursue an acting career (Nunn at one point auditioned for the role of Princess Leia in the movie Star Wars).
This was followed by the album "Information". They had trouble gaining success as the music industry at the time thought new and exciting meant upbeat guitar oriented skinny tie power pop bands with male lead singers and thus did not understand their Synth Rock sound and more downcast subject matter. Terri Nunn rejoined the band as singer in 1981, and they signed to independent label Enigma Records where they had their first significant hit: the controversial synth-driven "Sex (I'm A...)" (1982), which was banned by some radio stations due to its graphic lyrics.
The song was intentionally written to get airplay on Los Angeles radio station KROQ which specialized in playing music that was not heard on other stations and that members of the group were fans of. Later they had two other hits: "The Metro" and "No More Words", whose subsequent video saw Terri Nunn and bandmates re-enact a Bonnie and Clyde-style car chase and shoot-out. "Take My Breath Away" (from the movie Top Gun) became their best-selling single in 1986 and a huge international hit, but also their last hit.
Aside from Nunn, members of the band were founding member John Crawford (primary songwriter, bass guitar and synthesizer), and David Diamond (synthesizer & guitar). Ric Olsen (lead guitar), was brought in during the final recording of Pleasure Victim. Other members added were Matt Reid (synthesizer), Rob Brill (drums: 1982–1987) and Rod Learned (drums: 1979–1982). Berlin's breakout EP, 1982's Pleasure Victim, featured Nunn, Crawford, and Diamond, as well as guitarist Ric Olsen, drummer, synthesist and producer Dan Van Patten and guitarist Chris Ruiz-Velasco, (the latter two were founding members along with Crawford and original male vocalist Ty Cobb).
Before Pleasure Victim was completed, Van Patten and Ruiz-Velasco parted ways with Nunn, Crawford, and Diamond. Ric Olsen was brought in to complete tracks on Pleasure Victim. Berlin officially disbanded in 1987, partly due to the lack of success of their album Count Three & Pray despite the success of "Take My Breath Away". Nunn retained the legal rights to usage of the band's name after legal wranglings with the founding member of the group, John Crawford. Nunn recreated Berlin (with a new lineup of musicians) in 1998. In 1999 they were The Go-Go's opening band on the latter's West Coast reunion tour.
In 2000–2001 Berlin contributed to several artist tribute albums. The only track to make it on to a full Berlin release is a cover of Marilyn Manson's "The Dope Show", which is included on Berlin's 4play album as well as the Marilyn Manson tribute album Anonymous Messiah (2001, Vitamin Records). Other tributes include material by Madonna and Blondie.
The classic version of Berlin was featured on the VH1 show, Bands Reunited where all members (except for Rob Brill; early drummer Rod Learned participated) agreed to not only reunite as friends but as a band. They played one show at The Roxy in California to a sold-out crowd.
The band toured with rock band INXS during summer 2011, and is currently working on a new album.
Jerry Casale of Devo created a video for Berlin which was scheduled to debut at a late November 2011 gig.
When not touring or recording, Nunn co-hosts "Between the Sheets", a popular podcast on webcast media station Hottalkla.com and is scheduled to debut her KCSN-FM radio show and record a new album in 2012.