40. Amour (Reise, Reise, 2004)
Reise, Reise’s closing track often risks being overlooked – its build-up is gentle, the verses’ opening lines subtly reference American pop queen Connie Francis’ Die Liebe Ist Ein Seltsames Spiel, and it’s pretty mid-paced. But it’s a grower, not a shower. Featuring a lyrical palette smattered with couplets desperately trying to tame wild, animalistic love, it’s another example of Till’s capability for gorgeous melancholy – and hats off to Paul and Richard for that melody under the chorus.
39. Spiel Mit Mir (Sehnsucht, 1997)
Nothing says ‘platinum album’ quite like a song about incest. Spiel Mit Mir, from second record Sehnsucht, harbours Rammstein’s most sickening set of lyrics until 2009’s Wiener Blut; twisted euphemisms (not putting them here, Google it) wrap around blackened, murky synth and a grinding, mid-tempo stomp. Messed-up in that way only Rammstein can get away with, playful keyboard begins to pepper the verses before going full-out Simpsons Treehouse of Horror. Spiel Mit Mir is pretty gross, made only more so by Till’s sweet-as-treacle opening salvo.
38. Moskau (Reise, Reise, 2004)
Turns out Rammstein are massive in Russia, so it made sense for them to pen a song about the country’s capital. With jiggy accordion and nigh-on cheerleader vocals from Estonian singer Viktoria Fersh, Moskau comes off a bit Born In The U.S.A: seems patriotic, yet the sentiment is anything but. Here, Till uses the analogy of an old sex worker to mirror the corruption present in the city – but he still can’t resist its beauty.
37. Morgenstern (Reise, Reise, 2004)
With lyrics adapted from the poem Hasslich, taken from Till’s Messer collection, Morgenstern is another tale of an ‘ugly’ (hässlich) woman. But it’s all right – in the end, the ‘morning star’ (morgenstern) shines on our narrator, and he realises he was wrong, and the woman has been beautiful all along. It’s a simple premise, and backed by the Dresdner Kammerchor choir, the journey to its final chorus is arguably Reise, Reise’s most dramatic moment.
36. Zerstören (Rosenrot, 2005)
The Iraq War gave artists a lot to be angry about. Slightly more nuanced than Green Day saying ‘War is bad, m’kay?’ on American Idiot, Rammstein’s Zerstören sees George W. Bush Jr. reimagined as a little boy having a tantrum, destroying things that aren’t his. Despite Till’s childlike metre, the riff is sinister as sin and that simplistic, whammy-pedalled solo is one of Richard’s grittiest.
35. Zeig Dich (Rammstein, 2019)
Part of Rammstein’s appeal is that Till’s lyrics are steeped in metaphor – Zeig Dich does away with that, pseudo-Latin choirs harbouring an apocalyptic drubbing of paedo priests within the Catholic church. ‘Zeig dich!’ simply means ‘show yourself’, and by the time Till’s literally rasping ‘Molesting children, spread and multiply in the name of the Lord’ in German, nothing’s left to the imagination. His defiant, soaring proclamations during the chorus are so powerful, they even make you forget that Oliver’s wholesale pinched the riff from System Of A Down’s Aerials near the end.
34. Bestrafe Mich (Sehnsucht, 1997)
Sehnsucht is littered with Till’s spank-me-daddy-isms, and Bestrafe Mich (‘Punish Me’) is one such moment. Utilising the higher end of his register, it’s also Till’s vocal zenith on the record. That wail he sustains at 02:37 is something we’d kill to see live today, along with those irresistible titular chants.
33. Eifersucht (Sehnsucht, 1997)
One of Sehsucht’s sillier songs, Eifersucht is a clear midway point between ‘old’ and ‘new’ Rammstein. It still retains that bug-eyed, almost Playstation 1-ish synth, and Till’s stuttered delivery of the refrain is a bit hammy. But that riff is a hefty old bugger, and while it had been knocking around in one form or another since the band’s demo days in 1994, it’s been refined here to accommodate their growing, heavier inclinations. The lyrics are also based on the ludicrous cannibal flick featuring Michael Gambon, The Cook, The Thief, His Wife And Her Lover. Which, if you know Mein Teil, is very Rammstein indeed.
32. Weisses Fleisch (Herzeleid, 1995)
Living on Rammstein’s debut, Herzeleid, there’s a certain bubblegum quality to Weisses Fleisch. It’s relentless, pounding, hypnotic – the guitars cutting out then re-joining the drums through the verse, the weird goblin backing vocals in the chorus, the guitar-hero solo making you believe you can change the world with just that tennis racket in front of the mirror. It makes one hell of a workout song – maybe just ignore that it’s about a repentant sex offender.
31. Mein Land (Mein Land single, 2011)
Originally recorded for Rammstein’s sixth record, Liebe Ist Für Alle Da, this anthem against xenophobia was probably best left to stand on its own – makes its impact all the more striking. Plus, the chorus is an instant hit, and that’s before you even get to the last bridge, with Flake’s frankly absurd synth echoing Coolio’s Gangsta’s Paradise.