I have no precise memory from which far, far away lands the term „Afternoons in Utopia“ came flying across to our minds. Maybe it was the charisma of its concept that appeared rather stimulating to us. On the one hand, those „afternoons“ radiate a relaxed and peaceful mood, which we were desperately in need for, after the turbulent times that layed behind us in 1986. On the other hand it is this certain melancholic sentiment of farewell which then attracted us. We had pushed open the door to success and payed the price by losing our „innocence“ full of wonderful frivolous shenanigans.
Another inspiring aspect of „Afternoons In Utopia“ was, that it reminded me of an event way back when I was about 12 years old and our music teacher introduced us to Debussy’s „Prelude to the afternoon of a Faun“. He then asked us to draw a picture to what we would imagine by listening to the music. Though the piece was completely unkown to me at the time, what I was drawing was a Faun with his back to the viewer, relaxing on a meadow and watching the sun going down behind the distant hillside. This successful, absolute precise and almost visionary deciphering of an artistic purpose produced a feeling of peculiarity in me, as if I was part of a magical plan, as if I was a chosen one. And this magnificent feeling of haughtiness hasn’t left me and still generates an immoderate and downright ludicrous stubborness, that drives me to attempt even the most hopeless ventures. In 1986 Alphaville became the romancers „from those afternoons in Utopia“ and Debussy’s Faun, up until the present day, is our faithful brother in the realms west of the ordinary boundaries of the world. You are all welcome to join in. Peace!
…and look what I found! The two photos below show the original first drafts for both sides of a possible „Afternoons In Utopia“ – album cover, created by the ingenious hand of comrade Rick Echolette. In those days „Dance with Me“ was still titled as „Empires Of Delight“. Mind the enigmatic dates on the left-hand side of the flipside illustration. A few of them are easy to guess, others remain a mystery, even to me, who probably once put them in. Any suggestions appreciated…