Various Sprechen Sie Pop

French ye-ye is an established genre among music nerds but it’s about time that German pop got a reviving push. Hamburg-based Bureau B Records’ Sprechen Sie Pop is a playful reminder that pop was still catchy, though maybe not quite as smooth, auf Deutsch. What’s interesting is that many of the artists on this compilation weren’t German speakers at all. Germany was a significant music market in the late ’60s and early ’70s. Many artists re-recorded their songs phonetically in order to break into the market, and some of their better efforts are preserved here. North American pop stars like Sandie Shaw and Paul Anka make appearances, as well as French singers like Sylvie Vartan and France Gall. More interesting still are the contributions from Poland and Hungary — musicians from communist states who had hoped to tap the illustrious East German market. Not every song stands out but most of them are catchy enough not to skip. Sprechen Sie Pop is precisely what a comp should be: a little lesson on an underreported musical niche, and a collection of good tunes. (Bureau B)