Is Abba the only band...

Are there any music groups from a country that is non-english speaking (Yes, I know that there are english speakers in Sweden, I mean a country where english is not the primary language) that made it here in the US? I’m not looking for individuals or groups from the UK, Ireland, Australia or any other english speaking country. This came up in a conversation and the only group anyone could come up with is Abba. Can anybody out there think of another band?


From Germany :


From Iceland :


In my own mind, Shonen Knife (Japanese band) is popular, but I don’t think they qualify as ‘making it’.

Nusrat had some success in the US, but maybe not quite enough. A few rai singers (North African) have had recent attention too. These were usually collaborations with well-known groups, though.

There are an innumerable number of Latin American stars, too.

If you mean only those that made it singing English songs, the list narrows, but there are still some around.

Isn’t Falco Austrian?

What do you mean with ‘made it’? Becoming really popular, or scoring a few hits?

Golden Earring is a Dutch band that scored a few hits. Dunno if you would consider it ‘made it’.

The Cardigans is Swedish; I still remember them because of songs in that Romeo and Julia movie with Leonardo di Caprio and Claire Danes. Are they ‘big in the U.S.A.’?

Pink Lady

There have been plenty in the Industrial world, Einsturzende Neubautin and KMFDM come to mind.

Oops, you’re right.

But I can add Nena and Kraftwerk under Germany.

There’s a bunch! How about T.a.T.U.?
Basia was popular in the early 90s. Santana. Cibo Matto. Shakira. Yanni. And so forth.

a-ha is from Norway.
Sigur Ros, from Iceland, is fairly popular now.
Roxette is from Sweden, I think.

Army of Lovers is from Sweden
Les Rita Mitsouko is from France

He was. He died in a car wreck in 1998.

shit, I can’t believe I forgot Nitzer Ebb in that last post.

Turbonegro and the Helicopters, while not huge in a top 40 way,are pretty huge in the underground.


Kent are from Sweden and big abroad as I understand.
As are/were Ace of Base.

Aqua are a danish/norweigen band iirc who were big outside of the region.

Errr…thats “Hellacopters”


The Hives are doing pretty well…

(Who knew anything good could come out of Sweden…)

Focus (“Hocus Pocus”) was Dutch and had several successful US albums.

There was also The Shocking Blue (“Venus”) – also Dutch, but a one-hit wonder.

Tangerine Dream (German) were highly influential and successful, especially with movie scores (e.g., “Risky Business,” “Thief”) and industrial music.

Premiata Forneria Marconi (Italian) shortened their name to PFM and had a few successful progressive rock albums in the early 70s. They seem to be still recording.

Supertramp, from the Netherlands.

Cibo Matto is an American group. Miho Hatori and Yuka Honda are both from New York.

Let me correct myself: Miho Hatori, at least, was born and raised in Japan. Cibo Matto did, however, form in New York, and I don’t think they could fairly be considered a Japanese band…just an American band with Japanese-American members.