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The Bates was a German punk band, founded in Eschwege, federal state of Hessemarker, Germany in 1987. The name refers to the character Norman Bates from Alfred Hitchcock's film Psycho.

To a broader public, The Bates were mainly known for their cover versions of songs made famous by other artists. On each of their albums they published at least two such cover songs alongside original compositions. Because the cover versions were particularly well received, The Bates released the album 2nd Skin (2000), which featured cover versions of songs taken from various genres. The Beatles ("Helter Skelter"), Rolling Stones ("Out of Time"), Sailor ("Glass of Champagne"), Aneka ("Japanese Boy"), and Eiffel 65 ("Blue") were covered in the album in typical The Bates style.

Amongst The Bates' commercially most successful singles was their cover version of Michael Jackson's Billie Jean (1994), which reached #10 in the Swiss charts, gaining them the highest charts entry of their career. Some other well-received songs were the Shakespears Sister cover Hello (Turn Your Radio On) (1994), A Real Cool Time (1995), It's Getting Dark (1996), and Independent Love Song (1997). Fan favourites are It's Getting Dark, Say It Isn't So, A Real Cool Time, Bitter End, I Don't Wanna Love You, or Not Like You.

In 2000 the The Bates disbanded. The band members reunited only briefly (for December 28, 2006) to play one concert, as a tribute to their former singer Markus "Zimbl" Zimmer, who had died earlier that year. The concert was filmed and, together with some interviews of family, friends and former acquaintances of Zimbl, made into a movie: "Zimbl - a real cool time". A shortened version was first screened a year later on the same date as the concert.


Studio Albums

1989 No Name for the Baby

1990 Shake

1992 Psycho Junior

1993 The Bates

1995 Pleasure + Pain

1996 Kicks 'n' Chicks

1997 Punk?

1998 IntraVenus

1999 Right Here! Right Now!

2000 2nd Skin

Live Albums

1993 Unfucked: Live

1997 Live


1994 Hello

1995 A Real Cool Time

1995 Billie Jean

1995 Say It Isn't So

1996 It's Getting Dark

1996 Poor Boy

1997 Independent Love Song

1999 Bitter End



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