The Breathtaking Blue was a somewhat disappointing follow-up to Alphaville's early-1980s records Forever Young and Afternoons in Utopia. It lacked the shimmering standout quality of songs like "Big in Japan," "Forever Young" and "Afternoons in Utopia." The production, by Klaus Schulze and Alphaville, experiments with a somewhat richer instrumentation, adding strings, saxaphone, trumpet, double bass, electric and even acoustic guitars to Bernhard Lloyd's synthesizers. This strategy is met with mixed success. The lush production only serves to muddy "The Mysteries of Love," which might have been one of the album's better tracks had the songwriting been valued above the somewhat ostentatious arrangement. But the slinky bass and restrained sax ornamentation make the mildly jazzy "Heaven or Hell" one of the album's more interesting efforts. And "For a Million" is about as genuine as the band gets, thanks to the attractive minor-key melody and the surprising piano and acoustic guitar solos.
Alphaville is a German synthpop group which gained popularity in the 1980s. The founding members were Marian Gold (real name Hartwig Schierbaum, born 26 May 1954 in Herford, North Rhine-Westphalia), Bernhard Lloyd (real name Bernhard Gößling, born 6 June 1960 in Enger, North Rhine-Westphalia), and Frank Mertens (real name Frank Sorgatz, born 26 October 1961 in Enger, North Rhine-Westphalia). The band was at first named Forever Young before changing to Alphaville. They are best known for their two biggest hits, "Big in Japan" and "Forever Young".