On a cold december morning in 1982 in Aachen , Germany, a young band from Berlin loaded their equipment into a dark recording studio called Studio West. The dual-guitar fronted instrumental group unleashed seven song with razor- sharp ferocity and concentration. Their name was die Haut(The Skin). Four songs were specifically for a young Australian singer they had met earlier that year and had invited to perform as a guest vocalist and writer

Why had met and had invited as "earlier this year" means before the cold december morning in 1982 so past perfect seems to be unnecessary and it seems obvious that there is strong link and obvious that the meeting is the first action, following by the invitation and after the writing . it is because they met that the songs were written So why was past perfect preferred

extract from the booklet included in the reissue of die Haut and Nick Cave BURNING THE ICE first lines (I don't think the booklet is on line)

  • Your text strikes me as a bit "pretentious" - certainly not an example of quality writing, imho. I agree with you insofar as using Past Perfect twice is completely unnecessary, but that doesn't make it wrong. Personally, I'd probably retain the first one, and revert to Simple Past for the second. But that's just a stylistic choice. (I think you may have accidentally missed a word in ...songs were specifically written for...) Mar 18, 2017 at 18:50
  • but you don't really answer to my question if earlier in the year means before past simple is not necessary as even with past simple the order of the actions are crystal clear . Yes I forgot written
    – Yves Lefol
    Mar 18, 2017 at 19:34
  • I agreed that Past Perfect wasn't necessary, which I qualified by saying that it's not actually wrong to use it in your cited context. As to Why was past perfect preferred?, I thought I addressed that by pointing out that I didn't think much of the writer's style in general - by implication, he chose to use PP because he doesn't always make good stylistic choices. Mar 19, 2017 at 14:29

1 Answer 1


The PAST PERFECT TENSE indicates that an action was completed (finished or "perfected") at some point in the past before something else happened. This tense is formed with the past tense form of "to have" (HAD) plus the past participle of the verb (which can be either regular or irregular in form): I had walked two miles by lunchtime. I had run three other marathons before entering the Boston Marathon .


In this case they had met and invited the singer before the recording session, hence the past perfect.

In the sentence above 'invited' looks like the simple past but it is in fact the past perfect because the verb 'had' applies to both 'met' and 'invited'.

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