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Shitastic 70s cover versions of hits by Bowie, Blondie, Kraftwerk, Sex Pistols, Kate Bush & more
02.11.2015
11:30 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Sex Pistols
Kraftwerk


 
In the few years before K-Tel and Ronco locked down the market segment dedicated to officially licensed compilations of recent rock and pop hits, there existed a demand for budget LPs with experienced session musicians reverse-engineering.recent hits to the best of their ability. If, as a listener, you are indifferent to craft and just want some recent chart-toppers pulsating through your stereo system, then why not buy an album like that, right? It’s 99% as good and costs less.

The world leader in this peculiar industry was, without much doubt, the “Top of the Pops” series put out by the budget Pickwick label between 1968 and the early 1980s, although their heyday was the mid-1970s. Listening to these tracks today yields an odd variety of delight, like watching a pirated DVD purchased on Canal St. or wearing an obvious knockoff of a Rolex watch.
 

 
As you can see, Pickwick’s strategy was pretty evident: Package together a dozen or so recent radio faves at the barest minimum cost and put a picture of a pretty girl on the cover. To put this into context, according to this affable enthusiast of these “TOTP” LPs, in 1970s England a full-price album cost about £2.10, and a 7-inch single ran 50p apiece. At 75p, the TOTP albums were a fantastic deal, and customers gobbled them up. They came out every six weeks or so.

The series was founded by a producer named Alan Crawford, but he quit after finishing work on Vol. 14 in late 1970. Bruce Baxter took over the project and was responsible for many of the most beloved/scorned volumes, taking care of the next 65 volumes, all the way into 1980. In its Sept. 2000 issue, MOJO Magazine took a look at the beloved old TOTP LPs, and Baxter was interviewed for that piece. These albums were recorded very quickly, usually in a week—Baxter would receive the dozen tracks to be recorded on a Wednesday, he would score the tracks for the session musicians on Thursday; on Friday the recording sessions would begin. By the next Wednesday, “in a state of abject knackeredness” he would deliver the completed tracks to the label. Baxter also mentioned that the session singers on these LPs usually were given no more than a quarter-hour to nail down their vocal track! Wow wow wow, that’s crazy. 

Most of the songs they covered constitute your basic classic treasury of disposable pop treasures. But every now and then they decided to mimic something more special, and the results are predictably jaw-dropping. Examples include David Bowie’s “Life on Mars,” Kraftwerk’s “Autobahn,” and the Sex Pistols’ “Pretty Vacant.”
 

 
Not all of the imitations are uniformly terrible—you can nod your head in a gesture of strained respect some of the time—but when they start trying to reproduce a dizzying track like Blondie’s “Heart of Glass,” that’s when they get into trouble. For sheer awfulness it’s hard to top the Poppers’ versions of Kate Bush’s “Wuthering Heights” or Ian Dury’s “Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick.” The Kraftwerk cover is particularly striking—Baxter told MOJO that it was “very hard,” continuing that “I did it all myself on an ARP2500 synth. It took the best part of the day.”

We’ve embedded six YouTube videos below of these reverse-engineered tracks; I opted to focus on some Dangerous Minds favorites here, like Bowie, Dury, Bush, Blondie, and so forth. But there’s tons more out there, you just have to do a little research, which is very easy (YouTube search string “dancing queen poppers,” et al.). Many of these bizarre tracks are available on Amazon; all you have to do is put in the title and the word “Poppers” or “Top Poppers” and it will come up if it’s available (here’s an example). Here’s a basic general list; I’ve gone to the trouble of linking to Amazon for the six tracks that follow.
 
TOTP “Life on Mars”:

 
TOTP “Wuthering Heights”:

 
More of these sublimely ersatz “hits” after the jump…...

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
‘Kraftwerk: Pop Art’ documentary asks if they’re more important than the Beatles?
02.01.2015
08:07 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Kraftwerk


 
Kraftwerk: Pop Art, the 2013 documentary by Simon Witter and Hannes Rossacher has been available on YouTube in German, French and Spanish versions for some time, but Friday night an English language version was broadcast on BBC Four and surprise, surprise, it’s there now, too, for your weekend viewing pleasure.

The film focuses on the group’s eight day residency at London’s Tate Modern in 2013, where they played each of their albums from Autobahn to Tour de France all the way through in front of a 3D screen with elaborate computerized visuals. There are plenty of archival clips, and what is said to be Ralf Hütter’s last known filmed interview, from 1981. Naturally there are a lot of professional talking heads, including British journalist Paul Morley who argues that the lads from Düsseldorf are more crucially important to music than the Fab Four.

Although I personally don’t agree with him, Morley’s got a fair point and he’s able to back it up. Were Kraftwerk more influential than the Beatles? Discuss amongst yourselves in the comments… while I run in the other direction!
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Ready for the world’s first academic conference dedicated to Kraftwerk?
01.06.2015
12:17 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Kraftwerk


 
In just two weeks, if you happen to be in the Birmingham, U.K., area, Aston University will be holding “the first ever international academic conference on Kraftwerk.” It was bound to happen to any musical act that has released albums with titles like Trans-Europe Express and The Man-Machine—hell, they almost sound like academic papers already.

The conference, bearing the impressive title “Industrielle Volksmusik for the Twenty-First Century: Kraftwerk and the Birth of Electronic Music in Germany,” will last two days, January 21 and 22, and will showcase the “cultural-historical origins of the man-machine,” the links between Kraftwerk and German techno, and the “cultural studies of cycling.”

On hand will be former Kraftwerk member Wolfgang Flür, who will read from his memoirs, as well as Cabaret Voltaire’s Stephen Mallinder, Visage member and Blitz Club founder Rusty Egan, and esteemed music writer David Stubbs. For those wishing to unwind on the evening between the two day-long sessions, there will be a “Kraftwerk disco.”

The conference will takes place at Aston University’s Byng Kendrick Lecture Theatre. Those wishing to purchase tickets can do so here for just £20 (about $30).

In other news, less than a year ago Ralf Hütter confirmed that a new Kraftwerk album is in the works.

Here is a list of the papers that will be presented during the conference:
 

Ulrich Adelt, “Moving Up: Kraftwerk and ‘Kosmische Musik’”
Sean Albiez, “Kraftwerk in the Context of the 20th-Century Avant-Garde”
Heinrich Deisl, “Searching for Modernity: Socio-Historical Perspectives on Techno Music and ‘Das Deutsche’”
Pertti Grönholm, “Nostalgia For The Modern: Re-Imagining the Past Futures in the Concept of Kraftwerk”
Alexander Harden, “Kraftwerk and the Issue of Post-Human Authenticity”
Stephen Mallinder, “Kraftwerk: Modernity and Movement”
Alexei Monroe, “Trans-Slovene Expressions: Kraftwerk on the Sunny Side of the Alps”
David Pattie, “Ralf und Florian, Krautrock and Germany”
Hillegonda Rietveld, “Europe Endless: Geopolitical Retro-Futurism?”
Melanie Schiller, “Fun Fun Fun on the Autobahn: Kraftwerk Challenging Germanness”
Uwe Schütte “We Are the Robots! On the Cultural-Historical Origins of the Man-Machine”
Johannes Springer, “Kraftwerk and the Cultural Studies of Cycling”
Nick Stevenson, “Cabaret Voltaire and Dada Modernity”
David Stubbs, “The Archaeological Years: Kraftwerk before Autobahn”

 
Just for funsies, here’s the “Ralf and Florian” sitcom, which we covered last spring. Or perhaps it should be re-titled “Thalia, Aristophanes, and Ralf: Reifying Sapphic Assumptions in the Post-Hegemonic Discourse.”
 

 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Can, Tangerine Dream, Amon Düül II, and so many more on ‘The German Rock Night’


 
In 2006, a six-part Rockpalast documentary on German rock music aired on German TV. It was called “Kraut und Rüben,” a title which literally means “cabbage and beets,” but is idiomatic for “higgledy-piggledy,” “topsy-turvy,” etc. If I could speak German for shit, I might be able to tell whether it was any good. It’s probably incredible—the performance footage is terrific, but unfortunately, it’s all truncated, or talked-over by interviewees. This resulted in an outpouring of viewer interest in seeing the unexpurgated performances:

After the broadcast of “Kraut und Rüben,” the Rockpalast documentary about German rock music, viewers would frequently ask when they would get to see the full-length concerts of which only short snippets had been televised. Before Rockpalast, full-length concerts were shown only in exceptional cases, but we have indeed found so many more or less complete clips that we decided to show the ten hours of footage over two evenings.

They cover the full range of the groups that were introduced in the documentary, from Scorpions to Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk, Eloy, Ton Steine Scherben, Can, Guru Guru, all the way to Amon Düül II. In addition some rarer clips that could not be incorporated in the doc will be shown. The majority of the material has not been seen since the original telecast. We hope that the umbrella term “Krautrock” can once and for all be buried as useless. At the same time, the two nights provide the beginning of a loose series, in which the lost treasures of German television archives could be made available again.

 

Amon Düül II


Guru Guru

So, for two consecutive Sunday nights, WDR TV aired historical performance footage of German rock bands pretty much nonstop. Plenty of important Krautrock bands are included (say what you will, Rockpalast, that term simply is not useless), and there are gems from bands purveying more standard-issue rock ’n’ roll fare. In the first night alone, there were four songs from Amon Düül II, five from Can, and a television appearance by Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider’s pre-Kraftwerk band Organisation. Oh, and the Guru Guru stuff should not be missed.

What follows is only the first night. For the second, see this YouTube playlist. If you carve out enough time to make it all the way through this (and if you’re able to, I think you should, as chances seem really high that you might see something amazing of which you’ve never heard before), I’m certain you’ll get a grin out of the back-to-back juxtaposition in the third video of those binary opposites of German rock, Kraftwerk and Scorpions.
 

 
Hours of Krautrock German music after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Kraftwerk’s 1975 BBC TV appearance: ‘The germinating moment for British dance music’
09.05.2014
08:11 am

Topics:
History
Music
Television

Tags:
Kraftwerk
BBC TV


 
The BBC science and technology show Tomorrow’s World ran for almost 40 years (and was affectionately parodied in Look Around You), but the bit of that show that concerns us here was just a hair longer than two minutes. It was a short glimpse at the seminal German band Kraftwerk, performing their song “Autobahn” in 1975, just before their ten year run of LPs from Radio-Activity through Electric Café completely changed the face of popular music, inspiring electronic dance/techno, hip-hop, and pretty much every form of post-punk rock music that used a synthesizer, making their classic lineup arguably as influential as Elvis. If only the BBC had known what was to come, they might have been persuaded to show more than just two minutes of the 22-minute song.
 

 
A few years ago, The Guardian made a rather bold claim about the snippet of footage, placing Kraftwerk’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it segment at NUMBER 1 in their series of 50 key events in the history of dance music! I actually find that assertion entirely plausible.

The germinating moment for British dance music occurred, strangely, in a 1975 edition of Tomorrow’s World, which featured four young Germans dressed like geography teachers, apparently playing camping stoves with wired-up knitting needles. This was Kraftwerk performing “Autobahn.”

“The sounds are created in their studio in Dusseldorf,” presenter Raymond Baxter explained, “then reprogrammed and then recreated onstage with the minimum of fuss.” Here was the entire electronic ethic in one TV clip: the rejection of rock’s fake spontaneity, the fastidious attention to detail, the Europhile slickness, the devotion to rhythm. It was sublime.

When Kraftwerk toured Britain later in 1975, David Bowie’s patronage ensured a long line of followers from OMD to Underworld. Not that everything they planned came to fruition. “Next year, Kraftwerk hope to eliminate the keyboard altogether,” Baxter told us, “and create jackets with electronic lapels that can be played by touch”. It could still happen.

 

 
Bonus! Enjoy this clip of Kraftwerk’s robot doubles, also on Tomorrow’s World, but from 1991.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds
Kraftwerk songs performed by string quartet
Kraftwerk sings ‘Pocket Calculator’ in Italian… and several other languages
‘Ralf and Florian’: the Kraftwerk sitcom
Newly unearthed footage of Kraftwerk—with long hair and leather jackets! Live 1970

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Kraftwerk sings ‘Pocket Calculator’ in Italian… and several other languages
07.07.2014
06:49 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Kraftwerk

Kraftwerk
 
In this video from Italy’s Rai TV network, Ralf and the boys treat us to an Italian version of “Pocket Calculator,” the first single off of their 1981 album Computer World, if not the most successful single (that would be “Computer Love”).

David Buckley, in Kraftwerk: Publikation, writes of the song:
 

On ‘Pocket Calculator’, Ralf shows how electronica has dispelled all the sweaty guff and ludicrous posturing of the cock rockers because the star of the show isn’t even a real instrument. It’s a battery-powered hand-held abacus which can sound a jingle and is operated not played.

 
Take that, “cock rockers”! Thank goodness Kraftwerk was around to dispel all of that “sweaty guff” going around.
 
Kraftwerk
 
This video dates from 1981, the year the single came out. It appears that Kraftwerk released “Pocket Calculator in five languages—English, German, Spanish, French, and Japanese—but not in Italian, so they must have cooked this version up especially for their appearance on Italian TV. In a second video below, someone collected the English, German, French, and Japanese versions as well as this Italian one, leaving the Spanish-language version (”Calculadora De Bolsillo”) out—I haven’t been able to find audio of the Spanish version. The same video includes 1991 reworkings of the English, German, and Japanese versions.

If you’d like to see sheet music so that you can play “Pocket Calculator” on a Casio VL-80 calculator, we’ve got that over here.

Kraftwerk performing “Mini Calcolatore” on Italian TV:
 

 
“Pocket Calculator” in 5 languages:
 

 
Thanks Annie Zaleski!

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Kraftwerk songs performed by string quartet
06.19.2014
05:04 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Kraftwerk
Balanescu


 
In 1992, the international chamber group Balanescu Quartet released a CD called Possessed. It contained three original works by the band’s eponymous leader Alexander Balanescu and a composition by Talking Heads’ artguy-in-chief David Byrne, but that didn’t really matter. Practically all the attention afforded the group was justifiably hogged by the five stunning Kraftwerk covers that led off the album. Per AllMusic:

Alexander Balanescu (b. 11 June 1954, Bucharest, Romania), the son of a university professor, was raised in Romania before his family moved to Israel in 1969. After two years he relocated to London, England, to take up violin studies (he also spent time at the Juillard School of Music in New York). He formed the Balanescu Quartet in 1987, initially joined by Clare Connors (second violin), Bill Hawkes (viola) and Caroline Dale (cello). Having already developed strong working relationships with fellow contemporary composers Michael Nyman and Gavin Bryars, the quartet has gone on to perform classical works by John Cage, Kevin Volans, and Robert Moran. They broke new ground in 1992 with Possessed for independent label Mute Records, which featured acoustic transcriptions of five Kraftwerk electronic pieces. This was justified thus: ‘There have been violins for two hundred years, and we’re trying to bring them into harmony with modern compositions.’

 

 
The Balanescu Quartet are still active, with Balanescu himself as the sole constant member. They’ve worked in classical and pop idioms, with artists as diverse as Pet Shop Boys, Philip Glass, Yellow Magic Orchestra and Spiritualized, but even after 22 years, their Kraftwerk interpretations remain major career highlights. However, and disappointingly, Possessed is out of print. Thank the gods everything’s free on the Internet, right?
 

Robots by Balanescu Quartet on Grooveshark

 

Model by Balanescu Quartet on Grooveshark

 

Autobahn by Balanescu Quartet on Grooveshark

 

Computer Love by Balanescu Quartet on Grooveshark

 

Pocket Calculator by Balanescu Quartet on Grooveshark

 


 
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Notable Kraftwerk samples in megamix

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Krautrock musical chairs: Kraftwerk minus the Ralf or Neu! plus a lil’ Florian? You decide!
05.13.2014
09:37 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Kraftwerk
Organisation

Kraftwerk
 
It’s common knowledge that Kraftwerk and Neu! were both products of the Düsseldorf musical scene, having been united in the early prog band Organisation; eventually Michael Rother and Klaus Dinger would split from Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider to create the two classic Krautrock bands we know today, but there is a fair amount of material featuring Rother, Dinger, and Schneider (no Hütter, who had returned to school to study architecture). A surprising amount of it was captured on German TV between 1970 and 1972.

Kraftwerk is one of those bands that has husbanded its exclusivity awfully well; just ask anyone (like me) who tried and failed to get tickets to their severely limited-attendance run of MoMA shows in 2012. The most design-savvy of Krautrockers, they are prime objects of collector fetishization. Collectors already know about the band’s precursor Organisation, whose 1971 album Tone Float routinely goes for more than $100 on Discogs.com (the CD is a lot more affordable). There’s no shortage of enthusiasts of Kraftwerk’s early, proggy phase, but the majesty of a big chunk of their early work recorded for video or TV should enhance just about anyone’s day.
 
Organisation
 
Bootleg editions of Tone Float often tacked on an extra track that actually was among Kraftwerk’s first works—that’s why when you execute a Google Images search of the Organisation album cover, a good many of the results have both names on the cover. That track, misidentified as “Vor dem blauen Bock” (Before the Blue Goat), is in fact is a groovy instrumental number named “Rückstoss Gondoliere,” which comes from an appearance by Kraftwerk on the Bremen Beat-Club TV show on May 22, 1971. (I’m having a difficult time translating “Rückstoss Gondoliere,” the closest I can come is “recoil gondolier.” I think the word Rückstoss here signifies the backfire of a car—similar to a recoil—but this clip is often translated as “Truckstop Gondolero,” which I must concede is a great title.)

In this instrumental clip, through the use of video magic, “Kraftwerk”—here Rother, Dinger, and Schneider—are frequently framed as if sitting very tightly around a campfire or, if you prefer, a hookah. The music sounds very much of its time—Pink Floyd’s “Interstellar Overdrive” and “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun” come to mind. In any case, much more that than, say, Gary Numan or somebody. Meanwhile, virtual stalactites and stalagmites swirl around them, and well, don’t bogart the reefer, man.
 

 
Here is Kraftwerk playing “Ruckzuck” live on the WDR television channel in 1970. Dig Florian’s righteous flute jam in this video. The song’s enduring popularity as an early Kraftwerk deep cut is richly justified. The bewildered expressions on the faces of the German Jugend only add to the overall effect.
 

 
Here’s another early version of “Ruckzuck,” only this time the band is Organisation. As a special bonus, Florian is wearing a shirt with his own face on it.
 

 
“Köln II” on the German TV show Okidoki in 1971.
 

 
“Kakteen, Wüste, Sonne,” 1971. Title translates as “Cactus, Desert, Sun.”
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
‘Ralf And Florian’: The Kraftwerk sitcom
04.07.2014
09:48 am

Topics:
Amusing
Music

Tags:
Kraftwerk
sitcoms


 
When I think of Kraftwerk’s Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider my mind immediately goes to comedy, right? The techy Teutonic twosome are a barrel of laughs. Like the early-80s American TV sitcom Bosom Buddies crossed with “Sprockets.” 

Just discovered in a Dusseldorf car boot sale is this rare pilot for the uncommissioned Kraftwerk sitcom, “Ralf and Florian.”

Shame it never made it, as Ralf Hutter has great comic timing and could have been the next Alf Garnet.

This is perhaps the funniest unfunniest thing you’ll see today.

Video by YouTuber Braces Tower.

 
Via WFMU

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Newly unearthed footage of Kraftwerk—with long hair and leather jackets! Live 1970
03.26.2014
11:11 am

Topics:
Music
Television

Tags:
Kraftwerk
Krautrock
Rockpalast
NEU


 
All I can say about this is HOLY CRAP. I’ve seen snippets of this, but never the whole show, and in such good condition. Here is the Kraftwerk Rockpalast appearance from 1970, the year the band formed. The lineup here is Florian Schneider (he’s the one playing flute), Ralf Hütter, and drummer Klaus Dinger (RIP 2008), who would soon leave to form NEU! with pianist Michael Rother. This is a Kraftwerk that is often very, very alien to people who mostly know the band from their late ‘70s/early ‘80s incarnation as the teutonically severe/severely teutonic synth pop innovators who affected the personae of robots and mannequins. This was a spiky, angular, experimental, difficult-listening proto-punk music that has very little of the sweetness or wistfulness of something like “Tour De France.” I love how so much of the camera work is devoted to audience reaction.

Here’s some Google-translated info from the WDR website:

In 1970 - its founding year - were Kraftwerk, although already an avant-garde band, their sounds were still exclusively handmade. In songs like “jiffy” or “Stratovarius” they experimented with distorted sounds of flute and Hammond organ. But the monotonous beat and cool arrangements foreshadowed, in which direction their sound would develop only a few years later.

Rockpalast shows for the first time the Soest concert from 1970 in full length at the power plant as a trio (Ralf Hütter - Hammond organ, Klaus Dinger - drums, Florian Schneider-Esleben - Flute) occurred and astonished faces left behind. An absolute rarity then, and a treat for music fans.

 

 
A massive debt of thanks to Chunklet‘s Henry Owings for posting this.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
We aren’t the robots (yet): Early Kraftwerk, live 1973

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
We aren’t the robots (yet): Early Kraftwerk, live 1973
08.20.2013
01:58 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Kraftwerk


 
Although they don’t consider it a “mature” work, or even part of their official canon, Kraftwerk’s third album, 1973’s Ralf und Florian saw the Teutonic duo groping towards their man-machine aesthetic using synthetic rhythms and proto electronic drum pads (patented by Hütter and Schneider). By then, they’d already begun to use a primitive Vocoder and the Minimoog, although most of the keyboard sounds on the album were made with a Farfisa organ. They were still using a lot of flute and guitar at this point, too.

Ralf und Florian has still never been released on CD, but the whole thing is on YouTube:
 

 
On France’s ‘Pop 2’ program in 1973:

 
By the time of the 1973 television appearance below, electronic percussionist Wolfgang Flür had already joined them for live performances, but their signature rhythmically precise sound and dramatic image was yet to come. What’s great about this is actually seeing and hearing them play their instruments. The whole “laptop remix greatest hits shows with lots of dazzling visual spectacle to distract the audience from the fact that we’re not doing anything” thing they’ve been touring with since the 90s really doesn’t hold a candle to the live recordings that were made of them until about 1981.

The thrill for fans found on vintage Kraftwerk bootlegs is hearing them make mistakes! It’s only when measured against their very own flubs that you can judge the truly maniacal quality of their musicianship. What other standard would be possible?
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
They only had eight songs, but they had four neon lights: Wolfgang Flür on Kraftwerk’s first US tour
03.05.2013
06:50 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Kraftwerk
Wolfgang Flür

Wolfgang
Flür looking super-foxy in the early days.
 
In this brief, but telling, clip, Wolfgang Flür reveals Kraftwerk’s ingenious method for stalling for time onstage during their first American tour in 1975.

In January, Flür (bluntly) reviewed the “Kraftwerk Mark III” homecoming concert in a Dusseldorf power station:

It’s No More Fun To Compute! (The Quietus)
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Kraftwerk LIVE (no, really, live, not just remixed) in the 70s and 80s
01.30.2013
02:01 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Kraftwerk


 
Next week Kraftwerk will be staging a series of appearances at the Tate Modern in London, a repeat of their MOMA residency in New York last year that saw the band do many of their albums all the way through. Kraftwerk will play eight of their classics over the course of nine days.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m sure these performances will be cool events, but let’s face it, Kraftwerk don’t really play much of anything live anymore and there’s only one of the two main guys left. The visuals are incredible and sure, die roboter, are fun, but without all the flash it would just be four boring German blokes—three of them who could literally be anybody, can you name ‘em?—onstage with Sony laptops.

Do they really play anything live other than “Pocket Calculator”? It didn’t seem that way to me when I saw them at the Hammerstein Ballroom in Manhattan in 1998. It was just a “remix” show.

Nevertheless, if you listen to tapes of older Kraftwerk shows, from, say, 1975 when they started trekking around promoting Autobahn to the Computer World tour of 1981, way back when they were more or less an analog band, it’s very interesting indeed. Back then, they had to get it right onstage and the drumming was done on those electronic pad thingees. What makes the live Kraftwerk bootlegs of that period so interesting is hearing them make mistakes.

It’s only because of the mistakes that you can tell what great musicians they really were!

Kraftwerk in Budapest, August 14,1981 (an audience recording, but a really good one):
 

 
Kraftwerk in Amsterdam at The Paradiso, 1976:
 

 
Kraftwerk live at the Nakano Sun Plaza, Tokyo, on July 9, 1981 (this one is great!)
 

 
Kraftwerk live on French TV, October 1978:
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
How to dance to Kraftwerk: All you need to know
01.27.2013
02:41 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Kraftwerk


 
From the Dangerous Minds archives:

Yes, this is how it’s done.

Dancing to Kraftwerk’s “Numbers” on the legendary Detroit cable TV program The New Dance Show.

The only problem with this video is it’s too short. I could have watched this for hours.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Kraftwerk: ‘Kometenmelodie Eins & Zwei’ performed live in Paris, 1976

kraftwerk_under_a_tree
 
Audio of Kraftwerk performing 2 tracks from their album Autobahn, “Kometenmelodie Eins” and “Kometenmelodie Zwei”, as recorded in Paris, 1976.

“Kometenmelodie” (“Comet Melody”) was inspired by the Comet Kohoutek (which proved to be a rather “spectacular dud” as far as comets go), and the track became Kraftwerk’s first single, released in December 1973.

Comet Kohoutek also inspired Sun Ra to perform a special concert for the comet in December 1973, while singer Burl Ives hoped to increase his bank account with the release of his single “The Tail of the Comet Kohoutek” in 1974. But it was Children of God founder David Berg, who received the most column inches when he pronounced Comet Kohoutek as a sign that a Doomsday event would destroy America in January 1974.
 

 
With thanks to John Kowalski
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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