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.
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!