Autobahn – Kraftwerk

We drive, drive, drive on the motorway.
Imagine an English band releasing an album called motorway, and the chorus of the title track goes, We drive, drive, drive on the motorway. You can get away with so much more if you don’t sing in English, Bill Bailey proved it with his Kraftwerk tribute to the Hokey Kokey. This album is basically the title track, although I do like Comet Melody 2. But what a title track, German disco for boffins. I really need to get in a car and listen to this today, but I am in Dublin this weekend and being stuck in Saturday Dublin traffic may not be how Ralf and Florian conceived this particular soundscape to the open road.
I would love to have been a wallflower in some Düsseldorf disco in 1975 watching young Germans bop to this, or I should say trying to bop to this. Comet Melody 2 sounds even more contemporary and could have been from the 1980s, sounding suspiciously Human Leagueish, not that I am saying for one minute the Human League ever ripped off Kraftwerk.
I did something today which I haven’t done for years, I spent a Saturday afternoon hanging around record shops, it was brilliant, and I never fell down any stairs.
Four word review; Disco music for scientists


Computer World – Kraftwerk

In my new book ‘One Thousand Angry Letters to Chris Martin’ I ask the indie millionaire, why he wanted to mess with the Kraftwerk canon. Even if they did give him permission to abuse Computer Love for his own ends, he shouldn’t have asked, it was rude. They probably just felt sorry for him. But listening to this tonight, he still hasn’t ruined it, it still sounds absolutely amazing. This album blew my hair back when I bought it in 1981, I remember putting it on the turntable (for you under 30s, that was the big box thing you played vinyl on, when we actually paid for music) and listening open mouthed, we had never heard anything like it before. It was music from the future, and how right we were, it took everyone else 15 years to catch up. These were the world’s first cool geeks (they built their own synths!), years before Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg.
Computer Love is still the best track on the album (no thanks to Chris ‘ruinous wretch’ Martin), musically it is fantastic, lyrically it anticipates our life in the 21st century, how cool is that. The title track, Computer World runs a close second.
Talk about remaining in character, at a Kraftwerk gig in Glasgow in the early 1990s they made the roadies wear lab coats, which still makes me smile.
Micro review; The Citizen Kane of electronica.