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Kraftwerk

To label any band, of any time period or any genre, as 'the most influential band ever' is a ludicrous statement. Yet, it happens. Does anyone lay serious claim to such a crown? Well, through all the genres they eitherspawned or directly influenced - electro, hip-hop, ambient, techno, pretty much every form of electronicmusic, post-punk, industrial, avant-garde rock, synth pop, et cetera - Kraftwerk have credentials as good asanyone.

Formed under the name Organization in 1968, they were initially a fairly standard Krautrock band, taking theircues from Romantic and 20th cen ...read more

To label any band, of any time period or any genre, as 'the most influential band ever' is a ludicrous statement. Yet, it happens. Does anyone lay serious claim to such a crown? Well, through all the genres they eitherspawned or directly influenced - electro, hip-hop, ambient, techno, pretty much every form of electronicmusic, post-punk, industrial, avant-garde rock, synth pop, et cetera - Kraftwerk have credentials as good asanyone.

Formed under the name Organization in 1968, they were initially a fairly standard Krautrock band, taking theircues from Romantic and 20th century orchestral music. They experiemented with electronic instruments,building upon the innovations of Silver Apples and several avant-garde composers, and changed their name toKraftwerk (German for 'power plant') to reflect this new direction. At this point, electronic music was seen assomething far too arty and obscure to ever trouble the average person's listening. This all changed withAutobahn.

Released in 1974, Autobahn represented a seismic shift for music. One review at the time asked, "It's good -but is it rock?"; the confusion of which tells us just how cutting-edge Autobahn was in popular music. Itbecame a worldwide hit.

In the wake of this, Kraftwerk became a far more conceptual band. Not only were they playing machines, theyclaimed - the machines were also playing them. This was highlighted by a press conference called by theband to promote their 1978 album, The Man-Machine - in one of popular music's most famous pranks, robots,designed to look like the members of the band, appeared in the place of the real members. It was both anironic response to those who claimed that the band's 'robot. pop' lacked humanity and could have written bymachines, and a gentle mockery of the wider world's stereotype of Germans as efficient and cold.

Since 1981's Computer World, which ended one of popular music's longest stretches of almost unbrokencritical acceptance, the band have only toured and released new material very sporadically - the membersclaim that they still write music every day, but that they do it for themselves only. Meanwhile, the banddeveloped a somewhat unhealthy obsession with cycling, culminating in their last major release of originalmaterial, Tour De France Soundtracks. Nonetheless, they've found time to tour, which meant in 2005, wewere treated to their first live album, Minimum-Maximum. « hide

Similar Bands: Brian Eno, Neu!, Tangerine Dream, Harold Budd, Rockets

LPs
Tour De France Soundtracks
2003

3.5
45 Votes
Electric Cafe
1986

3.3
53 Votes
Computer World
1981

4
164 Votes
The Man-Machine
1978

4.2
296 Votes
Trans-Europe Express
1977

4.2
261 Votes
Radio-Activity
1975

3.8
102 Votes
Autobahn
1974

4.1
236 Votes
Ralf und Florian
1973

3.2
23 Votes
Kraftwerk 2
1972

2.9
29 Votes
Kraftwerk
1970

3.4
41 Votes
Tone Float
1970

4.1
9 Votes
EPs
Tour De France
1983

4
5 Votes
Live Albums
Minimum-Maximum
2005

4
24 Votes
Compilations
The Mix
1991

3.7
30 Votes

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