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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,ithappens. Does anyone lay serious claim to such a crown? Well, through all the genres they eitherspawned ordirectlyinfluenced - electro, hip-hop, ambient, techno, pretty much every form of electronicmusic, post-punk, industrial,avant-garderock, 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 theircuesfromRomantic and 20th century orchest ...read more

To label any band, of any time period or any genre, as 'the most influential band ever' is a ludicrous statement. Yet,ithappens. Does anyone lay serious claim to such a crown? Well, through all the genres they eitherspawned ordirectlyinfluenced - electro, hip-hop, ambient, techno, pretty much every form of electronicmusic, post-punk, industrial,avant-garderock, 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 theircuesfromRomantic and 20th century orchestral music. They experiemented with electronic instruments,building upon theinnovationsof Silver Apples and several avant-garde composers, and changed their name toKraftwerk (German for 'powerplant') toreflect this new direction. At this point, electronic music was seen assomething far too arty and obscure to evertrouble theaverage 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 itrock?";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 -themachines were also playing them. This was highlighted by a press conference called by theband to promote their1978album, The Man-Machine - in one of popular music's most famous pranks, robots,designed to look like the members oftheband, 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 ofGermansas efficient and cold.

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

Similar Bands: Brian Eno, Neu!, Yellow Magic Orchestra, Organisation, Rockets

LPs
Tour De France Soundtracks
2003

3.4
94 Votes
Electric Cafe
1986

3.2
91 Votes
Computer World
1981

4
263 Votes
The Man-Machine
1978

4.2
471 Votes
Trans-Europe Express
1977

4.2
436 Votes
Radio-Activity
1975

3.8
172 Votes
Autobahn
1974

4
367 Votes
Ralf und Florian
1973

3.4
48 Votes
Kraftwerk 2
1972

3
55 Votes
Kraftwerk
1970

3.4
68 Votes
EPs
Tour De France
1983

4
14 Votes
Live Albums
Minimum-Maximum
2005

4.1
36 Votes
Compilations
The Model - Retrospective 1975-1978
1992

3.5
1 Votes
The Mix
1991

3.7
41 Votes

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