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Kraftwerk: Publikation [Hardcover]

David Buckley
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
RRP: £19.95
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Book Description

16 Aug 2012
"Kraftwerk: Publikation" is a new and major biography of the first-ever all-electronic pop group and one of the most influential bands in popular music history. David Buckley examines the cult enigma that is Kraftwerk, including their beginnings in the avant-garde musical terrain of late-Sixties Germany and their Anglo-American breakthrough with "Autobahn" in 1975, as well as their astonishingly prescient work, which drew the musical template for techno, ambient, dance and all manner of electronic pop.

The inner workings of this most secretive of bands are revealed through interviews with friends and close associates, whilst the story of their incredible impact on modern music is traced up to the present day using interviews with a host of musicians, from original electro pioneers such as Gary Numan, the Human League, OMD and John Foxx, to contemporary acts still in awe of the original Man Machines.

With the groups back catalogue recently reissued and a new Kraftwerk album rumoured for 2011, this is a perfect time to celebrate the band's enduring musical legacy.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Omnibus Press (16 Aug 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847729312
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847729316
  • Product Dimensions: 3.5 x 15.3 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 170,296 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

David Buckley is an author and an expert on Kraftwerk. His previous work includes The Complete Guide to the Music of David Bowie and biographies of Bowie, R.E.M, The Stranglers, and Elton John.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tour de Force (Soundtracks) 10 Sep 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I waited a long time for this book to come out (publication was delayed for 12 months, presumably after Kraftwerk's MOMA retrospective was announced), but I feel that my patience has been heartily rewarded. This is a high-quality produckt. And I mean that in every sense: as well as being well written, it's nicely designed and has good production values (if you're into that kind of thing, which I am).

The subjects of this biography - in particular Herren Hütter und Schneider - are notoriously uncooperative and uncommunicative, but David Buckley has done a great job of piecing together their story by interviewing a wide range of former band members and well-known fans of the group. As a music journalist of considerable experience, and a resident of Munich for over 20 years, he writes with an authority that matches his evident warmth for the subject. The prose is rarely less than smooth and engaging, though I spotted a few typos and (as a book editor) there are a few passages that I would like to tinker with.

For me, this is a better book than Pascal Bussy's "Kraftwerk": Man, Machine and Music, and it is of course more up to date, so if you're only going to read one, pick Buckley's. That said, as a huge fan of the group, I'm happy to have read both. They inevitably cover much the same ground, but there are sufficient differences in tone and structure to make it worthwhile.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic read... 25 Sep 2012
By Trash
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Well worth reading.

Of course any book about Kraftwerk is going to be somehow incomplete - the hermetic seal around the group means that there will always be a lot of unknowns.
However, Herr Buckley (see what I did there...) has managed to reveal some of the inner workings of the group by the extensive research and interviews he has obviously conducted. I have read the three main previous Kraftwerk books:
- Man-Machine by Pascal Bussy
- Kraftwerk: from Dusseldorf to the future by Tim Barr
- Kraftwerk : I was a robot by Wolfgang Flur

and I have to say this is the one I rate most highly!
Entertaining and for a long-term fan it brought back a lot of memories (such as sneaking out of school in 1981 in order to see Kraftwerk play at the Dome in Brighton five days after my 17th birthday).

Some things I didn't quite like:
- I feel it runs out of steam a bit towards the end (but I guess some people would say the same about...)
- I wish the albums had been analysed in a bit more depth (at one point I thought he wasn't even going to mention Neon Lights...)

But these are minor personal niggles and the fact is that:
- It looks fab (always been a fan of Malcolm Garrett)
- Mr Buckley has managed to get comments from a lot of interesting people (Peter Saville, Andy McKluskey, John Foxx not to mention Karl Bartos and Wolfgang Flur)
- It is highly readable (in my opinion more so than Buckley's book on Bowie which I can't seem to get through despite 3 attempts...)

All in all highly recommended!

Now Buckley - where's that book on the Human League...?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Content v Style 2 Jun 2013
Format:Hardcover
I have the author's REM: Fiction biography, which is very good, and I read an extract of Publikation in a magazine, so was very much looking forward to this book. Content definitely wins out over style of writing. I have a casual interest in Kraftwerk and wanted to read beyond the widely-held view that the 'band' was/is a neatly packaged musical entity. Publikation reveals the blurred edges of Kraftwerk's birth and development, as well as the now thirty-year saga of personnel changes and internal politics. These are, when all is said and done, human beings, not robots! Structurally and as a narrative David Buckley's latest is superb. It's linear but has many welcome diversions and is never less than a great read. My main criticism is that it's written with a music journalist's often careless use of language and an over-reliance on cod sociology. So the author will adopt the obscure word (e.g. simulacrum) of the academic but use the descriptive repetition of a hack in a hurry ('song' three times in four consecutive sentences rather than song, track, piece etc.) If I sound picky it's because this lets down an otherwise excellent book. And some of the claims are a little A-level essay, not backed up by any evidence. "Kraftwerk's music has always appealed to children, too..." Really? Perhaps Buckley's three year old nephew nodded in time to The Model once! Again, lets the side down. However, these are ultimately minor irritations to me which might not be to others. Still a fascinating read; five stars were the book a bit more carefully executed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Let me say that this is THE definitive book on Kraftwerk. And I am a Kraftwerk nutter!
It is beautifully researched and written and is certainly no hagiography.
Hutter and Schneider's dubious treatment of Conny Plank, Karl Bartos, Wolfgang Flur (and even of each other!) comes under critical and unflattering scrutiny.
However, the author's instinctive love of Kraftwerk (and the band's legacy)combined with the author's residence in Germany make him the uber choice to fashion the tale.
It is quite simply superb and contains incidental lists of Kraftwerk-influenced music that will have me researching for years to come.
I have two perhaps minor niggles:
1. The author includes unhelpful comments from the notorious Germanophobe and all-round nob Simon Winder (see my other review of his recent literary offering)
2. The book's name and design are so obscure that a casual browser on the internet would be forgiven for thinking that this was an industrial catalogue/manual rather than a superbly informed book.
I know that the design is meant to be some kind of cool Kraftwerk in-joke but it really is counter-productive. EVERY Kraftwerk fan deserves to be led to this book and not be off-put for an instant.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Kraftwerk Bio
Fabulous, fluid read. Didn't want it to end!
Published 1 month ago by Roy
5.0 out of 5 stars well put together engaging read
I couldn't put this down. A child of the 70s and 80s I know very little about Kraftwerk apart from the Model single. Read more
Published 6 months ago by S. Luke
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice overview of Kraftwerk, and even a few nuggests
First things first: this book was released in late 2012, not 2011, as noted on here by Amazon. The book is authored by well-versed musical biographer David Buckley who has... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Paul Allaer
5.0 out of 5 stars Kraftwerk Publikation.
This was an interesting book giving an insight to Kraftwerk. I,m a big Kraftwerk fan and this is an excellent book to have.
Published 7 months ago by Kimberley Brown.
5.0 out of 5 stars Wunderbar!
This is a well written and informative book. It starts with an account of the groups early days from Eberhart Kranneman which gives an insight into Kraftwerk without Hutter. Read more
Published 13 months ago by gary the guard
5.0 out of 5 stars ja tvoi sluga... ja tvoi rabotnik
This Buckley book (or Bookley) is as near as anyone will get to 'knowing' the 'real' KW, as a fan its invaluable, to anyone else its better than being slapped across the face with... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Dave M
5.0 out of 5 stars Kraftwerk Publikation
Superb book charting the formation, rise and eventual torpor that paralyzed them as a group. As a long time fan and obsessive I really enjoyed it and much more so than Pascal... Read more
Published 19 months ago by MR Paul Dobbs
5.0 out of 5 stars Unlocks some of the mystery surrounding Kraftwerk
Although beautifully designed the cover of the book looks like an operating manual for Sellafield!! However, I have to agree that this really is an interesting read and had me... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Hunski
5.0 out of 5 stars At last, the story
Beautiful looking book, arrived on day of publication and it's exactly what you want. Don't just believe me, read the glowing reviews by professionals.A Kraftwerk essential.
Published on 24 Sep 2012 by Mr. Jeffrey Farrell
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