|1. The Robots|
|4. The Model|
|5. Neon Lights|
|6. The Man Machine|
Opening track The Robots is a remarkably confident statement which sounds contemporary more than 30 years later. It's difficult to imagine a world before the synthetic sounds essayed here became so influential. The words themselves are a manifesto: “we're full of energy / we're dancing mechanic". Kraftwerk embrace the repetition inherent in dance music and equate it with the automation of industry.
Spacelab and Metropolis are instrumentals full of pathos and wonder. Their references to science fiction made fact and Fritz Lang’s vision of a future dystopia highlight cultural references that provide extra context for the album’s themes. The Model became a UK number one on its reissue in 1981 and as a result is probably the group’s best-known song. It identifies an object of desire, a female counterpart for the man machine.
Neon Lights may be Kraftwerk’s most beautiful composition. It’s a hymn to the unintended beauty of modern life whose synthesizer melodies evoke the neon glow of the city. Once again the music is utterly consistent with the lyrical subject. The album ends with its title track echoing and haunted, gliding effortlessly into a future that is now well on its way to arriving.
The Man Machine is remarkable for its consistency, elegance and absolute deliberation. It’s made all the more powerful by the marriage of Karl Klefisch’s El Lissitzky-quoting design and the group’s appearance as minor variations on a single theme. The remastering and inclusion of previously unavailable photography make this reissue the definitive edition. --Colin Buttimer
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The full impact of the foresight of Kraftwerk is that 'The Model' wasn't a hit until being flipped onto a single released from the following album 'Computer World' a full 3 years later!
The cover of 'Man Machine' shows the members of the band looking East towards the Eastern Bloc. The record is a full on salute to the march of mechanisation, industrialisation and inter-action between man and machine(obviously!). It's one of the few masterpieces of electronic rock/pop with more melodies than an Abba record and more attitude and influence than Bowie at his best. It would take until after 'Computer World' was released (another superb record) for the rest of the music world to catch up.
A top recommendation!
Faithless fans may have thought that the sun shone when they heard tracks like Drifting Away but this CD WAS RECORDED IN 1978 when a Pentium chip wasnt even in production or possibly not even on the drawing board at Intel.
Which makes this CD still refreshing.
The shuttle hadnt reached the lauch pad at Cape Canaveral yet Spacelab almost is as symbolic - its clockwork beat adds to the imagination.
The space age theme continues in Metropolis.
The Model was a hit for Kraftwerk and has been released as a single several times over the years. Its theme based around the windows of Hamburgs 'model' district.
Neon Lights was always one of my favourite tracks and centres around the Northern Lights experience - the orchestral work in this track is masterful
Which leaves Man Machine another clockwork theme backing track is brilliant and brings this cracking CD to a finale
Buy this CD its worth it and the fact that it is still is as refreshing as 23 years ago proves that it has stood the test of time.
How many modern acts will be able to bost this claim in twenty years time????.
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