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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tour de Force (Soundtracks),
This review is from: Kraftwerk: Publikation (Hardcover)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.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic read...,
This review is from: Kraftwerk: Publikation (Hardcover)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...?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Content v Style,
This review is from: Kraftwerk: Publikation (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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unlocks some of the mystery surrounding Kraftwerk,
This review is from: Kraftwerk: Publikation (Hardcover)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 hooked from page one. I've always had more than a passing interest in Kraftwerk and thought their music sounded ahead of it's time. Whilst there influence is plain to see on the "synth" bands of the late 1970's and early 1980's it stretched far beyond this into other genre's of music and it is still having an influence today. This book explains why.
David Buckley has obviously put a lot of time and effort into reseaching this book and should be congratulated. This to me is the most definitive book written about these music pioneers.
5.0 out of 5 stars Wunderbar!,
This review is from: Kraftwerk: Publikation (Hardcover)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. Its good to hear from him and its a shame some other early members were not interviewed as I am a keen fan of their early work. Each album is looked at in turn (except Tone Float) and the only critiicism is that after Computor World everything else seems rushed. More is said about the video for Music Non Stop than the Electric Cafe album and Tour de France (Soundttracks) barely gets a mention. Its a shame that Hilpert and Schmitt didn't get more of a write up as they have been in the band longer than Bartos/Flur ever were. None of the major Kraftwerk books take Fernando Abrantes seriously and I feel there was a misssed opportunity here. Klaus Roeder only gets a brief mention in a sentence which cosidering how important an album like Autobahn was is strange. Mr Schult is also abscent. Still after all that its better than the other books mainly as it does not have all the artty farty stuff like Pascal Bussey's.
5.0 out of 5 stars ja tvoi sluga... ja tvoi rabotnik,
This review is from: Kraftwerk: Publikation (Kindle Edition)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 a damp Spectrum ZX... I would recommend this publikation highly, its even better in German, although everything KW is better in German..
As the prophets of Metropolis once said
Ein Wesen und ein Ding"
I'm off to buy Aspargus now with Florian, danke und gute nacht y'all...
5.0 out of 5 stars Kraftwerk Publikation,
This review is from: Kraftwerk: Publikation (Kindle Edition)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 Bussys earlier book "Man machine and Music". Very enjoyable
2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last, the story,
This review is from: Kraftwerk: Publikation (Hardcover)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.
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Kraftwerk: Publikation by David Buckley (Hardcover - 16 Aug 2012)