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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This journey didn't need remastering
'Tour de France: Soundtracks' was the 2003 follow up album to the hit single 'Tour de France', originally released in 1983. I've acquired a great bond with both releases - mainly because they both offer different interpretations to the visual aspect of the world famous race. Whereas the original single encapsulated the spirit and energy of rushing around on bicycles...
Published on 13 Oct. 2009 by Picard

versus
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Falls below usual standard
Weak compared to the other albums in Kraftwerk's discography. Nicely produced, and has some good sounds, but lacks structure and direction.

A bit like the sport after which it is named: Rather poor, and probably improved by the use of the right drugs.
Published 13 months ago by David Ryman


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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This journey didn't need remastering, 13 Oct. 2009
By 
Picard (USS Enterprise) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
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This review is from: Tour De France (Audio CD)
'Tour de France: Soundtracks' was the 2003 follow up album to the hit single 'Tour de France', originally released in 1983. I've acquired a great bond with both releases - mainly because they both offer different interpretations to the visual aspect of the world famous race. Whereas the original single encapsulated the spirit and energy of rushing around on bicycles through fantastic synthesis and a more commercial feel, the 'Soundtracks' album is a progressive journey through different moods and energy levels, similar to the way in which a modern DJ may build his 'set'.

If you've listened to the original single, then you may notice that this album lists as having 'Tour de France' as the final track. Just to clear up any confusion, it is indeed that very track, but it was re-worked for the 2003 release. It follows a very similar time frame, structure, and of course keeps its melodies and synthesis, but it just sounds that bit more more modern and cleaner. The great news is that its just as good as the original, so you'll always have the option of which to listen to!

Although Kraftwerk have released plenty of albums, I've always felt that few of them took the listener on to a solid journey, leaving gaps as to fillers and genuinely fantastic tracks. 'Tour de France: Soundtracks' seems to clear this up because it has a genuinely honest and strong foundation. The race is one of courage, spirit, struggle and in-definitely requires the mind-set that your body is a machine to send it into a state of stable operation. The album reflects this completely.

Once the 'Prologue' is out the way, 'Tour de France Etapes' 1 through to 'Chrono' drive the album into gear (excuse these many puns) with their pulsating hi-hats, cleverly reflecting the bike chains, to the stabbed, hypnotic melody that pushes aside the outside world, leaving the cyclist focus on their goal. It is a continuous mix with no gap in-between the tracks, further encouraging your energy levels to peak and then relax once 'Vitamin' comes into play with its down-tempo rhythm and memorable 'A-B-C-D Vitamin' lyrics.

But rest is over - 'Aero Dynamik' and 'Titanium' build the minimalistic and almost monotonous feel of travelling down long, long roads, only to be saved by the gorgeous melody of 'La Forme', which sub-consciously tells us that the end is near. 'Regeneration', the instrumental version of 'La Forme' puts the listener into an odd state of headonism as the beautiful synth notes bellow out their glory, leading on to the almighty final track itself.

That's the album, but what about the product? Ahh... Thats why it gets 4 stars.

I'll hold my hand up and admit now that I should of known better than to rush out and buy this album. I did actually already own it, but the term 'remastered' signalled a light-bulb in my head that could only mean one thing - 'better'. Its a marketing ploy, and I fell for it. Had I of come to my senses and remembered two things;

A - All the Kraftwerk albums are being remastered. But the priority lays with cleaning up the older albums. This leads on to...
B - This album was made in 2003. It does not need remastering!

To add insult to injury, none of the tracks have been mixed down any differently or had frequency changes... All I can say is, this is surely just a complete, utter copy so that the whole whole collection of Kraftwerks albums appear 'better' than ever. However, their are two consolations to this product;

C - Its cheaper than the original release anyway
D - Theirs a rather nice little booklet inside with some album-inspired artwork. Oh, and theirs a slip-case...

If you're buying new, then its a no brainer to get this version, but if you already own the album, theirs absolutely no need to buy it again. As far as the album itself goes, this will surely be regarded as a classic by the band in the future as it rounds up everything thats made them great in the first place. The patience to build up a mood, the ideology to synthesise man-made objects, and to reflect emotion through individual sounds. I take my hat off!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kraftwerk return to form, 11 Aug. 2003
The latest album to celebrate the centenary of the tour de france sees the group return to form after criticism for their more recent work. The old style of kraftwerk roboticism and purity of sounds is here, together with a concept behind the whole package. Quality graphics as expected complete the package. A purchase that will not disappoint and as with previous albums becomes even better with each listening.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vintage Kraftwerk, 19 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: Tour De France (Audio CD)
The last studio album Kraftwerk turned out, slight change of personnel though Hutter and Schneider still at the helm. In many ways this reminds me of Autobahn, only more so, as this is the whole album on the same theme, not just one side, but then of course, when this came out it was CD's and not vinyl. Seems a bit OTT to remaster a CD that only came out after the turn of the century, and seeing as I did not have the original, it is hard to comment on the remaster. The sound quality is good, very clear and the music is some of the best Kraftwerk have ever come up with, "Elektro Kardiogram" being probably the finest track on the album. You definitely get a semse of the race the music is describing as the music pushes along the pace, speeding and slowing accordingly. I am glad to have this in my collection now and to have my Kraftwerk collection complete, every home should have one!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Sprint final à l'arrivée, Tour De France..................', 4 Nov. 2003
By 
Eli (North East England - The UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Tour De France (Audio CD)
****************************************************************
There is [and undoubtedly will continue to be] a fair degree of criticism of this album.
It has been deemed to be too 'repetitive', 'dull' and 'boring'.
Such broad, sweeping charges should cause us to cast a more discerning and critical
eye on both this and other Kraftwerk projects. Take for example, 'Trans Europa Express'
[the German version]. On that album there are 3 sequential variations of the title track;
and the last track offers a brief variation or 'reprise' of the first. Again, two tracks on one
of the most influential concept albums of all time are variants on a singular general theme -
'Computer World' and 'Computerworld 2'. Are you aware that the word 'Computer'
appears in 4 of the 7 track titles; and another includes the word 'Compute'. But this fact
does nothing to demote the undisputed important landmark classic status of the whole.
If you look and listen hard enough then you will also discover that these conceptual
developmental themes are not uncommon in the classical music world either. So it
should come as no great surprise to find two classically trained musicians namely -
Ralph Hutter and Florian Schneider - composing alternate and similar formations of
musical scores. Therefore, TDF soundtracks contains character traits in common with
the aforementioned titles, because although thematically and musically some of the tracks
appear the same, there are in them some notable differences in both sound and musical
arrangements.
To cast off TDF Soundtracks as dull, repetitive and boring after one or two hearings is a
very valid but equally unfair critical misunderstanding of what I consider to be great originality.
The album attempts to convey to us the overall grandeur and excitement associated with
participating in the Tour De France. There is also a sense in which the length, variation
and merging of the tracks [especially 2-5] actually serves to convey both the overall fluidity
of the race, and the huge distances and challenges that each participating cyclist must endure
throughout.
From the outset, the TDF Soundtracks 2003 takes us to the starting line of this famous
cycling competition. The 'prologue' is if you like, an opening push into the start of the race.
And if you have ever ridden a bicycle, then maybe you will appreciate the gradual transition
from a stationary position to a smooth progression of pace as you work through the lower
gears. Imagine as you listen through the TDF variations, the enthusiastic exhilaration of
peddling along roads, around mountains, through villages and countryside; speeding up;
slowing down; controlled breathing. Consider the physical exertion associated with a hill
climb - and as a result both feeling and hearing the heartbeat pounding in your mouth;
sweating, dehydrating and drinking juice from a bottle. Consider the joy, the pain -
the competitive strain - the freedom! It actually works very well, even more so for the
initiated.
There are a few hidden, distant musical shades of 'Computer World' and other works
throughout the whole adventure, and although sometimes very subtle they are well
worth listening out for. There is a clever, genial simplicity in many of the lyrical scores -
which certainly only Kraftwerk could produce - alongside some truly refreshing musical
brilliance. 'Vitamin' and 'Aero Dynamik' are beautifully crafted, and their meaning
and connection to the main theme should be plain, even to a glancing non-participant.
The heart beating introduction and overall rhythm in 'Elektro kardiogramm' is quite
simply and truly breathtaking. 'La Forme' opens with a quiet solo rhythmic beat which
bursts into a bright electronic crescendo of sound, almost as if you can see beyond the
pain barriers and gruelling exercises of the event, towards the finishing line ahead in
the distance. "Nearly there; I've almost made it; the yellow shirt is mine for the taking!"
And what more fitting end, what better and more logically brisk way to complete the
'Tour De France' than with the words "Sprint final à l'arrivée" from an invigorating new,
soft and subtle variant of the original title song? This is a very special 12th track for fans
who in a sense have waited, not '13' nor even '17' years for the new album [as some say],
but about 20 years. For in my humble opinion, with this crowning glory, 'Techno Pop'
has finally arrived. For just as 'Tour De France' is a track that would have been on the
album that never was; so also like a great consolation, Tour De France Soundtracks is
the finest follow-up concept album that Kraftwerk SHOULD have released next after
Computer World.
Put aside for a moment if you will, the negative criticism and enjoy the race -
From 'Start' to 'Finish' TDF Soundtracks is a 'breath of fresh air' for cyclists
and non-cyclists alike!
And jolly well worth the long wait!
IMPORT BONUS:
As a little extra, the Japanese import version contains a superb CDROM of the accompanying
video to the TDF2003 single. And on the inside of an additional good quality paper lyric sheet
[in Japanese, of course!], is a great poster like advert for the album containing the 4 cyclists in
greyscale - as depicted on the CD cover - along with a track listing with comments in Japanese.
A Kraftwerk collectors item in waiting perhaps?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect winter turbo trainer music, 7 Feb. 2015
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It's been years since I last heard Kraftwerk and only by stumbling across a program a few weeks back that showed the Tate modern 3d concert, did I realise what I had been missing. Perfect winter turbo trainer music. Wish it made my cycling as good as the album theme.
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5.0 out of 5 stars What an absolutley fantastic album., 13 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: Tour De France (Audio CD)
I received this today, having not heard the album before and must say this album is amazing. Kraftwerk sound both retro and futuristic, and to my ears have their own unique sound. All the remastered albums, (Radio-Activity, Trans Europe Express, Autobahn,Man Machine, Computerworld, Techno Pop, and Tour De France) deserve 10/10 and should be in any serious collection. Tour De France really takes you on a aural journey, and remind you that the human body, is at the end of the day, a machine. (Albeit a miracleous one).Anyway, if you are thinking of buying this, DO SO, I promise you that you will not be disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tour De France - Kraftwerk, 27 April 2013
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This review is from: Tour De France (Audio CD)
Having failed to get to the Tate Modern concerts, this is the next best thing to being in the audience
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5.0 out of 5 stars Kraftwerk Tour De France, 24 Mar. 2013
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Hi

I took a gamble buying this as a lot of remasters arent good, this one is diferrent, as its utterly brilliant!

Really heavyweight vinyl (I believe 200g) booklets and its a double!

Sound quality is first rate , best album I have (and I have a lot of 180 to 200g repressings)

but with confidence , its a vinyl bargain!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Electronica and cycling - unbeatable combination!, 21 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: Tour De France (Audio CD)
If you're into electronica and like cycling, this is great. Solid dance beat with tongue-in-cheek deep voice-over that is Kraftwerk's trademark. Love the bauhaus-style graphics on the cover.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Kraftwerk tour De France review, 28 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: Tour De France (Audio CD)
If you like electronic music then you will like this and if you are into your cycling. Like me , then this is a must,
All the tracks relate to cycling very enjoyable , would recommend
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