Top positive review
2 people found this helpful
on 13 August 2012
This is a review of the remastered edition of this 1977 landmark recording. I purchased it after reading a 2009 review that claimed it as, "Probably the most influential album released in the final quarter of the past century." That's as maybe, but within the first few minutes of the opening track I was struck how it must have influenced Gary Numan's opening on his hit `Cars', and how it also affected some of Billy Currie`s work with Ultravox.
Given my love for European train travel, I'm surprised it's taken me this long to sit down and listen to the work all the way through. Kraftwerk passed me by in the 1970s. Their music was seen by me to be too cold, too clinical, and too repetitive. And `Trans Europe Express' is all of these. Instead, I was a Tangerine Dream man. As an example of the inane repetitiveness, the words "We are showroom dummies" is repeated at least thirty-eight times on the `Showroom Dummies' track.
What saves this disc is the incredible rhythm of the title track as it meanders across, below, and behind the stereo spectrum. For sure, the words "Trans Europe Express" are also repeated seemingly endlessly, but the difference here is that we are on a journey and there are wider changes in the arrangement of the music.
The CD comes with generous sleevenotes, not in terms of information but of photographic representations of the group that attempt to match the mood and titles of the CD's tracks: thus we see them at Dusseldorf Hauptbahnhof, as Franz Schubert, as showroom dummies.
I like the way the final track links the sound of its immediate predecessor with the words of the opening track, thus creating a kind of `Endless' circle. It's not, for me, a brilliant album, but it is good enough for me to order `Autobahn'.