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Trans-Europe Express Import

4.7 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (23 July 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Independent Nat'l Di
  • ASIN: B000005JHV
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,156,943 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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One of the most enjoyable and innovative records of its era, Kraftwerk's 'Trans Europe Express' is a masterpiece of eerily beautiful, paranoid synth-pop. The album's general structure is, as one might expect, the journey of the Trans Europe Express train, yet the scope and feel of the album go far beyond the train itself (something that cannot be said for Kraftwerk's later 'Computer World'). There isn't a bad song on the entire album, though some are admittedly stronger than others. Opener 'Europe Endless' is the best piece on the album, and arguably Kraftwerk's finest ever song, awash with infectiously catchy electro beats, vocoder-filtered vocals, and prescient lyrics - "promenades and avenues, Europe endless/real lives and postcard views, Europe endless". The album does admittedly have a few relatively weaker (albeit still good) tracks, such as the slightly over-repetitive, yet hypnotic title track, and 'Metal on Metal', these being the two songs which adhere most strictly to the sounds and concept of the train, and lose out a little, from doing so.

Still, many of the numbers here, such as the classically-influenced 'Franz Schubert' and the creepy, yet wonderfully melodic 'Showroom Dummies'; an evocation both of social unrest and of the 'robot' image, which the band attempted to cultivate, almost reach the standard of 'Europe Endless' (whilst both sounding largely different to that track). In truth, there's little to criticise about 'Trans Europe Express'. It is a record which still sounds remarkably fresh and powerful over thirty years later (especially with this latest remastering), and which perfectly highlights why Kraftwerk were such an excellent and an influential band. For anyone looking for a great, early synth-pop record, or even just a hauntingly beautiful, pared-down record, then I would recommend 'Trans Europe Express' unreservedly.
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Format: Audio CD
Awesome. It's still stunning more than a quarter of a century after its release. Kicking-off with the nine-minute opus Europe Endless with its evocative lyric, T.E.E is as much a masterpiece as The Man Machine (its sequel) still is.
I was just a lad of eleven when my older bro brought this home. Sticking in the turntable - no CD players in '77 chaps! -it was quite unlike anything we'd ever heard, although we both had dim memories of their breakthrough hit Autobahn from two years before. Even the cover photo was intriguing, smartly dressed young men with short hair being a bit rare in music in 1977!
The tracks here are stunning: The Hall Of Mirrors stark, formidable and riveting, it was later covered by Siouxsie & The Banshees. To say this album was influential is a distinct understatement. Loads of people picked up on what Kraftwerk were doing in Dusseldorf. From Bowie and Eno in Berlin, to the embryonic Human League in Sheffield, to The Yellow Magic Orchestra in Tokyo to Gary Numan in west London and even hip-hop DJs in New York, this was the boy and it still is.
The title track was ruthlessly plagiarised to form the main riff to Afrika Bambaataa's Planet Rock (Kraftwerk sued him) and is a superb 'electronic blues' (a phrase suggested to them by a friend) that evokes the train journey across the continent. The band struck upon the idea of inviting journalists on board a special run of the real-life TEE, piping the album through the train's speakers and everyone getting totally dog-faced during the trip!
The album was such a winner in New York's discos it won an award. A total gem for an amazing band. Music wouldn't be the same without the inspiration of the founding fathers of modern electronic music. A classic album from a classy outfit.
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Format: Audio CD
I've always thought that Trans Europe Express is a record that couldn't have been made anywhere else than Europe. As before, with Autobahn, the travel theme is central but several things have come together to make this record a more focused and rewarding experience than previous releases in my opinion.
The improvement in technology, which has vital implications when you're using state of the art technology as the bedrock of your groups music, is obvious to the ear as it was to be on the following two releases up to 'Computer World'. The technological ability to produce more complex rhythms and melodies really comes together on the key title track. The full influence of Trans Europe Express really came to the fore with the sampling and 'borrowing' of parts of the record by the hip-hop electro movement in the States during the early eighties and house music thereafter.
The atmosphere of the record is interesting. The use of new technology and name checks of contemporaries such as "Iggy Pop" and "David Bowie" is contrasted by the references to a golden era of travel and an evocation of an endless European continent of palaces and classic cities. New sits comfortably with the old.
With all Kraftwerk records the melodies are very strong and the songs are loaded with hooks which will keep you humming them for days after hearing the record. 'Showroom Dummies' was released as a minor hit single after the belated success of 'The Model' in the early 80's.
The key tracks are the title track and 'Europe Endless'. This album opened the door to what was to follow in the next 10 years as electro-pop became the norm. What sets this apart is that somehow Trans Europe Express still sounds fresh and has a stlye that many of the bands to follow could never capture.
An essential purchase.
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