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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars


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on 6 June 2012
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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on 13 April 2017
Interesting, I have come to like these tracks/songs.
Kraftwerk new to me but they've been around since time began.
I was guided by a best of list and don't regret the journey.
Have a go yourself, see what you think.
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on 1 January 2010
I bought this for my sister for xmas. She had the LP over 25 years ago. It sounds amazing on CD and we enjoyed the journey,recognising all those hypnotic tunes we had forgotten! They outclass a lot of todays melodies.If you liked Kraftwerk back in the early 80s and liked Man Machine, you will LOVE Trans Europe Express. You will wake up with the melodies playing away in your head!Buy it!
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on 21 January 2009
Trans Europe Express is probably the most essential Kraftwerk album, and well deserving of it's 'influential/masterpiece' reputation. I think it's the best overall example of the group's work, although the trademark repetetive rythms may not be to everyone's taste. I think the title track does go on a bit too long but is still a stunning tour de force. My favourite track is Franz Schubert, which is a gorgeous melody that induces a strange nostalgic feeling for something, though I know not what. Hall of Mirrors is one of their iciest tracks, similar in feel to the title track to their previous album Radioactivity. Showroom Dummies is a for-runner of the next album's song The Robots. Eurpope Endless is a gloriously melodic celebration of Europe, and is another highlight. Overall, Trans Europe Express is a superb album, that despite being over 30 years old, still sounds remarkably fresh and unique, and is a real landmark in electronic music.
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If you believed polls in papers and magazines whereby they list the "greatest" or "definitive" albums of all time, they tend to be "of the moment". So, you'd get a Liberty X album higher in the rankings that Rubber Soul for instance. I'm always astonished that Radiohead and Oasis albums are considered "better" that Revolver or Sgt Pepper....anyway, I digress. An album that SOMETIMES appears is this, T.E.E. Trans Europe Express. One of the finest albums released ever, of any genre.

This was released back in 1977, at the height of the Sex Pistols and The Clash and would release the tremendous Man Machine just a year later. This was back when Krafwerk seemed to release albums on a fairly frequent basis, however after this we would have to wait another three years for Computer World.

Even 35 years ago Kraftwerk were advocating the idea of a One Europe with travel on the sleek TEE. The first track, Europe Endless is certainly one of my favourites on any Krafwerk album with it's faux shuffle/bossa beat. Here Ralf gives 70s Britons glimpses of something more exotic in countries that are so near, but feel so far "parks, hotels and palaces" and "promenades and avenues" with "elegance and decadence". Stunning.

Next we have the somewhat spooky "The Hall Of Mirrors" which is pretty autobiographical I would imagine. Kraftwerk were starting to become "known" and were being name checked by world-famous stars, particularly David Bowie who wanted to collaborate. Kraftwerk didn't return his call!

The single "Showroom Dummies" is again about the fab four themselves and was apparently said to them while they were dancing in New York. The majority of Kraftwerk tracks have always been band efforts, but this is credited to Hutter himself.

Side Two (in old money) kicks off with the TEE "suite" of Trans Europe Express, Metal on Metal and Abzug (which strangely appeared from The Mix onwards), the albums highlight. A fantastic clash of synthesisers and the stark rhythms of Wolfgang and Karl. At least David Bowie gets something from the band, a mention in TEE, along with Iggy Pop.

If there's filler then it's Franz Schubert, but that would be cruel on my part. It's just that the rest of the album is so stunning. Finally, a minute of vocodered "endless, endless".

These remasters sound great and are a real treat, but I still prefer my 35 year old album, with the original cover, and that is my only criticism really. It's as if Ralf and Florian are trying to scrub Flur and Bartos from the record.
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VINE VOICEon 30 December 2003
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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on 28 April 2005
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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on 4 February 2016
This is a marvelous album from the mid 1970s, Better than its predecessor Autobahn and among the finest German Rock ( I hate the 'Kr***rock term - wholly abusive in my view ) albums ever. I do much prefer the original vinyl cover however
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VINE VOICEon 14 August 2005
Since the unfortunate "demise" of my Turntable , it is ages since I have had the chance to Re-visit the older Kraftwerk Albums .
Having seen them in 1981 (Computerworld Tour - hammersmith Odeon)
I feel they are still high amongst the inspiration for so much of todays music.
Of course I have been a fan for ages , so did not need much convincing.
The Minimalist approach , and thematic approach to their earlier works still stand the test of time , with classics like the Single "Showroom Dummies " included here and the Hypnotic "Europe Endless" and title track "Trans Europe Express" a superb album full of good memories.
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VINE VOICEon 21 October 2002
It contains some of their most powerful work. Made at a time when other electronic producers were only finding their feet, Kraftwerk were in full gear with this release.
Any album that has two high quality songs like 'Europe Endless' and 'Hall of Mirrors' back to back, has to be up there with the classics. Opener 'Europe Endless' with its startlingly beautiful synth motif and gliding hi-hats sounds even better in this day and age. While 'Hall of Mirrors' is an ambient type track which shows off the often underplayed strength of the vocal talents of the Kraftwerk team.
Later we have the highly influential 'Trans Europe Express' which sounds like classical music with electronic rhythms. It could have come out of a Hitchcock movie.
The perfect Kraftwerk album.
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