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Genre: progressive

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Autobahn

Company: Mercury

Catalog: SRM-1-3704

Year: 1973

Countyr/State: Germany

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: minor ring, edge and corner wear

Available: 2

GEMM Catalog ID: 4848

Price: $10.00


Adding guitarist/violinist Klaus Roeder and percussionist/synthesizer player Wolfgang Flur to the line up, the group scored an unexpected hit with their 1974 American debut "Autobahn". While it sounded odd, the group somehow managed to turn the idea of a 22 minute simulated car ride into an effective piece of music. You simply can't describe the results - it's one of those sets you have to hear for yourself (preferably with a pair of quality headphones). Even more of a surprise, released as a single, an edited version of the title track managed to hit # 4. A multi-part suite (check out the cheesy bird sounds on 'Morgenspaziergang'), the flip side was less appealing, if still worth checking out. Propelled by the fluke hit (hearing it on the radio is still bizarre), the parent album reached # 5.

"Autobahn" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Autobahn (Ralf Hutter - Florain Scheider-Esleben) - 22:30


(side 2)
1.) Komeetenmelodie 1 (Comet Melody 1) (instrumental) (Ralf Hutter - Florain Scheider-Esleben) - 6:20
2.) Komeetenmelodie 2 (Comet Melody 2) (instrumental) (Ralf Hutter - Florain Scheider-Esleben) - 5:44
3.) Mitternacht (Midnight) (instrumental) (Ralf Hutter - Florain Scheider-Esleben) - 4:40
4.) Morgenspaziergang (Morning Walk) (instrumental) (Ralf Hutter - Florain Scheider-Esleben) - 4:00



Genre: progressive

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Tour de France

Company: EMI

Catalog: EMI 5413

Year: 1983

Countyr/State: Germany

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: UK pressing; 12"

Available: 1

GEMM Catalog ID: 4847

Price: $10.00



Reflecting the band's growing interest in bike racing, I have to admit that this one's surprisingly tuneful.  


"Tour de France" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Tour de France (instrumental)   (Ralf Hutter - Florain Scheider - Bartos - Schmitt) - 6:30 


(side 2)
1.) Tour de France (instrumental)   (Ralf Hutter - Florain Scheider - Bartos - Schmitt) - 3:00

2.) Tour de France 2e Etape (instrumental)   (Ralf Hutter - Florain Scheider - Bartos - Schmitt) - 2:40  


Genre: progressive

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Electirc Cafe

Company: Warner Brothers

Catalog: 25525-1

Year: 1986

Countyr/State: Germany

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: gatefold sleeve

Available: 1

GEMM Catalog ID: 4901

Price: $10.00



I know that you can't push creativity, but you have to wonder why it took five years for this album to see the light of day.


"Electric Cafe" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Boing Boom Tschank


(side 2)
1.) Techno Pop

2.) Musique Non Stop

3.) The Telephone Call

4.) Sex Object

5.) Electric Cafe 




Five long years after Computer World, Kraftwerk finally resurfaced with another LP, Electric Cafe; the rest of the pop music industry having finally caught up with the group's vision, they no longer seem so innovative and inspired — indeed, the record's brief running time (under 36 minutes) seems indicative of a lack of ideas and new directions, with the spartan opening tracks, "Technopop" and "Musique Non-Stop," virtually interchangeable and the remaining cuts surprisingly mainstream in both form and content.

Editorial Reviews
The byproduct of a much anticipated, long-delayed, and ultimately scrapped album to have been called Technopop (and to have contained Kraftwerk's great dance single "Tour de France"), 1986's Electric Cafe suffers only slightly from lacking the thematic focus of previous Kraftwerk albums. Ironically, the '80s techno-pop wave had passed by band founders Florian Schneider and Ralf Hutter at this point, but their sly wit ("Boing Boom Tschak," "Telephone," "Sex Object") and melodic inventiveness still stand the test of time. Its segues virtually seamless, Electric Cafe plays like one mega-dance-mix, but with the tasteful restraint that has long been a Kraftwerk hallmark. This is club music for thinking men and women. --Jerry McCulley

When Kraftwerk's "Electric Cafe" was first released in late 1986, I immediately picked it up on cassette. Back in 1986, I considered it a disappointment compared to their earlier work. It wasn't until 1999, when I picked up the CD to replace my old cassette that I rediscovered "Electric Cafe" in a completely different way. "Electric Cafe" isn't Kraftwerk's best album but it certainly is a crowning achievement. There is more emphasis on rhythm and beat than on any previous Kraftwerk album. Also, the use of sampled repeated phrases (ie: "Boing Boom Tschak") is now commonplace in today's dance music. There also is a slight minimalist approach to this music. Kraftwerk stripped their sound to its bare essentials here keeping the music simple and slightly more repetitive than on previous efforts. There was even one bonafide hit on "Electric Cafe". "The Telephone Call" was in frequent rotation on many dance music stations at the time. The track also is unique because neither Ralf Hutter nor Florian Schneider sing lead vocals on this song. For the first and last time, percussionist Karl Bartos sings a lead vocal.
Although it is slightly underrated and there are better Kraftwerk albums available, "Electric Cafe" has aged gracefully over the years. Many of the sounds that Kraftwerk introduced here have now caught on with a younger generation of electronic musicians. This album was somewhat of a blueprint for what was yet to come with this genre of music. My thoughts on this album are different now than they were in 1986. This album becomes more enjoyable each time I listen to it. It can really grow on you and get you hooked. While it isn't a classic, "Electric Cafe" is a worthy investment. Check it out.

Aside from the side-long suite ( I say side-long, as when this was released I had it on LP ) of Boing Boom Tschak, Musique Non Stop and Techno Pop, this is a collection of really lame mid-eighties syth pop. At a time in music history when many great bands were turning out terrific synth based music, Kraftwerk offered this up, and it seemed at the time ( as it still does to me ) uninspired, and ultimately, uninspiring. By the time this was released, a four year period had passed since their last album, and the synth pop boom they had created had already passsed Kraftwerk by. I can remember playing the first side over and over, alone or even at parties. Some people thought ( as I did ) it was a weird and wonderful combination of hip-hop and synth-pop, which it really is. But everytime I would try to play the second side for a group of people, I would invariably be asked to turn it off. These Germans have never been particularly adept at writing lyrics in English, and most of the lyrics here are no exception. At times, they are just plain embarressing. " I don't want to be your sex object" indeed....As for a recommendation for the purchase of this cd, I really can't offer one. It is non-essential for casual fans, and even rabid fans of Kraftwerk ( as I am ) will find it less than rewarding.

Just like with their other albums, Kraftwerk's "Electric Cafe" is wicked fun. It's different from their other albums, mostly because of the percussion used in the songs. The percussion is hard and I like that. I turn the volume and bass up all the way when I'm playing this. There are only six tracks on the CD. But that's just enough to keep me satisfied. All the songs are great!

Track one is "Boing Boom Tschak" (pronouned "boing boom chuck"). It's only seconds short from three minutes, making it the shortest track on the CD. There's also a robotic voice singing "music non stop... techno pop" in the middle of the song. "Musique Non Stop" and "Techno Pop" are actually the next two songs in the compilation. Just like in "Boing Boom Tschak," track two, "Techno Pop," also includes the lyrics, "music non stop... techno pop." Only this time, there's a different voice saying it. The percussion used in "Techno Pop" sounds like what's heard in a warehouse of steel or a construction site. "Musique Non Stop" is track three. This tune makes me feel a decade younger everytime I listen to it. This isn't even my favorite song on the album. My favorite song is "The Telephone Call." It's the longest track at just over eight minutes. It features sound effects like busy signals, telephone keys being pressed, a phone ringing, and answering machine voices. This is way too much fun! "Sex Object" is track five. This tune is different from the others. It includes guitars and violins, not what is usually expected from Kraftwerk. It's still a nice song. The final track is the song, "Electric Cafe." It's a mysterious song that features these sound effects like what's heard in a submarine. It's weird. But I like it.

I'm once again impressed by these four geniuses from Germany. This is great stuff! I'm glad there's a music group like this. They have very cool ideas for songs. The "Electric Cafe" album is a good example.

Electric Cafe shows us Kraftwerk in the moment when their influence was so big in the music being made at the time that people were starting to forget there was a band named 'Kraftwerk' and that most electronic pop or techno being made back then was invented by them. It was also the first album they did with digital synths and recording systems, which, according to Karl Bartos, was which delayed the album from 1983-84 to 1986 - they had to re-record what they had and update all of their equipment, and, moreover, Ralf Hütter had a bicycle accident which almost took his life and further delayed the release. Due to this, the album was oft seen as passé and somewhat stereotypical when it was released, and it seems to have carried on with this fame to day. But, musical fashion aside, Kraftwerk's Electric Cafe is a great record. The production and synths sure do sound from the 80's, but they also sound cleaner and have aged better than most of what was being made at the era, without losing its retro charm. Most songs are not Kraftwerk's best, nor are the lyrics, but they are quite pleasing and have many cool layers of samples and percussion sounds, something they did not do yet in previous albums. Plus, it contains Der Telefon Anruf, one of the best Kraftwerk songs in my opinion, and a very curious one since it is sung by percussionist Karl Bartos. Recommended for fans of Kraftwerk.


So this was the final studio album for a whole 17 years before Tour De France Soundtracks. And yes, people had naturally decided that Kraftwerk was done for, didn't buy the album, and it becomes a sort of goat. Granted, they had something different planned post Computer World, but with one thing and another, it was not to be.

Instead, we get some sick, silly beats from the original electronic reich. This thing has dated damn well on the first 'side' of the disc. Kraftwerk, as usual, were doing their thing and making the beats that so many would sample and eventually try to rewrite as dance and electronic music split into 75,000 sub-genres in 20 years.

Yes, Electric Cafe is the theme from Sprockets, the SNL skit, but they used a sped-up version. The album is short, and sure, it's not as 'classic' as the earlier efforts, but it's Kraftwerk in 1986 using the 'latest' kit, including samplers and the like, and making a fine record.

Electric Cafe was a very much delayed project and was originally called Technopop and should have included the awesome single Tour de France. After years of frustration and inuendo the album was finally released in 1986. It is way of ahead of its time in its use of sampling, loops and the way they use their keyboards. it has 6 awesome tracks on it starting with boing boom tshak and eding with the hypnotic electric cafe, Sex Object is the best track on the netire cd with amazing beats, lyrics and a melody that is quite accomplished. The book-let is typical Kraftwerk with very little information and odd looking photgraphs. The graphics may look basic today (2005), but back in 1986 this was cutting edge and if one used computers back then, then one knows how advanced these graphics truly were for their time. This is a great album from Kraftwerk. It is just a shame that they record so seldom these days.