Kraftwerk - Autobahn LP
Label: Kling Klang
Autobahn was originally released in 1974, and it was in most cases the band's introduction to the rest of the world with the surprise hit single of the title track, edited down significantly for airplay. It was also the point where Kraftwerk began to combine a classic pop approach with their intense Teutonic experimentation (which remains considerable here). What was seen by some people in the mid-1970s as somewhat of a novelty; however, laid the foundation for one of the most innovative music groups to ever exist. Clocking in at almost 23 minutes, "Autobahn" may be one of the most evocative songs ever, especially considering how minimal it really is. Synthesizers give you the impression of traveling throughout Germany by car, through many different environments and observational states, as the vocal melody classically apes the Beach Boys "Fun, Fun, Fun". The song also marked the beginning of the band's reliance on vocoders and drum machines, which would from this point forward would play an integral role in defining Kraftwerk. The other songs here retain many of the sonic qualities of earlier Kraftwerk, but it's now plainly apparent where things are heading: Pop Immortality!