The band Kraftwerk released their first album in 1970 entitled Kraftwerk. Two years later they released their second album titled simply Kraftwerk 2. In 1973 the group released Ralf und Florian. The band Kraftwerk continued releasing albums with Radio-Activity in 1975, Trans-Europe Express in 1977, The Man-Machine in 1978, Computer World in 1981, Electric Café in 1986 and Tour de France Soundtracks in 2003.
Kraftwerk is considered to be one of the most important musical acts in rock history based on how influential the band has been across the board of musical genres. The group is known for its exclusivity, harboring an almost secret robot like existence, rarely communicating with press, fans or even their own musical colleagues in the business.
Our Top 10 Kraftwerk Songs list an attempt to cover various periods throughout the band’s career. It is in no way a definite list and is purely subjective without any adherence to popularity or commercialism. It is for the sheer point of turning people on to this magnificent band while covering their role in classic rock history. This list is set up in chronological order.
# 10 Ruckzuck
We open our Essential Kraftwerk Songs list appropriately with the first track that appeared on the band’s first album Kraftwork in 1970. The album featured Ralf Hütter, Florian Schneider, Andreas Hohmann and “Klaus Dinger.
# 9 – Klingklang
There are many people who used to argue that the opening to the great “Klingklang,” track served as an inspiration to Roger Waters of Pink Floyd and album producer Alan Parsons when they were creating the Dark Side of The Moon album. The great track “Klingklang,” represents the band’s second album Kraftwerk 2 released in 1972. All the music on the group’s second album was written and recorded by Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider
# 8 – Ananas Symphonie
The wonderful music of “Ananas Symphonie,” served as the closing track on the band’s third album entitled Ralf und Florian. The album was released in 1973. Once again, all of the music was composed and performed on the album by Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider.
# 7 – Autobahn
In 1974, the band Kraftwerk released the album Autobahn. The album Autobahn was a groundbreaking work for the group. In essence it was the album that made Kraftwerk a household name in the music industry. They may not have had a Led Zeppelin or a Black Sabbath type of fame, but for progressive music fans, Kraftwerk had arrived. The album set the tone for electronic music and is one of the most influential albums ever released. The track “Autobahn,” covered the entire album’s opening side.
# 6 – Radioactivity
In 1975, Kraftwerk found themselves with a hit single. The song “Radioactivity,” was released as a single from the band’s fifth album Radio-Activity. It was not a Beatles size hit, but it was a minor hit in France and an actual single release. Who would have through this band would have released a single? Well, that would soon all change.
# 5 – Trans-Europe Express
The band released two singles on their 1977 Trans-Europe Express album. The album’s opening and title track Trans-Europe Express and the great song “Showroom Dummies.”
# 4 – The Model
“The Model,” has always been one of our favorite Kraftwerk songs. The song was released on the album The Man-Machine. The great Kraftwerk album was released in 1978. There were six songs on the album and five of them were released as singles. Now that’s Beatles like.
# 3 – Computer Love
The great thing about composing a ten essential Kraftwerk songs list in chronological order is one can really digest the progress of the band over their career. The song “Computer Love,” was released on the band’s 1981 album Computer World.
# 2 – The Telephone Call
“The Telephone Call,” was probably the band’s most pop oriented commercial single. It was brilliant. The song was released as the second single from the band’s 1986 album Electric Café. It was tough to choose between “The Telephone Call,” and “Musique Non-Stop.” We could have gone either way on this one although “Musique Non-Stop,” was not as pop oriented as “The Telephone Call.”
# 1 – Tour De France
We close out our 10 Essential Kraftwerk songs list with one of the band’s most brilliant recordings. The great four minute epic piece “Tour De France,” was originally released in 1983 and released again in remixed versions in 1984 and 1999. The song was very successful commercially from an economic standpoint and on the music charts. It we re-recorded for the 2003 album Tour de France Soundtracks.