Questions/Answers is a series of articles aiming to nail down some facts on all those Kraftwerk myths that are forever repeated by the media...
From Aktivität 10 - April 1998
The German release of the 'Trans-Europa Express' LP contains an
extra track called 'Abzug'.
No. The record does indeed contain a track called 'Abzug', which is
not listed on other 1977 'TEE' releases, but it is still part of 'Metal
e.g. On the original German LP release the 'TEE' tracks are listed with
the following timings;
Trans-Europa Express (6min. 40sec.), 'Metall auf Metall' (2min. 10sec.),
'Abzug' (4min. 42sec.)
(Total 13min. 32.sec.)
On the original UK release the 'TEE' tracks are;
'Trans-Europe Express' (6min. 40sec.), Metal On Metal (6min. 52sec.)
(Total 13min. 32.sec.)
The corresponding CD releases are different altogether in terms of
where the tracks start and stop! By 1991 and the re-recorded versions
appearing on 'The Mix', 'Abzug' had moved before 'Metal On Metal'
on the album.
Ralf Hütter studied 10 years classical music (piano) at the
Duesseldorf Konservatorium before founding Kraftwerk.
We know that Ralf was born in 1946 and that he founded Organisation
along with Florian, who he met at the Düsseldorf Konservatorium
in 1968. This presumes then that Ralf must have been studying at the
Düsseldorf Kons. since 1958 - 12 years old! There is no doubt that
Ralf did indeed study there, but not for 10 years!
The band play on a record called 'Ich bin a Domina' by Die Dominas.
No, but there is a slight Kraftwerk involvement with the actual music
and also by the fact that Ralf Hütter and Karl Bartos designed
the record sleeve. A more detailed account can be found in Aktivität
The band never or only rarely give interviews to the press.
On the contrary, Kraftwerk have benefited from worldwide, extensive
press coverage generated by interviews, primarily with the bands appointed
spokesman Ralf Hütter. Granted, in their earliest days there was
little press coverage of Kraftwerk but since 1975 at least Kraftwerk
have always given interviews to the media whenever they have a new release
out. In addition, Ralf Hütter has also been interviewed by numerous
radio stations and tapes of such interviews are in circulation amongst
collectors. However, there have been no new interviews with Ralf since
1992 - similarly, however, there have been no new releases to promote!
(Note: Since the publication of this article, there have been further
interviews with Ralf Hütter, to accompany live appearances in recent
years - IC, July 2000.)
They did live or playback appearances in the following German TV
- Popstop 1982 (it was in fact only a video)
- Dreiklangsdimensionen (in was in fact only a video)
- Hitparade 1978 (it never took place)
The band are working on a follow up album to 'The Mix', called 'The
Mix 2' which will contain more re-recorded versions of old songs.
There have been many rumours and rumoured release dates of such an
album, but Kraftwerk themselves have never said there would be such
a release, replying, when questioned, that it may be a possibility "in
a few years time" (NME, 1991).
In addition to officially released German, English, French and Japanese
language versions of 'Pocket Calculator' there are also Spanish and
Polish language recordings in existence.
Not quite. The band have recorded and released English, German, Japanese
and French versions on the song. In addition, they also recorded a version
in Italian and mimed to it for some Italian TV shows in 1981. When the
band perform live they regularly change some of the lyrics into the
local language. So, the band have performed 'Pocket Calculator' with
some of the lyrics in Spanish, but there is no recorded release as such,
excluding live bootlegs. Little is known of Kraftwerk's Polish concert
appearances, so it is not known if there is a Polish langauge version.
The band sold the rights of the 'Autobahn' LP for $2000 to their
US record company.
No, it was the rights to their first LP, 'Kraftwerk' and it was in
fact to their German record company, Philips, in 1970, not their US
record company. From the 1975 article 'Germany's Kraftwerk: Metal of
the Road' is this extract; '...Kraftwerk's contract with Phonogram (the
parent company of Philips/Vertigo/Mercury etc. - IC) ran out several
months ago and is presently being renegotiated ... Hütter and Scheider
don't intend to make the same kind of deal they did back in 1971 , when
they sold the entire rights to 'Kraftwerk', the first of their three
European albums, to Philips Records (a phonogram subsidiary) for $2000.'
From the US magazine Billboard, 22.3.75, there is also this note; 'The
story goes that Phonogram's German A&R director bought their tape
master without hearing it when told the asking price was only $2000'.