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Questions/Answers 1

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 9 - August 1997

Kraftwerk's first albums are called 'Var' and 'Highrail'
No, this inaccuracy stems from an entry in a musical reference book (Guinness, I think). 'Var' does not exist while 'Highrail' is actually a compilation LP released in 1979 featuring material from 'Kraftwerk', 'Kraftwerk 2' and 'Autobahn'.

(N.B. Kraftwerk's first album release is 'Kraftwerk'(1) in Germany. The bands first UK release was the double album 'Kraftwerk' which was merely a compilation of the bands first two West German LPs; 'Kraftwerk (1)' and 'Kraftwerk 2'. Again, there is nothing otherwise unobtainable on the UK double LP - it is just a combination of the first two German LPs.)

Kraftwerk have played concerts in different cities at the same time using holograms and robots.
No, the band have talked of this idea in the past but have never been able to carry out these plans.

Similarly, it is reported that the band appeared simultaneously in New York and Paris at promotional launches for 'The Man Machine'. Both such parties did indeed take place, but on different dates!

The band have staged concerts where only their robots have performed, while the band stay at home or sit in the audience
No, but the band do share the stage with their robots for one song, 'The Robots'. In the bands 1981 stage-show the four band members stood alongside their corresponding mannequin during 'The Robots', but the 'real' band played the music.

For the bands 1991-98 stage-shows the band had developed more sophisticated mannequins/robots, with mechanically automated arms and swivelling heads. For these performances the 'real' band members left the stage while the robots 'danced' to the pre-recorded backing of 'The Robots'. So, no, the band have never staged concerts where only their robots performed.

The nearest the band have come to sitting in the audience and watching their own show is actually the reverse scenario; in October 1978 the band played a (TV?) show in Venice, Italy, where the bands mannequins were seated amongst the audience while the band performed on stage! This may also be what Ralf Hütter is referring to when he is quoted with saying that they have had to buy tickets for their dummies to sit amongst the audience at Kraftwerk shows!

The bands studio, Kling-Klang, is based inside an oil refinery.
No. The bands studio is based in a large, anonymous looking suite of buildings near Düsseldorf railway station. When the band recorded their pre-Kraftwerk LP 'Tone Float', as Organisation, they recorded this in what was then Conny Plank's (famous German record producer) temporary studio, which was based in a disused oil refinery. (Maybe also 'Kraftwerk' 1 ?)

The location of the Kling-Klang studio is unknown and one of the biggest mysteries in the pop business.
No, the address can be found in at least two public address books. However, the band have now removed any reference to themselves that originally appeared on the outside of the buildings main entrance from the street.

The band released an album called 'Technopop' in 1983.
No, the band had planned to release an album called 'Technopop' in 1983 and it was even advertised in at least one German magazine, but the album was never released, eventually being re-recorded and released in 1986 as 'Electric Cafe'. Tapes of the album and perhaps even test pressings are reputed to exist and two rough quality, very different recordings of songs that later appeared on 'Electric Cafe' have appeared on bootleg CDs in the early 1990's, adding fuel to the fire of the debate...

The band were at no.1 in the UK charts over Christmas 1981 with 'The Model'.
No, though the band did reach no.1 with 'The Model', but not until February 6th 1982. The confusion may stem from the fact that reference books quote a date of 26th December 1981 against the singles entry, but this was the date when the single first entered the chart, not when it reached number 1.

  Updated: 16 : 5 : 2010