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Kraftwerk's Promo Videos 1976-1999

A video by video review of those elusive Kraftwerk promo videos
By IC, August 1998, updated December 2000

To anyone unfamiliar with Kraftwerk, it always seems surprising to learn that not only has there never been an official, commercial video release of any of the bands numerous promo videos but also that there seems to be no inclination from the band or their record companies to remedy this state of affairs.

Kraftwerk are so much in control of their past work that it remains in their own hands whether these videos will ever be released, much the same as the bands early albums and their continuing absence from an official re-issue on CD format. As no video compilation has been released thus far, we can but presume that Kraftwerk are in no urgency to make them available.

Even worse, a number of them have rarely been shown other than at the time of their original production. With the proliferation of satellite and cable televison this has been changing and the past couple of years have seen archive clips re-broadcast. Nevertheless, many of the videos that are in circulation amongst fans tend to be in rather poor quality. And from where do these copies appear? Obviously they are available from dealers, at record fairs and the like, though extortionate sums are often charged for very poor quality copies. And, of course, swapped between fans. Quality can be extremely variable and an official video compilation would certainly go a long way towards pleasing a great many fans.

So, is it likely there will be such a compilation? Ralf has certainly mentioned in past interviews that Kraftwerk have such ideas, even on video-disc format when that was the great white wonder of the time, but as yet, nothing. As Lou Reed once sang with the Velvet Underground, 'the first thing you gotta learn to do is wait'...

However, with the 1999 and 2000 releases of 'Tour de France' and 'Expo 2000' featuring video footage the signs are improving.


The Videos

  • Part 1, 1976-1977: Radio-Activity, Antenna, Trans-Europe Express, Showroom Dummies
  • Part 2, 1978-1984: The Robots, Neon Licht, Pocket Calculator, The Model, Tour De France
  • Part 3, 1986-1999: Musique Non Stop, The Telephone Call, The Robots (1991), Radioactivity (1991), Sellafield 2, Tribal, Expo 2000, Miscellaneous

  Updated: 16 : 5 : 2010