Kraftwerk: Publikation – Biography by David Buckley
Omnibus Press presents a new and major biography of the first-ever all-electronic pop group, Kraftwerk, one of the most influential bands in popular music history. David Buckley examines the cult enigma that is Kraftwerk! The inner workings of this most secretive of bands are revealed through interviews with friends and close associates. The story of their incredible impact on modern music is traced up to the present day using interviews with a host of musicians, from original electro pioneers such as Gary Numan and the Human League to contemporary acts still in awe of the original Man Machines.
3.5 ‘Tomorrow Belongs To Those Who Can Hear It Coming’
It wasn’t just young would-be musicians who were listening either. The old guard were listening too. In 1975, modern music’s most important icon, David Bowie, was listening hard to Kraftwerk. Receiving an endorsement from Bowie, at the time the most innovative and critically lauded rock star on the planet, was a big deal. It’s hard now to imagine how influential David Bowie was in the seventies and early eighties. Far and away the most sought after interviewee by the UK music press, his every move was scrutinised, his every word picked over by an adoring audience.
Not that 1975 was personally a good year for Bowie. Commercially, he had never been more popular. ‘Fame’, an unlikely collaboration with John Lennon, became his first US number one, and a re-released ‘Space Oddity’ from 1969 would top the UK charts later that autumn. But physically and emotionally, Bowie was a man of shellac, ready to shatter into pieces, addicted to cocaine and obsessed with the occult. However, amongst the nonsequiturs and ridiculous assertions in his interviews, Bowie was, once again, picking up on a massive shift within modern music. He felt that rock, as a statement, was over. His music of the time, dubbed by its creator ‘plastic soul’, was his first attempt to break free from rock cliché. His second attempt, more fully realised, and much more artistically successful, would be just around the corner. ‘Rock ’n’ roll certainly hasn’t fulfilled its original promise,’ he told Anthony O’Grady in August of that year. ‘The original aim of rock ’n’ roll when it first came out was to establish an alternative media speak voice for people who had neither the power nor advantage to infiltrate any other media or carry any weight, and cornily enough, people really needed rock ’n’ roll. And what we said was that we were only using rock ’n’ roll to express our vehement arguments against the conditions we find ourselves in, and we promise that we will do something to change the world from how it was. We will use rock ’n’ roll as a springboard.’ Bowie continues: ‘But it’s just become one more whirling deity, right? Going round that never-decreasing circle. And rock ’n’ roll is dead … It’s a toothless old woman. It’s really embarrassing.’