24 February 2012

Retro Video Unit (2/24/12)

Sometimes I get inspiration for these posts by looking through the artists and songs in my iTunes library. Today that led me to the title track from Kraftwerk's 1977 album Trans Europe Express.

This black-and-white clip predates the official music video era, but it's no surprise that the German electronic-music pioneers were creating visual accompaniments to their songs before most everyone else, as they were ahead of their time in pretty much every other way as well.

Remastered versions of the band's albums were reissued in 2009; I have this album and Autobahn, and they are well worth acquiring. Careful listening reveals how their influence has echoed through the ensuing decades in many different corners of music. In the most obvious example, the song's signature melody was used, albeit with its pitch and tempo altered, in the 1982 funk/hip-hop milestone "Planet Rock" by Afrika Bambaataa & Soul Sonic Force. See for yourself:

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