Who and/or what are Kraftwerk?


Many bands of the 1980’s, 1990’s and onwards attribute their success to the influence of Kraftwerk, from New Romantics and Hip-Hop to Techno. Groups such as Human League, Depeche Mode & OMD claim Kraftwerk as an inspiration and performers such as Gary Newman claim to be admirers. Past legends David Bowie and Michael Jackson also held Kraftwerk in the highest regards.


Principal members Florian Schneider and Ralf Hütter first met while studying in Dusseldorf. Since then the group have seen lots of people come and go. Ralf is the only remaining founding member. From 1974 -1989 the group consisted of Ralf Hütter, Florian Schneider, Karl Bartos and  Wolfgang Flür and many observers now refer this setup as the “Classic line up”.


2023 – Today
Ralf Hütter, Henning Schmitz, Falk Grieffenhagen, Georg Bongartz.

2012 – 2022
Ralf Hütter, Henning Schmitz, Fritz Hilpert, Falk Grieffenhagen.

2008 – 2012
Ralf Hütter, Fritz Hilpert, Henning Schmitz, Stefan Pfaffe

1991 – 2008
Ralf Hütter, Florian Schneider, Fritz Hilpert, Henning Schmitz

Ralf Hütter, Florian Schneider, Fritz Hilpert, Fernando Abrantes

Ralf Hütter, Florian Schneider, Karl Bartos, Fritz Hilpert

1974 -1989
Ralf Hütter, Florian Schneider, Karl Bartos, Wolfgang Flür

1973 – 1974
Ralf Hütter, Florian Schneider, Klaus Röder, Wolfgang Flür

1970 – 1973
Ralf Hütter, Florian Schneider
Andreas Hohmann, Charly Weiss, Eberhard Kranemann,
Houschang Nejadepour, Klaus Dinger, Michael Röther,
Peter Schmidt, Thomas Lohmann, Plato Kostic, Emil Schult

Catalogue LP's Large


In all, Kraftwerk have released 11 albums, and a further 4 that are either live or remastered versions. Not a lot for a career spanning more than 50 years.


The sparseness of material has always been a bugbear to Kraftwerk fans throughout the world. But, for me at least, it is what a fan should expect. However, I do not think that there has been one release that not met peoples expectations. And this, I think, is the reason why there has not been more. Kraftwerk, when they first started out, were way “ahead of their time”, but since those initial endeavours the technology that they had almost exclusively are now available to just about everyone.


The albums to listen to? All of them, and in the order of creation. But if you want a snap shot of the type of music they produce these days, take a dip into The Mix


Album Releases
1970 Kraftwerk
1971 Kraftwerk 2
1973 Ralf & Florian
1974 Autobahn
1975 Radioactivity
1977 Trans Europe Express
1978 The Man Machine
1981 Computer World
1986 Electric Cafe
1991 The Mix
2003 Tour de France Soundtracks
2005 Minimum Maximum (Live Recording)
2009 The Catalogue (Digital Remastering of the studio Albums)
2017 3D The Catalogue (Live Recording)
2020 Colour Release (Colour Vinyl versions of 2009 Digital Remastering of the studio Albums)


Kraftwerk have always taken a different approach to their live performances. Since the 70’s the have leaned towards an audio – visual performance with minimal interaction with their audiences.


In the 80’s, Kraftwerk packed up their studio, “Kling Klang”, and brought it with them on an extensive tour. Back then they incorporated their own videos and they were projected onto large TV screens. The screen being especially imported from Japan and great expense.


Throughout the years Kraftwerks stage set up has become a lot more minimal. These days their performances see them standing behind lit pedestals apparently hardly moving. Behind them huge 3D graphics re-enforce the music being played. And yes, in some venues even the sound is in 3D.

Kraftwerk Gossip?

Do you know something interesting about Kraftwerk, then please let me know. Alternatively leave a comment below.

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