Kling Klang rundfunk


Kraftwerk on film and video, courtesy of recent uploads at the Internet Archive. These are mainly promotional clips, together with a few choice TV appearances. I’ve never liked music videos very much, even ones made for music that I enjoy a great deal, but I’m always curious to see how Kraftwerk portrayed themselves at different stages of their career, especially the early years when they were still tuning the group persona. I’m fairly sure I hadn’t seen the videos for Radioactivity and Antenna before, while some of the later videos are present in two or more versions. The quality is variable but that’s how things go with this group; everything from 1970 to 73 is treated like a period that never happened, while the years from 1974 to 1981 have been subject to continual revision. Kraftwerk is unique in being a very popular group that buries or reworks much of its own history, record covers included, leaving us with a trail of deleted or neglected “produkt” that ends up circulating secondhand or in bootleg form. A couple of these promo videos have been attached to CD singles but only a small portion of this material has been recycled into the official catalogue as it stands today.

Winter Soest (1970)


The group in their rock-freakout period playing to an audience of bored/bewildered/enthusiastic German hippies. With Klaus Dinger on drums and Ralf playing some kind of portable keyboard. Spot the leitkegel.

Pop2 (1973)


Pop2 was French TV’s equivalent of Germany’s Beat Club and the BBC’s Old Grey Whistle Test. This clip is from a programme devoted to “Kosmische” German music which also featured Tangerine Dream, Guru Guru, Klaus Schulze, and (in conversation) comic artist Philippe Druillet. The music here is very much in the melodic mode of the third album, Ralf & Florian. This is also about the last time you see Ralf wearing his leather jacket. The spectacles didn’t remain for long either.

Radioactivity (1975)


Antenna (1975)


Trans Europe Express (1976)


In which the quartet board the experimental Schienenzeppelin train for a journey through miniature cities and landscapes.

Showroom Dummies (1976)


Die Roboter (1978)


Neon Lights (1978)


Das Model (1981)


A video for the reissue of the group’s single from 1978, set to the German version of the song.

Tour De France (1983)


With colourised cycling footage and shots of the group’s members. The video below omits the group while leaving all the cycling footage in black-and-white.

Tour De France (1983)


Musique Non Stop (1986)


The Telephone Call (1986)


The Robots (1991)


The Robots (1991)


Expo 2000 (2000)


Previously on { feuilleton }
Reworking Kraftwerk (again)
German gear
Ralf and Florian
Reworking Kraftwerk
Autobahn animated
Sleeve craft
Who designed Vertigo #6360 620?
Old music and old technology
Aerodynamik by Kraftwerk

3 thoughts on “Kling Klang rundfunk”

  1. Many thanks for this post, I consider myself a mildly obsessive fan (heard Autobahn age 8, first saw them at 15 on the Computer World tour, caught the Manchester velodrome gig, my eldest adopted the name Florian, own all the box sets, etc., etc.), but hadn’t seen some of these. Lovely to see them laughing and smiling – and cycling!

    You wrote “only a small portion of this material has been recycled into the official catalogue as it stands today”, but actually quite a lot of it is included in one way or another: modified, tweaked, edited, honed – much like their music. (BTW I didn’t understand the 3-D Catalogue until I eventually heard the music in Spatial Audio via Apple’s AirPods Pro 2. When I did, it was absolutely ear opening and I’d recommend it to anyone puzzled by that, probably final, release.)

  2. I missed the Manchester concert, to my lasting regret. Wasn’t keen on the idea of a stadium gig, not realising how they’d reconfigured their show to suit larger venues.

    I like the 3-D collection, in fact I wish some of the discs were longer. It was great to hear so many minor pieces from the earlier albums being reworked afresh. That said, the 3-D version of The Mix is a strange thing, a reworking of a reworking… But it sounds great on my Sennheiser HD headphones.

  3. Thanks for this post. I have been a Kraftwerk fan since I first encountered the band way back in the dark ages.

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