August 26, 2011 Playlist

"Kraftwerk" by Kraftwerk (1970)
Kraftwerk  "Kraftwerk"  1970 (Germany)
Fröhliche Geburtstag Ralf Hütter!  The founder and leader of Kraftwerk turned 65 years old on August 20th.  Our Classic Album this week is the debut by Germany's most important band, "The Beatles of electronic pop", although they originally started out as a much more experimental art-music group.  From the start, the group really centered around Hütter and his longtime musical partner Florian Schneider-Esleben (who quit Kraftwerk in 2008 after co-piloting the group for an astounding thirty-eight years).  Aside from the addition of drummers on this first LP (Andreas Hohmann on side one, Klaus Dinger on side two), Ralf & Florian played all the instruments on their first three albums as Kraftwerk.  From their breakthrough fourth album Autobahn (1974) on, they have always presented the project as a quartet, although some of the "third and fourth" members of the group seem to have had very limited musical roles (though it's never been entirely clear who does what -- part of the magic of Kraftwerk is you can't tell where the humans end and the machines begin.  Kraftwerk is really a cybernetic organism, in other words;  which is exactly what they meant when they titled their 1978 album The Man-Machine.)
Here's a clip of Kraftwerk playing the leadoff track from their debut album "Ruckzuck", and a rare TV appearance by the short-lived Hütter-less trio lineup live in 1971 (Ralf allegedly quit for a few months to finish his college degree!)  The two guys who had joined Florian (Klaus Dinger & Michael Rother) later founded Düsseldorf's other legendary krautrockgruppe, NEU!  A few years later Kraftwerk broke through globally with their pioneering electronic pop music -- here's "Autobahn" on American TV in 1975 and "Pocket Calculator" on Italian TV in 1981.
Some other notable birthdays this week include living legends Van Morrison (Aug 31), Rob Halford (Aug 25) and er, Gene Simmons (also Aug 25).  And the birthday parade continues with several legends who are no longer among the living:  super-drummer Keith Moon (Aug 23), guitar terrorist Sonny Sharrock (Aug 27), and two of the 20th century's most revolutionary musical figures:  Charlie Parker (Aug 29), who rewrote the rules of Jazz after WWII; and Karlheinz Stockhausen (Aug 22), who was the grandfather of electronic and "psychedelic" music.
(N) = New Release
Artist Song Album Year (label) Country
KISS Almost Human Love Gun 1977 USA
KISS Calling Dr. Love Rock And Rollover 1976 USA
Sonny Sharrock Cinnamon Ghost Space Ghost Coast To Coast (original soundtrack) 1994 USA
Judas Priest Metal Meltdown Painkiller 1990 UK
The Who The Ox The Who Sings My Generation 1966 UK
Sonny Sharrock Rocket #99 Space Ghost Coast To Coast (original soundtrack) 1994 USA
The Who Cobwebs & Strange Happy Jack (A Quick One) 1967 UK
Kraftwerk Ruckzuck Kraftwerk
1970 Germany
Kraftwerk Stratovarius Kraftwerk
1970 Germany
Organisation Milk Rock Tone Float 1970 Germany
Kraftwerk Die Mensch-Maschine Die Mensch-Maschine (German version of The Man-Machine) 1978 Germany
Battles with Gary Numan My Machines Gloss Drop (N) 2011 (Warp) USA
Moonface Shit-Hawk In The Snow Organ Music Not Vibraphone Like I'd Hoped (N) 2011 (Jagjaguwar) Canada (Quebec)
Moon Duo
Run Around Mazes (N) 2011 (Sacred Bones) USA
Grails All The Colors Of The Dark Deep Politics (N) 2011 (Temporary Residence) USA
The Hanna Barbarians 13 Syzygy (N) 2011 (self release) USA
Baby Woodrose Christine Love Comes Down (N) 2011 (Bad Afro) Denmark
Scorpio Hey Joe Lost Souls Vol. 3: Arkansas Garage Psychedelic Rock 1963-1971 (N - various artists) rec. 1960's (2011 Psych Of The South) USA
The War On Drugs The Animator
   / Come To The City
Slave Ambient (N) 2011 (Secretly Canadian) USA
Solus 3
Tricked By A Monster Forthcoming second album rough mixes (N) 2011 (provided by artist) UK
Akira Ishikawa & Count Buffalos Pygmy Uganda 1972 Japan
Charlie Parker Relaxin' At Camarillo The Legendary Dial Masters (compilation) rec. 1947 USA
Steely Dan Parker's Band Pretzel Logic 1974 USA
Charlie Parker Now's The Time The Essential Charlie Parker (compilation of Verve recordings) rec. 1954 USA
Karlheinz Stockhausen Kontakte Gesang Der Jünglinge / Kontakte rec. 1958-60, rel. 1968 Germany
Van Morrison Call Me Up In Dream Land His Band And The Street Choir 1970 UK (Northern Ireland)
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