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Radio-Activity Original recording remastered, Import


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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, Import, September 26, 1995
$24.00 $2.25

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Music

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Biography

During the mid-’70s, Germany’s Kraftwerk established the sonic blueprint followed by an extraordinary number of artists in the decades to come. From the British new romantic movement to hip-hop to techno, the group’s self-described “robot pop” — hypnotically minimal, obliquely rhythmic music performed solely via electronic means — resonates in ... Read more in Amazon's Kraftwerk Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 26, 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered, Import
  • Label: Emd Int'l
  • ASIN: B00000DQT0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #183,838 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Geiger Counter
2. Radioactivity
3. Radioland
4. Airwaves
5. Intermission
6. News
7. The Voice Of Energy
8. Antenna
9. Radio Stars
10. Uranium
11. Transistor
12. Ohm Sweet Ohm

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Kraftwerk built upon the international success of Autobahn by expanding their conceptual conceits to an album-length exploration of radio waves (and the band's other favorite wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum). Musically, the album represents a quantum leap of pop sensibility; though still distinctly a "prog" soundscape, its brilliant melodic hooks (best represented by the title track and "Airwaves") are organized in more traditional--read shorter--form. In tracks such as the minimalist audio-verite "News," Kraftwerk pay homage to another of their musical influences, the great modern composer/theorist Karlheinz Stockhausen. "Antenna" foreshadows the techno-gods they became, with its electronic washes and clever less-is-too-much lyrics, which read, in total: "I'm the antenna catching vibrations; you're the transmitter, give information!" Radio-Activity is an underrated masterpiece waiting to be rediscovered. --Jerry McCulley

Product Description

Import pressing of their 1975 album that features the same 12 tracks as their out of print US version. EMI.

Customer Reviews

The sounds are sharp, the noises just fill the room and create a very good atmosphere.
Brain Buff
Songs like Antenna and Ohm Sweet Ohm with their beautiful melodic hooks are as accessible and addictive as their huge hit Autobahn.
Pieter Uys
While this may have sounded a little corny when it was recorded, time has been good to this album (from 1975).
Steve Wainstead

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By D. K. Malone on April 10, 2002
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
When the name "Kraftwerk" is mentioned, I think what usually comes to most people's minds are "Tour de France" or "Computer World." I don't think I've ever heard anyone even mention this one. I grew up with a few Kraftwerk records, but I never heard Radio-Activity until relatively recently. This is a shame. I tend to think of their music as generally angular, sharp, cold, etc. Therefore I was surprised to hear so much warmth in this album (though the overall sound isn't THAT different... it's still unmistakably Kraftwerk.) It's probably their most "human" sounding album, for lack of a less ironic term. It's actually soulful. You can hear the genuine affection and romantic notions they clearly had for radio in all of its aspects. This is definitely my favorite Kraftwerk album and I insist that anyone who is even remotely interested in them gives it a try.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By dot-B-dot-B on August 3, 2003
Format: Audio CD
For whatever reason, when critics list the important albums in rock history, this relatively obscure little album by Kraftwerk is rarely (if ever) mentioned. Even in the context of the band's own canon, this album is often overlooked, most likely because it is overshadowed by the album the preceded it ("Autobahn" which was an unexpected worldwide hit) and the one that followed ("Trans-Europe Express" which was championed quite vocally by David Bowie and the music press in general.) It is this album though that was the real breakthrough. Originally released in 1975, here was the sound that would come to define pop music of the 1980's arriving fully formed and beautifully complete 5 years before the fact.
For this album, Kraftwerk has found the perfect balance of hardcore electro minimalism (the album's opening track "Geiger Counter" is 60 seconds of electronic pops and clicks - hence the title) and fully realized songs complete with gorgeous melodies and arrangements sounding like nothing that had come before or since (some of these songs are the most beautiful this band would ever record.)
The music contained on this CD is timeless. Unlike the worst of 80's synth music (i.e. the majority of it) this album sounds still sounds remarkably vibrant. The structure of brief vignettes coupled with more developed proto-techno workouts calls to mind the recent work of Scotland's Boards of Canada. This is the closest Kraftwerk ever came to perfection on record. If you have somehow managed to never hear this amazing album do yourself a favor and give it a play.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By David Greenwood on August 21, 2002
Format: Audio CD
The first time I heard Radio-Activity, it annoyed the heck out of me, I suppose because I was too busy waiting for something to happen. But the next morning, I woke up with an urge to listen to it again, and suddenly loved it. Since then, I've been hooked. Out of Kraftwerk's albums, this one is bar none my favorite (with Autobahn close behind).
Radio-Activity is a concept album, and like most of the band's albums, it seems divided among two themes. One is a love of radio and communication. The other is a commentary on mankind's embracing of technology, especially radioactive energy (i.e. nuclear plants).
Those only familiar with Kraftwerk's dancier material will be caught off guard, as there really aren't any danceable beats to be found here. It's a very slow album, sparse and calm, with not much going on most of the time. Most tracks have a simple, soothing backdrop with a repeating melody, and a lot of random radio noises, geiger counters, and whatever else they threw in there. But there are downright beautiful melodies at the core of this album, and they will stay with you long after the initial listen.
And if you choose to think more carefully about the album's "concepts", it's even better. The title track sums up both themes succinctly, likely one of the most powerful tracks Kraftwerk has ever recorded. "Radioland" takes us on a random, soothing tour through the airwaves ("Turn the dials with your hand / Till you find the shortwave band"). "Airwaves" shows random static and beeps coming together into what resembles a song ("When airwaves swing, distant voices sing"). Then a brief newsbreak discusses nuclear power plants opening around the world.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey J.Park VINE VOICE on April 3, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Kraftwerk's 1975 album Radio-Activity (this is the English language version), is apparently a concept album exploring the theme of radio communication. Interestingly, there is a staccato Morse code sound on the album that reminded me somewhat of the introduction to Astronomy Domine (Pink Floyd, 1967). Given the huge influence of 1960's Pink Floyd on the German electronic scene, this really does not come as a surprise. In general, this is a great Kraftwerk album and is a bit gloomier sounding than their famous Autobahn album (1974).

The lineup on Radio Activity included Ralf Hütter (vocals, electronic sound, drums, synthesizers, voice); Florian Schneider (vocals, electronic sound, drums, synthesizers, voice); Karl Bartos (electronic percussion); and Wolfgang Flür (electronic percussion). Although the liner notes do not say anything about instrumentation I was able to dig up the following "internet factoids" regarding equipment use on the album: (1) Ralf Hütter sings through a Roland RE-201 Space Echo on the song Antenna; (2) a military speech synthesizer, based on creating phonemes, was used on Radioland; and (3) In addition to the usual keyboard instruments (e.g. minimoog; ARP Odyssey; EMS Synthi A; and Farfisa electronic piano on "Transistor"), the Vako Orchestron (not a mellotron) was used to provide the warm choir sounds. For those of you that are curious (like me), the Orchestron was an analogue sampling instrument that used optical disks (rather than tapes) to store the sounds of real voices and orchestral instruments (e.g. choir, string and organ sounds).
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