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  • The Man Machine
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The Man Machine Original recording remastered, Import

90 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, Import, September 26, 1995
$21.79 $3.96

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Import pressing of their 1978 album that features the same 6 tracks as their out of print US version. EMI.

The album on which Kraftwerk got serious about their legacy of fusing human flesh and the technology it has inspired into an indistinguishable whole, Man-Machine also ironically embodies some of the band's most endearing contradictions. The case is stated up front with the techno classic "The Robots." The journey continues to worlds both utopian ("Spacelab") and dystopian ("Metropolis"). Then it segues into a bona fide, hook-laden dance track ("The Model," perhaps inspired by the club success that Kraftwerk's previous album, Trans-Europe Express, experienced at the hands of enterprising early mixmaster DJs). There's also a downright sentimental cityscape, "Neon Lights." But lest anyone think that Schneider, Hutter, and company are too human, they wrap up the proceedings with the robotic dance-groove of the title track, inspiring dizzy listeners to ponder: Kraftwerk--men or machines? --Jerry McCulley

1. The Robots
2. Spacelab
3. Metropolis
4. The Model
5. Neon Lights
6. The Man-Machine

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 26, 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered, Import
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B000007R1M
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #207,769 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Asterion on October 9, 2001
Format: Audio CD
1978's 'The Man Machine' is Kraftwerk's most focused, and strongest album to date. Although short, clocking in at just over thirty minutes, the six tracks that comprise 'The Man Machine' are of high quality and filler-free. The album can easily be listened to straight through several times without boring the listener.
The album kicks off powerfully with 'The Robots'. It's pulsating bassline, machine-like rhythms and heavily processed vocals set the tone for the rest of the album. I actually prefer this version of 'The Robots' to the one on Kraftwerk's 1991 release 'The Mix'. I find 'The Man Machine' version to be a lot more robotic than 'The Mix''s more human, organic reworking.
Next is the first of the two almost completely instrumental tracks on `The Man Machine', `Spacelab'. `Spacelab''s weightless, dreamy synth lines say more to the listener than any vocals could ever describe. The only vocals that enter the mix are the vocoded words "Space-lab". A very relaxing, beautiful track.
Third up is the other vocally minimal track on the album, the dystopian `Metropolis'. This track is the most ominous of all of the tracks on `The Man Machine', perhaps the most ominous of all of Kraftwerk's songs (`Radioactivity' would be a close second). Likely drawing from Fritz Lang's 1926 masterpiece of the same title, `Metropolis' invokes the listener with the feeling that this futuristic city may not be the utopia we would all like it to be.
`The Model', the album's fourth track is a strange, somewhat poppy, but very catchy song. The lyrics are very simple and the synth sounds are very dated, but that is what is so charming about this song. "Charming" could very easily describe the appeal of all of Kraftwerk's work, as a matter of fact.
`Neon Lights'.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Manny Hernandez HALL OF FAME on August 7, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I ran into a copy of this album, by Kraftwerk while dropping by the library yesterday. I hadn't heard their work before. I was very impressed. Big names from the late seventies/early eighties, like Tangerine Dream, Jean-Michel Jarre and the whole Gary Numan-Depeche Mode-wave come to mind. These guys really set a standard in the seventies! Very interesting material. Worth listening to attentively.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Hedgehog on December 28, 2009
Format: Audio CD
"The Man Machine" was my first exposure to Kraftwerk back in the late 70's, and in the remaster, the work sounds that much better. Nice to see it raised on such a pedestal. Although I have the original vinyl, I haven't compared the two side-by-side, but the remaster is powerful, clear and clean, which does the music great justice. There is so much clean detail - like the subtle breathiness of the single-word vocal in "Spacelab", or the clean staccato beat at the start of "The Man Machine", and the detail of the sounds in it.

Not having the direct comparison of new to old, I'll stick to the tracks, which are especially informative when comparing to Kraftwerk's "Computer World" (1981) - very different compilations. "The Man Machine" is like a "working man's" (actually, "working robots") compilation compared to "Computer World". If you liked the latter, you'll like this even better if you like simplicity. "The Man Machine" is analogous to the imaginative liner notes (actually photos), which show the four Kraftwerk mannequins going off to a day of work (arriving promptly at 7:59 to their recording studio). It's practical and hard-hitting in most spots, interleaved with the "experiences" of the day. Brilliant - and so much different than the also brilliant "Computer World". You will not find anything like "Numbers" or "It's More Fun to Compute" (from the latter CD) here. In comparison, "The Man Machine" world is quaint and familiar, rather than being edgy.

Track 1 (The Robots) "We are programmed just to do, anything you want us to". The PERFECT intro to this compilation. The track just brilliantly gives the feeling of marching forward, somewhat in a plodding but well-defined way that you might imagine a robot would do.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By The Spastic Fantastic Mighty House Cat on June 3, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Kraftwerk's 1978 album, "The Man Machine" is art. The German electronic quartet of Ralf Hutter, Wolfgang Flur, Karl Bartos, and Florian Schneider have impressed me with this six-song piece of pleasure. It's material like theirs that get me to buy more of their music. All six tracks are sweet.

Track one is "The Robots." This song includes a singing robot. Just for having robotic vocals (which I can't get enough of) this automatically becomes an enjoyable tune of mine. I also like the electric percussion in the song. "Spacelab" is track two on the album. It's very mysterious sounding. I feel as if I'm in a space station, all alone, lightyears from everything else in the galaxy. Next, there's track three, "Metropolis." It starts out slow with percussion that sounds like drops of water and long notes. The bass comes in and the percussion changes after that. The vocalists sing out "Meeeeetroooooopoliiiiiis" in the song. "The Model, track four, is my favorite song on the CD. It's also the shortest of all the six tunes found on this disc at 3:42. The song's about a supermodel woman whose beauty and charm led her to fame and popularity. Track five, "Neon Lights" is nine minutes long. It's the longest track in the album. The lyrics for the song are "Neon lights, shimmering neon lights, and at the fall of night, the city's made of light." They're only heard in the first half of the song. The second half contains psychadelic sounding synthesizers. The final track is "The Man Machine." This track includes singing robots, different from "The Robots." This is a very nice tune, a good song to finish off the album.

All six tracks are great. This CD has "genius" written all over. I could listen to it the whole way through whenever I'm in the mood, and I get into that mood quite often. I'm glad there's a music group like this.
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