The Man Machine Original recording remastered, Import
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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'.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Back in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, while others were listening to Michael Jackson and so forth, I was listening to Kraftwerk! This 1978 album was always one of my favorites. Read morePublished 2 months ago by The Reviewer Formerly Known as Kurt Johnson
A must-have classic for any Kraftwerk fan, along with Autobahn and Computer World.Published 3 months ago by Rigby Reardon
Really a 2.5 rating. I was always hesitant to buy this album by oe of my favorite German bands. I like ALL their previous albums which are more experimental and 'prog' or... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Speedy
Came across this album and loved it! Decided to buy it and listen to it on the go. Way ahead of its time!Published 9 months ago by Spirit12
My favorite Kraftwerk album along with Computer World. My favorite in this album is Space Lab. Basically every single piece in this album is amazing, unlike Radioactivity and Tour... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Lu Dongyi
The peak of Kraftwerk was probably between 1974 and 1981, this album was released in 1978, and was among their best. Read more
Groundbreaking album. Every song, every bit of synth innovation, arrangement raised the bar high. Their classic.Published 12 months ago by Richard L. Filaccio