50 Tunes For 50 Years: Kraftwerk

If you grew up in the 1970s you soon appreciated the importance of closing your eyes and escaping to another world. The clash of floral wallpapers, candlewick soft furnishings and cheesecloth tablecloths, Hornsea crockery and gaudy patterned carpets (in the regulation shades of brown demanded by the decade) ensured it was an essential activity, saving your optics from the visual overload. An eye survival lesson I learnt early when in 1974 my mother placed Kraftwerk’s single Autobahn on our hallowed Garrad deck in the front room. Placing me dead centre between two Wharfdale speakers she issued the strict instructions to shut my eyes and listen. Just listen. Yes we may not of have had much money and the telly may have been rented from the Radio Rentals man but she had her priorities sorted. A right proper soundsystem, right at the centre of our home.The hallowed deck that started my love affair with vinyl

And there it began, right on there on that 1970s front room dodgy carpet, my love affair with the world of stereophonic electronic sound. A carefully crafted sound that was Kraftwerk’s Autobahn. Add the terrifying B-side Kometenmelodie 1 and the mind-boggling adventures of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of The Moon she accosted my ears with and my path was set. Forever destined to escape into the soundscape at any chance I got, forever in love with the sonic trips between one speaker and the next as those electronically imagined autos accompanied me along life’s straßen. I mean what else do you want to sing as you head up Pole Barn Lane to school each morning than “fahr’n fahr’n fahr’n auf der Autobahn“. Just like my childhood hero Mr Toad, I was riding to happiness. One beep beep at a time.

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