Acclaimed Albums – The Man-Machine by Kraftwerk

List item: Listen to the 250 greatest albums
Progress: 191/250Title: Die Mensch Maschine/The Man Machine
Artist: Kraftwerk
Year: 1978
Position: #237

So today was a bit of a cool day at work. I am currently learning a new computer language and I managed to complete my first proper project a few weeks ahead of schedule.

I only mention this, because The Man Machine was the album playing when I was doing the bulk of the final work and the first track (‘The Robots’) was the song going through my head during the walk around the office that lead to my final epiphany. If the track ‘Movies’ by Weyes Blood has become the anthem of my getting a permanent position in a job I love, The Man Machine might well be the album that I now associate with one of my big coding breakthroughs. Weirdly apt seeing how Kraftwerk’s music always has that tinge of man and machine combined.

Now, it isn’t just just because of this epiphany that I say this (although it will help with some retrospective rose-tinted glasses), but this albums is really good. I really liked their other entry on the list (Trans-Europe Express) and this is the step-up that I both hoping for and got in spades.

For Trans-Europe Express I enjoyed the minimalism and got to listen to the beginnings of one of my favourite genres of music. It was also weird to hear because somehow it managed to sound very current – something which I have found again with The Man Machine.

Listening to The Man-Machine has only galvanised my respect for Kraftwerk all the more and has properly demonstrated to me just how they could be considered one of the most influential groups of all time. Some have said that they are second only to The Beatles… and I can’t say I disagree when you consider how wide their music has reached.

With The Man Machine they took what made Trans-Europe Express a landmark album and turned it into something you could actually dance to. Tracks like ‘Spacelab’ and ‘The Model’ feel like watershed moments where this was no longer just electronic music, but electropop. It’s a chilled, swaying sort of danceable electropop mind you. Still though, this is pretty major.

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