This enhanced "Kraftwerk-sequenzer" allowed precise control of voltages over a range of 10 octaves, eliminating the need for the time-consuming tuning of pitches; it also enabled the exact reproduction of complex or lengthy pre-determined patterns – such as the keyboard arpeggios in "Europe Endless" and "Franz Schubert" or the driving train-like rhythm of "Trans Europe Express" – at precisely measured clock speeds, combined with the ability to easily and quickly modify them. The instrument greatly improved Kraftwerk's recreation of their music in performance, whereas previously everything would have had to be played by hand.
Combined with further developments in their electronic percussion, the soundscape is unique compared to those of their contemporaries. The string sounds of the Vako Orchestron were also used liberally, and some impressive vocal vocoding is on display. The album's opening track, "Europe Endless", is a long romantic-nostalgic paean on European culture. The idea for the album was apparently born during a lunch meeting with journalist Paul Alessandrini at the restaurant Le Train Bleu, an opulent classically-styled space situated above Paris' Gare de Lyon railway station, the terminus for trains arriving from central Europe. Alessandrini was later acknowledged on the album's inner sleeve. The title track in particular was an impressive fusion of electronic percussion rhythms and very strong melody, tied together with a lyrical concept. The idea behind this track harks back to 1974's Autobahn, which recreated a journey on the German motorway network: "Trans-Europe Express" was intended to evoke a trip on one of the TEE rail services that were still operating at the time of its writing. The title song reached #96 in Canada.
: The track "Trans-Europe Express" segues seamlessly into "Metal on Metal", which begins with a percussive section then replays the theme of "Trans-Europe Express", making the whole a 13:32 piece. In the German edition, "Metal on Metal" was denoted as two tracks, "Abzug" being the title of the "Trans-Europa Express" theme reprise.
: The only track differentiating the French and English releases is Showroom Dummies, which is performed in French as "Les Mannequins".
The English language album was issued in a full colour cover, whereas the German album was issued in a monochrome cover with front and back cover images swapped around. The French release had the German style cover design, but with English typography. The French album has never been reissued on CD.
|Germany||March 1977||EMI-Electrola||Vinyl||1C 064-82 306||German||With poster|
|March 1977||EMI-Electrola||Cassette||1C 264-82 306||German|
|February 1986||EMI-Electrola||CD||CDP 564 7 46133 2||German|
|France||March 1977||Capitol Records||Vinyl||2C 068-82.306||English/French|
|March 1977||Capitol Records||Cassette||2C 066-82.306||English/French|
|1989||EMI||CD||CDP 7 46473 2||English|
|United Kingdom||April 1977||Capitol Records||Vinyl||E-ST 11603||English|
|April 1977||Capitol Records||Cassette||TC E-ST 11603||English|
|June 1987||EMI||CD||CDP 7 46473 2||English|
|United States||1977||Capitol Records||Vinyl||SW-11603||English|
|1977||Capitol Records||Cassette||SU 16301||English|
|1977||Capitol Records||8-track||8XW 11603||English|
|Capitol Records||CD||CDP 46473-2||English|
Rocking Good Reads; Music Books Aren't Just All about Sex and Drugs and Rock 'N' Roll. Emily Lambert Picks Those Currently Soundtracking Her Life
Aug 13, 2011; Byline: Emily Lambert No Direction Home: The Life and Music of Bob Dylan by Robert Shelton (Omnibus Press, pounds 19.95) Robert...