The original number one selection has dropped to number two. The initial holder of the sardonic title of “the most deserving band or artist who should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame who is currently not in”, may once again top our list despite being a band with limited commercial appeal; weak North American sales; are largely unknown to most people, did not speak English as their first language and quite frankly has a remote chance at best to receive induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. These German innovators may define best the Rock and Roll HOF’s induction criteria, which includes “the influence and significance of the artists’ contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll”. Wait, why did they drop from the top slot again?
Emerging from the experimental “Krautrock” scene of the early 1970’s Kraftwerk embraced electronic manipulation like no other band had before. The traditional Rock and Roll standards of guitars, drums and a bombastic front man were eschewed for synthesizers and drum machines. With the release of 1974’s Autobahn, the Kraftwerk sound really took shape and caused the music world to take notice. Their minimalistic arrangements combined with a self described “Robot Pop” sound had no other peer. They created a sound so blatantly artificial yet rooted in such a way that it seemed “natural”. Their pioneering sound was the ground zero for many genres that followed. New Wave, Techno, House and Hip Hop can all be traced back to their work. Musical giants like David Bowie (The Berlin Trilogy), Iggy Pop and Afrika Bambaataa have all cited them as a major influence and to this day they are the most sampled band in music. Bottom line is this: chances are that if you were an artist that incorporated any electronic element in your sound, you owe a great debt to Kraftwerk.
The Bullet Points:
Country of Origin:
Why They Will Get In:
A group considered as innovative as they were should get some attention from the voters.
Why They Won’t Get In:
They could be too “European” for American voters. Their greatest success happened on the other side of the Atlantic.
Trans Europe Express (1977)
The Man Machine (1978)
Computer World (1981)
Our Five Favorite Songs as Chosen by Each Member of the NIHOF Committee:
Autobahn (From Autobahn, 1974)
Trans Europe Express (From Trans Europe Express, 1977)
Das Model (From The Man Machine, 1978)
The Robots (From The Man Machine, 1978)
Tour de France (Single, 1983)