Kraftwerk are one of the most important and influential bands of all time, the most influential for us, and yet they have yet to be recognized by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This is something of a travesty, especially when you consider some of the acts which have actually been inducted into this who’s who of rock and roll fame, Janet Jackson we’re looking at you. Kraftwerk have so many reasons as to why they simply must be inducted into this list and here are just 5 of them.
Electronic music is currently everywhere and it has split into so many different forms that often the only thing in common with each variation is the fact that it uses electronics. From small time bands using crazy synths with computer game and online casino sound effects to the industry headliners like Skrillex and Daft Punk who utilize all forms of samples and digital production to create hit songs, there is also something beyond electronics which they have in common, and that is Kraftwerk. The German outfit set the tone for all of these artists and each of their musical styles can be traced back to the band.
In the decades following the Second World War and the ensuing division which followed, Germany wasn’t always the most popular nation. Kraftwerk could easily have hidden their roots and allowed their music do the talking but they chose not to, instead they decided to name albums such as Autobahn, and provide their songs with lyrics in both German and English. If we are talking about inspiration and setting an example, the way that Kraftwerk embraced their roots is something which falls into both these categories.
Kraftwerk were never a band who followed suit, they were always at the very front of new sounds and new ways of working and they pioneered so many different sounds and techniques. If we chart their progress throughout their career we can see so many different changes to their sound and their production methods, using techniques which nobody had considered before and which everyone now uses such as the vocoder and the electronic drums which they created.
When Kraftwerk were at the peak of their powers they very often shunned the spotlight, they were all about the music and the fame side of things rarely affected them. If the spirit of rock and roll is about the music and the package, Kraftwerk completed the full set. Their anonymity meant that they didn’t have to worry about the trappings of fame and it also added a mystery and an allure to how they went about their business.
The biggest travesty here is not that Kraftwerk don’t have a place in the Hall of Fame, but rather that they have been recognized and nominated on 2 separate occasions, and each time they were refused, who knows why this insane panel of judges decided this. They should already be in this list and whenever they are put up for nomination there shouldn’t even be a question as to whether or not they get the nod.
Hopefully in the coming year we will see the committee come to their senses and induct Kraftwerk into the prestigious list.