Kraftwerk are a German electronic band that was initially active as a recording unit during the 1970s and early ’80s. Between 1970 and 1974, the band released four albums on Philips, followed by three further albums on Kling Klang/Capitol during the second half of the decade.

Members: Ralf Hütter (electronics, keyboards, vocals, percussion, guitar, 1970-71, 1971-present), Florian Schneider (electronics, keyboards, woodwinds, vocals, percussion, guitar, 1970-2008), Houschäng Nejadépour (guitar, 1970-71), Peter Schmidt (drums, 1970), Charly Weiss (drums, 1970), Thomas Lohmann (drums, 1970), Andreas Hohmann (drums, 1970), Eberhard Kranemann (bass, 1970-71), Klaus Dinger (drums, 1970-71), Michael Rother (guitar, electric violin, 1971), Plato Kostic (bass, 1973), Emil Schult (guitar, electric violin, 1973), Wolfgang Flür (electronic percussion, 1973-87), Klaus Röder (electric violin, guitar, 1974), Karl Bartos (electronic percussion, vocals, keyboards, 1975-91)

Kraftwerk formed in 1970 through a musical partnership between musicians Ralf Hütter (b. 1946) and Florian Schneider (1947–2020). They met in 1968 as music students at Düsseldorf’s Robert Schumann Hochschule.

Schneider first recorded in the avant/free-psych band Pissoff with musician Eberhard Kranemann. One show at Düsseldorf’s Creamcheese Club was captured for posterity, as documented on the CDr Creamcheese Duesseldorf 1968, issued 41 years after the fact by Kunsthaus Boltenberg. (Kranemann later cut an album as Fritz Müller.)

In 1969, Schneider (on organ) and Hütter (on flute) formed Organization with bassist Butch Hauf and percussionists Fred Monicks and Basil Hammoudi. Their singular album, Tone Float, appeared in August 1970 on RCA Victor. It features five free-psych pieces, including the 20-minute title-track that consumes side one. The album was engineered by Conny Plank, who would co-produce the first four Kraftwerk albums.

Just as Tone Float hit the shelves, Organization splintered with Hammoudi going on to play with Ibliss. Schneider and Hütter formed Kraftwerk. Their first album was recorded July–September 1970 and released that December.


  • Kraftwerk (1970)
  • Kraftwerk 2 (1972)
  • Ralf & Florian (1973)
  • Autobahn (1974)
  • Radio-Aktivität (1975)
  • Trans Europa Express (1977)
  • Die Mensch-Maschine (1978)
  • Computerwelt (1981)
  • Tour de France (EP, 1983)
  • Electric Café (1986)


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