3549-2 Computer World
Kling Klang Produkt
Released on May 1981
UK CHART POSITION #15 . . . US CHART POSITION #72
Find it at GEMM
3549-2 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

T he concept of the “personal computer” is taken to its logical extremes on Kraftwerk’s Computer World. The album is notable for a streamlined sound that placed added emphasis on beats and simple melodies, almost single-handedly writing the blueprint for the future of all club, dance and industrial music to follow. Strangely, in 1981 the band was already competing against their own legacy in the likes of Ultravox, Yellow Magic Orchestra and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. Computer World reminded us that the visionaries had not been standing still since 1978. They had been musing deep on electronic matters, taming electrons in preparation for a digital future, and the result was a clinical studio sound that had more science than art in it. It’s almost as though the personal computer justified everything that Kraftwerk had predicted, and the band now revelled in their role as the rightful leaders of the revolution. “It’s More Fun To Compute” could be seen as a slogan for a new age, one where computers supply all of our needs and serve their own big brotherly interests: communication (“Numbers”), personal power (“Pocket Calculator”), sex (“Computer Love”). Preposterous, I know. Their powers of prognostication aside, Kraftwerk advances on Computer World the notion that music can be reduced to bare elements: a simple message enforced through repetition, electronic beeps and blips, succint melodies invoked sparingly to engage emotion. Just as science had discovered that electric stimuli sent straight into the brain could supercede the senses and achieve the same reaction, Kraftwerk had discovered a way to do the same with digital sound, superceding the need for analog instruments or traditional “music.” In a sense, Computer World is the culmination of Kraftwerk. And then, like Hari Seldon, they disappeared again.

3549-2 back sleeve
3549-2 back sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. COMPUTER WORLD    (Music by Ralf Hutter/Karl Bartos, Lyrics by Ralf Hutter/Florian Schneider/Emil Schult)    5:06
  2. POCKET CALCULATOR    (Music by Ralf Hutter/Karl Bartos, Lyrics by Ralf Hutter/Emil Schult)    4:55
  3. NUMBERS    (Music by Ralf HUtter/Karl Bartos/Florian Schneider)    3:19
  4. COMPUTER WORLD..2    (Music by Ralf Hutter/Karl Bartos/Florian Schneider)    3:23
  5. COMPUTER LOVE    (Music by Ralf Hutter/Karl Bartos, Lyrics by Ralf Hutter/Emil Schult)    7:16
  6. HOME COMPUTER    (Music by Ralf Hutter/Florian Schneider/Karl Bartos, Lyrics by Florian Schneider)    6:19
  7. IT'S MORE FUN TO COMPUTE    (Music by Ralf Hutter/Florian Schneider/Karl Bartos)    4:14

CREDITS

KARL BARTOS --
WOLFGANG FLUR --
RALF HUTTER --
FLORIAN SCHNEIDER --

return to KRAFTWERK discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK May 1981 EMI LP EMC-3370 picture sleeve
US May 1981 Warner Bros. LP HS-3549 picture sleeve
CAN May 1981 Warner Bros. LP XHS-3549  
ITA 1981 EMI LP 3C 064-64370 picture sleeve
JPN 1981 EMI LP EMS-91030  
NET 1981 EMI LP 1A 062 64370  
GER/NET August 18, 1991 EMI CD 7476040  
UK   EMI CD 46130  
US   Elektra CD 3549  

 

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