Kraftwerk Inducted Into Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame has announced that seminal electronic pop band Kraftwerk is one of its inductees for 2021.

The inductees for the band are the classic lineup of Karl Bartos, Wolfgang Flür, Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider.

Here’s what the Hall Of Fame has to say about the group:

Kraftwerk are the foundation upon which all synthesizer-based rock and electronic dance music is built.

Founded in Düsseldorf in 1970 by the band’s two core members, Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider, the group was part of a new wave of musicians in Germany collectively referred to as “Kosmische Musik” (cosmic music), exploring the intersection of rock & roll and the avant-garde.

Their first three albums capture the sound of an experimental proto-punk jam band riffing on Hawkwind and the Velvet Underground, but their fourth album Autobahn (1974) – created with producer Konrad “Conny” Plank – established the beginning of something new. The 22-minute title track combined the influences of the Beach Boys and Karlheinz Stockhausen into an electronic musical odyssey. It also represented a miraculous use of technology through the amalgamation of Moog synthesizers, multitrack recording, and traditional instrumentation.

Kraftwerk’s 1977 album Trans-Europe Express completed their transformation into a synthesized quartet, featuring some of the funkiest grooves and vocoder melodies ever put on wax. New York City’s burgeoning hip-hop community quickly latched on to the album, and DJ Afrika Bambaataa based his track “Planet Rock” (1982) on Kraftwerk’s beats.

The following years secured Kraftwerk’s place as both musical innovators and master songwriters.

The albums The Man-Machine (1978), Computer World (1981) and Electric Café (1986) established the blueprint for modern electronic music – without them it simply would not exist. Kraftwerk have been sampled widely, from New Order’s use of “Uranium” in their masterpiece “Blue Monday,” to artists as varied as Jay-Z, Sunshine, and Coldplay. The band’s influence can be heard in the synth-pop of Depeche Mode, the electronic-rock integration of U2, the production techniques of Kanye West, and in countless EDM and dubstep artists.

Kraftwerk are entirely unique – they have produced Number One chart success with their song “The Model” and were invited to perform at MOMA and the Tate Modern for their contributions to avant-garde art. Kraftwerk have been, and will always be, “Music Non-Stop.”

Kraftwerk is being recognized with an Early Influence Award, along with Charley Patton & Gil Scott-Heron. Other 2021 inductees include Tina Turner, Jay-Z, Foo Fighters & Todd Rundgren.

To be eligible, artists are required to have released their first record 25 years prior to induction. The 36th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place on Saturday, October 30, 2021 at 8 p.m. ET.

45 thoughts on “Kraftwerk Inducted Into Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

  1. Oh sheesh!

    I’d paste in my hilarious snarky comments from when this absurd outcome was first proposed, but, meh.

    Next year they should induct Yanni and Tomita!

  2. It is about effing time! This should have been done decades ago. Nonetheless, I am thrilled to pieces that they are finally being inducted now. It’s just a shame that Florian Schneider isn’t here anymore to finally be recognized.

  3. I don’t get why people still think this is an honor in any way. Inductees are chosen by a small group of mostly non-musicians in a voluntarily intransparent procedure, obviously following commercial interests. And the percentage of woman inductees is a whooping 8.5%.

      1. Well, apparently gender has something to do with the chances of getting inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Or do you think there are actually more women in there and they have accidentally defined them as men?

        1. Things weren’t exactly equitable a few decades ago. If you look at the 1985 Billboard Top 100 singles chart, only 15 of the 100 acts had a female (and she was usually the singer). That makes it incredibly challenging to nominate people based on their decades-long careers and expect an equitable 50/50 gender split.

    1. If it’s “obviously following commercial interests”, how does that somehow explain Kraftwerk getting in? Or Charley Patton or Gil Scott-Heron?

      That makes no sense. Kraftwerk was essentially a one-hit wonder in the US, with Autobahn close to 50 years ago.

    1. I agree, there isn’t an atom of meaning in it: they pick whatever they want, leaving out a lot of equally great artists (especially those who actually fall into the definition of “rock”).

    2. i was going to say, it was my understanding that Kraftwerk is acutally transcending Rock n Roll … this is like inducing Tesla in the Diesel engines hall of fame.

  4. When Dylan was given the Nobel, the press went to Leonard Cohen for comment. Cohen laughed and said, “You don’t pin a blue ribbon on Mt. Everest for being the tallest mountain.” Same here. Kraftwerk doesn’t need this award. They’re bigger than this; they’re bigger than everything.

  5. I’m really looking forward to Kraftwerk’s residency in Las Vegas at Zappos Theatre in Planet Hollywood.

  6. Although officially titled such, it hasn’t been the “Rock n Roll” Hall of Fame for a long time. Personally, I wish they would just rename it Music Hall of Fame and end these arguments.

    There really is no debate that Kraftwerk doesn’t belong in such an institution. Their influence on music is quite significant.

    1. Yes – the name kind of takes away what they are doing, because it makes people wonder how Kraftwerk is rock and roll

    2. It’s not an “institution” though, it’s a privately owned, profit-oriented business. It means literally nothing to be inducted, it’s just a tourist attraction.

      1. So then your previous comment about there not being many women inducted into the hall of fame really has no significance… if the induction is a load of hot air, what’s the problem?

  7. Re KW influence

    Did KW influence Classical, Jazz, Blues, RnB, Rock, Metal, Numetal, Folk, Country, Western, World Music.

    Really the only genre KW influenced is Techno.
    Not even Trance. Not even Drum N Bass. Not even Jungle, Not Ambient, Not Chill Out, Not New Age, Not even 90sBig Beat.

    KW didnt even influence hip hop. Becuase Hip Hop was about social message, social consciousness, human rights, struggle against injustice, struggle against poverty

    Yeah KW lent a beat was sampled on a hand ful of hip hop tracks : yeah Big Deal.
    It’s the Tarzan syndrome : some white folks trying to claim king of the African jungle (journalists, musos, those typing to be hip).

    1. Did KW influence Classical, Choral, Jazz, Blues, RnB, Rock, Prog, Metal, Soul, Funk, Fusion, Reggae, Afrobeat, Folk , Roots, Blue Grass, Country, Western, World Music, Dub, Ska, Disco, House, Pop, Alternative, Indie, Goth, Neo Goth, Numetal,  Film music, TV music, Documentary music?

      NOPE

      Really the only genres KW influenced Synth Pop, Techno.

      I mid 80s KW died out.

      Its only since 2000s some white journos musos over hyping
      Tarazaning this white bands influence on black music : Really come on now
      that KW became trendy
      And it became the in thing for synth pop artists to name check KW.

    2. Musical influence doesn’t only include composition or production, but also concepts. Kraftwerk have strongly influenced the way we think about post-modern pop music. They took the symbols of modernism such as cars, trains, models or robots out of context and combined them with classical music, performed on electronic instruments. This form of humor, irony and subversive subtext may seem natural in today’s pop music, but in the early 1970s, it was revolutionary.

      1. @Dacci

        “early 1970s, it was revolutionary”

        Medicines to prevent TB is revolutionary, Civil Rights Movement is revolutionary,
        Mobile touchscreen phones is revolutionary.
        There are plenty Real revolutionary.

        Another person reading far too much into what KW did.

            1. They’re probably a nostalgic of non-touch, full keyboard, or even better T9 phones. Nobody in their right mind would deem as revolutionary a technology that re-shaped mobile devices, applications, our daily use and part of the Internet!

    3. You should do your homework. Kraftwerk influenced, post-punk, ambient, new wave, prog-rock, all-things electronica… etc. Artists in all these genres credit them constantly. Look it up.

      1. @LucF
        “influenced

        “prog rock” lol you been playing on your pocket calculator too much

        “Post Punk” was influenced by Jazz, Funk, Dub, World Music, Glam, Art Rock: no KW in sight.
        Just the electronic kraut rock aspect of post punk possibly.

        “Ambient” funny

        “All things electronica” oh dear never mind.
        For Sure KW did NOT influence Art of Noise, Jarre, Vangelis, TDream, Kitaro, Klaus Schutlze,
        Nor Enigma, Deep Forest,
        Nor DrumN Bass Nor Jungle Nor TripHop Nor ChillOut NorNewAge Nor Trance : Trance owes itself to TDream Klaus Schultze, Jarre.

    4. “Whoooo” Are You? I Am Surprised. You Don`t Know Very Much About “Kraftwerk” And Their Global Status In Music & Art History – Also Societly, Sorry.

    5. WHOOOO Are You? Sorry, But You Don`t Know Very Much About “Kraftwerk” And Their Global Status In Music & Art History – Also Societly. I Don`t Wanna Begin With All The Styles, They Influenced And Make Possibly Until Today And Tomorrow. They Are Also The World`s Most Sampled Group Also In 2021 There Were Al Lot Of Samples. I Can Give You A List Of Artist, Who Were Influenced By Them In Very Different Genres And You Will Know All Of Them. Also Rockacts Like “U2”, “The Red Hot Chilly Peppers”, “R.E.M.”, “Joy Division”, “Beck”, “Neil Young”, Marvin Gaye”, “Herbie Hancock” And Others Were Inspired By “Kraftwerk”. The Way, They Performed Was Also New. Their Whole Attitude Was Groundbreaking Like The Fact They Brought Electronic Music Into Mainstream And Pop. They Builded Their Own Instruments And Were Maybe The First Nerds In Modern Pop. Societly, Their Concept Of “Man-Machine” Is Also The World, We Live In Today. They Are To Electronic Music, What “The Beatles” Are To Rockmusic – But: Also In The Rock There Is Much And Many Electronic Inside. One Of The Most Important Achievment Is: “Kraftwerk” Created Something, What Is Very Rare: They Changed The Consciousness.

      1. @Marc

        “Rockacts Like “U2”, “The Red Hot Chilly Peppers”, “R.E.M.”, “Joy Division”, “Beck”, “Neil Young”, Marvin Gaye”, “Herbie Hancock” And Others Were Inspired By “Kraftwerk”

        Then they would all sound as derivates of KW which they don’t.
        On one or two tracks track they channeled an aspect of KW : ho hum.
        Marvin Gaye was Soul. Herbie was JazzFusion. REM Art Rock, Chilli Funk Rock, Neil blues folk rock psychedelic Country.

        “They Brought Electronic Music Into Mainstream And Pop.”
        Synth Pop yes.
        Mainstream Jarre was more responsible worldwide to bring EM to public consciousness esp with his mega concerts 80Million+record sales.

        “Man-Machine” Is Also The World, We Live In Today”
        It’s hardly original they copied Metropolis film 1927.

        “They Are To Electronic Music, What “The Beatles” Are To Rock music”
        Over hyping journo muso writing on both KW and Beatles.
        Frank Zappa’s opinion on Beatles is more accurate.
        Beatles were never a Rock band anyways.
        KW only influenced Synth Pop and Techno.

        Really there’s so many genres cross genres out there
        KW did NOT influence any other them
        Not Classical, Choral, Jazz, Blues, RnB, Rock, Prog, Metal, Soul, Funk, Fusion, Reggae, Afrobeat, Folk , Roots, Blue Grass, Country, Western, World Music, Dub, Ska, Disco, House, Pop, Alternative, Indie, Goth, Neo Goth, Numetal, Film music, TV music, Documentary music.
        NOT any of these.

        Just pull heads outta KWbutts already.

      2. @Marc

        “Most Sampled Group Also In 2021”

        In terms of musicians the most sampled are (Google search)
        – James Brown Got sampled 8224 times.
        – 2 The Winstons Amen Break Got sampled 5342 times its the bedrock of Drum N Bass
        – 3 Lyn Collins Got sampled 3242 times.
        – 4 Public Enemy Got sampled 3180 times.
        – 5 Beside Got sampled 2543 times.
        – 6 Run-DMC Got sampled 2254 times.
        – 7 The Notorious B.I.G. Got sampled 1931 times.
        – 8 Michael Jackson Got sampled 1856 times.

        Just another person over hyping Tarzaning KW.

        McDonald’s are most eaten food.
        Tabloids are most read newspaper.
        Because they are easy.

        KW are the McDonald’s of Electronic Music.
        That’s why they are sampled : a beat, sparse mimimal notes fits into songs easily fits into people having minimal musical ability.

        KW as McDonald’s doesnt require any extensive culinary skills
        as playing ability of Vangelis, Layering Synthesis ability of Jarre, shifting sequences patterns solos of Tangerine Dream.

      1. @Sean
        “Do you even know who Kraftwerk is?”

        Knowing that KW were Trazaned by some white musos journos.
        Knowing that original KW members were surprised at being so overhyped by some journos musos.

        Knowing that KW were only influential in synth pop, techno.

        Knowing that its trendy hip to name check KW if you are a synth pop, techno musician.

        Knowing to attend KW concert :yep
        Knowing to buy KW cassettes, cds : yep.
        Knowing to have some of KW tracks in my top 20 synth pop songs : yep.
        Knowing that KW sang about the mechanisation robotisation of human beings due to technology :yep.

        Knowing that you and others kissing KW behind over hype KW
        and don’t know KW miminmal impact upon the massive world of music genres.

    6. If you can’t see the influence of Kraftwerk on new wave, trance, techno and pop you must have been sleeping under some American rock. ^^
      Trance is a flower of Frankfurt and of course everybody had JMJ and Kraftwerk on the record shelf. 😉

      1. @Lala

        Trance owes itself to Tangerine Dream, Jarre, Klaus Schultze.

        New Wave : Reggae, RnB, Prog Rock, Glam, Punk, were major influences as was electronica.

        I’ve already said KW only really influenced Synth Pop and Techno.

        1. Wooo: It Is Not Fair Not To Answer You, So I Give A Little Insight (Also Some Sources And Links)

          A SHORT LIST OF MUSICIANS (INFLUENCED BY “KRAFTWERK” / A-Z)
          (SOURCES: UNIVERSITY, LIBRARIES, STATEMENTS/TV & PRESS-INTERVIEWS …):

          Afrika Bambaata, Absolute Beginner, Juan Atkins, Air, Aphex Twin
          David Bowie, Blondie, Bloodhound Gang, Björk, Beck
          Coldplay, Chic, Miley Cyrus, Chemical Brothers, George Clinton, Ciara, Carl Craig, Cabaret Voltaire
          Destiny`s Child, Daft Punk, Depeche Mode, Devo, Duran Duran
          Erasure, Eurythmics, Brian Eno, Missy Elliott, Electronic
          Franz Ferdinand, Fergie, Front 242, Die Fantastischen Vier
          Marvin Gaye, Grandmaster Flash, Giant Robot
          Herbie Hancock, Human League, Trevor Horn, Hurts
          Ideal, Information Society, Iggy Pop
          Michael Jackson, Elton John, Joy Division, Grace Jones
          Klangwerk, The KLF, Die Krupps
          Laibach, Laing, Ladytron
          Madonna, G. Moroder, Kylie Minogue, Moby, Derrick May
          New Order, Gary Numan, Nitzer Epp
          OMD, The One You Love, The Orb
          Prince, Pet Shop Boys, The Prodigy
          Quintorigo
          Red Hot Chilli Peppers, R.E.M, Radiohead, Rammstein, The Residents
          Will Smith, Scooter, Siouxie And The Banshees, Snap, Kevin Saunderson, Simple Minds, Skrillex
          Talking Heads, Trio, Throbbing Gristle, Timberland
          U2, Ultravox, UB 40, Underworld
          Visage, Paul Van Dyk, Sven Väth
          Robbie Williams, Westbam, Wyclef, Kanye West
          X-Men, X-Ecutioners, Alex Xenophon
          Neil Young, Yellow Magic Orchestra, Yazoo, Yello
          Zero Degrees, Jay Z, Zoot Woman …

          A SMALL OVERVIEW OF SOME GENRES “KRAFTWERK” INSPIRED:
          https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Techno
          https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synthie_Pop
          https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hip-Hop
          https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electro
          https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_House
          https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minimal_Electro
          https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Wave
          https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_Body_Music
          https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Romantic
          https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synth_Rock
          https://de.wikipedia.org/…/Elektronische_Popmusik…
          https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_Wave
          https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electroclash
          https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Industrial
          https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psytrance
          https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elektronische_Tanzmusik

          (STOCKHAUSEN, BJÖRK, JOHNNY MARR) … ABOUT “KRAFTWERK”:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4z5VmOIYu8

          INTERNATIONAL PRESS: “KRAFTWERK” – MOST INFLUENTIAL:
          https://theconversation.com/see-them-to-believe-it-why-kraftwerk-is-the-worlds-most-influential-band-78138
          https://www.laweekly.com/kraftwerk-are-more-influential-than-the-beatles-let-us-explain/
          https://www.theguardian.com/music/2013/jan/27/kraftwerk-most-influential-electronic-band-tate

          THEY ALSO WERE AN ENORMOUS INSPIRATION FOR THE “DJ-CULTURE” AND THE WAY OF PERFORMING MUSIC

          “KRAFTWERK” AND THEIR OWN INSTRUMENTS & PATENT –
          (ALSO A NEW DIRECTION OF STUDIO WORKING IN MUSIC PROD.):
          http://www.aktivitaet-fanzine.com/10_kk0.html

          AT THE LATEST WITH “AUTOBAHN” 1974 – “KRAFTWERK” BROUGHT “ELECTRONIC MUSIC” TO “MAINSTREAM” AND POP:
          An Important Thing Was Also A Singer Or Singing Part, Which Is Typical For That Way Of Music. Most Of The Sounds And Instruments Here Were Electronic Based. Their Album “Radio Activity” From 1975 Was A Record Only Made With Electronic Instruments.

          “GRAMMY CEREMONY” (ALSO “DUBSTEP” ON 1:57 MIN. IS MENTIONED):
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-b6H3PiKCI

          SAMPLES OF OTHER ARTISTS USING “KRAFTWERK” STUFF:
          I Got Other Statistics Than You, Wooo And Many Of The Samples Were Part Of “Hip Hop”, So They Also Influenced This Style In That Way. The Black Community Called Them Also Their Heroes, Like Pharrell Williams And Pioneers Of “Techno” And “Electro Funk” Often Said. Many Different Genres Used Samples And Made Covers. You Can Find The Music Of “Kraftwerk” In Jazz, Reggae And Other Caribbean Music, Classic, Latino, Miami Bass, Polka, Surfmusic, Tango, Metal …

          THEIR IMPACT ON ART IN GENERAL AND ARTISTS, WHO PUT THEM ON A THRONE (BBC):
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaQQCW0wH0k

          “KRAFTWERK” – EVERYTHING IS MAN MACHINE OR “THE CONNECTION”:
          Fritz Lang And “Metropolis” Showed The Workers World As The Symbiosis Of Man And Machine, But “Kraftwerk” Put It Into The Music And Went Further: They Also Remarked With Their Lyrics, This Will Be Part Of The Social And Privat Life And This Also In Connection With Shopping, Business, Playing Games, Observation, Having Love Dates Etc. This Is Our Today. They Knew, It Will Be Part Of Every Area In Our Allday. Do You Know, What It Means? If The Man Needs To Reach Goals, He Needs The Machine In Every Part Of Life.
          1. If You Want To Drive A Car And Come From A To B, You Need The Man To Start It, Drive And The Car With The Motor To Reach This Goal.
          2. If You Want To Find Something Out In Google, You Need The Man To Go For This, Giving Words And The Computer Is Searching The Entries.
          3. If You Like To Talk To Somebody On The Phone, You Need Yourself To Do It And The Machine To Connect And Have Contact.
          4. If You Want To Cook Water, You Need Both …
          5. If You Cut The Lawn …
          6. If You Use Electronic Toys in Every Way …
          7. If You Use The “Electro Kardiogramm” …
          8. If You Controll “Kraftwerks” …

          You See? No Matter, Which Area: This Is The Concept Of Our World.

  8. Just some old stuff being blown up as classic today, not really that big and just another electronic group with image in the old time actually.

  9. “We drive, drive, drive on the motorway” was never going to outshine “Sympathy For The Devil” lyrically anyway. Besides, “Ralf & Florian” is the best “Kraftwerk” album of the lot. More variety!

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