Given away with the April 2019 edition of the German magazine MuzikExpress, this blue vinyl, one-sided 7″ single includes a new and unique edit of the track. The magazine itself came with a lengthy write-up on the parent album, hailing it in the number 1 position of the ‘100 Best Albums from Germany’.
The record features the new 4’35” edit from the original recording of ‘Autobahn’ and this differs from the 7″ single edits originally issued back in the day. This new edit is something of a best of both and includes a good deal more of the vocal sections than either. Being a minute and thirty seconds longer than the rather brutal British edit, that’s perhaps no surprise.
In Germany and the US, both originally went with a 3’27” edit that was a more sympathetic attempt at editing down from 22+ minutes by focusing on certain sections rather than trying to shoe-horn multiple parts in. For example, it went large on the flute-led ‘pastoral’ section. The 7″ edit released in Britain went for a 3’05” crazy, editing scissor-happy cut-up job that jumped around from section to section by comparison to the German/US edit. It had even less of the vocal content than the German/US edit (which already limited itself to just the first verse along with many ‘fahr’n, fahr’n, fahr’n auf der Autobahn’ refrains) and went large on the Doppler sound effect section, omitting the ‘pastoral’ flute elements altogether.
The credits on the rear of the sleeve make mention of only Ralf and Florian as musicians, though still name-checks Konrad Plank for involvement as engineer and alongside Ralf and Florian on the mix. The 1985 album re-issue had seen the first signs of revisionism in credits – it detailed Klaus Roeder’s involvement as no more than electric violin on ‘Mitternacht’, whereas when first released the album sleeves credited him with violin and guitar. Additionally, side A’s label of this 1985 issue listed Wolfgang Flür on ‘percussion’.
The 2009 remastered album re-issue had seen a further revision, with Flür now listed only for ‘Kometenmelodie 2’ in his percussion duties. Hence why it’s just Hütter/Schneider credited on this 7″, I assume.
As well as this blue vinyl one-sided 7″ edition it was also released as a digital download too, for good measure.