Kraftwerk – ‘Autobahn’ MusikExpress magazine German 7” single (Kling Klang/Parlophone, 2019)

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.

Kraftwerk - ‘Autobahn’ MusikExpress magazine German 7” single front cover

^ Kraftwerk – ‘Autobahn’ MusikExpress magazine German 7” single front cover

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.

Kraftwerk - ‘Autobahn’ MusikExpress magazine German 7” single rear cover

^ Kraftwerk – ‘Autobahn’ MusikExpress magazine German 7” single rear cover

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.

View the Discogs entry

Kraftwerk - ‘Autobahn’ MusikExpress magazine German 7” single label

^ Kraftwerk – ‘Autobahn’ MusikExpress magazine German 7” single label

2 Responses to “Kraftwerk – ‘Autobahn’ MusikExpress magazine German 7” single (Kling Klang/Parlophone, 2019)”

  1. Wow. Had no idea about this. I bought a UK 7″ in the early 90s, just to hear the brutal edit that was my intro to Kraftwerk on the radio in 1974, but only learned that there were differing UK/US edits on 7″ some time in the last 10-15 years! I only got a copy of the actual US 7″ mix in 2016. I managed to spend a few hours carefully listening to my [trashed] UK 7″ about 16 years ago and managed to edit down a rip of by “Autobahn” CD side until I replicated the US 7″ edit. My US copy needs the same attention one day when I have 3-4 hours to kill. I still want this German blue 7″ though. It’s out there for a affordable price for now. But did you know about the US promo only 5:46 “Autobahn (Edited Long Version)?” That was new to me oonly until recently. https://www.discogs.com/Kraftwerk-Autobahn/release/4436524

  2. admin says:

    Hi Monk… Thanks for posting – that is an interesting find, the VE-DJ-9 ‘Edited Long Version’ promo 7” from the US , which I have not managed to come by as yet – I have the VE-DJ-8 promo https://www.discogs.com/Kraftwerk-Autobahn/release/3875692 which has just the regular 3’27” edit on both sides.

    A nice edit of the original version of ‘Autobahn’ is to be found on the soundtrack of the movie ‘Control’ – at 11’23” it’s ideal for those occasions that the single edit is too brief and the album just that bit too long (whenever they might be!)

    I always feel that the UK 7” edit exaggerated the track’s instrumental side and in particular the less melodic, more sound effect aspects, hence why it was probably seen by many as something of a novelty record at the time.

    On the subject of recreating particular mixes from CD – the most recent one I did like this was for the UK 7” remix of ‘Numbers’ from the flip side of the 1982 ‘Showroom Dummies’ single – it manages to slice and dice the track in such a way that the brief instrumental section at the front of the track is edited and split to reappear later and the edit also manages to salt in some of ‘Computer World 2’ as well at the end. They speeded up that edit on the record release though – I haven’t the heart to recreate it to that degree (which I never liked in the first place).

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