Watch Kraftwerk playing Autobahn live for the BBC in 1975

Back in 1975, Kraftwerk sounded like the future, which is probably why forward-facing BBC TV show Tomorrow’s World chose to report on them and their curious new brand of “machine music”.

In a clip posted recently by the BBC Archive on Facebook, you can watch the band while they play  Autobahn, a track that the staid narrator says is “based on the rhythm of trucks, cars and passing bridges heard while driving through Germany”.

The clip goes on to cover the band’s famous tinfoil drum pads, while ending with the revelation that Kraftwerk were planning on eliminating the keyboards altogether, replacing them with jackets with electronic lapels that could be played by touch.

That never happened, of course, but the rest is very much music technology history.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.