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Baker's Dozen

Apollo 13: Adam Ant’s Favourite Albums
Joe Clay , January 21st, 2013 06:44

Adam Ant is back after years in the creative wilderness. Here he discusses his all-time favourite LPs with Joe Clay


Kraftwerk – The Man Machine

We used to do loads of gigs in Western Europe during the punk days because nobody really wanted us in London. But we were getting invites to go to Belgium and West Germany and Berlin. We went on the Trans Europe Express to go to Berlin once and this was the perfect record to listen to doing that. The way they sing and the whole Man Machine idea – they totally pulled it off. They were so ahead of the game. And when you listen to very early Human League – 'Being Boiled' and all that – you can hear the influence it had on them.

I was never really interested in that synth sound for the Ants. I was more into their graphics. I used to design handbills and A4s and there was a couple of robotic themes on that. Musically that was being catered for by the Human League, who I thought were great right at the start.

It was the mystery that surrounded Kraftwerk that I was into. We were in Dusseldorf once and we went looking for the Kling Klang studio, but we couldn't find it. Apparently it was just an office anyway. I loved that phonetically pronounced European vocal. It was almost like he read it off of one of those machines that tell you how to pronounce things. But it always had a really human feel. I think people often overlook their sense of humour. When we were in Australia in '81, they were touring too. And we were stood outside our hotel and they were all there – I seem to remember they were wearing white coats and they were all going cycling together. There was a real personality behind them.

Kraftwerk were trying to break away from that whole post-war vibe in Germany and Dusseldorf was quite a modern city. Visiting the places where the music came from has made the records even more precious to me because it reminds me of the time.