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Baker's Dozen

The Sounds Of Planet Earth: Nick Rhodes Of Duran Duran’s Favourite Albums
John Freeman , April 15th, 2013 08:16

As his long-standing side-project TV Mania finally releases an album, Bored With Prozac And The Internet?, Duran Duran’s Nick Rhodes reveals the 13 albums that changed his perceptions about music


Kraftwerk - The Man-Machine
Kraftwerk were a major influence on me musically and stylistically. They were really the first truly electronic band I'd heard. Afterwards, of course, I listened to all the other German things like NEU! and Can. I'd listen to The Human League and whatever came out of England in that time period. But, Kraftwerk were right at the centre of it. The first album I heard in its entirety was Trans-Europe Express, which I almost picked for this because I do love that album. But, I think Kraftwerk’s absolute masterpiece is The Man-Machine - be it visually, song-wise, arrangements or sounds. It is as close to a perfect record as I feel has been made in that genre. There is nothing that touches it.

When I used to DJ at the Rum Runner club - I was 16 or 17 and starting out - I used to play a lot of tracks from The Man-Machine because almost everything on that album you can play. Funnily enough, I'd never seen Kraftwerk until recently when they played the Tate Modern. I went to three shows - The Man-Machine, Trans-Europe Express and Computer World - because I felt as they had had such an impact on me I should go and see a whole load of the shows. They weren't a letdown, the 3D effect was extraordinary and it was such a joy to hear those songs loud through a system like that. You don't tend to get to hear synthesisers that loud unless you go to a club and listen to some horrible remix.

Kraftwerk had great taste and a lot of music is about taste. They didn't make so many albums over a period of time but everything has been impeccable - every sound, every delay, every vocoder. They really paid attention to detail and that's something I have a complete obsession with. I can fiddle with something for ages and ages that I feel changes the whole track and nobody else will hear what I'm doing. Kraftwerk had a great ability for that. They made really impeccable records.