The Man-Machine

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The Man-Machine
Studio album by Kraftwerk
Released May 1978
Recorded 1977–78 at Kling Klang Studio, Düsseldorf, Germany
Genre Electronic, synthpop
Length 36:10
Label Kling Klang, EMI Electrola, Capitol
Producer Ralf Hütter, Florian Schneider
Kraftwerk chronology
Trans-Europe Express
The Man-Machine
Computer World
Singles from The Man-Machine
  1. "Das Model"
    Released: September 1978 (Germany)
  2. "Die Roboter"
    Released: 1978 (Germany)
  3. "The Robots"
    Released: 1978 (UK)
  4. "The Model"
    Released: November 1981 (UK)

The Man-Machine (German: Die Mensch-Maschine) is the seventh studio album by German electronic music band Kraftwerk, released in May 1978. It includes the singles "The Model" and "The Robots".

Upon its release, the NME stated, "The Man Machine stands as one of the pinnacles of 70's rock music."[1] Although the album was initially unsuccessful on the UK Albums Chart, it reached a new peak position of number nine in February 1982,[2] becoming the band's second highest-peaking album in the United Kingdom after Autobahn (1974).[3] The Man Machine was certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) on 15 February 1982, denoting shipments in excess of 100,000 copies.[4]

Background and release[edit]

The Man-Machine is the first Kraftwerk album to have Karl Bartos co-credited as a composer along with Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider. Emil Schult co-wrote the lyrics for "The Model".

In October 2009, a remastered edition of the album was released on CD and digital download by Mute Records in Europe and by Astralwerks in the United States,[5][6] with heavyweight vinyl editions released in November 2009.[7]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[8]
Robert Christgau B+[9]
Drowned in Sound 10/10[10]
Mojo 5/5 stars[11]
Uncut 4/5 stars[12]

The NME wrote a glowing review and said: "Kraftwerk manage to convey the entire 'melange of elements' by musical means alone: the sparsity of the lyrics leaves the emphasis squarely on those robot rhythms; chilling tones and exquisite melodies." Critic Andy Gill also praised the "complexity of construction", saying "there's a lot more than electronic percussion in there".[1]

Track listing[edit]

Side A
No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. "The Robots" ("Die Roboter") Ralf Hütter Hütter, Florian Schneider, Karl Bartos 6:11
2. "Spacelab"   Hütter Hütter, Bartos 5:51
3. "Metropolis"   Hütter Hütter, Schneider, Bartos 5:59
Side B
No. Title Lyrics Music Length
4. "The Model" ("Das Model") Hütter, Emil Schult Hütter, Bartos 3:38
5. "Neon Lights" ("Neonlicht") Hütter Hütter, Schneider, Bartos 9:03
6. "The Man-Machine" ("Die Mensch-Maschine") Hütter Hütter, Bartos 5:28


Credits adapted from the liner notes of The Man-Machine.[13]

Additional personnel
  • Günther Fröhling – photography
  • Leanard Jackson – engineering
  • Karl Klefisch – lettering
  • Joschko Rudas – engineering
  • Henning Schmitz – assistant engineering
  • Johann Zambryski – artwork reconstruction (2009 remaster)


Chart (1978) Peak
Austrian Albums Chart[14] 15
Dutch Albums Chart[15] 29
German Albums Chart[16] 12
Swedish Albums Chart[17] 24
US Top LPs & Tape[18] 130
Chart (1982) Peak
UK Albums Chart[2] 9


  1. ^ a b Gill, Andy (29 April 1978). "Mind Machine Music". NME. 
  2. ^ a b "1982 Top 40 Official Albums Chart UK Archive". Official Charts Company. 20 February 1982. Retrieved 29 March 2014. 
  3. ^ "Kraftwerk" (select "Albums" tab). Official Charts Company. Retrieved 8 August 2013. 
  4. ^ "Certified Awards". British Phonographic Industry. 15 February 1982. Retrieved 29 March 2014. 
  5. ^ "The Man Machine [Original recording remastered]". Retrieved 29 March 2014. 
  6. ^ "The Man Machine (Remastered) by Kraftwerk". iTunes Store UK. Apple. Retrieved 29 March 2014. 
  7. ^ "The Man Machine [VINYL] [Limited Edition, Original recording remastered]". Retrieved 29 March 2014. 
  8. ^ Huey, Steve. "The Man-Machine – Kraftwerk". AllMusic. Retrieved 29 March 2014. 
  9. ^ Christgau, Robert (September 4, 1978). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved April 29, 2013. 
  10. ^ Power, Chris (13 October 2009). "Kraftwerk – The Man-Machine: Remastered". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 29 March 2014. 
  11. ^ Snow, Mat (November 2009). "Gut Vibrations". Mojo (London) (192): 110. ISSN 1351-0193. 
  12. ^ Cavanagh, David. "Uncut Reviews: Kraftwerk – Reissues". Uncut. IPC Media. Retrieved 22 October 2009. 
  13. ^ The Man-Machine (remastered CD liner notes). Kraftwerk. Mute Records. 2009. CDSTUMM 306. 
  14. ^ "Kraftwerk – Die Mensch-Maschine" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 29 March 2014. 
  15. ^ "Kraftwerk – The Man·Machine" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 29 March 2014. 
  16. ^ "Kraftwerk, Die Mensch-Maschine" (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 29 March 2014. 
  17. ^ "Kraftwerk – The Man·Machine". Hung Medien. Retrieved 29 March 2014. 
  18. ^ "The Man-Machine – Kraftwerk | Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 29 March 2014. 

External links[edit]