Tour de France Soundtracks

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Tour de France Soundtracks
Studio album by
Released4 August 2003 (2003-08-04)
StudioKling Klang, Düsseldorf, Germany
  • French
  • English
  • German
Kraftwerk chronology
Klang Box
Tour de France Soundtracks
Singles from Tour de France Soundtracks
  1. "Tour de France 2003"
    Released: July 2003
  2. "Elektro Kardiogramm"
    Released: October 2003
  3. "Aerodynamik"
    Released: March 2004
  4. "Aerodynamik/La Forme Remixes"
    Released: 17 September 2007

Tour de France Soundtracks (renamed to Tour de France for its remastered release) is the eleventh studio album by German electronic music band Kraftwerk. It was first released on 4 August 2003, through Kling Klang and EMI in Europe and Astralwerks in North America. The album was recorded for the 100th anniversary of the first Tour de France bicycle race, although it missed its intended release date for the actual tour. It includes a new recording of their 1983 song of the same name, the cover artwork of both releases being nearly identical. The announcement of the release caused much anticipation, as it had been 17 years since the group had put out a full album of new studio material (1986's Electric Café, also known as Techno Pop). It is also the last studio album to feature Florian Schneider before his departure from the band in 2008 and his death on 21 April 2020.

The album received positive reviews from critics and was a commercial success. It reached No.1 in Germany, the top 40 in the UK, as well as No.3 in the US dance charts.


Kitty Empire of The Observer labeled Tour de France Soundtracks as a techno album.[1] Unusually for a Kraftwerk album it did not have separate German and international vocal mixes, but was released only in one version, with a mix of French, German, and English. The lyrics were co-written by Ralf Hütter and Maxime Schmitt, who had previously been manager of the Capitol label at Pathé-Marconi (part of the EMI group, the company that distributed Kraftwerk's music in France) and had been involved with the band since the mid-1970s.

Promotion and release[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
The Guardian[5]
Los Angeles Times[6]
Rolling Stone[10]

"Tour de France" was released in June 1983 and the album includes a new recording of the song. "Tour de France 2003" was released in July 2003 and includes the songs "Tour de France Étape 1", "Tour de France Étape 2" and "Tour de France Étape 3". A short jingle was supplied to the television broadcaster Eurosport for use in their coverage of the 2003 Tour de France. "Elektro Kardiogramm" was released as a promotional single in October 2003. "Aerodynamik" was released as a single in March 2004. "Aerodynamik/La Forme Remixes" was released as a remix single on 17 September 2007, including remixes of the songs "Aerodynamik" and "La Forme" by Hot Chip.

Tour de France Soundtracks took the band on an extensive world tour in 2004. On the tour, they performed the music from four laptop computers running sequencing, sampling, and synthesizer software, also controlling and synchronised with large video displays. In 2005, Kraftwerk released Minimum-Maximum, with separate audio and video releases featuring songs performed at various venues during the 2004 tour.

A newly remastered edition of the album with the revised title Tour de France was released by EMI Records, Mute Records, and Astralwerks Records on CD and digital download in October–November 2009, with heavyweight vinyl editions released in November–December 2009.[13]

Commercial performance[edit]

Tour de France Soundtracks became the highest charting Kraftwerk album. It peaked at number one in Germany, becoming the band's first number one in their home country. However, it did not enter the Billboard 200, even though every Kraftwerk studio album since Ralf and Florian (1973) had charted there.

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics are written by Ralf Hütter and Maxime Schmitt

2."Tour de France Étape 1" ("Tour de France Stage 1")
  • Hütter
  • Schneider
  • Hilpert
3."Tour de France Étape 2" ("Tour de France Stage 2")
  • Hütter
  • Schneider
  • Hilpert
4."Tour de France Étape 3" ("Tour de France Stage 3")
  • Hütter
  • Schneider
  • Hilpert
  • Hütter
  • Schneider
  • Hilpert
  • Hütter
  • Schneider
  • Hilpert
7."Aéro Dynamik" ("Aerodynamic")
  • Hütter
  • Hilpert
  • Hütter
  • Hilpert
9."Elektro Kardiogramm" ("Electrocardiogram")
  • Hütter
  • Hilpert
10."La Forme" ("The Form")
  • Hütter
  • Hütter
12."Tour de France"
Total length:55:57
Promotional version
4."Tour de France Étape 3"4:07
12."Tour de France"5:10


  • The 2003 Japanese CD release also contains the video of the single "Tour de France 2003" as enhanced content.
  • The promotional version of Tour de France Soundtracks is slightly different from the album as it was finally released. "Régéneration" is longer at 2:05 in length, and there are slight differences in timbre and modulation during "Tour de France Étape 3", "Chrono", "La Forme" and "Régéneration".


  • Ralf Hütter – vocals, software synthesizers, sequencing
  • Florian Schneider – additional vocals, software synthesizers, sequencing
  • Fritz Hilpert – software synthesizers, electronic percussion, sound engineer[14]
  • Henning Schmitz – software synthesizers, electronic percussion


Chart (2003) Peak
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[15] 29
Danish Albums (Hitlisten)[16] 9
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[17] 76
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[18] 7
French Albums (SNEP)[19] 84
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[20] 1
Italian Albums (FIMI)[21] 22
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[22] 18
Scottish Albums (OCC)[23] 25
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[24] 7
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[25] 25
UK Albums (OCC)[26] 21
US Top Dance/Electronic Albums (Billboard)[27] 3


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[28] Silver 60,000

Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ Empire, Kitty (3 August 2003). "Synth and synthability". The Observer. Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  2. ^ "Reviews for Tour de France Soundtracks by Kraftwerk". Metacritic. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  3. ^ Bush, John. "Tour de France – Kraftwerk". AllMusic. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  4. ^ Harrison, Andrew (October 2003). "Kraftwerk: Tour De France Soundtracks". Blender. No. 20. p. 120. Archived from the original on 13 December 2004. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  5. ^ Simpson, Dave (31 July 2003). "Kraftwerk: Tour de France Soundtracks". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 11 September 2014. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  6. ^ Hochman, Steve (24 August 2003). "Techno pioneers in high gear". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  7. ^ "Kraftwerk: Tour de France Soundtracks". Mojo. No. 118. September 2003. p. 101.
  8. ^ Leone, Dominique (11 August 2003). "Kraftwerk: Tour de France Soundtracks". Pitchfork. Retrieved 14 September 2012.
  9. ^ "Kraftwerk: Tour de France Soundtracks". Q. No. 207. October 2003. p. 102.
  10. ^ Miles, Milo (12 August 2003). "Tour de France Soundtracks". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 14 August 2012.
  11. ^ "Breakdown". Spin. Vol. 19, no. 11. November 2003. p. 117 – via Google Books.
  12. ^ Cavanagh, David (16 October 2009). "Uncut Reviews: Kraftwerk – Reissues". Uncut. Archived from the original on 1 January 2011. Retrieved 22 October 2009.
  13. ^ "Kraftwerk - Tour De France (Vinyl, LP, Album, Reissue, Remastered)". Discogs. 16 November 2009. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  14. ^ Tour De France (Digital Remaster) (CD). Kraftwerk. Great Britain: Mute Records. 2009. CDSTUMM310.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  15. ^ " – Kraftwerk – Tour de France Soundtracks" (in German). Hung Medien.
  16. ^ " – Kraftwerk – Tour de France Soundtracks". Hung Medien.
  17. ^ " – Kraftwerk – Tour de France Soundtracks" (in Dutch). Hung Medien.
  18. ^ "Kraftwerk: Tour de France Soundtracks" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  19. ^ " – Kraftwerk – Tour de France Soundtracks". Hung Medien.
  20. ^ " – Kraftwerk – Tour de France Soundtracks" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  21. ^ " – Kraftwerk – Tour de France Soundtracks". Hung Medien.
  22. ^ " – Kraftwerk – Tour de France Soundtracks". Hung Medien.
  23. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  24. ^ " – Kraftwerk – Tour de France Soundtracks". Hung Medien.
  25. ^ " – Kraftwerk – Tour de France Soundtracks". Hung Medien.
  26. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  27. ^ "Kraftwerk Chart History (Top Dance/Electronic Albums)". Billboard.
  28. ^ "British album certifications – Kraftwerk – Tour de France". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 30 August 2020.

External links[edit]