The Man-Machine

The Man-Machine
The Man-Machine
Studio album by Kraftwerk
Released May 1978
Recorded 1977–1978 at Kling Klang Studio, Düsseldorf, Germany
Genre Synthpop
Length 36:18
Label Kling Klang
Producer Ralf Hütter
Florian Schneider
Kraftwerk chronology
Trans-Europe Express
The Man-Machine
Computer World
Singles from The Man-Machine
  1. "Das Model" b/w "Neonlicht"
    Released: 1978, Kling Klang 006-45109 (Ger)
  2. "Die Roboter" b/w "Spacelab"
    Released: 1978, Kling Klang 1C-006-32 941 (Ger)
  3. "The Robots" b/w "Spacelab"
    Released: 1978, Capitol CL 15981 (UK)
  4. "The Model" b/w "Computer Love"
    Released: Nov 1981, EMI5207 (UK)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Drowned in Sound 10/10 stars[2]
Mojo 5/5 stars[3]
Q 4/5 stars[4]
Robert Christgau (B+)[5]
Uncut 4/5 stars[6]

The Man-Machine (German Language Edition: Die Mensch-Maschine) is the seventh studio album by German electronic band Kraftwerk, released in May 1978. It contains the song "The Model" which was a chart-topping single in the UK in 1982.


Album information

This was the first Kraftwerk album to see Karl Bartos co-credited with songwriting along with Hütter & Schneider. Emil Schult co-wrote the lyrics for "The Model".

Musically, it builds on Trans-Europe Express. The initial recording had been made at Kraftwerk's own Kling Klang studio, but further work was done at nearby Studio Rudas, where Detroit sound engineer Leanard Jackson of Whitfield Records, who had worked on Rose Royce's second album the previous year, was hired to work on the final sound-mix.

The cover design imitates the graphic style of the 1930s Modernist movement, particularly that of the designer/architect El Lissitzky, whose inspiration is acknowledged in the album credits. The rear cover of the album is actually an adaptation one of his geometric page designs for a children's book, From Two Quadrants (specifically, the upper right quarter of the page captioned "And on the Black was established Red Clearly").[1]


Upon its release, the record charted at number 12 in Germany, nine in the UK, and 130 on the US Billboard 200. The Man-Machine was voted at number 96 on Q magazine's list of the 100 Greatest Albums, and number 92 on Pitchfork Media's Top 100 Albums of the 1970s.

A newly remastered edition of the album 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.

Coloured vinyl pressings

The first pressings of the album distributed in Germany (with tracks sung in German) and in France (the English language version) were manufactured with translucent red vinyl, that carried through the dominant colour scheme of the front cover design. The French red vinyl version was pressed in a larger quantity, with the less numerous German red vinyl becoming a rarer and much sought after collectible item as a consequence. In the rest of the world the album was only ever released on black vinyl, but in the UK a 12" single of the track Neon Lights was eventually released in 1979 pressed on an appropriately luminous vinyl.

Track listing

All songs by Ralf Hütter, Florian Schneider and Karl Bartos, except where noted.

Side one
  1. "The Robots" (Die Roboter) – 6:11
  2. "Spacelab" (Ralf Hütter, Karl Bartos) – 5:51
  3. "Metropolis" – 5:59
Side two
  1. "The Model" ("Das Modell") (Ralf Hütter, Karl Bartos, Emil Schult) – 3:38
  2. "Neon Lights" ("Neonlicht") – 9:03
  3. "The Man-Machine" ("Die Mensch-Maschine") – 5:28


  • Ralf Hütter – voice, vocoder, synthesizer, keyboards, orchestron, synthanorma sequenzer, electronics, cover (i.e. art direction)
  • Florian Schneider – vocoder, votrax, synthesizer, electronics
  • Karl Bartos – electronic drums
  • Wolfgang Flür – electronic drums
  • Leanard Jackson – sound engineer mixing & mastering
  • Joschko Rudas – sound engineer (Studio Rudas, Düsseldorf)
  • Henning Schmitz – assistant sound engineer
  • Karl Klefisch – typography ("lettering")
  • Günther Fröhling – photography
  • Johann Zambryski – artwork reconstruction (2009 remaster)



  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Drowned in Sound review
  3. ^ Snow, Mat (November 2009). "Gut Vibrations". Mojo (London: Bauer Media Group) (192): 110. ISSN 1351-0193. 
  4. ^ Q review
  5. ^ Robert Christgau review
  6. ^ Cavanagh, David. "Uncut Reviews: Kraftwerk - Reissues". Uncut. Retrieved October 22, 2009. 
  7. ^ (2009) Album notes for The Man-Machine (Digital Remaster) by Kraftwerk [CD]. Great Britain: Mute Records (CDSTUMM306).

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