Trans-Europe Express

Album: Trans-Europe Express (1977)
Charted: 67
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  • The title track of Kraftwerk's 1977 album of the same name, this contributed to the ongoing mutual appreciation society formed by David Bowie and the German electronic band in the late 1970s. The bond started when Bowie borrowed some of Kraftwerk's ideas on their 22-minute epic "Autobahn" for his Station to Station album. They included the title track beginning with an electronically generated impression of a chugging train.

    After Bowie decamped to Berlin with his pal Iggy Pop and started hanging out with Kraftwerk, the German band paid tribute to the pair in this song's lyric, "From station to station and to Dusseldorf city. Meet Iggy Pop and David Bowie."
  • The song was an underground favorite in New York's more adventurous dance clubs and was an influence on the beat-box electro scene, Detroit house music, techno and trance. It was also a minor pop hit peaking at #67 on the Hot 100.
  • The song's popularity in New York's underground scene inspired rapper Afrika Bambaataa and producer Arthur Baker to use a sample as the basis for their seminal hip-hop single "Planet Rock."
  • The song is about the Trans Europe Express rail system, technology and transport both being common themes in Kraftwerk's music.

    The Trans-Europe Express (TEE), is a former international railway network of fast and comfortable international trains (all trains were first-class-only) that covered much of Europe. At its 1974 peak, the TEE network comprised 45 trains, connecting 130 different cities. However the introduction of the TGV service in France in 1981, and its subsequent expansion, along with expansion of high-speed rail lines in other European countries led to the TEE being replaced by domestic high-speed trains.
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