Certainly, today's music owes a debt to the music Kraftwerk -- and Kraftwerk alone -- was making back in the 1970s and early '80s. [47] Cook would later find success under the alias of Fatboy Slim releasing albums such as You've Come a Long Way, Baby and platinum albums around the world. Afrika Bambaataa Intergalactic was on the eighth floor of this building, and on the day of the session the elevator wasn't working. Afrika Bambaataa & Soul Sonic Force – Planet Rock 2. "[5], John Robie was a guitarist and synthesizer player who lived in New York. “He knew perfectly what he was using, he had not to put the names of the authors and had not declared anything. By Stories Ian Harrison January 27, 2014 Genre: 1980s , Artist: Afrika Bambaataa , Genre: Dance/EDM , Genre: Electronica , Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap , Artist: Kraftwerk "[11] Pow Wow performed the wordless vocal of "zz-zz-zz" when he could not remember his lines in the song. There hasn't been a song like it in hip-hop since. And there was nothing written down saying that its source was Trans-Europe Express and Numbers.” Maxime Schmitt, who promoted the robots in France, echoes the band’s drummer. Bam: “This is [Kraftwerk] the music for the future and for space travels — along with the funk of what was happening with James Brown and Sly Stone and George Clinton. Tommy Boy didn’t have an extensive network of distributors, but succeeded by including in the record additional breaks, a cappellas and long instrumental versions, that teenagers in parks and at parties played endlessly, training their bodies and rhymes. Pioneering hip hop musician Afrika Bambaataa's love for Kraftwerk is evidenced by his groundbreaking 1982 electro track "Planet Rock" (above). [22] The song contains positive messages about "chasing your dreams", and to "live it up" because "our world is free. [51] Owen noted that the influence of "Planet Rock" declined in New York where he believed that what was once was a "radical listening experience" had become "lost under the weight of endless imitations that followed in its wake. Listen to both songs on WhoSampled, the ultimate database of sampled music, cover songs and remixes. If you read a book and you copy something out of it, you do it like a scientist, you have to quote where you took it from, what is the source of it. I bring this up because Kraftwerk was one of my picks from way back in 2015, an album I chose to review based on how influential they were. [23] In an interview with Billboard, Baker said: "Ninety percent of the people [I] asked wanted to buy it right away." Afrika Bambaataa & The Soulsonic Force – Planet Rock. [11] Darryl "D.M.C." The band approached the label and Tommy Boy’s manager, Tom Silverman, eventually agreed to give Kraftwerk one dollar for every record sold. It blew up their speakers because of the track's excessive low-end. The musicians were severely limited in time and money: without a decent sampler or drum machine. Maybe he was thinking, ‘Oh, they are German, they will never follow it up’…”, However, according to Arthur Baker, who didn’t sample the tune from Trans-Europe Express and didn’t use the rhythm from Numbers (where would you find a sampler in 1982!) Arthur Bakerhad moved from Boston to New York in 1981 where he had been DJing, producing and mixing records and working as a music journalist as early as 1976. Silverman was concerned that Tommy Boy's record sales were insignificant. The use of Kraftwerk’s music on the song was done without permission. Instead of being on the beat, being off the beat. [1] The song was produced by Arthur Baker and released by Tommy Boy Records in 1982. [1] Baker followed these up in the late 1970s with an album he made that was released by Tom Moulton as TJM, followed by "Happy Days" a single on North End Records. He said "I wanted to make dance music, not white pop music". The 1982 hip-hop classic that blended the beats of hip-hop with techno-pop futurism inspired by German group, Kraftwerk. [5] The liner notes to Planet Rock: The Album state the release was in April 1982. Afrika Bambaataa on Kraftwerk It’s always interesting for me to see a crowd dancing to music that’s ‘foreign’, especially if the lyrics are in a foreign language. He is probably best known for his classic 1982 hit "Planet Rock", which blended hip-hop beats with the metronomic melody of "Trans-Europe Express" by … [28], The group was concerned that Kraftwerk would be angry with them for using the "Trans-Europe Express" melody. That blew us away back then – dancing-wise it was perfect. When that came out, I thought that was one of the best and weirdest records I ever heard in my life.”. He increased the price of the single to make a return on the record. Afrika Bambaataa, who, together with Arthur Baker, a DJ from Boston, created an electrofunk which was similar to techno, was into the same things as Atkins. "[15], Author and essayist Kurt B. Reighley described "Planet Rock" as a fusion of hip-hop breaks and "icy synthesizer lines lifted from Kraftwerk" that "laid the blueprint for the genre dubbed "electro". [11] Baker later praised Robie's studio work, saying he "could play. [1] Silverman suggested a two-record a follow-up which led to Bambaataa and Baker creating a record based on their love of the band Kraftwerk. His affair with Kraftwerk motivated Bambaataa to sample out their albums- Trans-Europe Express & Computer World, layer … [1] Baker recalled that when he heard Kraftwerk's song "Numbers" being played at the Music Factory in Brooklyn, he saw "black guys in their twenties and thirties asking, 'What's that beat?' "Planet Rock" by Afrika Bambaataa and Soulsonic Force sampled Kraftwerk's "Trans-Europe Express". Of course, I was listening to a lot of Yellow Magic Orchestra and Gary Numan, as well as Dick Hyman’s Moog sound, and music from John Carpenter’s Halloween. "[5] Jay Burnett, who engineered the song, performed the "rock rock to the planet rock, don't stop" vocal. Share with your friends. [54] Robie is credited on the record as Planet Patrol. "[11] Wolfgang Flür responded that "[t]hey didn't even ask in the first place whether Kraftwerk was in agreement ... the company that had released the single, Tommy Boy Records, had to fork out a lot of money after the event, but they just increased the price of the single [...] and recouped their fine. [30][32], On May 5, 1992, a remix Extended play (EP) was released by the group on Tommy Boy, which featured remixes by Karl Bartos, 808 State, DJ Magic Mike and LFO. True to his moniker ‘Master of Records’, Bambaataa used a sped up riff from the German dance group … If so, one of the inscribed languages is … Baker and Bambaataa had worked together previously on the song "Jazzy Sensation," and decided to compose a more electronic based version of the hip hop song, as opposed to the more disco-oriented work popular at the time. — We felt pissed off. [10], Influenced by George Clinton, who had many separate music groups that contained the same band members, Bambaataa formed his groups such as the Soul Sonic Force, which in its original form consisted of about twenty members of the Universal Zulu Nation. [40] Lynden Barber of Melody Maker wrote in 1984 that the song was "probably the single most influential record of the Eighties" noting it spawned the electro-funk genre and that lead indirectly to a new "revolution" in how mainstream soul is conceived, recorded and mixed. The song was listed as one of the best singles of 1982 by the NME and was described by Robert Palmer of The New York Times as "perhaps the most influential black pop record of 1982", noting its influence on "both the black pop mainstream and several leading white new-wave rockers". Afrika Bambaataa began branching out in 1984, recording “Unity” with help James Brown and “World Destruction” with John Lydon. It was the crossover point between electronic dance music and R&B. Before that we were listening to jazz, funk and soul, where the music was all played live. With these words he brought the Planet Rock single home. The South Bronx DJ pioneer, Afrika Bambaataa, release “Planet Rock” in 1982 on Tommy Boy records. "[12] Among Bambaataa's suggestions, was using a beat from Captain Sky's "Super Sporm". described himself as an "MC popper" a style Baker summarized as rapping "sort of half-time thing. [23][24] Baker took the acetate into the Music Factory record shop in Brooklyn. Bambaataa was heavily inspired by the band’s futuristic sounding electronic music, and interpolated portions of Kraftwerk’s songs, including “Numbers” and “Trans-Europe Express”. Bambaataa was a founding member of the Bronx River Projects-area street gang, The Savage Seven. [6][7][8] Robie detested disco music, believing musicians did not have to have talent to make it, declaring "you had people playing to metronomes, everyone sounding the same, and lyrics that were nonsensical and generally infantile. [16] On its release, the genre of the song was not clear. He noted the influence of James Brown, Sly & The Family Stone, George Clinton and his bands Parliament and Funkadelic. Photo: Janette Beckman/Redferns "We played him 'Numbers' and asked him to copy the beat, and then Bambaataa asked him to copy the beat from 'Super Sperm', so that's what we did first. According to one legend, Arthur Baker figured out what the next single should be while having lunch on the terrace or in the park. The newer version lacks bite. [3] Bambaataa met Silverman at one of his DJ sets, which led to working on releases for Tommy Boy including "Let's Vote" by Nuri and other tracks for a girl group called Cotton Candy. But Kraftwerk itself sounded entirely new. "Planet Rock" is a song by the American hip hop artists Afrika Bambaataa and the Soul Sonic Force. Baker claims that he foresaw the future of the single during the first session: “Sweetheart, we’ve just made musical history”. Earlier meetings with radio station personnel asking them to play hip hop were met with claims it was not a genre but a fad; they refused to play it. [25] In an interview in the July 24, 1982, issue of Billboard Silverman says that "Planet Rock" had only been available for 90 days. Kraftwerk co-founder Florian Schneider lost his battle with cancer last week at the age of 73. [10] The music for both "Play At Your Own Risk" and "Planet Rock" were recorded on the same tape. "[46] Norman Cook of The Housemartins began DJing at the age of 18 after hearing "Planet Rock". [11][5] Baker says he cannot remember where the title "Planet Rock" came from, but that G.L.O.B.E. "[52] François K, a musician, studio producer and engineer who has worked with Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode, Diana Ross and The Cure declared that "Planet Rock" was the song he most associated with New York in the early 1980s, adding that "there was nothing else that could touch that record [...] There was nothing that year that could top what "Planet Rock" did. [21], Author William Eric Perkins described "Planet Rock" as "lyrically simple", with lyrics that encouraged the listener to have a "fun life and a funky good time". [17] while DJ Muggs of Cypress Hill said that on the West Coast, hip hop had not hit until around 1984 and people listening to "Planet Rock" called it funk. [1], Afrika Bambaataa had worked as a disc jockey in the mid-1970s working block parties in the south east Bronx. Side B. [33][34] Ron Wynn of AllMusic felt the remixes were unsuccessful, noting that "Planet Rock"'s "hook was old-school, as was its charm. Adopting the name of a 19th century Zulu chief, Afrika Bambaataa was a godfather of the NY hip-hop scene during the 1970's. [1] [41], Robert Palmer of The New York Times called "Planet Rock" "perhaps the most influential black pop record of 1982", noting its influence on "both the black pop mainstream and several leading white new-wave rockers". The song features simple lyrics discussing the power of music and having a fun time. The recording came together after DJ and producer Baker met with Bambaataa and the two bonded over the idea of creating a song about their mutual appreciation for the band Kraftwerk. "[38] The NME placed "Planet Rock" at 16th on their 1982 best of the year ranking. "[11] The rappers wanted to perform something closer to "Jazzy Sensation" and other tracks that were on the R&B charts. 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