“Call Kraftwerk’s Radio-Activity the theme song for maybe the best thing I’ve ever done with my time – radio, that is. The creative exploitation of those airwaves I’ve had access to – the chances taken and the activities pursued, all the while never trying to sell anybody anything except perhaps the notion that freedom is real … at least for an hour or four every now and then, late at night, after the normals have gone to bed and the bureaucratic restrictions have been mostly lifted. Not that Radioactivity’s only about that kind of radio. It also concerns the other kind, discovered by Madame Curie (I actually learned this from Kraftwerk). But the one, of course, informs the other, all those mysterious and invisible waves permeating our various spheres and personalities, touching our souls, beaming off into space, alerting who knows what alien entities of our existence … perhaps a hundred million light years from now, when they finally get the message. And the amusing thing would be if the first song they ever heard was title track of Kraftwerk’s 1975 masterpiece – the geniuses from Dusseldorf doing their damnedest to sound like machines, releasing great depths of humanity in the process.” (Philip Random)
Neu! being German for New! Hero being the closest Neu! ever came to a proper song with lyrics and singing and everything. Meanwhile, at pretty much the same moment in time, somewhere across town, their former band mates Kraftwerk were perfecting what would come to be known as techno-music. So maybe call Hero a proto-form of punk. Beat simple and four-to-the-floor, everything else snarling melodically along until screaming to noise at the end. And the world would hear it one way or another, the times would change. And seriously, who better than some malcontent German hippies to call bullshit on the whole notion of heroism? Or whatever it’s about.
From one of those albums that changed everything forever, Kraftwerk give us superlative Euro-travel music. Just put on the headphones, stare out the window of your moving vehicle, get lost in the trance of history and modernity, wreckage and beauty.