There are very few bands that can be described as peerless, but I do believe that this is a term that can be applied to Kraftwerk. On the back of an excellent BBC documentary 'Kraftwerk: Pop Art', here is a recording of the band at their creative height.
I think that Kraftwerk really do transcend the limitations of a band, everything is considered, perfected and protected. The music clearly, but also the visuals, be it in the way the band dress or the stage sets. The way the band communicate with the media (or should that be the way the band don't communicate with the media!) preserves a mystique around this quartet of somewhat odd men from the Ruhr.
In recent years they have been touring the world with their catalogue shows featuring each of their eight key albums from Autobahn to Tour De France Soundtracks. In doing so they have taken to playing internationally renowned art galleries, another acknowledgement of the pop meets art concept. In London they played the Tate Modern on the South Bank, a doubly relevant venue, being both art gallery and former power station.
In the Pop Art documentary, Paul Morley said something along the lines that Kraftwerk were culturally more important than The Beatles and I think in that he is probably correct. The Beatles took an existing music genre and turned it into something extraordinary. Kraftwerk create their own genre and in doing so inspired others to create something new also, be it electronica or hip-hop.
01 Intro / Numbers / Computer World
02 Computer Love
03 Home Computer
04 The Model
05 Neon Lights
06 Geiger Counter / Radioactivity
07 The Voice Of Energy / Uranium / Die Sonne, Der Mond, Die Sterne / Ohm Sweet Ohm
08 Autobahn (Part 1)
01 Autobahn (Part 2)
02 Trans Europe Express
03 Metal On Metal
04 Hall Of Mirrors
05 Mitternacht / Les Mannequins
06 Pocket Calculator
07 The Robots
Kraftwerk on French TV performing 'The Robots' and 'Radioactivity'