Song of the Day #4,900: ‘Radioactivity’ – Kraftwerk

German electronic band Kraftwerk formed in 1969 and over the next decade released seven albums that helped define the electro-pop and rap music of the 1980s. Without Kraftwerk, there would likely be no Depeche Mode, Human League, OMD or Soft Cell.

Depending on your taste, that might not be a ringing endorsement. But their impact is undeniable, and so they were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in the ‘Early Influence’ category, reserved for acts that might not have made a huge splash commercially but helped pave the path for others.

Kraftwerk was first eligible for Hall inclusion in 1996 and received six nominations before finally making it in this year.

Founding band member Florian Schneider died in early 2020, which might have helped push his band past the finish line the following year. It’s a shame how often Rock Hall inductees pass away before receiving the honor.

Radioactivity
Radioactivity
Is in the air for you and me
Radioactivity
Discovered by Madame Curie
Radioactivity
Tune in to the melody
Radioactivity
Is in the air for you and me

Radioactivity
Is in the air for you and me
Radioactivity
Discovered by Madame Curie
Radioactivity
Tune in to the melody

Radioaktivität
Fur dich und mich in All entsteht
Radioaktivität
Strahlt Wellen zum Empfangsgerat

Radioaktivität
Wenn’s um unsere zukunft geht
Radioaktivität
Fur dich und mich in All entsteht
Radioactivity
Is in the air for you and me
Radioactivity
Discovered by Madame Curie
Radioactivity
Tune in to the melody
Radioactivity
Is in the air for you and me

Radioactivity
Discovered by Madame Curie
Radioactivity
Tune in to the melody
Radioactivity
Is in the air for you and me
Radioactivity
Is in the air for you and me

4 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,900: ‘Radioactivity’ – Kraftwerk

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    One obvious way to reduce the number of posthumous inductions would be to lower the number of years (25) from first recording in order to be eligible. It is lower in sports hall of fames, and, as with those other Halls, you would have some clear inductees in the first year of eligibility, while others would still have to wait years or decades to get in, if they ever do at all. They could even create another category for old timers, like sports halls do, to give certain artists who were overlooked a better chance to get in.

    Given how, unfortunately, living the rock and roll life can lead to an early death, lowering the years of eligibility seems particularly appropriate for the Rock Hall.

    • Clay says:

      I think the 25-year period is fine. In the came of sports halls, the short clock starts ticking after the player’s career is over. In this case, it starts when an artist’s career begins. That’s a big difference.

      Kraftwerk was inducted 50 years after the start of their career, so the Hall had nearly 25 years AFTER the initial 25 year period to honor them while Schneider was still alive.

      I’d have to check the stats, but my guess is that there are so many posthumous inductions because the artist’s death results in them getting more votes on the next ballot. Which is a sad catch-22. They had to die to get in!

  2. Peg says:

    I agree with Dana. I have never heard of today’s inductee or those he paved the way for. Just not a fan of electro-pop or rap. I guess that’s why.

  3. willedare says:

    Thank you for writing about such a wide range of music. I need to listen to more Kraftwerk. I only know a few of their songs.

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