Happy 15th: Kraftwerk, MINIMUM-MAXIMUM
15 years ago this weekend – on Saturday, to be precise – Kraftwerk released their first official live album, a document of their 2004 world tour.
Released nearly three and a half decades after the band’s first live performance, MINIMUM-MAXIMUM features performances from a number of different dates throughout 2004, including Berlin, Budapest, London, Moscow, Riga, San Francisco, Tallinn, Tokyo, and Warsaw. There was at least one location that wasn’t represented, and it was a major disappointment to Ralf Hutter.
“We have great recordings from Santiago, Chile, but couldn’t incorporate them into MINIMUM-MAXIMUM because we’d already mixed the album,” Hutter told Mojo. “The Chileans were the only audience in the world who clap in time, in perfect synchronization.”
It’s also notable that the album was released in both German and English versions, although it wasn’t a situation that was unique to their discography: the band released two versions of the LPs with some regularity.
As with most live albums, MINIMUM-MAXIMUM didn’t exactly set the charts on fire, but it did hit #4 on Billboard’s Dance/Electronic Albums chart, went top-20 in Belgium, and made it into the top-40 in Austria, Germany, Sweden, and the UK. Granted, it probably helped that Kraftwerk really didn’t tour that often, but arguably the biggest reason for its success is that they put on a great live show.
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