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1974 – Autobahn

February 11th, 2019 · Posted by Skuds in Life · No Comments · Life

By 1974 I was away at boarding school so surrounded by older boys and their musical choices, which made up for the lack of older siblings to introduce me to music. Yes we may have been a dormitory full of 11/12 year-olds but we had some 16-year-olds as dorm monitors to expose us to their much more developed tastes.

By choice we may have still been listening to ABBA, Hot Chocolate, David Essex, Pilot, the Stylistics, and the Elton John singles but the dorm monitors were making sure we got a healthy dose of Deep Purple, Genesis, Status Quo and Elton John album tracks.

What surprises me a little, looking back, is how much we were into things that were really quite credible. At the time it was just music. we were not very snobby about it, giving equal weight to Suzi Quatro’s Devil Gate Drive and I know What I Like (In My Wardrobe) by Genesis. So Radar Love was a big feature of the year, along with Sparks and Killer Queen. I can still remember that WTF feeling when Killer Queen turned up on TOTP.

With my retrospective hat on, the main contenders for song of 1974 are probably:

  • For the Love of Money by the O’Jays
  • Autobahn by Kraftwerk
  • Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me by Elton John
  • Tiger Feet by Mud
  • You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet by Bachman-Turner Overdrive

And in a penalty shoot-out Autobahn just clinches it from Tiger Feet. I was obsessed with Tiger Feet when it came out. I have probably never loved a song as much as I loved that one for a period of a couple of months, but though I still have a soft spot for it clearly Autobahn has greater staying power and has had a huge impact on music generally. Also, I remember writing an essay about Kraftwerk for music classes. I am pretty sure I never wrote any essays about Mud.

I wonder what our old music teacher made of my Kraftwerk essay? I’m pretty sure he gave it a B because he gave everything a B. Nobody from my school can remember him giving a mark other than B, B+ or B-

I did have the 7″ single of Autobahn, and that was great, and became even greater when I got to hear the full album-length version when I bought the vinyl album. Later on I bought the CD, and of course I now have the surround version from the Minimum-Maximum live album/DVD to get the full majesty of it.


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