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View Full Version : Coldplay "sampling" Kraftwerk.



Woebot
03-08-2005, 08:32 PM
Recently I've been nursing a bit of a Kraftwerk thing. I'm even reading Pascal Bussy's really dreadful book about them. And actually a month or so ago I'd think this was beneath discussing....

Then it came to my attention that they let Coldplay "adorn" one of their rubbish LP filler tracks with the chords from "Computer Love."

Why on earth did they let this happen? apparently they usually never approve this sort of thing.

On one level it's a tritely clever gesture of Coldplays. "Classic rock riff", rendered as classic rock riff. A likke Radiohead-ification, in character with a band that seem to flirt with all the post-rave paraphanalia but never get-it-the-fuck-on which Thom Yorke and crew (to their credit) did on Kid A.

Surely Kraftwerk must have seen this strictly as a kind of astute demographic advertisment. With Techno and Rave seeming like they never happened, they feel they need to latch safely and squarely onto the new generation of guitar music.

But what a wretched track to let happen. The way the original works those chords are the hook, but on the geetar version its like the sounds are in the wrong place in the track. At the wrong time.

LRJP!
03-08-2005, 08:47 PM
Surely Kraftwerk must have seen this strictly as a kind of astute demographic advertisment. With Techno and Rave seeming like they never happened, they feel they need to latch safely and squarely onto the new generation of guitar music.


Fits with the look and feel of the whole enterprise i suppose... Kraftwerk should really get around to selling franchises...

I managed to read about this 'adorning' someplace else too.

I almost want to hear it, just because i've been having trouble trying to imagine how it goes; is it the main riff of the track or like a quotation in the middle eight? Is it credited in the publishing? I'd like to think the 'werk were above that sort of thing. Planet Rock (and so on) was unofficial/uncredited, wasn't it?

Blackdown
03-08-2005, 11:56 PM
surely it's not a sample, it's two re-recorded riffs with a song built around it...? so legally there's no issue of Kraftwerk having sold anything.

Nick Gutterbreakz
04-08-2005, 07:41 AM
I heard it on the radio a couple of times. I agree the arrangements don't really work. Not sure what the legal sitaution is here. As it is not a sample, there's no need for clearence as such. Surely automatic publishin rights will kick-in. But whether or not K'werk would have to approve the use of their tune when appropriated in another song is a matter of debate.

Fave Kraftwerk covers, anyone? I still dig Big Blacks' 'The Model'.

btw, I posted this at Loki's blog months ago, but it's still lying around on my server so might as well re-link it here..

Top Of The Pops - Autobahn (http://bleepfiend.co.uk/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/Top%20Of%20The%20Pops%20-%20Autobahn.mp3)

I know it's sort of...rubbish, but everyone missed the point: it's still too good, considering it was bashed-off by a bunch of session musicians on an ARP 2600 during a single recording session. The 'whooosh' effects in particular are remarkably similar.

Sorry to hijack the thread, btw

qwerty south
04-08-2005, 09:36 AM
Zhou Qisheng - "The Model" - chinese singer

http://archive.wfmu.org:5555/archive/BL/BL_Zhou_Qishing_-_The_Model.mp3

3underscore
04-08-2005, 10:11 AM
surely it's not a sample, it's two re-recorded riffs with a song built around it...? so legally there's no issue of Kraftwerk having sold anything.

Yes. The impression I got was that Coldplay listened to Kraftwerk, then "inadvertently" ended up ripping off the riff on one of their tunes. Kraftwerk would never have known anything about it to stop it.

The people at the label had probably never heard Kraftwerk and thought it was some Coldplay genius, and then it gets spotted by reviewers and listeners when released. Probably not as unlikely as it might sound.

sufi
04-08-2005, 10:29 AM
Coldplay did a cover of Kylie's 'Can't get you outa me head' at Glastonbury....

I kinda blanked the whole incident so i can't tell you whether it was worthwhile, i was searching for the track to see if i could re-kindle those lost memories, but couldnt find it on the beeb website where they did promise to post it up... i'll check slsk & share it wit you lucky people?

a bit of postmodern lowest common denominator...

dHarry
04-08-2005, 12:04 PM
http://www.contactmusic.com/new/xmlfeed.nsf/mndwebpages/martin%20sent%20kraftwerk%20begging%20letter

quote:

COLDPLAY frontman CHRIS MARTIN was so desperate to use a riff by German rockers KRAFTWERK - he wrote them a pleading letter in childish German.

The YELLOW singer recently admitted he was hooked on the electronic band's melodies, and that his new single TALK includes a Kraftwerk sample.

But he was only able to obtain the riff by writing to frontman RALF HUTTER and begging him to let Coldplay use it.

He admits, "The only thing I could think of was the pen pal letters I learnt in German lessons at school. I had no idea if they knew who Coldplay were so had to explain myself like a 15 year-old school-boy.

"Dear Ralf, I sing in a band called Coldplay, blah, blah. I drew a little picture. Everyone says it's extraordinary that they said yes.'

nonseq
04-08-2005, 11:13 PM
"As a rule, listening to other people's music is not an approved Kraftwerk activity. "Not really," Huetter says with a dry smile. "We listen to silence, and concentrate on making music. But of course, on this tour, we went to a lot of underground after-hours clubs. The South American techno vibe is interesting for us. But at home, no, I haven't even activated my sound system." (http://stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3330755a4500,00.html)

> I don't think they really care about such trifles as cover versions.

afrobongo
05-08-2005, 12:29 AM
Well then it's not the first time.


"God Put A Smile Upon Your Face"

has a few weird similarities with one of the songs of Badden Powell's "Os Afro Samba"

I don't remember wich one though

kingofcars
05-08-2005, 01:03 AM
Fave Kraftwerk covers, anyone? I still dig Big Blacks' 'The Model'.



snakefinger's cover of 'the model' is worth mentioning. it's weird as fuck.

notoriousJ.I.M
05-08-2005, 01:05 AM
Recently I've been nursing a bit of a Kraftwerk thing. I'm even reading Pascal Bussy's really dreadful book about them.

Yes it's dreadful. A much better book (imho) is Kraftwerk: From Düsseldorf to the Future (http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/aktivitaet/book2.htm) by Tim Barr (former Future Music editor).

Nick Gutterbreakz
05-08-2005, 07:18 AM
Yes it's dreadful. A much better book (imho) is Kraftwerk: From Düsseldorf to the Future (http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/aktivitaet/book2.htm) by Tim Barr (former Future Music editor).

Anyone read Wolfgang Flur's book? I thought it was really funny. So was his album...

Woebot
05-08-2005, 09:01 AM
Yes it's dreadful. A much better book (imho) is Kraftwerk: From Düsseldorf to the Future (http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/aktivitaet/book2.htm) by Tim Barr (former Future Music editor).

yeah i should have probably picked that one up instead....

Ness Rowlah
05-08-2005, 10:32 AM
good call Woe. I was thinking about blogging about this a while ago - but let it skip.
The surprising thing is that Kraftwerk allowed this to happen.
Then again - maybe it's a "do not try to pidgeonhole us" sort of thing
(ehh - it's hard not to with Kraftwerk); just like Dylan's Starbucks agreement.

notoriousJ.I.M
05-08-2005, 12:21 PM
Anyone read Wolfgang Flur's book? I thought it was really funny. So was his album...

It's called I Was A Robot, I've been meaning to pick it up since Ralf and Florian launched legal procedings. He must have hit a nerve. I'm not sure about the Yamo stuff though, did anyone pick up Karl Bartos's solo stuff? Much better imo...

xero
05-08-2005, 01:01 PM
what about lcd soundsystem's shameless rip of a riff from 'home computer' on 'disco infiltrator' - is that acceptable? authorised? credited?

rewch
05-08-2005, 01:47 PM
not relevant... or even particularly interesting but at work we can only get radio 1 (oh dear, oh dear, oh dear) & one particularly noxious offering from coldplay (think it's coldplay but could be one of at least a dozen similarly mawkish groups) begins with a heavy weight drum beat which fools me each time i hear it into thinking that radio 1 are about to play when the levee breaks... this is, as you would expect, never the case & i wonder whether in light of the above discussion coldplay have made a habit of this type of 'quotation' and indeed whether their success might be built on others' work

henrymiller
05-08-2005, 01:50 PM
whenever public enemy get played, i always think it's going to be james brown. does anyone else think they have built their success out of OTHER PEOPLE'S MUSIC OMG.

Nick Gutterbreakz
05-08-2005, 04:38 PM
what about lcd soundsystem's shameless rip of a riff from 'home computer' on 'disco infiltrator' - is that acceptable? authorised? credited?

a very good point. it's an outrageously obvious lift. i'd check the sleeve for credits, but i've leant it to a mate of mine.

Nick Gutterbreakz
05-08-2005, 04:40 PM
It's called I Was A Robot, I've been meaning to pick it up since Ralf and Florian launched legal procedings. He must have hit a nerve. I'm not sure about the Yamo stuff though, did anyone pick up Karl Bartos's solo stuff? Much better imo...

I've got the first one, Esperanto, which has it's moments. I think he made an album with (gulp!) guitars too, though I've not heard it.

Tactics
05-08-2005, 05:31 PM
and the track is fire. Simple as.

Blackdown
07-08-2005, 03:44 PM
listening to the coldplay tune again, it's so ravey/ecstacy-esque. it's ripe for an A&R to commission a big room house remix.

sufi
07-08-2005, 04:14 PM
coldplay play kylie (http://railtonroad.com/mp3/09%20Can't%20Get%20You%20Out%20Of%20My%20Head.mp3)

confirmed my worst fears : 6th form flatness : excruciating

Martin Dust
07-08-2005, 07:37 PM
Sweet baby jesus - another reason to hate them

Elan
08-08-2005, 04:57 PM
In defense of Coldplay: at least they know enough to rip off/pay homage to Kraftwerk.

Jesse D Serrins
08-08-2005, 05:01 PM
In defense of not liking Coldplay: listening to that live bit there, Chris Martin really can't sing, can he? I mean, it's not like he's not trying...

bassdude
20-01-2006, 08:27 PM
The Coldplay/Kraftwerk song which is all over the radio right now, is not a sample of any kind. They just borrowed the melody and chorus, pretty much the whole song, and did their own arrangement with totally new lyrics over it. It's actually a very nice effect, and basically they paid Kraftwerk for use of the music and melody, but not the words. As they got permission to do so and gave Kraftwerk credit, I have no problem with it whatsover. Maybe a couple kids will get turned on to Kraftwerk! Dave.

henry s
20-01-2006, 08:51 PM
The Coldplay/Kraftwerk song which is all over the radio right now, is not a sample of any kind. They just borrowed the melody and chorus, pretty much the whole song, and did their own arrangement with totally new lyrics over it. It's actually a very nice effect, and basically they paid Kraftwerk for use of the music and melody, but not the words. As they got permission to do so and gave Kraftwerk credit, I have no problem with it whatsover. Maybe a couple kids will get turned on to Kraftwerk! Dave.
just to play the devil's advocate here, what if we substituted, say, "Afrika Bambaataa" for "Coldplay" above?

Grievous Angel
20-01-2006, 10:40 PM
I like it (ducks)

Gabba Flamenco Crossover
21-01-2006, 12:51 PM
I heard this & I thought it blowed. It's not inspired by computer love - it is computer love, played on drippy guitars with added drippy lyrics.

Chris Martin asked Kraftwerk politely because if he hadnt they'd have sued for 100% of the publishing and won. And kraftwerk said yes because why turn down a few million from a song that no-one's even going to remember this time next year? meanwhile the original will still be listened to decades from now.

Coldplay were under immense pressure from EMI during the recording of this album. What this song sounds like to me is a last minute 'omigod we need one more song or they wont release the album' botch job.

EMI are reaping the harvest of investing an enormous amount of money in a band who, for all their undoubted dilligence and global vision, have ultimately only got one tune which they rewrite over and over again - and have now been forced into remedying that situation by buying a tune in wholesale from someone else and forfeiting a hefty chunk of thier income as a result.

Meanwhile Kraftwerk are laughing all the way to the bank, and good luck to them.

mms
21-01-2006, 01:03 PM
i read the nme's reaction to this and it was pretty much ' isn't it gweat that coldplay are using this obscure and difficult music in their songs' which was both really patronising and a massive case of selective amnesia at the same time.

robin
21-01-2006, 04:48 PM
i read the nme's reaction to this and it was pretty much ' isn't it gweat that coldplay are using this obscure and difficult music in their songs' which was both really patronising and a massive case of selective amnesia at the same time.

i thought this song was the most offensive thing i'd ever heard even before i saw an excerpt from an interview with chris martin in which he said,(and i'm paraphrasing here but i swear to god not exagerrating at all):

"the great thing about sampling kraftwerk is that no one really knows who they are.they're sort of like the original gorrillaz"

as for whether its a rip off,i dont mind artists covering/sampling who they like,its just that the track itself is so shit..all the subtlety of the original is replaced with the worst stadium rock pomp imaginable...

robin
21-01-2006, 04:49 PM
ps-chris martin also once obsevered in an interview (again paraphrasing but not changing the meaning at all) that if only hitler had smoked a few joints and listened to a bit of bob marley then maybe things wouldnt have turned out so bad...

hurricane run
21-01-2006, 07:04 PM
Sorry but is this is shooting fish in a barrel. Personally i find athlete far more offensive.

DavidD
21-01-2006, 07:24 PM
I think this song is pretty good too. It's not as good as the original but it is very different to my ears, in the effect/mood they're going for. But then I like Coldplay in general.

Martin Dust
21-01-2006, 07:40 PM
Wait till you hear the remix - I'd give them both chambers and Kirk D a clip around the tab for giving him the album to listen to in the first place... :p

Grievous Angel
21-01-2006, 09:15 PM
Wait till you hear the remix - I'd give them both chambers and Kirk D a clip around the tab for giving him the album to listen to in the first place... :p
Kirk Di Giorgio gave Coldplay kraftwerk albums to listen to? That's a story worth hearing!

Martin Dust
21-01-2006, 10:35 PM
Yeah, that's the way it went down...Kirk has just done an album with New Religion, and one of the guys who runs the label has something to do with Coldplay - there's even a track on the album that Martin plays on...Matthew did the sleeve notes as well :)

gumdrops
27-06-2011, 11:13 AM
saw a bit of them at glasto. have to give it up to them - they know how to give good show. lots of energy and i they adapted their old songs well, you can tell a lot of time was put into the set and how the songs went into each other and so on. BUT chris martin is too much of a star now and too confident to really do the old shy/self effacing routine i think (this might not be a new development but ive not exactly been keeping track of his career). and the drummer kept doing that twee 'cant you see how happy and lost in the vibe i am maaan' face which never quite convinced. plus his beard irritated me. but that vida la vida track i like.