The band was most popular during its early years in the 1970s, but they have remained influential in the music world, inspiring the likes of Gary Numan and David Bowie. Kraftwerk’s music has also been sampled by many other artists, including Dr. Dre, Justin Timberlake and Coldplay.
“Kraftwerk were a huge influence on the early hip-hop scene, and they basically invented electro, which has had a huge influence on contemporary R&B and pop,” musician Moby told The New York Times in 2009. “Kraftwerk are to contemporary electronic music what the Beatles and the Rolling Stones are to contemporary rock music.”
Seven of the 10 albums Kraftwerk released during Schneider’s time with the band made the Billboard 200 chart. Autobahn, released in 1974, reached No. 5 on the charts and the album’s title track reached No. 25 on the Billboard 100.
Schneider left Kraftwerk in 2008 after nearly 40 years, but prior to his death the band had announced plans to reunite this summer on a North American tour. The tour, a celebration of Kraftwerk’s 50th anniversary, was canceled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
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