Once again, this is something that may turn into a regular series but it wholly dependent on reader reaction and offers to contribute further. It’s sort of a sideshow to the ‘Had It. Lost It.’ series.

The idea is to offer up some thoughts on a song that, to most reasonably-minded individuals, is held up as a classic but to the ears of the contributor is completely overrated.

I could kick things off with just about any song ever written and recorded by The Beatles. I do know, and I do fully accept, that they made a bigger single contribution to the development of pop/rock than almost anyone else you care to mention but for some reason or other I haven’t ever taken to them. I don’t have any vinyl or CDs in what is a fairly substantial collection although I do know, thanks to constant exposure to their hits and album tracks throughout my entire life, hundreds of their songs, some of which I do find passable while others just leave me cold.

Liking or not liking a classic can very easily be a generational thing, whether it being down to the song being released years before a listener developed a real interest in music or perhaps it comes from such a new era that the same listener isn’t keeping up with trends. As such, the one rule for any True Confessions features, is the song must be from the era when the contributor lived and breathed music.

My first ‘fess up is that I don’t like The Model, the song with which Kraftwerk conquered the UK charts in 1982.

While my first real love was new wave/post-punk, from which I would fall head over heels for indie-guitar from the early 80s onwards, I was someone who really enjoyed bands that incorporated synths/keyboards into their sound; indeed I think I’ve demonstrated this in a fair number of the blog postings over the years. Kraftwerk, however, are a band that I haven’t ever quite got to grips with, albeit I do have some of their singles on vinyl sitting in the big cupboard. But not The Model.

I haven’t, until now, actually sat down to think why this is the case and even trying to explain it with the sole reliance on the written word seems beyond me; it’s one of those occasions where I could do with a rammy in the pub with some close friends to tease it all out. I’m instead having to settle on an internal word-association exercise and I’m coming up with – Repetitive. Dirge. Off-key. Cold. Annoying. Hypnotic (in that it makes me want to nod off). Repetitive.

I’m even boring myself trying to write about it far less listen to it. And then, just as I get frustrated with myself and think about hitting the delete button as I’m not making much headway, I realise that, compared to other Kraftwerk songs, The Model is actually a novelty number; indeed, it’s almost a p!ss-take of the band and the sounds they were striving to develop in the infant years of electronica. Like most novelty records, the charms, if they exist to begin with, wear off very quickly and it becomes annoying to the point of never wanting to willingly listen to it again (although, wearing my DJ hat, I do accept and acknowledge that it can be the perfect tune for a particular time, place and crowd)

mp3 : Kraftwerk – The Model

Bring on the brickbats.



19 thoughts on “TRUE CONFESSIONS

  1. I can agree to your words. Kraftwerk made much better songs than this one JC. It seems also a great idea for a new series. The first thing that came to my mind was Don’t you (Forget about me) by Simple Minds. Compared to their first singles like I travel or Sweat in Bullet it is rubbish. More soon.

  2. Stone roses fools gold for me , an okay groove that outstays its welcome and a major let down after the sparkling debut lp.
    The whole career of bob dylan

  3. Another negative feature, JC? Isn’t it better to celebrate the things we love rather than carp about the stuff we don’t?

  4. I could say most of Oasis in their pomp, though I quite liked some of the stuff they did in what the rest of the world considers their declining years.

    Actually, I’ve got a cracker of an example (not Oasis) which I shall have to write up. I appear to have found myself living in a world where one dreadful record in particular seems to be universally acclaimed even by people whom I would expect to know better. Though interestingly it doesn’t seem to have appeared here before, so maybe I am not alone!

    As for “The Model”, it’s interesting that the BBC Four documentary about Kraftwerk a couple of years ago, didn’t even mention the fact that they had a number one hit or play the song at all. Though I wouldn’t necessarily rush to applaud the producer’s editorial choices, given that while we didn’t hear “The Model”, we did get Coldplay performing “Talk” in pretty much its entirety…

  5. Here’s a series that could well and truly put the cat among the pigeons JC! There are several sacred cows, some much beloved by our little corner of the interweb, that just leave me cold. In fact I sketched out a series of my own a few years back on this very topic, which I was going to call ‘Who Do You Loathe?’. I scrapped the idea in the end though as I felt it was a bit too negative – each to their own and all that. I’m certain there are plenty of oddities in my own collection that would leave many people scratching their heads in bewilderment at my bizarre body-swerves in taste.
    All that being said, I’d go along with your thoughts on ‘The Model’!

  6. The worst song ever in the history of songs has to be Paul Simon “You Can Call Me Al” which is from the “acclaimed” Graceland album.

    WTF is that all bout?

  7. It is much better Rol; but after all these years of trying to do just that I’m in the mood for getting a few things off my chest and am happy to afford the same opportunity to everyone!

  8. My friends, I humbly submit that Had It/Lost It is as far as we ought to go in the direction of bashing acts that went wrong. I love to comment on TVV posts, but only when I’ve got something positive to say. I read this blog faithfully and if I’m not in the comments it means the featured band or song doesn’t do anything for me. There’s plenty of music that the other regulars love and feel strongly about that I’m either indifferent to or absolutely can’t stand. When that happens I keep quiet and let the other folks enjoy their biz. I know something excellent will be posted up the next day. So, I’m with Rol on this one: let’s focus on the positive. If I want to get online and see a bunch of negative text all I have to do is see what our disgrace of a “president” tweeted that day. (And I’ve always liked ‘The Model’.)

  9. I like the sound of this series, JC, and don’t mind the idea of interspersing the large number of posts about things we like with some about the things we don’t, as find it interesting, and want to understand the basis behind the opinions I don’t agree with – or enjoy the debate. Sometimes I need a bit fire in my belly! As long as it doesn’t become too personal of course.
    I like the idea of ‘Who Do You Loathe’ too, TS.
    And I like The Model. Although I can’t quite explain why, I just do.

  10. I love the idea of writing about stuff you don’t like. I could do an entire series featuring U2 alone! Besides – your blog, your rules. We don’t have to agree with you, we don’t even have to read it if we don’t like negativity.

  11. Hmm… It’s always good to have an opinion, but I think one person’s caviar is another’s fish paste sandwich, and we should all respect that. I’d rather hear someone recommend a song, band, singer, piece of music, rather than knock it. I’ve spent most of my life having people refer to the music I listen to as weird, rubbish, or whatever, but I still listen to it, sod their opinion.
    For the record (no pun intended), I really like The Model, considering it was originally released in 1978, it actually chimed with the synthpop era, which was hitting it’s peak in late 81/early 82, which shows how far ahead Kraftwerk were.
    It was a reluctant no. 1, as it’s one of a very small selection of songs that was a b-side, but got flipped and played by DJ’s, and became a bigger hit, like Groove Is In The Heart by Dee-Lite, and How Soon Is Now by The Smiths, which is something that will probably never happen again in these days of downloads and streaming.
    Maybe that would be a better series, gems hidden away as b-sides,remixes, or hidden tracks?

  12. I like the idea of B-Side Gems…I like The Model, but I liked it way before 1982. By Computer World, the year before, it felt like Kraftwerk were following instead of leading…

  13. I’ve always found Kraftwerk really boring which is quite strange as I loved John Foxx and early Numan both really influenced by them. Also people have said you like loads of dance music how can you not like Kraftwerk but I got into dance from the soulful/disco Garage of NY and the House sounds of Chicago, the love of the Belleville Three came later. I never liked Depeche Mode either who were apparently a big influence in Detroit Techno too.

  14. This is a bloody great idea for a series, JC, an inverted Guilty Pleasures if you will. But frustratingly, I can’t think of a single example…there must be some…I will be back!

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