What do you answer when someone asks you what your favourite Kraftwerk album is, then? If you’re like me you say, “None of them”. If you’re like most people you’d say Computer World (1981) or Trans-Europe Express(1977). But wait! Perhaps you think those answers are the answers a BLEATING HERD OF SHEEP would give. Perhaps you, and you alone, know that the true answer is 1972’s Ralf Und Florian. Mmm, yes.

What’s that, you say? You can only get R&F as a sell-your-kidney expensive vinyl import, illegially copied off the original pressing by a Japanese lunatic? Well, that MAY BE SO, but it’s nothing to do with the quality of this transcendent record. No no no. Or, just perhaps, you horrible indie snob, yes. Really, it’s the Scooby Doo Theory of Music Taste – “My God, it was the LEAST LIKELY PERSON who dressed up as the Mummy!”. You pick the most underrated record you can and you bullishly praise it, you look cool and your questioner looks fool, works every time.

“But I really like that album!” you squeal. That’s OK. I believe you. I applaud your discerning tastes. In fact, let me help you out. Here are some other records you might just ‘enjoy’….

NEIL YOUNG – On The Beach
YOU WILL SAY: “How oh how could Neil never have released this harrowing masterpiece on CD? Especially since it is his greatest work hem hem. Apart of course from the free CD of feedback that came with Weld…”
THE TRUTH: On The Beach exactly like all other NY records, i.e. fogeyish castrato w/acoustic whinges about state of nation, girls. Girls ignore, nation ditto. Free CD of feedback as dreadful as description suggests, also pointless because of…

LOU REED – Metal Machine Music
YOU WILL SAY: “The most influential thing he ever did! Wait – you have the….CD Reissue? HA HA HA HA HA! I pity you missing out on the vinyl original and its sophisticated use of overtones!”
THE TRUTH: MMM a ridiculous chore which has ‘influenced’ only weedy men who wear niffy black T-Shirts and make ‘power electronics’, cf. ‘nihilists’ off of The Big Lebowski. Incidentially a curious coincidence that all these pioneering ‘power electronics’ releases sounded exactly like Commodore 64 computer game tapes, and came out in the mid-80s and were ‘cassette-only’ issues, don’t you think?

PINK FLOYD – Ummagumma
YOU WILL SAY: “This is their finest hour. Well, several hours. The individual suites by each member show off their furnace-like musical imaginations, while the collective live disc is a progressive masterpiece unequalled, except of course by their film soundtrack work….”
THE TRUTH: Quite simply, there is no way a civilised culture can call itself so and sanction the issue of solo works by Nick Mason and Richard Wright. Being bombed back to the caves (where we could have perhaps grooved, Pictlike, with small furry animals) would have been simple cosmic justice.

Can you think of any more, dear readers? Feel free to e-mail me suggestions for a future entry…