"Autobahn" is a song by German electronic band Kraftwerk, composed by Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider of the band, with Emil Schult collaborating on the lyrics. It is co-produced by Conny Plank, and was the band's first track to use sung lyrics. Recorded in 1974, the song is designed to capture the feel of driving on a motorway.
The instrumentation used on the song's 1974 recording was highly innovative at the time and is notable for the significant influence it had on many subsequent genres of electronic popular and dance music. Notable aspects of the arrangement included:
1. Electronic percussion pads, played by Wolfgang Flür. 2. Use of a classic 'Moog bass' sound to play the bass line, playing an octave riff with added analogue echo. 3. Liberal use of phasing on synths to play the chords. 4. Use of a vocoder to process some of the vocals. 5. Use of the so-called 'motorik' 4/4 drum beat in the song's final section.
The arrangement also included acoustic elements such as guitar and flute.
The band have continued to perform the song live regularly throughout their career. Live arrangements have evolved continuously as the band have adapted the instrumentation and equipment they use on stage.
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