_________ : Taschenrechner / Dentaku 12" (EMI Electrola, 1981)

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Kraftwerk's "Pocket Calculator" was released throughout 1981 in a bewildering array of different edits & Foreign language versions. Ironically, the original German interpretation has never been widely available outside of their home country, while the lyrics - "Ich bin der musikant mit Taschenrechner in der hand" (literally, "I'm the musician with calculator in hand") - are markedly different to the better known, English alternative. French, Italian & Mexican variations were also completed, though not necessarily issued - the Italian translation, for instance, was created exclusively for use during period television appearances such as this one (Ralk & Wolfgang exchange a sneaky smile at 2:23, you'll notice...).

"Dentaku", is an Oriental rendition that appeared on the flip of the British & Germans 45s, & as a single in it's own right in Japan, of course. Despite it's long term popularity in the U.K., it's sadly never been included as part of any subsequent edition of the Computer World album. The Japanese response to "Dentaku" has always been ecstatic - already voracious Kraftwerk fans in the main, they literally go nuts when Ralf sings in their native tongue.

Minor point of interest: the original German fade is a few seconds longer than any of the other versions, revealing an otherwise unheard &, frankly, slightly clumsy, denouement. Nice to know they might be human after all, hmm?

● Mini Calculatore


  1. they played Poland in the summer of 1981. I was a bit too young to attend their gig, anyway I watched (& still remember) the 3-minute or so footage from one of those gigs - yes, you've guessed that, it was Pocket Calculator sung in Polish!

  2. Polish too?? Somebody needs to compile an entire album of all the "Pocket Calculator" variations I think?

  3. Anonymous20.2.13

    brilliant blog,10000 thanx from argentina

  4. Anonymous9.3.13

    Just out curiosity? Do you have Junkyard by The Birthday Party on vinyl?

  5. Erm, yes... why?

    It's an original copy though, not the recent reissue.

  6. rad. thanks for sharing

  7. Anonymous8.4.13

    funny art work. thanks, check yr inbox, Sir!