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Classic Rock Crate Digger: Prog's Red-Headed Stepchild ... Krautrock

Classic Rock Crate Digger: Prog's Red-Headed Stepchild ... Krautrock


Welcome to another edition of Classic Rock Crate Digger, a (near) weekly column wherein Napster nerd Justin Farrar wanders the never-ending maze that is our catalog in search of classic rock's forgotten gems. If you're new 'round these parts, then also check out the Crate Digger's archives.

A column exploring classic rock's long-lost and overlooked might seem like an odd forum for a Krautrock primer, but a little historical excavation proves otherwise. Nowadays, most music critics and historians consider Krautrock, a tag used to describe Germany's experimental rock scene in the 1970s, to be an "alternative" genre, an eccentric forefather of punk, post-punk, industrial and electronica. That's all true. However, when record stores in the United States and the U.K. first started importing albums from Can, Faust, Tangerine Dream and so on in the early 1970s, these bands were often tagged "progressive rock," right alongside heavies like Yes, King Crimson, The Soft Machine and Van Der Graaf Generator. This isn't to say progressive rock and Krautrock are synonymous, but back in the day, their respective fan bases often possessed considerable overlap.

Considering prog is well within the Crate Digger's wheelhouse, then it's high time I spotlighted 11 of my all-time favorite Krautrock albums.

I mean, hey, we all have to take a break from Thin Lizzy every now and then!