KEXP.ORG Donate Now!

KEXP DOCUMENTARIES   [Back]

POP Goes ELECTRONIC
1950’s science fiction films were the first place electronic music was heard by most music fans. Inventors had played with electronic instruments since the 1890’s but it wasn’t until films like 1958’s "Forbidden Planet" started showing that music made by computers was finally heard by a large number of people in the US and UK.


# 10 New Order

Rising out of the ashes of post-punk legends Joy Division, New Order chose a lighter pop sound. They incorporated influences from disco and from electronic-pop pioneers Kraftwerk to create the top-selling UK single of all time--“Blue Monday."

Flash player required for streaming.
Direct link

New Order - From Myspace

Blue Monday Became The Top Selling UK Single Of All Time In 1983

# 9 Art of Noise

Classically-trained musicians meet cutting-edge producers in The Art of Noise. A London band whose state-of-the-art dance tracks went on to influence hip-hop and dance music worldwide.

Flash player required for streaming.
Direct link

Art Of Noise - In Visible Silence Album

Album - Who's Afraid Of The Art Of Noise

# 8 Depeche Mode

One of the longest-running careers in electronic pop, Depeche Mode are also one of the most successful bands of all time. Click here to find out about the men behind the machine.

Flash player required for streaming.
Direct link

Depeche Mode - From Myspace

Depeche Mode - Speak and Spell Album

# 7 Soft Cell

The duo Soft Cell took punk attitude and added synths and catchy pop melodies to make songs about the seedier side of life. Their international megahit “Tainted Love” changed the face of pop music forever.

Flash player required for streaming.
Direct link

Soft Cell - From Myspace

Soft Cell - Non Stop Erotic Cabaret

# 6 Human League

The Human League were a well-known underground band in the UK electronic pop scene. Find out how one of the members, Phil Oakey, became famous after ditching this original band to recruit 2 girls right off the dance floor to sing on the top-charting 1981 hit “Don’t You Want Me”.

Flash player required for streaming.
Direct link

Human League Before 1980 - From Human League

Human League Post 1980 - From Myspace

# 5 Gary Numan

Best known in the US for his single “Cars”, British artist Gary Numan had several top-charting electropop hits in the UK. Many say he was just copying Kraftwerk, others give him flack for his outfits and extravagant stage show. Meet the man behind the myth!

Flash player required for streaming.
Direct link

Gary Numan Rock Star - From Myspace

Gary Numan - From Myspace

# 4 Bowie and Eno

David Bowie left Los Angeles in 1976 to escape the rockstar nightmare he had created for himself. In Berlin he found fellow Brit artist Brian Eno and their 3-album collaboration “The Berlin Trilogy” would bring electronic pop to new artistic heights.

Flash player required for streaming.
Direct link

Hansa At The Wall Studio - Courtesy davidhardingphotography.ifp3.com and hardman.imagekind.com

Bowie Low Album the First of the Berlin Trilogy

# 3 Donna Summer and Giorgio Moroder

Italian musician/producer Giorgio Moroder tells the story of “Love to Love You Baby” and “I Feel Love”--the two electronic singles he recorded with Donna Summer in Germany in the 1970s.

Flash player required for streaming.
Direct link

Giorgio Moroder And His Moustache - From Myspace

Donna Summer Ruled The 70s Dance Floor - From Myspace

# 2 Kraftwerk

Kraftwerk added lyrics to create the first electronic pop single “Autobahn” in 1974. In this episode member Karl Baudaus tells the secrets of the band whose music inspired not only other electro-pop but also the creation of hip-hop, jungle and house music.

Flash player required for streaming.
Direct link

Kraftwerk Still Perform Today - From Myspace

The First Band to Use Robots Instead of Performers - From Myspace

# 1 Tangerine Dream

Inventors, artists and musicians had experimented with electronic sound since the 1890s, but it was Berlin’s Tangerine Dream that were the first electronic band to hit the pop charts with “Phaedra” in 1974. Influenced by the improvisational nature of free jazz and the rebellion of hippie music, this group created a sound that still resounds today.

Flash player required for streaming.
Direct link

Tangerine Dreams 1974 Album Phaedra Was The First Electronic Record To Hit Pop Charts

Tangerine Dream Still Play Today and Have Released Over 100 Records - From Myspace


Go All In For KEXP's New Home!