Kraftwerk ‘Numbers’ beat was Cliff Richard steal, reveals Karl Bartos
Revelations aplenty await in new book
Karl Bartos, a member of Kraftwerk throughout their most creative period, has revealed that he borrowed the beat for their anthemic track ‘Numbers’ from a Cliff Richard track.
‘Do You Want To Dance’ by Cliff Richard & The Shadows was one of the British pop records that a young Bartos heard thanks to his future brother in law, a British military policeman posted to Germany, Bartos told Radio 4’s arts show Front Row.
Bartos, who played the electric drums with the band, told the programme recording sessions during the 70s saw the band arranged “like a string ensemble”.
The genesis of ‘Numbers’ (track three on the Computer World album) occurred, he says. when he subconsciously recalled the intro from ‘Do You Want To Dance’ in a jam session.
“The drummer from The Shadows had this drum intro,” he said, “and my subconscious took the last bar of it from the off beat, and this off beat turned into the beat of ‘Numbers’.”
Bartos says he eventually left the band in August 1990, as they shifted more towards using computer technology and relied less on live improvisation.
His book on his time with Kraftwerk and beyond ‘The Sound of the Machine’ is released this Friday.
Hear the full interview on BBC Sounds here