Kraftwerk ‎– Tour De France (1983)

In 1982 Kraftwerk began to work on a new album that initially had the working title Technicolor but due to trademark issues was changed to Techno Pop. One of the songs from these recording sessions was “Tour de France”, which EMI released as a single in 1983. This song was a reflection of the band’s new-found obsession for cycling.  After the physically demanding Computer World tour, Ralf Hütter had been looking for forms of exercises that fitted in with the image of Kraftwerk; subsequently he encouraged the group to become vegetarians and take up cycling. “Tour de France” included sounds that followed this theme including bicycle chains, gear mechanisms and the breathing of the cyclist. At the time of the single’s release Ralf Hütter tried to persuade the rest of the band that they should record a whole album based around cycling. The other members of the band were not convinced, and the theme was left to the single alone.  “Tour de France” was released in German and French. The vocals of the song were recorded on the Kling Klang Studio stairs to create the right atmosphere.

In August 1984 the song was re-released in two new versions: a substantially different and largely instrumental arrangement, remixed by François Kevorkian in New York; and a Kraftwerk-remixed alternative version of the original arrangement, featuring longer percussive sections than the 1983 version in the latter half of the track. Sleeves for later UK pressings of this version included the message “As featured in the film Breakdance” on the front. The remix reached #24 on the UK Singles Chart and #4 on the US Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart.

Tour De France (French Version)                                  6:45

Tour De France (Francois Kevorkian Remix)                 6:47

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