Showroom Dummies

Composed by Ralf Hütter

Song Review by

One of the unassailable highlights of Kraftwerk’s Trans-Europe Express album, ”Showroom Dummies” joins the title track in dictating the gulf which lay between rock'n'roll and Kraftwerk's idea of rock'n'roll – all the more so after the tale of shop window mannequins who come to life and go clubbing, ”Showroom Dummies” was released in three different languages – German, English and, most unexpectedly effective of all, French. "Nous sommes les mannequins" may not sound particularly threatening, but when the strobe hit you right, and the volume started to hurt... it was.

Yet ”Showroom Dummies” was not a cold record. Wolfgang Flur explains, "I remember we loved the feel and the rhythm, and it became a very big part of ourselves. We knew we had transplanted European culture into our music. It is my greatest delight of the Kraftwerk time, because of its romanticism and its beautiful sounding melody." He is correct. Whereas other Kraftwerk albums have a futuristic sense to them, Trans-Europe Express in general, and ”Showroom Dummies” in particular, looked back as well. It was a nostalgic album, one which evoked images of an age long past, 50 or 60 years back, perhaps, when the real Trans-Europe Express was at its peak, when there really were places like the Hall of Mirrors, and where the showroom dummies posed to the strains of Franz Schubert.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Trans-Europe Express 1977 Pa / Warner Bros.
Computertour 1991 [Bootleg]
Showroom Dummies 1992 Cleopatra 6:00
The Capitol Years 1994 Cleopatra
The Model: Best of Kraftwerk 1994 Cleopatra 6:00
Electropop Essentials 1999
Various Artists
Hip-O / Hippo 6:10
The Best of Kraftwerk 1999 EMI Music Distribution 6:13
Original Electro Album, Vol. 2 2004
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 6:08
Ultra Rare Trax 2005
The Catalogue 2009 EMI / Parlophone 6:15
No Image 2017 Parlophone / Warner Music 3:39
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