|Length|| 4:20 (German Single Edit)|
3:42 (UKSingle Edit)
6:11 (album version)
|Released|| May 1978 (DE)|
| The Man-Machine|
On the original singles' B-side, "Spacelab" featured. However, both versions of the songs on the album are longer. This makes the 7" Single interesting for collectors.
It's believed to be Kraftwerk's most popular song.
In 1991, the song was one of 12 featured for remixing on The Mix and was made into a more disco/dance song.
The songs' lyrics are simple. They are about the way robots have revolutionized our world and that we can do with them what we want. They feature the Russian words Я твой слуга, Я твой работник ('I am your servant, I am your worker'), which is repeated several times during the song, originally with a vocoder and then in the form of synthesised vocals after 1990.
When the song is performed live, the band is traditionally replaced by robots that resemble themselves. The method in which this is carried out varies and depends on the performance. For example, one report of a performance in 1997 describes "four legless robot bodies [being] lowered from a lighting rig and programmed to make mechanical movements to the music", another from the following year describes the spectacle as "robot torsos and heads [being] suspended in the air, slowly twisting and waving as the music plays on", and yet another describes witnessing on-screen "plastic-head representations of the band, stuck on dull gray torsos with mechanical arms and metal-rod legs". The lyrics, "We are the robots" flash up on this screen followed by the line, "we are programmed/just to do/anything you want us to." The screen then lifts to reveal the band following their transformation into robots. But they are said not to move "in the popping spurts that robots are famous for; they swiveled and moved their arms slowly, thoughtfully, humanly, as if practicing t'ai chi." It has also been said that these "robots" give a far more lifelike performance than the band themselves. There was, however, "an air of farce" at one show in Ireland in 2008 when a curtain refused to close, disrupting the transformation of the band into robots. Stagehands had to intervene and close the curtain themselves, after which it was possible for the sequence to continue. The curtain issue repeated itself at the band's appearance at Manchester Velodrome, on July 2, 2009.
1. Die Roboter - 4:20
2. Spacelab - 3:34
|Length|| 3:47 (Single Edit)|
8:58 (Album Version)
|Format||7" single, 12" single, CD single|
In 1991, a re-recorded and re-arranged version of the song was issued as a single from the band's album The Mix.
1. Die Roboter (Single Edit) - 3:43
2. Robotronik (Single Version) - 3:34
|Kohoutek-Kometenmelodie (1973) • Autobahn (1975) • Kometenmelodie 2 (1975) • Radioactivity (1976) • Trans-Europe Express (1977) • Showroom Dummies (1977) • The Robots (1978) • The Model (1978, Germany) • Neon Lights (1978)|
|Pocket Calculator (1981) • Computer Love (1981) • Numbers (1981) • The Model (1981, UK) • Computerwelt (1982) • Tour de France (1983) • Musique Non Stop (1986) • The Telephone Call (1987)|
|The Robots (1991) • Radioactivity (1991) • Expo 2000 (1999)|
|Tour de France 2003 (2003) • Elektro Kardiogramm (2003) • Aerodynamik (2004) • Aerodynamik / La Forme Remixes (2007)|