Trans-Europe Express by Kraftwerk, released on Capitol/EMI records in 1977, value £40

KRAFTWERK were formed in Dusseldorf, in Germany, around 1970, fronted by Ralf Hutter and Florian Schneider who met as students while they were studying improvised music in college, writes MICHAEL BROOKS. The band focused mainly as a quartet and became known for inspiring and creating electronic music featuring synthesizers, drum machines with various keyboard techniques. They made headway in 1975 with their album Autobahn; the title track running at 22 minutes, was an attempt to relate the monotony and tedium of a long road journey. An edited version reached the Top Ten in both the UK and USA charts and so began a long career as pioneers of electronic music, showcasing their styles of concept albums, performing live with determined stoicism, almost like robots, with soundscape images reflecting the music.

This was their sixth studio album and acclaimed as their best. Capitol records wrote to their management company in Berlin, prior to the release, requesting artwork and promotional information to assist with the issue of the record. They received a reply which read: "We have received your letter dated 11th August where you are requesting the artwork for Kraftwerk's Trans-Europe Express. I have confirmation from the band that you may use and print the artwork which we will supply you with. However, the band members do not wish to answer your detailed questions but they may send you an information sheet."

In the event, Capitol did not receive an information sheet and released the album with this picture of the band which was the only one they had, complete with deadpan images, creating a faceless exterior which they approved of.

Kraftwerk are known for being notoriously reclusive, providing rare but sometimes enigmatic interviews, often using life size mannequins and robots to conduct official photo shoots. They refuse to accept mail and do not allow visitors to their recording studio, the precise location of which they keep secret.

As one can imagine, this album is entirely devoted to a breathtaking aural recreation on an intercontinental train journey capturing the music of the band at their most engaging. Their songs express the sometimes offbeat nature of modern urban life with a strong sense of alienation existing side by side with a celebration of the joy of modern technology.