Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Can - Can Anthology CD (album) cover





4.55 | 22 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars It's testimony to Prog Archives' generous spirit that Can's collected works (and hundreds of other Krautrock artifacts) are included in the site. For this music is as different from the 'Look at me, I'm a virtuoso!' excursions by the likes of Keith Emerson or Chris Squire as it is possible to get. Indeed, it is claimed (in the Rough Guide to Rock, no less!) that in any given Can composition bassist Holger Czukay simply keeps repeating the same two notes over and over again. I haven't checked if this is true, but it certainly seems that way, and yet his bass playing is delightful. In fact, all of the pieces in this collection are immensely lovable.

Let me come clean: this is the only Can album I possess, and I've never heard any other. Still, Prog Archives experts seem to agree that this double CD is a decent representation of the band's career, so I've got no qualms about recommending it to you.

There are two reasons why I've decided to award this album five stars. First of all, I really love this music. It was recommended to me by one of my best friends, it's full of variety, and whenever I put it on, I feel great. Secondly, the more I play this, the more I'm amazed by its historic significance. If Can had been a British or a North American band, you would see their name in poll after poll of the most influential rock bands ever. No doubt about it. Listen to this music, and track after track (most of the material was recorded BEFORE 1975!) will remind you of Bowie's LOW, of the Talking Heads' REMAIN IN LIGHT (minus the hysterical vocals), of New Order, David Sylvian etc. ... all the way up to present-day bands like Gorillaz.

I recently read an article which gave the impression that David Byrne and Peter Gabriel invented so-called World Music, but that's nonsense, because Can were at it at least a full decade earlier, using African rhythms and Middle Eastern harmonies with grace and total ease. (Of course you could maintain that 'World Music' started more than two thousand years ago, when both China and Europe were transformed by string instruments which originated in the Middle East.)

This collection is full of gentle undulating melodies, weird nursery rhymes, irresistible grooves and comic recitations... On the second disc, there's even a brief parody of Japanese noh theatre chanting. Altogether, it's unmistakably a masterpiece.

fuxi | 5/5 |


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