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Can Saw Delight album cover
3.25 | 134 ratings | 11 reviews | 8% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1977

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Don't Say No (6:28)
2. Sunshine Day and Night (6:02)
3. Call Me (5:33)
4. Animal Waves (15:19)
5. Fly by Night (4:07)

Total Time 37:29

Line-up / Musicians

- Michael Karoli / guitar, electric violin, vocals (1,5)
- Irmin Schmidt / keyboards, Alpha 77 custom-built synth, vocals (1)
- Holger Czukay / electronics (wave receiver, Fx), vocals (1)
- Rosko Gee / bass, vocals (1,3)
- Jaki Liebezeit / drums, vocals (1)
- Reebop Kwaku Baah / percussion, vocals (1)

Releases information

Artwork: Adam Backhausen

LP Harvest ‎- 1C 064-32 156 (1977, Germany)

CD Elektra ‎- 9 61075-2 (1991, US)
CD Spoon Records - spoon CD 27 (1993, Germany)
SACD Spoon Records - SPOONSA27 (2006, Europe) Remastered by Andreas Torkler

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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CAN Saw Delight ratings distribution

(134 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(8%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(32%)
Good, but non-essential (42%)
Collectors/fans only (17%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

CAN Saw Delight reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Proghead
3 stars As many of you already know, this album marks the first truly drastic lineup changes in the band (in the past it was simply lead singers coming and going). Holger Czukay seemed to be a bit tired of the band, so now he gave up on the bass and started using short wave receivers. The band added bassist Rosco Gee and percussionist Reebop Kwaku Baah, both formerly of TRAFFIC. Often derided by many fans, I can see why.

The music, for the most part, seems to be on autopilot, often sticking to rhythm. The album starts off with "Don't Say No" which sounds like a rehash of "Moonshake" off "Future Days". Some of the rest of the album has that disco and ethnic feel to it, and that's a big reason many CAN fans are turned off by this album. "Animal Waves" is the longest piece on the album, and Irmin Schmidt uses quite a bit of string synths, giving it a somewhat spacier feel. Certainly this album is no "Tago Mago", "Ege Bamyasi", or "Future Days", but it's supposed to be nowhere as bad as "Out of Reach".

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Can hadn't been making consistent albums since Ege Bamyasi and also Saw Delight is very uneven .

I can't really see any merit in Sunshine Day And Night or Fly By Night. Both are rather uninteresting tracks and the band doesn't sound like they found the material very inspiring either. Bland performance. Don't Say No and Call Me however are a lot better and represent the more accessible side of Can, good concise tunes with gentle melodies as you may find on any of their albums. The performance has room for improvement though. Animal Waves is a good extended track, groovy and gentle, with some African percussion and interesting sound experiments. At 15 minutes it is stretched out too much.

Saw Delight is an album for Can fans, slightly less then Flow Motion and certainly not as good as Can/Inner Space. 2.5 stars

Review by tarkus1980
2 stars One of the few things worse than a band sticking around past its expiration date is when it makes a major change to its lineup in order to make it possible for it to stick around in the first place. Holger Czukay effectively left the group during these sessions; he has no bass- playing credits on the album, instead leaving us only with credits for "wave receiver, spec. sounds" and vocals on the first track. In his place the band brought in former Traffic bassist Rosko Gee, and while he certainly sounds competent, the fact remains that Can was, essentially, Holger's band, which means that the impact of this swap doesn't just manifest itself in the basslines alone. There's a serious dearth of spark in these tracks, which turns Can from a band I'm interested in listening to into one of thousands of jam- based bands.

Another lineup change occurred in making this album, one which could have been intriguing but instead is executed as badly as it probably could have been. Another former Traffic member, with the great name of Reebop Kwaku Baah, came in as, no joke, a second percussionist. Reebop was big on "ethnic" sounds and rhythms, and in theory this should have made him a perfect addition to the band and a good foil for Jaki. Unfortunately, instead of bringing out the best in Jaki, Reebop ends up completely overshadowing him, as Jaki spends most of the album in a straightup timekeeping mode (and mixed down, no less), and isn't even able to do that in a manner close to his Human Drum Machine past. In short, then, the net result of these moves is essentially that the band traded its vaunted rhythm section for part of the rhythm section of Traffic, a move I'd rate somewhere along the lines of trading a Mickey Mantle rookie card for a picture of Homer Simpson sleeping on the couch in his underwear.

When all is said and done, the low rating comes not from the lineup changes themselves, but the fact that this album basically bores the crap out of me. The opening "Don't Say No" seems to have some bouncy, rhythmic promise at the beginning, but the essence of it is very similar to "Moonshake" from Future Days, and this track does a good job of showing that it was a good idea to make its predecessor three minutes instead of almost six-and-a-half. The lyrics are unacceptably inane, the Reebop scat-singing throughout annoys the crap out of me, and not even Karoli's guitar tricks (he seems to be the only person interested in stepping up and doing anything over this endlessly tedious groove) saves things.

"Sunshine Day and Night," which follows it, is dancable, but unlike the various tracks on Flow Motion, it lacks strong enough gimmicks from Karoli and Schmidt to let me focus on something other than, "Wow, this song is almost completely empty." "Call Me" is a vague jumble of a four-note bassline repeated ad infinitum, some "atmospheric" keyboard sounds, little effective guitar, and Rosko demonstrating a horrible singing voice while tackling a rambling, totally forgettable vocal melody. And the biggie of the album, the fifteen minute "Animal Waves," does at least have a nice keyboard pattern to loop forever instead of an ugly keyboard pattern to loop forever, but seeing as everything on top of it is essentially listening to Can autopilot as they've never autopiloted before, you're not going to see me get excited. And finally, they close with a vaguely okay pop ballad thats completely unlike everything else on the album, but while I don't mind hearing it here, it's definitely not a song I'm ever going to seek out to hear ever again.

So basically, Can left me with something that I get almost no enjoyment out of, which means a low grade is certain. On the other hand, listening to it doesn't leave me with an overpowering urge to stab my ears out with a knife, unlike albums that have gotten a 1-star rating from me, so ' stars seems right.

Review by Tom Ozric
4 stars Looks like not many folks saw delight (ha ha) in this incarnation and direction of Kraut revolutionaries CAN. For starters, ex-TRAFFIC members Rosko Gee (bass) and Reebop Kwaku Baah (percussion) were brought into the line-up and original bassist and visionary Holger Czukay's role was relegated to 'Wave Receiver' and minor vocal contributions. Live footage of the band from this period shows Czukay to the side of the stage with a table full of short-wave radios and microphones from where he manipulated the receptions and incorporated them randomly into the music. This is definately a wildly different approach to their art, but it holds originality, even though the music itself is no longer a lurching beast full of surprises and unpredictability. There is an immediate change in sound here and I've found it somewhat fascinating. Sure it's no Tago Mago, but it's 1977, quite a lot of ch-ch-changes happening within the music world, and it has been reputed that BOWIE enjoyed this era of Can a lot. Even Ed Wynne (OZRIC TENTACLES) has revealed a love of this release. Now the music on offer here is more upbeat and accessible, almost an Afro-Caribbean flavour at times, courtesy of Reebop's busy percussive work. Most tunes are jam-based, except for the last song 'Fly By Night', a laid-back 4 min ditty with vocals from Michael Karoli and tasteful keyboarding. The best piece is side two's 15 minute + jam/improvised track 'Animal Waves'. Keyboardist Irmin Schmidt spends a lot of time on his Alpha 77 Synth here, creating an almost KLAUS SCHULZE-like atmosphere utilising unusual chords along the way, with some eastern sounding violin lines from Karoli, who switches to his trademark guitar soloing half-way through, which is always a treat to hear. And I've never heard any other guitarist like him. Jaki Liebezeit's impact on the rhythmic side of things is no longer as monstrous as previously, but listening to this, it's not hard to see why he is known as a 'human drum machine'. Reebop's percussion playing a large part in the sound too. Gee supports all this with some highly inspired, great sounding bass guitaring. Holger's 'wave receiving' can be noticed as weirdo gibberish sounds in the background, never-the-less adding a strange air to the song. Repetitive maybe, but it's bright and lively, like the attractive Yantra on the back cover of the LP (or centre of the saw blade). The remaining tracks are all very good with special mention to 'Call Me'. 4 stars.
Review by stefro
5 stars Many 'fans' will tell you that Can's last great album was 'Landed' - not true. 'Saw Delight', with it's delightful upbeat style, ethnic flourishes, space-jazz percussion and synth-washed electronic edges, finds the German free-form rock pioneers throwing off the heavy shackles of serious art-rock and, seemingly, for once, enjoying themselves. Released in 1977, 'Saw Delight' would see the Can line-up take ex-Traffic members Roscoe Ge(bass) and Reebop Kwaku Baah(percussion) into the fold, a decision that accentuated the group's focus on ethnic experimentation; indeed, the first two tracks on 'Saw Delight', the jazzy, sun-dappled 'Don't Say No' and the calypso-folk-bass-pop of 'Sunshine Say & Night', feature the obvious influence of the new members. The longer, fifteen-minute-plus synth-filled jazz-haze odyssey 'Call Me' heralds a return-of-sorts to the Suzuki-era Can sound, but even this highly ambient, gloriously off-beat composition is heavily-flecked by the playful feel that envelopes the album. The final two pieces, 'Animal Waves' and 'Fly By Night', again both exhibit slices of the old intermingled with textures of the new, only without the lethargic artyness that occasionally coloured Can's otherwise magnificent body of work. With a fuller, brighter feel, a heavy accent on electronics, some acutely-performned ethnic percussion and a nice helping of acid-licked neuvo-jazz, 'Saw Delight' finds Can breathing a delightful new sonic dimension into their already highly-original style of doing things, only this time without the serious expression. Don't believe the hype on this one folks, because 'Saw delight' is, just like 'Tago Mago', 'Ege Bamyasi' or 'Future Days', a proper Can classic. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2011
Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Saw Delight" is the 9th full-length studio album by German krautrock act Can. The album was released through Harvest/Virgin Records in March 1977. It's the successor to "Flow Motion" from October 1976, so there's only 5 months between the two album releases. There have been two lineup changes since the predecessor as the quartet who recorded "Flow Motion (1976)" have now been joined by the two former members of Traffic, Jamaican bassist Rosko Gee and Ghanasian percussionist Reebop Kwaku Baa. Regular bassist Holger Czukay doesn't play bass on "Saw Delight", but has switched to performing experimental electronic effects and noises.

While Can definitely experimented with new musical elements on "Flow Motion (1976)", particularly reggae rhythms, but also the odd nod towards country music, the inclusion of the two new members results in an even more broadly embracing a world music atmosphere on "Saw Delight". "Saw Delight" is a highly rhythmic album with the drums and the percussion driving the music forward. The repetitive, psychadelic, and laid back nature of Can's music is intact, so vocals are still sparse (the lyrics are typically very few and repeated) and the focus is predominantly on the instrumental part of the music.

Other than the sporadic vocal parts the tracks mostly sounds like they are structured jams, or at least created while jamming over the organic driving beats. There are hooks here and there, but otherwise most of the music sounds like six guys toying around with various timbres, sounds, and effects. The music is certainly experimental, but not necessarily inaccessible and difficult to listen to. The main issue here is more that the tracks really aren't that memorable and that many of the sound experiments aren't that interesting, which makes most of the album go by without much to hold on to. So to my ears the main attraction here are the hypnotic rhythmic playing, and that part of the music is indeed both adventurous and powerful.

"Saw Delight" features a well sounding and nicely organic production job, and upon conclusion it's a decent quality release by Can. Compared to some of their preceding releases it pales some though, and it's hard not to think that the quality and the mind-bending psychadelic musical ideas of the past are now behind the band, and that they sound a bit like a pale version of themselves. A 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.

Review by Dapper~Blueberries
2 stars I am gonna put this very simply, this is not my favorite Can album, heck it's my least favorite. It may be inoffensive at worst, but even then, this is not the Can I know and love. Some of the songs are alright, Don't Say No, Call Me, Fly By Night, all pretty good songs all around, however the album lacks that early Can feeling, that Krautrock vibe of their old works. Monster Movie, Soundtracks, Tago Mago, Ege Bamyasi, Future Days, heck even Flow Motion had that sort of deserty, almost Arabic vibes. I guess you can only do so much with that sound before it sounds old, you know? But that doesn't really help this album's problems. I am totally fine with a band going a more pop like direction, I think it can work very well if put together well (IE Genesis and Yes (kinda)) but Can sorta missed the mark a bit and made something a bit off for a lot of their fans. So yeah, this is not a good album, but it is inoffensive really so, what can you really do about it?

Latest members reviews

4 stars No, Saw Delight is not a bad album, not in the same league as Tago, Ege or Future Days but still, it's a good album. I came to this album after hearing the previously mention, amazing albums. I thought I would be disappointed but no, it may sound a little more accessible but the groove are rea ... (read more)

Report this review (#1298181) | Posted by Fido73 | Tuesday, October 28, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars SAW DELIGHT! This is mine personal favorite of all albums after Soon Over Babaluma. While Sunshine day and Night & Fly by Night aren't great songs, the rest of the album is great work from CAN, especially Animal Waves and Call Me. Album recorded in 1977 sounds like it's recorded yesterday. Much b ... (read more)

Report this review (#281527) | Posted by alionida | Wednesday, May 12, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Context is everything. If Saw Delight had been released by anybody besides Can, it might be cited as an essential touchstone in the Krautrock canon. But being as it is a product of Can, and arriving in the wake of the avowed classics Tago Mago and Future Days, it gets unfairly maligned as inco ... (read more)

Report this review (#96209) | Posted by kingpossum | Monday, October 30, 2006 | Review Permanlink

2 stars CAN slide into the comfort zone, producing polished pap with occasional nuggets of worth. This was Holger Czukay's way of saying - "See what happens when I'm not at the wheel!" By this time CAN's technology was beginning to overtake them, and Holger would often talk abou tlimitations defining ... (read more)

Report this review (#35307) | Posted by | Sunday, June 5, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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