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Can Inner Space album cover
3.18 | 36 ratings | 2 reviews | 6% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1985

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. All Gates Open (8:14)
2. Safe (8:29)
3. Sunday Jam (4:21)
4. Sodom (5:24)
5. Aspectacle (5:44)
6. Ping Pong (Traditional) (0:21)
7. Ethnological Forgery Series No. 99 "Can... (3:07)
8. Can Be (2:35)

Toal Time: 38:15


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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Irmin Schmidt / keyboards, vocals
- Rebop Kwaku Baah / percussion
- Rosko Gee / bass
- Michael Karoli / bass, guitar, violin, vocals
- Olaf Kubler / saxophone
- Jaki Liebezeit / drums

Releases information

This is a reissue on the Thunderbolt label of the 1979 album self-titled CAN.

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Buy CAN Inner Space Music

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Synergie OMP 2011
Audio CD$15.99
Inner Space by Can (2008-09-16)Inner Space by Can (2008-09-16)
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Inner Space/Out Of Reach by Can (1998-04-21)Inner Space/Out Of Reach by Can (1998-04-21)
Audio CD$101.53
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Audio CD$63.63
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CAN Inner Space ratings distribution

(36 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(6%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(11%)
Good, but non-essential (53%)
Collectors/fans only (22%)
Poor. Only for completionists (8%)

CAN Inner Space reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Neu!mann
3 stars The penultimate album by the late, great Krautrockers of CAN (before their final mid- 1980s reunion) appears twice (actually two-and-a-half times) on their page here at Prog Archives. My copy is the cheesy 1985 Thunder Records re-package of the untitled 1979 original, one of the first compact discs I ever bought, which is only fitting, since the LP marked my initial exposure to arguably the best musical group of the late 20th Century.

In retrospect it wasn't an ideal introduction, and I wouldn't recommend it as such to anyone else. CAN had been treading water for several years at that point, drifting a little too far from their more exploratory Krautrock roots after signing to Virgin Records in 1975. But this self-titled album (only later re-christened "Inner Space", the name of their home studio) at least marked a rehabilitation of sorts, sounding like a breath of fresh air compared to the uninspired doodling of their previous "Out of Reach" (the two albums were subsequently combined and sold on a single CD, a decent bargain for CAN completists with money to burn).

First the good news: Holger Czukay, the band's irrepressible radio wave surfer and occasional bass guitarist, was back in the fold, although he doesn't actually touch a musical instrument here (this throwaway CD re-issue doesn't even mention it, but on the original vinyl he was listed as an "editor"). You can still detect his presence, however, not least on the oddball interlude "Ping Pong", believe it or not one of the highlights of the album.

This is pure Czukay: a 20-second (or so) audio-verité documentary of, you guessed it, a game of ping-pong, rather sloppily played while someone (probably drummer Jaki Liebezeit) thumbs a kalimba in the background. Czukay's deadpan sense of humor also animates the faux-punk demolition of Offenbach's "Can-Can", an obvious choice for the band's periodic "Ethnological Forgery Series" of cultural facsimiles, and the best musical joke of its kind since Thijs Van Leer yodeled his way through "Hocus Pocus".

It was probably this track, and its ragged epilogue "Can Be", that sold my unrefined ears on the album in the first place, in much the same way that ELP's energetic update of Aaron Copeland's "Hoedown" jump-started my earliest interest in Prog Rock years before. "Can-Can", by the way, is listed as EFS #99, one of only a handful in the ongoing series to appear throughout the band's history. So where are all the rest?

The balance of the album is built on impeccably played but undemanding dance music for people (like me) with two left feet. "All Gates Open" is the best of the lot, with a sinuous subterranean groove, some funky chunky guitar, and a shifting wall of keyboard noise, always a CAN specialty. But the other tracks tend to follow the example set by "Sunday Jam", a pleasant enough diversion with an all-too literal title, and like a lot of later CAN music notably a jam, unlike the more challenging "instant composition" improvs of their earlier years.

In all, not the best swan song for such a groundbreaking and influential band (and a premature ending anyway: see 1989's more improved "Rite Time"), but in the context of their late '70s downward career arc a much better effort than could have been expected.

Review by Bonnek
Bonnek avatar
4 stars Inner Space was one of the first Can albums I heard and it's still one of my favorites. So, high time to try to shed another light on it here.

All Gates Open is a laid-back song on an entrancing chill-out groove. Almost sounding like Legendary Pink Dots, with that combination of bouncy, almost happy rhythms with melancholic layers of sound on top of it. Not entirely different from what they had done before but still quite a step further into new wave and dance territory. Excellent tune.

Next on is one of my favorite Can songs: Safe. It opens right into a very unsettling passage with hesitating, almost longing vocals on top of a complex drum and bass background. Then it gradually shifts into a cool funk groove with very simple but effective guitars. Another good minute further on the track gets very experimental. Still funky but with layers of sonics on top of it: guitars, vocals and tons of effects washing in and out like the waves of the sea. As far as I'm concerned they could have maintained this groove for 10 more minutes.

Sunday Jam is a great instrumental. Latin meets Kraut on this spaced-out guitar salsa. Sodom is another fluid guitar piece but more menacing. Almost a funeral march with cosmic electronics and bluesy guitar.

A Spectacle concludes this unbelievable consistent string of songs. Excellent funky beats. I could enjoy this tune for just the drum track alone. But on top of it you get that typical crazy Can ranting and weird electronics. Prog you can boogie to. Oh yes!

The remaining 7 minutes of the album are less spectacular. EFS Nr 99 is a cheesy bit of fun that is guaranteed to bring a smile on your face but not much more. It kind of breaks the gloomy atmosphere of the album and it's followed by 21 equally silly minutes of ping pong and the short album outro Can Be that kind of continues the tone set with EFS Nr 99.

The strange way to end the album aside, if you like the smoother and funkier side of Can, I hope you can join me in the small legion of people who think this their best post 1974 release.

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