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CAN

Krautrock • Germany


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Can biography
CAN is one of a few internationally known "Krautrock" groups; they are famous for their repetitive and hallucinatory sound. CAN was founded in 1968 by LIEBEZEIT, Irmin SCHMIDT and Holger CZUKAY, and in their early days they also included American singer Malcolm MOONEY or Japanese vocalist Damo SUZUKI. They transformed progressive-rock into a science. By bridging classical music, jazz music and rock music of their times, CAN accomplished the first organic study on rhythm and texture. Their hypnotic and glacial instrumental jams straddled the line between free-jazz, acid-rock and chamber music. CAN's music can be difficult to appreciate, yet their albums offer some of the best experimental rock ever recorded. Then there are always the myths, the legends and the fascination.

Here's a synopsis of most of their albums. I can recommend "Delay" through to Soon over Babaluma. "Delay" was the first album recorded although it was not released until 1981. Most of their albums are great, particularly "Monster Movie", "Soundtracks", "Tago Mago", "Future Days", and "Ege Bamyasi". After "Soon over Babaluma" I'd say forget it as CAN loose there fresh approach for which they were reknown. 1997 becomes the year where other musicians show the timeless aspect of CAN's music in the new remix album "Sacrilege". And this is the Sound of CAN in the nineties.

"Limited" and "Unlimited Edition" are a collection from 1968 to 1974. In the autumn of 1978, a double CD retrospective "Cannibalism 1" was issued on United Artists, and, for many, still stands today as the definitive CAN collection. It drew from the band's first six albums, but a tremendous sampling of songs from their essential early albums. "Cannibalism 1" is the best CD to buy to first experience the incredible music of CAN.

CAN's legacy still resounds clearly across the landscape of contemporary music. As Julian Cope concludes, "CAN will be remembered as one of the great 20th century bands. I've listened to their music for over 23 years, and I still freak out at their staying power... Every one of CAN's members is a hero, and a true star."

With due acknowledgement to Piero Scaruffi's book "A History of Rock Music" for some of the information and text quoted.

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Ege BamyasiEge Bamyasi
Mute (Artist Intelligence) 2008
Audio CD$8.23
$5.94 (used)
SoundtracksSoundtracks
Mute 2009
Audio CD$7.92
$6.55 (used)
Tago MagoTago Mago
Mute (Artist Intelligence) 2008
Audio CD$8.23
$8.22 (used)
Future DaysFuture Days
Mute 2014
Vinyl$15.94
$20.92 (used)
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LP future days: live in cologne 1973
CAN
~ USD $19.50
LP monster movie
CAN
~ USD $19.95
LP monster movie: live
CAN
~ USD $19.50
LP rohstoff - the essentail lost tapes 1968-1976
CAN
~ USD $25.07
LP soundtracks
CAN
~ USD $18.83


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CAN shows & tickets


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CAN discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

CAN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.81 | 286 ratings
Monster Movie
1969
3.81 | 224 ratings
Soundtracks
1970
3.95 | 530 ratings
Tago Mago
1971
3.89 | 364 ratings
Ege Bamyasi
1972
4.05 | 456 ratings
Future Days
1973
3.66 | 180 ratings
Soon Over Babaluma
1974
3.50 | 117 ratings
Landed
1975
2.95 | 95 ratings
Flow Motion
1976
3.31 | 85 ratings
Saw Delight
1977
2.36 | 64 ratings
Out Of Reach
1978
2.60 | 69 ratings
Can
1979
3.58 | 116 ratings
Delay 1968
1981
3.19 | 35 ratings
Inner Space
1985
3.01 | 51 ratings
Rite Time
1989

CAN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.16 | 39 ratings
The Peel Sessions
1995
4.04 | 26 ratings
Box Music (Live 1971-1977)
1999

CAN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.00 | 28 ratings
Can
2005

CAN Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.41 | 13 ratings
Limited Edition 1974
1974
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Classic German Rock Scene
1975
0.00 | 0 ratings
Opener
1976
3.54 | 46 ratings
Unlimited Edition
1976
2.88 | 14 ratings
Cannibalism 1
1978
3.00 | 3 ratings
Cannibalism
1978
4.00 | 5 ratings
Cannibalism 2
1990
4.54 | 20 ratings
Can Anthology
1994
3.50 | 4 ratings
Cannibalism 3
1994
2.77 | 13 ratings
Sacrilege
1997
2.33 | 3 ratings
Inner Space / Out of Reach
1998
2.38 | 4 ratings
Box (Compilation)
1999
4.11 | 48 ratings
The Lost Tapes
2012
0.00 | 0 ratings
Can
2013

CAN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.00 | 1 ratings
Soul Desert
1969
2.00 | 1 ratings
Turtles Have Short Legs
1971
2.00 | 1 ratings
Vitamin C
1972
2.00 | 1 ratings
I'm So Green
1972
3.22 | 8 ratings
Spoon
1972
3.50 | 2 ratings
Moonshake
1973
2.00 | 1 ratings
Big Hit
1973
2.00 | 1 ratings
Dizzy Dizzy
1974
2.00 | 1 ratings
Hunters And Collectors
1975
2.25 | 3 ratings
Silent Night
1976
2.00 | 1 ratings
I Want More
1976
2.00 | 1 ratings
Don't Say No
1977
2.00 | 1 ratings
Can-Can
1978
2.00 | 1 ratings
Spoon / Silent Night
1980
2.00 | 1 ratings
I Want More
1981
2.00 | 1 ratings
Moonshake
1983
2.00 | 1 ratings
Hoolah Hoolah
1990
2.00 | 1 ratings
Sacrilege
1997
2.00 | 1 ratings
I Want More
2006

CAN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Future Days  by CAN album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.05 | 456 ratings

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Future Days
Can Krautrock

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group RIO/Avant/Zeuhl & Neo Teams

5 stars "No attraction I can feel via such a well-arranged music creation", Damo SUZUKI said before he left CAN. Not sure what he really intended to do with the words as above, but let me mention I cannot hear enough Krautrock via this creation, too.

Via the first two "Future Days" and "Spray", we can hear slight Krautrock essence really ... some bubbled vibes or distorted sound interplay, repetitive hypnotic bottom line, complicated rhythmic basis ... every tonic phenomenon can express their essential Krautrock initiative. On the other hand, some artistic sound unification we cannot avoid. Yes so refined and so polished enough to confuse us. The shortest track "Moonshake" is filled with ethnic beats and heartwarming melodies. Damo's danceable percussive voices remind us of oldie goodie German psychedelia. Ermm, afraid we could not make our mind and feeling clearer and finally would rush into the last music courtesy.

Regardless of above mentioned, however, "Bel Air" should be called as their masterpiece without any suspicion. Upon synthesizer-based slow and smooth waterflow, dry and fruity guitar chops plus light drumming of comfort slip through. Damo's inspired and a tad philosophical voices can be hear like the last tragic phrases before the giant flies away. Inevitably wondering where such a mad hippie like Damo went for. Their performance upon this track might be not strict not harmonized in perfect manner (especially Damo's voices sound like an octopus sorry), but the gem merged, crystallized, and constructed with every talented play should get apotheosed really. 20 minutes? Very short for us. Time must not be absolute, I would say.

In conclusion, well understood what a lonely crazy guy pissing over the rainbow shouted. Not attractive as Krautrock but every progressive rock fan loves this creation. And my favourite one. That's the truth.

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 Silent Night by CAN album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1976
2.25 | 3 ratings

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Silent Night
Can Krautrock

Review by Lewian

2 stars This is from a Can fan writing my first Can review, and the summary of this review is: I've got this single, you don't need it. Silent Night is a Can cover of the christmas song Silent Night. It is instrumental, faster than the christmas original is normally sung, and the rhythm section does a fairly fancy job as always. I guess this is about what you need to know about this single. It's a joke really. Probably they took maximum a day to do this and thought "let's see whether people in christmas mood buy it". The B-side is Cascade Waltz which is on "Flow Motion" and which I found pretty annoying there already. I'm really feeling generous giving this two stars but then this single is not to be taken seriously so I won't offend any band member.

Haha, why on earth am I starting here reviewing Can? Because I like to write things that are not already in lots of other peoples' reviews. Nobody has reviewed this single yet so I do it. I like the band anyway, despite this being forgettable.

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 Soon Over Babaluma by CAN album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.66 | 180 ratings

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Soon Over Babaluma
Can Krautrock

Review by LearsFool
Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

5 stars Can sort of has a Genesis-style problem when it comes to its legacy. The way that many progheads turned their backs on Genesis when Peter Gabriel jumped ship, so, it seems, do not just progheads and acidfreaks, but the post-punks and indie kids as well, to Can post-Damo. About the only exception would have to be the EDM acolytes. And the same way that people who shun every last note of Collins sung Genesis are probably missing out on the first few records of that new era, so does everyone who doesn't listen to "Soon Over Babaluma".

I mean, get this, this is the record in which Can, deficient of Damo's vitamin c though they are, manage to pip the ska-punks and practically invent trance.

Do I have your attention?

The gist of "Soon Over Babaluma" is that the band built off of "Future Days"'s ethereal soundscapes by essentially reunifying them with the grooviness of "Ege Bamyasi", if not in a necessarily immediately recognisable form. Rather than achieve most of that funk with Liebezeit's drums, as the band had usually done, he continues to drum mostly in the vein of "Future Days" while instead Karoli's guitar and violin and especially Schmidt's keys abide by the groove. The results? Ambient house and ambient techno have to owe backrent to this LP. "Dizzy Dizzy" manages to get a violin to jam right out of the gate. "Come Sta, La Luna" sounds like an angelic flamenco band engaging in ska and dub revival. "Splash" and "Quantum Physics" are just plain mind blowing. And then there's "Chain Reaction", as outstanding as the tracks directly surrounding it, but here, in the interplay between Schmidt and Liebezeit, is the spark that birthed trance music. We expected nothing less of The Can, now didn't we? Even Karoli and Schmidt's vocals are up to task. This is the dress rehearsal for "The Orb's Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld", nothing less, probably something more on top of that. Again, truly outstanding.

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 Future Days  by CAN album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.05 | 456 ratings

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Future Days
Can Krautrock

Review by RussellChap

4 stars The most popular of the so called Krautrock bands to emerge in post-war Germany. Can were one of the finest artists inhabiting the Seventies 'anything goes' area of fusion called One World Music along with Miles Davis and Alice Coltrane, John Martyn and Tim Buckley, where rock music and Jazz melded together along with non-Western musics to create a sound without zone or home, barriers blown away.

On Future Days the sound of Can was at its fullest reach creating music that's like a living, breathing organism. I guess this is my favourite era of Can and this album always places me within a sun-kissed Idyll, a Balearic arbour, the music dancing like sunlight on surf. Future Days forever, on and on.

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 Future Days  by CAN album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.05 | 456 ratings

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Future Days
Can Krautrock

Review by JJLehto
Prog Reviewer

5 stars I never thought I'd like a Can album more than Tago Mago, and when I originally heard "Future Days" this opinion was maintained.

Well, it's been several years, I forgot about, (then rediscovered) this magnificent band and while I love them much as I always did...to my surprise I fell in love with this album.

Call it growing older, but I appreciate the more subdued and mellow nature of this album, something I thought was lacking back then and missed the abrasive, over the top elements that I thought made Can what it was. However, "Future Days" is a beautiful album that maintains the Can essentials: chill, psychedelic atmosphere, drifting songs, arty guitar and Jaki's superb drumming with all the fixings: jazzy, driving, monotonous yet cerebral. However, on "Future Days" some other Can sounds are greatly subdued, if not removed entirely: the, (often harsh), noisy bits, over the top whackiness, blatant avant garde endeavors and most notably Damo's vocals.

Famous for his wild, I'd say insane, vocals singing a mish mosh of languages and sometimes not any at all, here Damo is majorly subdued and mellow. To be honest, while I love Damo, I can't say this change is unwelcomed. It not only fits the more atmospheric nature of this album, but I was a little perturbed by fans of experimental music who lament the artist experimenting or changing it up.

The unquestioned winner of this album is the 20 minute "Bel Air" which is a brilliant microcosm of the album itself: Relaxing, beautiful, minimalist, hypnotic and warm. In a style that could be called "post rock" the song dips into a brief interlude devoid of music and simply consists of birds chirping and bugs buzzing, makes me want to sit on a beach with a nice drink, before the music picks back up and gently builds to a powerful climax.

A beautiful album that should satisfy any fan of Can, (though one may be underwhelmed if they must have the older, more avant garde style) but I think can satisfy fans of most prog rock. A wonderful album that I'd dare say is Can's best.

FIVE STARS

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 Monster Movie  by CAN album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.81 | 286 ratings

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Monster Movie
Can Krautrock

Review by aglasshouse

5 stars Can's 60's debut is one of the few first albums by a band that I can safely say is my favorite of said band's discography.

I've never been a huge fan of krautrock- most of what I've heard is pretty disjointed, most likely because of me listening to things like Organisation which I absolutely abhor-, but Can was my introduction and still to this day reigns as my favorite from the genre. My largest highlight of their consecutive releases is obviously Can's 1969 Monster Movie. Everything about it is great, at least on the first side of the LP.

Many people make points about how Monster Movie has large amounts of early punk elements. I mean sure, I suppose, but really the seven minute opener epic 'Father Cannot Yell' is most likely the most connected to the genre, but overall this album pioneers flowing, almost hypnotic riffs that early krautrock bands were doing. The band largely relies on improvisation to get through the longer tracks, not unlike jam bands such as the Grateful Dead. In fact, 'You Doo Right' was originally a whopping six hour long jam until it was compressed into twenty minutes. Most of the songs on here have at least some iota of Can's later atmospheric hypno-rock, with in this case a style that paved the way not only for the band but also for other krautrock bands.

The opener 'Father Cannot Yell' as said before it is a speeding, punk-influenced song that starts off the album. Although it was a strange way to set off this particularly slow album, it is quite enjoyable as a casual listen. 'Outside My Door' is a shorter, even more punk-ish track that uses more repetitive drumming as well as some cool guitar riffs.

'Mary, Mary So Contrary' is the best song on the album and perhaps my favorite song from it's genre as well as the band. It uses very different mesmerizing tones with lyrics based off of a children's rhyme. The guitar work, although seems to be pretty standard, sounds absolutely epic in the light of it's overall atmosphere. Mooney's vocals are absolutely outstanding, using a tired, almost scratchy feel to give his voice that needed effect.

Ah, 'You Doo Right'. Probably one of the most boring, repetitive songs I've encountered in my progressive wanderings. Even when the song is three times as long as it should be, it's still boring and retains the same sound throughout listening. It uses massive repetition, and although I can say that I like when Can does it on their other songs, here it's just pointless. Absolutely mediocre and not enjoyable to sit down and listen to.

Even in the light of the second side, Can's Monster Movie still gets a 4.5/5 from me. It introduced me to the genre, and I still love it with all my heart to this day. In the light of me liking it so much, I've rounded the rating to a full five rating. Absolutely fantastic.

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 Tago Mago by CAN album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.95 | 530 ratings

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Tago Mago
Can Krautrock

Review by LearsFool
Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

5 stars You would think that after seventy-three reviews and counting as of the time of writing, there wouldn't be much more for me to say about the first of Can's magnum trilogy. People mentioning the high and hypnotic kick drums of Jaki Liebizeit, Damo Suzuki's madcap vocal stylings, and the perfected psychedelic guitar riffs, solos, and noodlings of Michael Karoli. The album's general experimentation, strangeness, and yet out and out quality, unexplainable as it is for some. And then those who warn that the unadventurous and symph purists out there need not apply. However, there is some more to say:

"Tago Mago" is a concept album. There is a method to Damo's madness. The concept? Nuclear armageddon. Starting off with "Paperhouse", we get one of the best ever pieces of standard psychkraut, which as it happens is the world before midnight. This is also a musical launching pad, as familiar as your home neighbourhood. After seven minutes of hippie life, the music suddenly slows, the kick drums enter... "Mushroom", the day of reckoning. Damo describes the "mushroom head" and the horrors it wrought the only we he can, simply and emotionally. The track ends with with one of the weapons hitting, and then black, fallout stained rain falls to welcome "Oh Yeah". The band's way of depicting the post- apocalyptic wasteland is to just follow a man - Damo - going mad from the horrors, chaos, and loneliness. With "Oh Yeah", Damo can only react with gibberish of various shades - English, Japanese, forwards, backwards. By the time of "Aumgn" and "Peking O", Damo has gone completely mad, and his thoughts turn to dark places truly reflective of the burnt wastes. His madness, though, eventually leads him to just retreat into his mind, and take a seat at the Mad Hatter's tea party or somesuch - "Bring Me Coffee or Tea", a repreivingly beautiful and calm end for us as well.

Some of this album's influences have been stated here before: post-punk's debt to Can is well known and documented, and Russellk has mentioned how The Orb and other of the more experimental and progressive groups of EDM's '90's heyday namecheck these krautrockers as well. Probably the most sweeping influence that this record specifically has wrought, however, is in essentially founding industrial music via "Aumgn" and "Peking O". White Noise, Kluster, and Suicide are fellow pioneers of a style they had no idea they were actually minting, but, as evidenced by John Lydon naming Can the supreme influence for Public Image Ltd., it is clear what the cornerstone of the genre is. This connection is the reason why the conclusion that industrial is a twisted descendant of psychedelia is as correct as the more general conclusion that industrial is essentially just the breakaway dark side of electronica. As well, Can hangs majorly over most pronk bands, mainly This Heat and Cardiacs, with particularly strong connections to the former, by way of This Heat cutting "Deceit", their own concept album about the bomb.

But most importantly, "Tago Mago" is simply a masterpiece. Can just broke so many barriers here in all the best ways, and for it are krautrock's most named, loved, and influential band. The playing - especially Liebizeit's drums and Damo's vocals - are top notch. This is one of krautrock's quintessential albums due to its wide range of experimentation and unique quality, though as such it is not in any way by the books as far as the genre is concerned - those who got turned off the genre due to this record shouldn't be so disheartened. But for the adventurous among us, this is a required listen, and a pinnacle of all experimental and art music, and all prog.

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 Tago Mago by CAN album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.95 | 530 ratings

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Tago Mago
Can Krautrock

Review by thebig_E

5 stars One of the defining albums of the Krautrock scene. Tago Mago is unique, psychedelic, funky, and wildly experimental. It is one of Can's best releases. This album is actually 4 1/2 stars for me, the reason it's a 5 is because you can't give half star ratings on this site. Also, I don't think the album is as consistently good as Future Days - my favourite record by Can.

At the start, we have "Paperhouse", with it's mellow guitar chords and steady drumming. The vocalist here, Damo Suzuki, is less of a lead singer and more like an improvisational speaker. "Mushroom" showcases more excellent percussion by Jaki Liebezeit, and pairs it with a droning guitar. "Oh Yeah" starts off with an explosion and features some backwards vocals and a small part of Damo singing in Japanese, instead of English.

One of the greatest songs by Can, "Halleluhwah" is an 18 minute funk jam with many overdubs. The rhythm remains constant throughout, which may seem like a downside since it does get repetitive, but it doesn't really bother me because it is hypnotic. There is a lot of experimentation with keyboards, guitar, and strings, while Damo continues chanting. Apparently the piece was edited together by bassist Holger Czukay from an hour long session that the band had recorded. Lots of songs by the band were created this way.

"Aumgn" sounds like early Dark Ambient and Industrial music. At about 12 minutes in, there is tribal drumming and screams, with an eerie synthesizer and lots of noises added in, which continues until the end. The truth is, this track is much scarier than many horror movies. "Aumgn" is very spooky and definitely ahead of its time. "Peking O" is the weirdest song here, and seems to not have any structure. If the last song was difficult, then this is even more so. Damo continues rambling incoherently while what sounds like an early drum machine adds percussion. Closing the album, is the track "Bring Me Coffee or Tea", which returns to the instrumentation of the album's first half, and is a very eastern-influenced track. A fitting end to the LP.

This is one record that requires time to grow on you. If you have an open mind and stick with it, you just might be pleasantly surprised.

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 Saw Delight by CAN album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.31 | 85 ratings

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Saw Delight
Can Krautrock

Review by Fido73

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 really great. Made in 1977 you can ear that sonically it's more modern than the early seventies release. It's start well with Don't Say No, a great groove that don't let go of your head long after hearing it. Sunshine Day And Night feels musically like you're in a caribbean island, that may sound un-prog, but it's done in a good way, Can style. The 3rd song, Call Me, sound closer to the old Can, very good song, short but good. Animal Waves is the long one, 15:30, love the drums on that track, the chord progression is simple but it let the drums shine thru, in fact, the drums may be the best thing on the album, so if you are a drum/percussion fan and like Can, this is a good album for you. Fly By Night, the last song is the only ok song of the album, it's not bad just ok. So, in conclusion, if you like Krautrock & Can, it's a safe bet, not a masterpiece like Tago, Ege or Future Days but it's a great addition to your Can collection.

4 Stars, Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection.

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 The Lost Tapes by CAN album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2012
4.11 | 48 ratings

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The Lost Tapes
Can Krautrock

Review by tarkus1980
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I know it may be a shock to hear that a 3-hour collection of Can rarities, early versions and live tracks would be messy as hell, but this 3-hour collection of Can rarities, early versions and live tracks is messy as hell. Yes, there's some nice previously unheard material from the Suzuki era of the band, but this collection also spends an extensive amount of time in the Mooney era, and there's also a good chunk of post-Suzuki material as well. A good chunk of this collection is essential or close to it, but there's also a good chunk that I would be perfectly fine never hearing again.

The Mooney-era material, taken from both the 1968 Delay 1968 era and the 1969 Monster Movie era, has especially tremendous variance in quality. On the plus side, this era contributes what may be the best track on the set: the 17-minute "Grablau," a monstrous jam sorta in the vein of "Mother Sky," with a brief vocal section in the middle so distorted and screwed up that it's impossible to tell it comes from Mooney, and which undergoes tremendous variation from start to finish. The set begins on a strong note in this era as well, thanks to a great mostly instrumental jam in the Monster Movie style (starting quiet and atmospheric before picking up speed and centering around a bassline that sounds like something out of a spy movie) called "Millionspiel." There are some other nice tracks from this era as well, such as the weirdly up-beat "Deadly Doris," the gentle guitar-centric "Oscura Primavera," and the hilarious "Midnight Sky," which sounds like Captain Beefheart doing blues rock in a slightly less screwed up way than usual for him. On the negative side, well, there's pretty much everything else from this chunk. "Waiting for the Streetcar" is quintessential bad Mooney-era Can, featuring instrumental backing that might be pretty decent but is completely obscured by the way that Mooney basically sings "Are you waiting for the streetcar?" (or close variations, with occasional other lyrics) repeatedly for ten minutes. Other Mooney-era material here is a little less stereotypical, but not much more listenable. "When Darkness Comes" and "Blind Mirror Surf" each feature a lot of ugly squealing noises without much payoff, and putting them back-to-back makes for a really difficult 12 minutes to endure. "Your Friendly Neigborhood Whore" is at least cheery and upbeat, but Mooney's ugly singing makes it no better than an average Delay 1968 number, and that means it's not very good. "True Story" is Mooney telling a story over an ugly keyboard sound for four minutes, and finally "Desert" is an early version of "Soul Desert," which was the worst song on Soundtracks by a good distance. Material like this only serves to remind me just how glad I am that Mooney left the band.

The Suzuki-era material doesn't exactly contribute a lot to the band's legacy, but it's definitely the most enjoyable era of the collection. There are fine live versions of "Spoon" (extended to 17 minutes!!), "Mushroom," and "One More Night" (here called "One More Saturday Night"), and they all show that the band's amazing jamming power during this era translated just fine out of the studio and into live performance. On the first CD, one rarity ("Evening All Day") is a bunch of go-nowhere noise-making, but another rarity, "Bubble Rap," is a great Ege Bamyasi-era track, with Damo preaching whatever over guitar growlings with an awesome strong tone and the rhythm section in peak form. Otherwise, the Suzuki material here consists of early versions of later classics (aside from the :37 of "The Agreement," which seems to be somebody talking while peeing): "Dead Pigeon Suite" is alternately beautiful, exotic and intense jamming that eventually turns into "Vitamin C"; "Abra Cada Braxas" sounds like an early version of "Bring Me Coffee or Tea"; "A Swan is Born" is an early version of "Sing Swan Song"; "On the Way to Mother Sky" is just what it says; "Messer, Scissors, Fork and Light" would eventually condense down into "Spoon." It's very interesting to hear these tracks in work-in-progress mode, and for the most part they would have been just fine even if the band hadn't refined them further, but these are hardly superior to the versions that actually made it onto the albums themselves.

The post-Suzuki material reflects the corresponding releases pretty well, in that it tends to still show a nice amount of creative spark but a little lack of focus. There's an early version of "Vernal Equinox" called "Midnight Men," and it has the basic skeleton in place but isn't quite the destroyer of worlds that "Vernal Equinox" would be. The one really long track from this era is a live performance of a track called "Networks of Foam," and what it lacks in structure it makes up in terrifying aggression and energy (Jaki and Michael, good grief), and it's definitely a keeper. The rest consists of short ideas not explored to full potential ("The Loop," "Godzilla Fragment," and "Alice," which is gorgeous and really needed a full song built around it), a short idea explored to full potential and still found wanting ("E.F.S. 108"), a gorgeous atmospheric meandering (with some singing but done so quietly that it may as well not be there) in "Private Nocturnal," and a silly funk/disco number from the Saw Delight era ("Barnacles," which probably would have been the best number on that album). Still, while this section of the set can't live up to the Suzuki section, it says something that there's clear keeper material in here.

In a way, it's fitting that this collection didn't come out until a very late date, because this is a set made for the iPod/digital library era. As irritating as a good chunk of this set may be, there's still a very nice collection as long as 2 CDs buried within here, and that material is worth keeping around. Any Can fan should acquire and hear the best material from this set, and if that means getting the full set and having a CD's worth of dead weight, then so be it, but it would be better just to hear the good stuff. And besides, indications were from Schmidt that this might be the end of viable releasable material from the band, and thus it's worth savoring these remnants of the band's career.

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