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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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Tago MagoTago Mago
Mute (Artist Intelligence) 2008
Audio CD$6.68
$6.69 (used)
Ege BamyasiEge Bamyasi
Mute 2014
Vinyl$17.43
$16.12 (used)
Monster MovieMonster Movie
Mute (Artist Intelligence) 2008
Audio CD$6.70
$6.45 (used)
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LP future days
CAN
~ USD $18.15
LP future days: live in cologne 1973
CAN
~ USD $18.80
LP monster movie: live
CAN
~ USD $18.80
LP rohstoff - the essentail lost tapes 1968-1976
CAN
~ USD $24.17
LP soundtracks
CAN
~ USD $18.15
LP tago mago: live
CAN
~ USD $18.80


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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)

3.80 | 254 ratings
Monster Movie
1969
3.81 | 203 ratings
Soundtracks
1970
3.93 | 479 ratings
Tago Mago
1971
3.88 | 323 ratings
Ege Bamyasi
1972
4.03 | 405 ratings
Future Days
1973
3.60 | 157 ratings
Soon Over Babaluma
1974
3.50 | 100 ratings
Landed
1975
2.95 | 82 ratings
Flow Motion
1976
3.31 | 73 ratings
Saw Delight
1977
2.36 | 55 ratings
Out Of Reach
1978
2.60 | 59 ratings
Can
1979
3.58 | 104 ratings
Delay 1968
1981
3.22 | 29 ratings
Inner Space
1985
3.01 | 43 ratings
Rite Time
1989

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

4.16 | 32 ratings
The Peel Sessions
1995
4.01 | 20 ratings
Box Music (Live 1971-1977)
1999

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

3.96 | 26 ratings
Can
2005

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

2.36 | 11 ratings
Limited Edition 1974
1974
3.53 | 43 ratings
Unlimited Edition
1976
2.88 | 13 ratings
Cannibalism 1
1978
3.09 | 3 ratings
Cannibalism
1978
4.14 | 5 ratings
Cannibalism 2
1990
4.55 | 18 ratings
Can Anthology
1994
3.67 | 3 ratings
Cannibalism 3
1994
2.78 | 11 ratings
Sacrilege
1997
2.00 | 2 ratings
Inner Space / Out of Reach
1998
2.38 | 4 ratings
Box (Compilation)
1999
4.10 | 42 ratings
The Lost Tapes
2012

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

3.13 | 5 ratings
Spoon
1972

CAN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Future Days  by CAN album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.03 | 405 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
3.80 | 254 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
3.93 | 479 ratings

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Tago Mago
Can Krautrock

Review by Lear'sFool

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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 Saw Delight by CAN album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.31 | 73 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
4.10 | 42 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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 The Lost Tapes by CAN album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2012
4.10 | 42 ratings

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The Lost Tapes
Can Krautrock

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Can - The Lost Tapes (2012, recordings between 1968-1976)

I've been a fan of the Can's music for years now and I love their first five records. To me Can is perhaps the only rightful heir of the Beatles, being one of the most creative groups of music history. Furthermore, drummer Jaki Liebezeit is one of my favorite musicians. Listening to this German krautrock group you can hear all kinds of things to come later; psychobeat, breakbeats, minimal music, electronic music, moviesoundtracks, hip-hop, punk, spacerock, avant-garde. The list just goes on. The creative process of Can is distinctly different from other progressive groups, with an emphasis on improvisation and a playful interplay of minimal and chaotic elements. The sound of the band has always been very organic and 'in the moment', an element lacking in most progressive music.

In 2008 the process started of recovering 50 hours of 'lost tapes', though they were neglected or forgotten about. Can had it's own studio and they recorded almost everything. Most of time tapes were re-used, only things they really liked (in a 'non-sentimental way') were kept. Out of this Irmin Schmidt (keyboards) and Jono Podmore (editor) took more then three hours of material of which the tapes would be restored, transferred and remastered. The quality of the recordings is therefore no less then that of other Can albums. The live with audience recordings differ somewhat in quality, not in intensity though.

The material covers a wide time-span, yet this new triple record (of 5lp in my case) doesn't feel disconnected at all. The first vocalist, the American Malcolm Mooney with his eccentric, punchy and intense performance style can be heard on no less then seven tracks! The equally yet different Damo Suzuki appears on eight tracks. The others are instrumental. The material is made up of different aspects of the Can; the punchy heavy rock, the wild experimentation/avant-prog side, spacey rock, some composition and of course movie soundtracks. Now I myself often don't care to much for the avant-garde or free music parts, but some of these tracks are really amazing. The organ and spoken word track 'True Story' comes to mind.

At first it was a bit strange to realize, but this new release is actually as great as Monstermovie, Tago Mago and Soundtracks combined. Especially with the vinyl edition it feel like you have five new albums of one of your favorite bands from its best era. The bookwork is also nice & informative and the box is great looking. Standout tracks are Graublau (17 minutes of inventive psychobeat space rock), Obscura Primavera (short composition), True Story (before mentioned), Dead Pigeon Suite (a perfectly original and elegant remix of Vitamin C), Abra Cada Braxis (ten minutes of more Future Days!), Godzilla Fragment, Midnight Man (progressive spacerock!) and the Malcolm Mooney tracks like Waiting for a Streetcar, Deadly Doris and Desert.

Conclusion. This is perhaps the biggest treasure ever to be unearthed from the classic progressive rock era. Highly recommended to fans who will like almost every second of. Perhaps the minor fans - who have embraced the digital era - can make a shorter compilation of their own. I'm myself going to give this the highest rating! Brilliant music, well packaged and remastered. Unique experience and it came as a total surprise.

PS I think this record should considered to be an album instead of boxset/compilation. All the material is new.

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 The Lost Tapes by CAN album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2012
4.10 | 42 ratings

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The Lost Tapes
Can Krautrock

Review by javajeff

5 stars This album really deserves some love. If these tapes were lost, that would be a travesty. This is one of Can's best albums if not the best. The 3 CDs are loaded with music and contain some of Can's best songs. CD 1 alone has Millionenspiel, Waiting for the Streetcar, and Graublau that are favorites of mine. I listen to this album more than others due to the raw nature of the music. It can be experimental at times, jazzy, tribal, minimalistic, and pyschadelic. It is unmistakably Can. I am not a Krautrock fanatic or collect Krautrock bands, but I do love Can's early stuff. This is more of a good thing for any level Can fan, and a must buy.

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 The Lost Tapes by CAN album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2012
4.10 | 42 ratings

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The Lost Tapes
Can Krautrock

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I am not really a Can-fan. It is true that I have never delved deep into their secrets. I have only been scratching ever so lightly on their, as I have perceived it, rather inaccessible door. Still they have managed to keep me in their grip, always fascinating me, screaming in the back of my head. That is in itself quite a thing to give them credit for. To make things worse I have never been all that curious about so-called "lost tapes": What the hell are they? Really? Many times these "lost tapes" are nothing more than a clear-out of ones basement, packaged and sold under the presumption that the album(s) contain material of invaluable importance. In this occasion two things seem to be the case. First, the very existence of these "lost tapes" blew me off my feet, possessing my imagination and want. Secondly, everyone who knew anything seemed to be sharing the same bath-tub, all wallowing in the same lather of unashamed awe. So, what I felt, then, must be of some truth, albeit subjective in the view of objectiveness. Can was always, as is well known, a seldom seen oddity in progressive (or other) rock. They plowed their own furrow with their very own brand of musical conviction. "We'll play anything in any way we like and we don't care what you think about it", they seemed to say. Though I am not, as stated, a Can-fan of any rank, I am aware that their music, as any proud proggers would do, changed over time, becoming less free and "difficult". Their albums turned more easily accessible. When listening to their albums, Can's progression and eclectic approach to recording, isn't quite as clear as on this compilation. On this 3-disc Collection you find, as often stated, material that equals much of their regular output. As a showcase for Can's multifacetted talents it is precious and very interesting indeed, even for someone like me, only slightly acquainted with the band. You get every aspect of the bands musical adventures in the 60's and most of the 70's. Anything from soundtracks (Millionenspiel), pre-punk (Deadly Doris), sonic mayhem and free-form (Blind mirror surf), hard rock jamming (On the way to mother Sky), progressive rock (Dead pigeon suite), infective funk (Barnacles), ambient (Private nocturnal), beauty (Oscura primavera) and everything in between. I can't embrace everything but I like a lot on here and it shows their many faces in a grand way. This collection may appeal to already fans of Can but I can honestly say, being somewhat more of a casual admirer, that these discs are just as appealing for anyone interested in one of the greatest progressive bands in history. "The lost tapes" constitute a wonderful tapestry of originality and ingenuity. Art is a feeling and this is art. Whether or not you are able to appreciate all of it or bits and pieces, you can't help feeling increasingly impressed by the art created. Many a true fan would point, possibly, to "Tago mago" or some of the other classics of their discography but I feel this is as good a place to start as any. Impressive, engaging, enthralling and utterly original.

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 Soundtracks by CAN album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.81 | 203 ratings

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Soundtracks
Can Krautrock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars SOUNDTRACKS was a transitional album for CAN being not only a crossroads from the heavy psych jams of their first couple albums (i'm counting DELAY here) to the more experimental electronic and stranger albums that follow. Malcolm Mooney was on his way out and only appears on two tracks here, those being "Soul Desert" and the least CAN sounding track i've ever heard "She Brings The Rain" that actually reminds me more of a Stray Cats rockabilly sound than anything in the Krautrock world. This album marked the beginning of the new singer David Suzuki who really fits quite well with the sound and arrives at the time where he contributed to the new experimental phase.

Like the title suggests this album is a collection of tracks that were written for various films, the first three tracks being for the film "Deadlock" alone. Despite being composed for different sources, this album still feels like it could have been a real CAN album with the exception of the final track. The two singers on the album don't feel in conflict with another and actually adds a more diverse feel. My favorite track has to be the 14 minute plus "Mother Sky" which has the honor of being both hypnotically spacey and a serious rocker as well with a seriously beefy bass and a smokin' guitar which is some of the hardest rock CAN has ever indulged in. Not as good as the albums that precede and follow but still a good listen.

CAN isn't without their influences. This is Krautrock but for example "Dont Turn The Light On" reminds me a bit of "Sympathy For The Devil" by the Rolling Stones and I keep expecting a little "ooo, ooo" back-up vocals to take place. Basically don't expect a uniform album with this one but don't be surprised if it actually holds up as one. This is what it says, namely SOUNDTRACKS. This is a hodge-podge of tracks that are totally unrelated and are simply put together in a composite form to be released for consumption by fans, although I really wonder how many fans CAN had at this point being far removed from this place and time. Many decades after this release I find this to be a very worthy listen.

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 Tago Mago by CAN album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.93 | 479 ratings

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Tago Mago
Can Krautrock

Review by jeromach

5 stars It's interesting to realize how I (re-)reacted to this album.

Somewhere end of the nineties - through an Italian music afficionado I shortly e-mailed with - I came into contact with bands as Can, Amon Düül II and Faust. They were a revelation to me, after slightly earlier having become impressible to the more complex and out of the box kinds of music through listening (and accepting!) Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band.

I did enjoy Can a lot, but somehow got really and completely addicted to Amon Düül II that I played until I could dream it, resulting in more or less forsaking other music, including then of course Can.

It took me a couple of years to get rid of my addiction to the Düül and to spend time on listening to other interesting music. I - to my happy surprise - discovered RPI beyond PFM, a true rich world of fantastic music, but I also took some time to return in my own footsteps to "rediscover" the neglected music I liked some time ago.

So, I just now listened to Can's Tago Mago. I remembered Oh Yeah and Halleluwah of course, tracks I liked back then and still do. While listening to the tracks I was reading the reviews. Someone already noticed this is either a 1 to 2 or 4 to 5 star album, it either hits you, or it hits you (Good or bad that is :)). Apparently Aumgn and Peking O were responsible mostly for the 1 to 2 star ratings; a lot of people dislike these tracks, while other people that rated higher did like them but thought these tracks were "difficult". So, while listening to the first part of the album and getting on my way to Aumgn and Peking O I started getting a little afraid of having to wade through two quite long extending pieces of difficult or bad sounding music. I couldn't remember what these songs were musically about anymore, but I did remember that back then they hadn't been my most favourite songs.

But much to my surprise I had worried for nothing; I did LIKE Aumgn. And then Peking O - having been painted off as even more difficult - well, I even liked it better!

More or less this means that my musical taste is (has become in fact) different than that of most reviewers here, while a couple of years ago I probably would have thought the same about the two "difficult" songs. Beefheart taught me to open up my mind to different sounding music (and the enormous rich musical world that lied behind), this what now happened with Tago Mago more or less tells me that "training" makes you recognize the "value" of these "difficult" songs a lot faster than initially, if at all. So, I do understand those reviewers having diffuculties with this album, but I also think it takes a musically more matured mind to fully comprehend it. And that's much more an observation than a recommendation.

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