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Can

Always at least three steps ahead of contemporary popular music, Can were the leading avant-garde rock group of the '70s. From their very beginning, their music didn't conform to any commonly held notions about rock & roll -- not even those of the countercultures. Inspired more by 20th century classical music than Chuck Berry, their closest contemporaries were Frank Zappa or possibly the Velvet Underground. Yet their music was more serious and inaccessible than either of those artists. Instead of recording tight pop songs or satire, Can experimented with noise, synthesizers, nontraditional music, cut-and-paste techniques, and, most importantly, electronic music; each album marked a significant step forward from the previous album, investigating new territories that other rock bands weren't interested in exploring.

Throughout their career, Can's lineup was fluid, featuring several different vocalists over the years; the core bandmembers remained keyboardist Irmin Schmidt, drummer Jaki Leibezeit, guitarist Michael Karoli, and bassist Holger Czukay. During the '70s, they were extremely prolific, recording as many as three albums a year at the height of their career. Apart from a surprise U.K. Top 30 hit in 1978 -- "I Want More" -- they were never much more than a cult band; even critics had a hard time appreciating their music.

Can debuted in 1969 with the primitive, bracing Monster Movie, the only full-length effort to feature American-born vocalist Malcolm Mooney. 1970's Soundtracks, a collection of film music, introduced Japanese singer Kenji "Damo" Suzuki, and featured "Mother Sky," one of the group's best-known compositions. With 1971's two-record set Tago Mago, Can hit their visionary stride, shedding the constraints of pop forms and structures to explore long improvisations, angular rhythms, and experimental textures.

1972's Ege Bamayasi refined the approach, and incorporated an increasingly jazz-like sensibility into the mix; Future Days, recorded the following year as Suzuki's swan song, traveled even further afield into minimalist, almost ambient territory. With 1974's Soon Over Babaluma, Can returned to more complicated and abrasive ground, introducing dub rhythms as well as Karoli's shrieking violin. 1976's Unlimited Edition and 1977's Saw Delight proved equally restless, and drew on a wide range of ethnic musics.

When the band split in 1978 following the success of the album Flow Motion and the hit "I Want More," they left behind a body of work that has proven surprisingly groundbreaking; echoes of Can's music can be heard in Public Image Limited, the Fall, and Einstürzende Neubauten, among others. As with much aggressive and challenging experimental music, Can's music can be difficult to appreciate, yet their albums offer some of the best experimental rock ever recorded. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Future Days

Comments

Great music. Always interesting.
Nothing sounds or ever will sound like Can
mrschaffins
i wish they had thumbs up i agree maven
I just love the sounds love it
jeffreymqs64 1
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I've been making over $350 a week from home using this site called BLUDOS.COM basically you take surveys for cash. You can do this for free as well.
yes!! new to me! under-apprec i a t e d for sure!
First I 've heard by CAN,they're wonderful.
what the f**k! This is great wish I had known about them years ago!
fitzsimmons_ f a m i l y
Can's Soul Dsert is amazing. Liebzeit on the drums...few compare.
Am I the first person to leave a comment on Can? Discovered them on Youtube. Like some of it-- a bit weirded out by the rest...
cowniew
Faust would be a good band to compare them to. They are a Krautrock band that has been misclassifie d by Pandora as Pop/Rock.
A truly incredible band. WAAAAAAYYYY ahead of their time.
a can ah corn
good drummer. ken do. brother billy bobby booper
can do. the canmaster generals
I believe Can is one of those bands that the public wont recognize there great contribution to music until they are no longer around to collect there royalties. Truly innovators in a world full of duplicators.
qarewenotmen
probably the most under appreciated band of all time. musical genius!
i can take lsd and listen to Can for forty years
info4438
They rock and are one-of-a-Kin d , No compare to anyone. And Thom Yorke is NOT awful.
writejerod
Tago Mago is a Museum of Sound
shore62
Music is so cool. Take a bunch of seemingly unrelated sounds, put them in the right order like these guys do, and voila...grea t music.
I think Radiohead definitely qualifies as a Can contemporary no matter where Pink Floyd falls in relation
Interesting composition and experimental i s m , but Id hardly compare them to Pink Floyd. They're a good band tho, first time Im hearing of them before Pandora. wonder how many hallucinagen i c fungi these guys ate during their recording process...ju s t somethin to ponder.
right!
can no compara y pinK fLOyd.
CAN was MORE innovative,l e s s EGO dERiVED.
PASS that joint,brothe r , a L L in aLL it's aLL just
brickS in my waLLS.
no, these guys are weird, but to even utter them in the same breath as Floyd is pure musical blasphemy. Not anything to compare to. Can doesn't have any real contemporari e s or similar bands. Surely, they have no idea the Brilliance, longevity, beauty, architecture and heart of better bands that have endured their era, but worth the time to check out and "trip" out to.
try finding a clean copy of Monster Movie on vinyl, not easy.
.
baxter2501
Tago Mago alone outshines Pink Floyd's total output.
John Peel's famous comment about The Fall could also, and perhaps more deservedly, apply to Can (The Can). 'Always different, Always the same'. A truly unique and endlessly interesting group of musicians.

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