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File under: Kraut


The Singles (3Lp)

* 2021 small repress * This unique document is the first time Can's singles have been presented together and shows the breadth of their influential career, from well loved tracks like Halleluwah, Vitamin C and I Want More to more obscure singles such as Silent Night and Turtles Have Short Legs. "Turtles Have Short Legs," was the band's third single released in 1971 and never appeared on a studio album. This was recorded around the time of the Tago Mago sessions with the line up of Holger Czukay, Michael Karoli, Jaki Liebezeit, Irmin Schmidt and Damo Suzuki.

"For a band whose legendary early 70s LPs of some of the most innovative music of the the decade helped shape the Post Punk musical landscape of the 80s and 90s (and whose influence still informs a whole host of modern Psych Rock bands), collecting together all of the Can singles on one album does not seem like the most obvious of releases. However Can were always about the groove, even at their most experimental, driven by the groundbreaking "half-man, half machine" drumming of the late, great Jaki Liebezeit (described as "one of the few drummers to convincingly meld the funky and the cerebral") and with a little judicious editing some classic Can tracks made perfect sense as 7” singles, with a few even bothering the charts. Spanning from the tail end of singer Malcolm Mooney’s time in the band and going full circle to when he rejoined the band for CAN’s reunion/swansong album Rite Time released in 1989, this unique document is the first time the singles have been presented together and shows the breadth of their influential career, from well loved tracks like ‘Halleluwah’, ‘Vitamin C’ and ‘I Want More’ to more obscure singles such as ‘Silent Night’ and ‘Turtles Have Short Legs’. Sequenced with both A and B sides in chronological order, the album charts CAN’s journey from a Psychedelic Rock band, through their most innovative/creative period with beautiful freak Damo Suzuki fronting the band, the muso Prog Rock/Virgin Records era and the mutant Euro Disco phase with ex-Traffic sidemen Rosko Gee and Rebop Kwaku Baah now part of the band, before finally running out of steam in the early 80s. Maybe not an essential album, but still a fascinating trail of classic tunes until the band’s quality control mechanism spectacularly failed towards the end of their 12 official studio album career (if you include Soundtracks) that is mainly for CAN completests but also an excellent introduction for anyone new to the work of one of the most important bands of the Twentieth Century.

First appearing on the Soundtracks album, ‘Soul Desert’/’She Brings The Rain’ marks the transition between Malcolm Mooney leaving and Damo Suzuki joining CAN, with Mooney’s final contribution to the band being the most un-CAN like track imaginable…..’She Brings The Rain’ being a gentle Jazz influenced tune with Mooney’s psychedelic lyrics a million miles away from the berserk freak outs on Monster Movie. The run of CAN albums from 1971 to 1973 which included Tago Mago, Ege Bamyasi and Future Days are simply peerless and it is surprising how many great singles were released during this period………..’Spoon’, the non album cuts ‘Shikako Maru Ten’ and ‘Turtles Have Short Legs’, a heavily edited ‘Halleluwah’, ‘Vitamin C’, ‘I’m So Green’ (pre-dating the Stone Roses baggy shuffle beat by a good 15 years), ‘Mushroom’, the twisted funk of ‘Moonshake’ (a bit hit in mainland Europe) and an edit of the title track from Future Days all appeared on 7” vinyl as either an A or B side. After Damo Suzuki left the band after Future Days and was not replaced with another singer, CAN moved more in a Prog Rock direction and were now releasing albums on Virgin Records who were putting out singles, more as tasters for the albums, with very little success until CAN had a freak hit with their pop satire ‘I Want More’. 40 years on, ‘I Want More’ still sounds a fresh as ever…….a mix of Bohannon-esqe Disco and pulsing Giorgio Moroder sequenced synths sees CAN at their most commercial but still experimental, confusing people who bought Flow Motion expecting it to be more of the same. At this point, the quality drops quite alarmingly with the last few CAN albums being as succession of diminishing returns …………although the chugging Funk Rock of ‘Don’t Say No’/ ‘Return’ (featuring the supple bass playing of Rosko Gee) is fantastic, recording a Disco version of ‘Silent Night’ is possibly not the best idea CAN ever had………although it is not as bad as their re-working of ‘Can Can’ which shows that Germans do have a sense of humour!!!! Completing the circle, Malcolm Mooney rejoined CAN in the mid 80s for one final album…………although no where near as intense and important (or anywhere as good) as their early 70s recordings, Rite Time is the sound of a band having fun playing together again and an edit of ‘Hoolah Hoolah’ is a fitting way to close a CAN singles collection." Thee Psychedelicatessen

File under: Kraut
Cat. number: SPOON60
Year: 2017

More by Can

Monster Movie
Live In Brighton 1975
Tago Mago
Flow Motion
Out Of Reach
Can 1978
Rite Time
Live Stuttgart 1975
Future Days
Delay 1968
Ege Bamyasi
Saw Delight

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