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Can - What's it all about?

Discussion in 'music' started by madmike, Aug 5, 2022.

  1. madmike

    madmike I feel much better now, I really do...

    On a whim I bought Tago-Mago on 180g colured vinyl (Orange) . Its a double album.

    Sometimes buying an LP is like buying the moment; you are fancy free, money in your back pocket and in a record store talking to a hairy hippy and trying to feel young. You share a taste in krautrock and guess what I just had in a 180g reissue of the seminal album by Can...so you buy it.

    There was a free mp3 download so I grabbed that and listened to Tago Mago by Can while the vinyl remains untouched.

    I was underwhelmed. Metronomic drum patterns......7/10 Strange vocals 6/10 Weird guitar licks 3/10
    I have now listened to Tago Mago all through for the first time ever. But I don't see why everyone seems to love them. Did I buy the wrong one ?
     
  2. mikechadwick

    mikechadwick pfm Member

    Personally I always preferred Monster Movie - never really got on with their other albums although I seem to have most of them as SACD's :oops:
     
  3. webster

    webster Listen & enjoy.

    I've tried it on Qobuz a few times - not for me.
     
  4. Gerard124

    Gerard124 pfm Member

    Ege Bamyasi is the high watermark for me.

    Try 'One More Night'
     
  5. Finnegan

    Finnegan pfm Member

    Possibly not the best entry point. Give it time, it might click. But if you find you can’t get on with Halleluwah, Paperhouse or Mushroom, then Can are probably not for you.
     
  6. windhoek

    windhoek The Phoolosopher

    imo, Can are all about the groove, and at the centre of every Can groove is the late Jaki Liebezeit. This drum legend could knock out rock solid grooves like no one else. But it wasn't just his grooves that defined the Can sound - his fills were as smooth as butter. Try this one and just listen to those grooves and fills:

     
    Durmbo and lexi like this.
  7. RBrinsdon

    RBrinsdon pfm Member

    "Future Days" for me - "Bel Air" is one of my zoned out faves
     
  8. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Tago Mago is a work of absolute genius. Stick with it. It will make sense, though despite it being so hugely influential on rock, indie, post-rock etc it may initially help to view it as a jazz album. Traditional pop song structures do not exist here at all. It has no connection to blues and as such may at first appear alien. This is what makes it so strong and so influential. It is everything the likes of Cream and Led Zeppelin are not and it makes more sense to view it through the lens of bands who were influenced by it (Fall, Happy Mondays, Stereolab, Mogwai, Sigur Ros etc). Can also have the best drummer in the entirety of rock history. So good he was actually a jazz drummer first.

    PS Whoever was/is the second best rock drummer doesn’t matter as they are so far behind Jaki Liebezeit no one cares.
     
    FranzD, Sich, Canton and 11 others like this.
  9. Gerard124

    Gerard124 pfm Member

    This!
     
  10. foxwelljsly

    foxwelljsly Hawkwind and Fire

    I love Can, but there are plenty of hip bands that leave me cold. I wouldn't worry about it. Stick it with the rest of your records and you may stumble upon it when you're more receptive. Or you may not.
     
    paulfromcamden, Weekender and Snufkin like this.
  11. foxwelljsly

    foxwelljsly Hawkwind and Fire

    Oh, and Tago Mago is definitely their best album, but don't feel bad about it.
     
  12. notaclue

    notaclue pfm Member

    Definitely a lot more accessible than Tago Mago. Would recommend to the OP before he gives up on Can

    Note to the OP, the really good bit starts at 3.47:

     
    narabdela and RBrinsdon like this.
  13. foxwelljsly

    foxwelljsly Hawkwind and Fire

    I’ve always thought ‘Halleluwah’ on Tago Mago the most accessible thing they ever did. If that doesn’t do it for you, I wouldn’t venture much further.
     
    Alex S likes this.
  14. Yank

    Yank Bulbous Also Tapered

    Oh the cognitive dissonance.
     
  15. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Indeed! It did occur to me, though the sort of jazz it reminds me of is Bitches Brew, Get Up With It, Herbie Hancock’s Crossings etc, so jazz had moved on a fair way from traditional structures by that point.
     
  16. Seeker_UK

    Seeker_UK Feelin' nearly faded as my jeans

    The best place to start for sure (*). Time for me to dust this off and repost :)

    [​IMG]

    (*) OK, I started with "Incandesence" and then "Soundtracks" but got to "Ege Bamyesi" not long after.
     
    Canton, Durmbo, roman and 3 others like this.
  17. Seeker_UK

    Seeker_UK Feelin' nearly faded as my jeans

    The Buzzcocks deserve to be a bit more than an "etc" on that list. ;) Pete Shelley even wrote the liner notes for the UK release of "Cannibalism".
     
    Snufkin likes this.
  18. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    That’s very good IMO. You can extend the left line into the recent two Live At Stuttgart & Live At Brighton. I love these, they reinforce my belief Can at their best should be classed as a jazz/free ensemble. At the other extreme there is Flow Motion and a couple of the other Virgin-era albums which are quite ‘pop’, e.g. the single I Want More which wouldn’t evacuate a disco. I’m not a fan of this stuff at all, some of the albums after Flow Motion are pretty awful and had to comprehend they sat alongside the wonderfully free and funky Brighton and Stuttgart live albums time-wise.

    PS I didn’t know the Buzzcocks thing, I’ve never owned Cannibalism. My route in was Ege Bamyasi, Soundtracks, Tago Mago, Future Sounds and Soon Over Babaluma, all originals found throughout the ‘80s.
     
  19. Seeker_UK

    Seeker_UK Feelin' nearly faded as my jeans

    When I was flogging albums to Cambridge, it was the height of 'Madchester'. You could spin the b-side "...and More" and the congas / wah-wah guitar groove was easily mistaken for a white label of some obscure baggy outfit.



    [/QUOTE]I’m not a fan of this stuff at all, some of the albums after Flow Motion are pretty awful and had to comprehend they sat alongside the wonderfully free and funky Brighton and Stuttgart live albums time-wise.[/QUOTE]

    All the Virgin albums are worth having. I find "Landed" a bit patchy; I struggle to 'get' "Unfinished" but Side 1 is great. "Flow Motion" is excellent (especially the title track) and "Saw Delight" is essential just for "Animal Waves". The albums after are, I agree, very hit and miss - you could probably make one solid album out of "Can" and "Out of Reach". "Rite Time" is best not talked about...


    Honourable mention also for the "Peel Sessions" but have you seen the price of the CD nowadays? Phew...
     
  20. madmike

    madmike I feel much better now, I really do...

    Well much obliged for the comments guys...I will persevere...maybe ege bamyasi next
     

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