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The Lost Tapes [VINYL] Box set, Limited Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Vinyl (3 Dec. 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 5
  • Format: Box set, Limited Edition
  • Label: Mute
  • ASIN: B009K50MU4
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 231,504 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Disc 2
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Disc 3
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Product Description

The Lost Tapes is a colection of previously unheard recordings from legendary experimental rock band Can, who emerged from West Germany in 1968. This five 180g vinyl limited edition box set contains a heavy board in a two-piece box with a 28 page 12” booklet. Also includes exclusive sleeve notes by Irmin Schmidt and Ian Harrison.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Been a while, hasn't it? Originally conceived way back in 2008, it was a few years after that, in early 2011 that the box set was announced. Delay after delay happened, but finally, well over half a year later than planned, we have it. So, was all this excitement worth it, or does this box set consist of sonic barrel scrapings from the bands long forgotten jams? Well, if Can keyboardist Irmin Schmidt hadn't have had anything to do with it, it might well have done. He remembers that "We always had tapes running, but 10 years' tapes running all the time 12 hours a day would come to an unimaginably big pile...But perhaps a tape would have 10 minutes on it that we thought were good. So there were little snippets and bits and pieces of all kinds from different periods on one tape... chaos." By the sounds of it then, with fifty hours of tapes, had they given in to that money-spinning temptation of releasing multiple volumes, each could have been of a very dodgy quality. Thankfully, this won't be the case. "This is the final extract from the archive. More, there isn't. There are another 47 hours not worth releasing, which will definitely disappear." Schmidt stated, in one sentence, crushing any further speculation.

The set's twenty six pounds asking price seems reasonable, given that you get three discs, three hours of music, a rather sumptuous 10" box and a 28 page booklet. It doesn't disappoint musically either. Starting proceedings is Millionspiel, a trippy rocker locked in Can's trademark percussion-led groove. "Obviously the tapes weren't really lost, but were left in the cupboards of the studio archives for so long everybody just forgot about them.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Can - The Lost Tapes box set

In the late 1960's, that wild and pre-digital era, something happened in Cologne, Germany. Some musicians with a background in experimental jazz and Stockhausen came together. On keyboards was Irmin Schmidt, a trained conductor of classical music. Their heads had been turned by hearing the Velvet Underground. The inclusion of Malcolm Mooney an American artist with a gift for improvised singing and Michael Karoli who was every inch a rock guitarist sealed the deal. Named Can, their first album `Monster Movie' in 1968 saw them pick up the trail from the Velvet Underground's extended jam `Sister Ray'. With the strong rhythm laid down by Jaki Leibezeit on drums and Holger Czukay on bass the transition into rock music was total and fascinating.
The group's next phase began when Japanese singer Damo Suzuki filled the gap left by Malcolm's departure. The albums with Damo (who still regularly performs unmissable improvised gigs with pick up musos around the globe) were totemic, and had a sound and sense of experiment that was all their own. `Tago Mago' had a sound that was both daring and beautiful. It was followed by `Soundtracks', `Ege Bamyasi' and `Future Days', mesmerising stuff.
Damo departed, though I saw his last gig with them in Edinburgh in 1973. They continued to record and tour as a mainly instrumental unit, with `Soon Over Babaluma' and `Landed' being the albums I most cherish from that period. The individual development of the musicians led them into solo projects, and after a decade of fruitful music Can was no more. Except for the legacy they had left in unreleased material.
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Format: Audio CD
Now a couple of years have gone by it's much easier to get a grip on this sprawling 3 cd collection. All the people that reviewed it after 5 minutes and gave it 'average' 3/5 marks.... it was a bit daft to do that. I've been listening to this set a lot lately and all of it is pretty incredible. Even some of the looser tracks, the fragments and the embryonic birth of well known pieces... all sound fantastic to me.... 2 years on.
Can were certainly at their best when tempered by the razor blade of the ever watchful Holger who knew how to create concise almost-pop out of sprawling jams. There will be no more moments like Spoon, Vitamin C, Moonshake or Sing Swan Song again as bands just don't work like that anymore. Even Can after the golden years 69-74 started multi-tracking and therefore losing the special telepathic chemistry between the musicians.
So - not for Can beginners certainly. But for fanatics, the curious, the students and the collectors this set is a 'must'.
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Format: Audio CD
If you're afraid that this might contain mostly unlistenable outtakes from the seminal albums, don't worry. The quality of material on this 3CD box set is astonishing. The tracks sound incredibly fresh. In my opinion, almost everything on here (with the exception of the superflous 'The Agreement' and perhaps one other track) is intriguing and highly enjoyable to listen to. We've got the fifteen minute (or so) wig-out of 'Graublau'. We've got out and out funkiness on 'Barnacles'. You can hear the beginnings of tracks like 'Vernal Equinox' from Landed (it appears here as 'Midnight Men'). We are also offered a selection of live versions of tracks which veer in really wonderful ways from the original. There are stunning vocal performances from both Mooney and Suzuki, some of which stand up incredibly well to the tracks we know from the albums.

I'm a big Can fan but I think that there is some really accessible (and fun) material on here which would serve as a great introduction to a newcomer. It's also obviously a fascinating listen for an aficionado. Recommended.
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