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Reviews Written by (Guildford, England)

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Volumes One And Two
Volumes One And Two
Price: £10.51

50 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vol.2 - my favourite album of all time, 9 May 2002
This review is from: Volumes One And Two (Audio CD)
These 2 albums were released originally independently, and you can see a true progression in the way that pop/psychedelia was being explored in the UK/60's. Vol.1 was "feeling" the way, but still had a basis rooted in their contemporaries (floyd, beatles etc.). But when Vol.2 came out -WOW!!! Even the first few chords of the 1st track (from "Pataphysical Intro") showed that this album would be like nothing like anything else that preceded (and arguably followed) it. It is so difficult to categorize it - but why bother? Just enjoy it. It's got everything in it (including "knickers and panties - nude, bare, naked" - and with no scrimping on the rich and sometimes complex arrangements. Tracks flow into and recede from each other to make this a listening experience where you have to hear the whole record from start to finish. In vol.1 this linkage, again is experimented with, but lacks the polish and completeness of vol.2. I heard that on the strength of Vol.2, Soft Machine were invited to do the proms (1st pop/rock group to do so). As to the richness of the sound, compare vol.2 with its live "Paradiso" session (also on cd). Same tracks, yet the trio amazingly still manage to convey the sound of a small orchestra! This along with Can's "Tago Mago" must rate as one of my all time favourites! Both smashed the underground frontiers of the music scene in that magic period that straddled the 60's & 70's. This is the sort of cd you by 2 of ...and hand down to your kids and their kids!

Tago Mago
Tago Mago
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £16.95

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The standard for 70's underground progressive rock, 22 Feb. 2001
This review is from: Tago Mago (Audio CD)
If I was marooned on a desert island this would be the single album I would take. As a double, it has very few tracks, but these encompass such a wide range of sounds. For example the opening 4 minutes of Augmn combines the most delicate spindly keyboard arrangement which seem to have at least 3 melodies inter-twining in the most acidic way possible, interspersed with white-noise climaxes that can shock you.
Many Can fans site this as their favourite Can album. It is demanding, totally exciting and explorative, doing underground what Sgt.pepper did overground!
One emotion-wrenching section bridges 2 tracks. The latter part of Peking-O starts off very quietly with some menacing flames and fire (reminiscent of Beatles "Revolution No.9", plus matching manic vocal, which make way for what reminds me of a Tolkein-style demonic army marching past in choas and total evil. You feel like a shocked bystander, watching this sonic assault slowly pass by you. Then the magic happens. The track fades,- as the army passes, and the balm of a really, really cool "Bring Me Coffee or Tea" as the next track, emerges to relief all round. Everything seems calmer, and you feel washed over with relaxation, after the sonic and mental stress of "Peking O". The contrast could not be starker. Damo Suzuki soothes out the lyrics exactly matching the flavour of Leibezeit's and Czukay's rythms. But as the track progresses, the tone subtley changes, the emotions graduate from calm to wild (again!). And then Can achieve what so very few artists can do, by sustaining the core of the piece and yet completely inversing the mood from calm to wild climax, with some amazing guitar and drum work from Karoli and Leibezeit. And that's how the LP ends.
I could witter on about the other tracks - they too are brilliant, but in other ways. "Hallelujah" is the one quite often sited by critics as THE ONE. But whatever your preferences, you will always remember this album.
Along with others, this for me represents the creative peak of CAN, who throughout their long career as group and soloists have made their (deutsch)mark from punk (which they invented in 1969 - hear "Father Cannot Yell" from "Monster Movie" - if you don't believe me!)) through to Schmidt's Radio-2 and Opera in the 90's. Enjoy this - and be sonically amazed!

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