Top positive review
21 people found this helpful
on 13 March 2005
The first Can LP I ever owned (and sadly the poor UA pressing of that period has not stood the test of time - or too much playing!). To have anew in SACD quality remix is a dream come true.
This was their fourth UK release and came out as the group first toured the UK and in this glorious remastering brings back what an truly innovative group they were both then and still are now. A group of two classically avante garde Stockhausen trained members (Czukay and Schmidt); a German answer to the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia (the sadly deceased Karoli); a jazz drummer whose rhythm style pre-dated drum machines (Liebezeit) and a Japanese vocalist who used his vocals (not his voice) as an instrument (Suzuki) was always going to be a heady mix.
The CD features a good mix of shorter items (under 5 minutes) and the much loved "longer workouts" that made their live acts so memorable, being here the challenging (especially as it is the first track) "Pinch" and variety of sonic and World Music flourishes (remembering this is 1972!) of "Soup". On re-hearing here with the greater clarity of remastering the more ear catching and resonating items are the shorter tracks such as "Sing Swan Song" with its water sound opening setting the ethereal tones (I recall John Peel playing on Top Gear one night and stating he hoped all the new German music was going to be as exciting) and "Spoon" a catchy German TV thriller theme and their first single hit!.
Music of this calibre has not been heard since Can's demise (several years later after the release of this disc) and sadly all their later solo efforts would only prove the sum of the parts and the chemistry resulting was what made the magic in the first place.
Only disappointment is the liner notes by David Stubbs - one hopes other contributors will be used for later releases in better putting the original release into original and current context. One still has no idea for example about the history of the photo off the original LP sleeve of a bow tied MC on stage with the group (especially as in the UK it was used in 35mm format as the cover for "Soundtracks"). Even the notes comment on the front cover do not appear to appreciate that it was apparently based on a last minute decision to use a photo of a Turkish canned tin of okra fingers seen in an German foodstore, the producer giving his name to the LP as a result.