Finally, Can fans are blessed with remastered/reissued treatments of the classic early albums. This CD was originally a 1974 vinyl release titled Limited Edition; it was soon rereleased with six additional tracks under the title Unlimited Edition. Despite being a collection of fragments and oddities, there is a cohesion and strength to the material that puts the album firmly in place among their best work (e.g., Monster Movie, Tago Mago and Ege Bamyasi). Can's playfulness is openly displayed next to its solid musicianship. More happens in a chunk of one of these songs than might happen in entire careers of lesser bands. So much is up for offer here that you can easily listen to this album repeatedly and still hear new things buried in the collage of absurd vocal mannerisms, instrumental excursions and driving Teutonic drum rhythms.
The influence this band has had since its heyday is impossible to overstate. Bands like Wilco and Stereolab (to name two obvious and well-known examples) owe a strong debt to Can specifically, and to the Krautrock genre in general. Can's use of space, long, trancelike grooves and crazy twists of imaginative silliness are sorely lacking in most music today. If you want to be challenged and entertained at the same time, if you want your music to be intelligent, manic and timeless, you could do much worse than Can.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.