Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Can Albums Ranked From Worst to Best

Eddy Bamyasi


Can The Band 

Can were perhaps the original or quintessential "Krautrock" band. Formed in Cologne in the late 60s by Irmin Schmidt and Holger Czukay they created some of the most original music ever committed to record over a decade between 1968 and 1979.

Operating independently to the regular pop and rock fashions of the time Can's largely improvised music incorporated elements of rock, funk, jazz, modern classical and the avant-garde. Being both ahead of their time and timeless their music still sounds fresh and current today and is often cited as having been influential upon artists such as Radiohead, Stone Roses, Primal Scream, PIL, The Fall, Joy Division, David Bowie and Brian Eno.

Excluding the 1989 reunion album Rite Time, which brought the band full circle with the return of original vocalist Malcolm Mooney a decade after their original disbandment, their output, ever changing and rarely standing still, can be divided into four periods: The original Mooney inception (68-70), the much celebrated "Damo [Suzuki] Trilogy" (71-73), the 4 piece without a dedicated vocalist (74-76), and the world music band with Rosco Gee and Reebop Kwah from Traffic (76-79).

Officially Can recorded eleven studio albums, but few Can fans would choose not to count Soundtracks or Delay 1968 as "proper" Can albums even though in the latter case for example the actual release date was not until 1981. Inevitably various compilations and live recordings have surfaced in recent years in addition to solo projects.

I agonised over whether to include just the official studio albums in this listing, or to at least separate out the solo or compilation efforts, but in the end included some of the most coherent "additional" albums in the one listing in order to assess them in the overall context of what's available.


Give the drummer some, Jaki Liebezeit on stage with Damo Suzuki

Compilations, remixes, lives, rarities and outtakes

Of course a bunch of lost tapes and live bootlegs have emerged over the years since the band's official retirement. But not all that many in comparison to some bands. Consequently the extras that have come to light have tended to be of pretty good quality.

Every day, midday to midnight, we improvised and recorded in our studio.
Jaki Liebezeit

For a band that created many of their album tracks from edits of extended improvised jams (some that reportedly went on for hours!) it is not surprising that a lot of tape exists in the vaults. Some of this was collected together under the stewardship of keyboardist Irmin Schmidt on the triple CD The Lost Tapes released in 2012.

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. Everybody except [my wife] who watches over Can and its work like the dragon over the gold of the Nibelungen* and doesn't allow forgetting.
Irmin Schmidt 

* In Germanic mythology the Nibelungen were a race of dwarfs that possessed a hoard of gold and magic treasures.


Schmidt has stated that the Lost Tapes wraps everything up from the Can archives and there won't be rafts of further inferior releases.

There have also been several live CDs released in recent years including the Peel Sessions and Live 1971-77 which I have included below being official releases as opposed to bootlegs.

Many tracks from these extra albums contain elements of already released album tracks - Can's improvisational jams, whether in the studio or live, would often veer off into versions of existing songs meaning there is quite a lot of overlap amongst the extra albums.


Early Can with Malcolm Mooney right

Compilations include the three part Cannabalism series. Apart from the solo edition (no. 3) the other two are mostly collected more conveniently on the 25 Years Anthology double CD.  Anthologies for most bands I find are best avoided if possible. As Can were very much an albums band many of their long tracks suffer from edits. However this 1993 release is a good value way to hear some late period Can and also contains a fair range of unreleased tracks from the Limited and Unlimited Edition "outtake" albums.

And finally last year saw the release of a 23 track Singles Compilation! 23 tracks! I wasn't even aware Can had released any singles. I'm suspicious when side long album behemoths are reduced to 3 and half minute "edits" but by all accounts it's a pretty good record and no doubt could serve as an excellent introduction. However I think as the closest Can have to a Greatest Hits album it doesn't really qualify for this ranking.

Solos

Holger Czukay was probably the most prolific of the Can members outside of the band, both with his own solo work and through collaboration with a number of other prominent artists like David Sylvian and Jah Wobble.

Irmin Schmidt, the chief source of Can's film soundtrack work, composed many solo film scores which have been released as a series of albums under the name Film Musik.

The other core members contributed to their colleague's solo works and guested on other artists' albums as session players or playing live with various groups and collectives. Damo Suzuki remains active today touring with his "Network" performing live improvisational music with local musicians.


The classic Can line up, with a difference

Band Personnel

Michael Karoli – guitar, vocals, violin
Jaki Liebezeit – drums, percussion
Irmin Schmidt – keyboards, vocals
Holger Czukay – bass guitar, sound engineer, electronics, vocals, french horn
David C. Johnson – reeds, winds, electronics and tape manipulation (1968)
Malcolm Mooney – vocals (1968–1970, 1989)
Damo Suzuki – vocals (1970–1973)
Rosko Gee – bass, vocals (1977–1979)
Rebop Kwaku Baah – percussion, vocals (1977–1979)

Album Discography 

Studio albums

Monster Movie (1969)
Tago Mago (1971)
Ege Bamyasi (1972)
Future Days (1973)
Soon Over Babaluma (1974)
Landed (1975)
Flow Motion (1976)
Saw Delight (1977)
Out of Reach (1978)
Can (1979)
Rite Time (1989)

Compilations and live albums

Soundtracks (1970) – compilation of songs written for various films
Limited Edition (United Artists, 1974) – collection of 1968–1974 rarities that was expanded to become Unlimited Edition
Unlimited Edition (Virgin, UK/Harvest, Ger., 1976) – collection of 1968–1975 rarities
Opener (Sunset, 1976) – compilation from 1972–1974 album material
Cannibalism (United Artists, 1978) – compilation from 1969–1974 album material (two tracks dropped for CD reissue)
Delay 1968 (Spoon, 1981) – unreleased material from 1968–1969
Incandescence (Virgin, 1983) – compilation from 1969–1977 album material
Cannibalism 2 (Spoon, 1992) – compilation from 1974–1981 album material, also includes two tracks from singles and one unreleased track, "Melting Away"
Anthology (Spoon, 1993) – compilation from 1968–1991 album and soundtrack material
Cannibalism 3 (Spoon, 1993) – compilation from 1979–1991 solo album material
The Peel Sessions (Strange Fruit, 1995) – collection of 1973–1975 recordings from BBC radio's John Peel Show
Sacrilege (Spoon, 1997) – remix album
Can Live 1971–1977 (Spoon, 1999) – collection of live recordings 1972–1977 (originally packaged with the Can Box CD/video/book set)
Agilok & Blubbo (Wah Wah Records Supersonic Sounds, 2009) – movie soundtrack recorded in 1968, recorded as The Inner Space
Kamasutra: Vollendung Der Liebe (Crippled Dick Hot Wax!, 2009) – movie soundtrack recorded in 1968, released as Irmin Schmidt & Inner Space Production[2]
The Lost Tapes (Mute, 2012) - 3-CD or 5-LP box set compilation of unreleased studio and live recordings from 1968 to 1977 (UK #77)
The Singles (Mute, 2017) - CD or 3-LP compilation of all the singles (UK #83)

Bootlegs

Horrortrip in the Paperhouse: Live 1972/73 (1994).
Radio Waves (Sonic Platten, 1997) – collection of 1969–1972 live and rare recordings
Zhengzheng Rikang (N├Ârvenich, 2006) - early 1969 bootleg

discography and personnel courtesy Wikipedia


THE TOP 20


20. Rite Time (1989)


Ten years after disbanding in 1979 the original Can line up reformed with the much heralded return of Malcolm Mooney on vocals (where had he been in the intervening 20 years?). Unfortunately the long awaited reunion was a disappointment with a weak album.

There are two or three decent tracks here that could have formed the core of a good record surrounded by others or extended in their own right in the time honoured Can fashion:  Like a New Child has elements of ambiance found on records like Future Days, Give the Drummer Some recalls vaguely the electronic metronomic beats of Ege Bamyasi and album closer In the Distance Lies the Future is both cool and newBut on the whole Jaki Liebezeit's previously unique drumming is relegated to fairly standard background beats and Mooney's limited vocal abilities, perfectly suited to the crazy randomness and rawness of the first two Can records, are shown up on the more song based numbers here, some of which such as Hoolah Hoolah are just plain silly.

19. Out Of Reach (1978)


A rare album (being the only one without Czukay) that has been largely disowned by the original band members. However it still sounds like Can despite the obvious world and disco influences, especially on the instrumentals such as November which would not have been out of place on Future Days.

Vocal duties are taken up by the very smooth (and very unlike Mooney/Damo) voice of Rosco Gee giving songs like Give Me No Roses a Santana like feel with it's latin groove. If I had heard this on the radio I would not have identified it as a Can song at all although you can just about make out the trademark distorted Karoli guitar in the background.

I sort of feel this could now make a decent record in it's own right and may be due reassessment, but at the time as a Can record it did not cut the mustard with the Can fans for which the magnificence of Tago Mago was a distant memory. I suppose credit continues to be due to a band that never stood still and always appeared to be ahead of their time even if they probably went in the wrong direction this time.

18. Flow Motion (1976)


Can had become a very different animal by the mid 70s and their 1976 album Flow Motion is characterised by rather insipid disco influenced and largely forgettable music.

As the album title suggests this does sound like a band going through the motions - a feeling most evident on the ten minute title track which sets off on a plodding half pace groove and doesn't really go anywhere. Perhaps an attempt to regain the improvisational magnificence of earlier recordings but sadly failing to ignite that intangible inspiration that made the likes of You Doo Right or Mother Sky so exciting. One of the issues apparently was the advent of multi-track recording which the band had adopted in preference to their previous live recording approach. Classic Can were essentially a band that recorded live in the studio using just a 2 track recorder - what they lacked in recording perfection was amply made up for by spontaneity and creative chemistry which is somewhat lost here with the individual musicians overdubbing multiple tracks.

Nevertheless I Want More became their biggest single hit even leading to an appearance on BBC's Top of the Pops! The quirky Cascade Waltz is playful and follows the style of the songs on Landed but Laugh Till You Cry, Live Till You Die is a lazy, extended and ultimately pointless reggae which outstays its welcome by at least 3 minutes.

17. Saw Delight (1977)


The recruitment from Traffic of Rosko Gee on bass and Rebop Kwaku Baah on percussion heralded a further move for the band towards the more ethnic, African and disco sound which began on Flow Motion. The new members shared vocals, with Holger Czukay moving to "special effects" - a move greeted with mixed reactions from the other band members, and one that would not be fully realised until his solo album Movies in 1979.

The new approach here doesn't quite work, although centre piece Animal Waves is a triumph and Don't Say No is a great single.

16. Live Tapes 1971-77 (1998)


I would have thought Can could have found some better footage to release as a live album. This one suffers from pretty poor sound quality. The version of You Doo Right is a disappointment and Hallelujah, which is smuggled into the latter parts of the 37 minute Colchester Finale jam, possesses little of the power of the album cut. Best track is the pumped up version of Spoon but it doesn't save the album. For completists only, otherwise best avoided.

15. Un/Limited Edition(s) (1974)


Limited Edition is an album of outtakes and offcuts from 1968-74. It includes several tracks from the band's so called Ethnological Forgery Series (EFS) - experimental world instrumentals. No longer essential (some of the tracks have appeared on other compilations subsequently including the 25 Year Anthology) but interesting and relatively cohesive. A later reissue of this record was expanded into a double CD and renamed Unlimited Edition. 

14. Can (aka Inner Space) (1979)


Of all the latter period stuff this, their last proper album, before the short lived reunion that was Ritetime, is patchy but good. Yet another shift in sound, a bit more gutsy, jazzy, rhythmic and very unusual. The album has more the character of Landed than it's immediate predecessors, the more world music flavoured albums of Saw Delight and Out of Reach.

The old side one is strong, in particular the two openers All Gates Open and Safe with confident vocals, and the scatter-gun drumming and synthesizers to the fore. The quality continues through Aspectacle with it's funky drummer breaks, but, as was the case with several of Can's latter period albums, the overall atmosphere is diluted as the band literally run out of ideas and fill the remaining time of this already quite short album with several out of context tracks - in particular a poor cover of the Offenbach Can Can.

Holger Czukay returned after missing the Out of Reach recording but only on "editing" with Rosco Gee retaining bass duties.

13. Sacrilege (1997)


As the title suggests this was a risky project but it actually works pretty well and there are some exciting reworkings here which have, on the whole, been praised by the band... except Damo Suzuki that is:

It's not my tea.

As befits the era it consists mostly of remixed instrumentals of original tracks in the drum and bass style. Therein lies the issue. As the original Can songs are already very drum and bass heavy the artists behind this project struggled to improve upon the fab originals. It wasn't enough to simply add some banging beats and funky drummer fills. Brian Eno sums up the problem:

Any attempt to do anything rhythmic against Jaki is an insult to his beautiful, spare playing, and just fills up the gaps he so gracefully left.

His track, Pnoom, is one of the most interesting (although it is a shame his version of Uphill has never surfaced). The 56 second free form jazz honker is given new clarity and light.

Probably the most successful tracks are the ones where the re-mixer has given up attempting to better the original and has created something altogether different. Irmin Schmidt states that he enjoyed Tango Whiskeyman but didn't recognise it! You Doo Right is a case in point where the original basic riff is turned into a magnificent Ibiza style anthem!

12. The Lost Tapes (2012)



The thing about these sorts of career retrospective "from the vault" releases is they can go a bit too far. There is some superb stuff on here - enough to form one or even two powerful albums which could be the equal of Delay 1968. However while mining for the gems across these 3 CDs there is also a lot of "avant garde" messing about in the studio to wade through too. Perhaps too, as it is career spanning, I would have preferred a couple of dedicated standalone retrospective albums released separately within their chronological context, and the live cuts syphoned off to bolster the slightly limp Live Tapes 71-77. We may then have actually had another one or two genuine "Delay 1968s".

We recorded everything. You never know when the moment comes.
Irmin Schmidt

All this could have come at the risk of diluting those early celebrated albums but with the general decline in material post 1973 I feel these additional hypothetical albums would have safely added to the whole without soiling the canon. In any case, that is splitting hairs - what we have is a wealth of mostly new, yet familiar music with minimal repetition or overlap.

11. Full Circle (1982)




Another favourite from the solo catalogue, this one with drummer Jaki Liebiezit and bassist Holger Czukay joined by Jah Wobble. Some great dubby grooves and melodic piano.

10. The Peel Sessions (1995)




This album of Peel Sessions recorded between 1973 and 1975 is of much better sound quality than the Live Tapes 71-77. Standout track is the Damo fronted Up the Bakerloo Line With Anne which could easily have graced Tago Mago or Ege Bamyasi. Damo is in particularly fine manic voice on this epic track producing one of his most exciting vocal performances.

This alone elevates an interesting record into a great one. But the album is not a one trick pony: Mighty Girl is a more classical piano version of November which would later appear on Out of Reach. Geheim is an interesting variation on Half Past One from Landed. 

The other tracks are extended, mostly instrumental, jams bridging the Damo / post Damo Can sound and any would have sat well on the albums of the period. As it stands The Peel Sessions makes a very good standalone Can album and a welcome addition to the catalogue.

9. Future Days (1973)


This, the final album of the celebrated "Damo Trilogy", is often offered by both fans and critics as Can's peak but for me the long tracks are both more restrained and yet less focused, and hence fail to achieve either the efficient groove of Ege Bamyasi (excepting the exceptional Moonshake) or the avant garde scope of Tago Mago.

The title track is a shimmering shuffling piece with Damo at his most laid back and tuneful. Spray has a very Ege Bamyasi feel with Jaki Liebezeit exploring some more global percussion. The side long Bel Air is really a suite of tracks and could be regarded as the closest Can came to prog. It has it's moments like all Can jams but also there are parts when the band sound like they are playing different pieces particularly Karoli. Ironically the standout track for me is the 3 minute only single Moonshake which is a pop masterpiece.

Lacking the raw power and cohesive simplicity of the earlier albums the ambitious Future Days is the weakest of the Damo stablemates and, probably controversially to many loyal Can fans, comes in at a relatively lowly No. 9 for me.

8. Soon Over Babaluma (1974)


Soon Over Babaluma (which from the cover would appear to be a ski resort in the Alps) was Can's 6th studio album and the first post Damo Suzuki - who was not replaced - vocal duties were shared by Irmin Schmidt and Michael Karoli who offer more low key breathy and spoken word singing.  As such the album provides a bridge between Damo's last gasp Future Days and the following Landed where the new style vocals are delivered with more confidence.

Following a similar format to the more celebrated Future Days the album begins with the obvious single Dizzy Dizzy with Karoli's rarely heard, until now, violin prominent. In fact the influence of Karoli seems strong throughout this set, whether on guitar or violin. I think this leads to a bit of imbalance actually as the key to the best Can was always a hypnotic drum and bass groove with limited overlays. Here it sounds like the band are throwing everything and the kitchen sink at the production; a fault most evident on Splash which is frankly just all over the place! In between these two tracks we have Come Sta, La Luna which is a fascinating playful piece sounding like nothing Can had done previously.

The old side two combines Chain Reaction with Quantum Physics. The second piece in particular draws on elements of experimental and ambient sounds found on the longer Ege and Tago tracks and is more satisfying than the corresponding Bel Air suite on side two of Future Days. Quantum Physics is reminiscent of Phaedra era Tangerine Dream and is perhaps Can's most fully formed ambient piece.

7. Landed (1975)


Not a popular Can album but I like it (one reviewer on Julian Cope's celebrated Krautrock website described it as easily Can's worst album! - which is a bit harsh, there are plenty of more worthy candidates, but I admit many will find it shocking that this appears higher than Future Days).

Landed offers a different sound not least due to the very Germanic vocals (shared again by Schmidt and Karoli) which are more to the front of the mix than on the previous album Soon Over Babaluma.

Can also attempted to move towards a more poppy and commercial sound (with mixed success - they were never really ever going to become that commercial). They consequently produced some memorable tunes and also some weird ones.

I never got the Hawkwind space rock comparisons until I heard Full Moon on the Highway which sounds just like Robert Calvert mid 70s period Hawkwind. Hunters and Collectors and Half Past One both make excellent singles once you've tuned into the monotone singing. With Schmidt's keyboards prevalent and the light touch jazz drumming these tracks remind me of the sound on the Can/Inner Space "spanner in the sky" album. Yet like with Babaluma and Future Days the album nods to the past with two lengthy contrasting instrumentals - Vernal Equinox is the heavy one with the band all going full pelt and Unfinished is the ambient one recalling Quantum Physics from the previous album.

6. Monster Movie (1969)


Their official debut album from 1969. Very heavy with one side dedicated to the simple riff of You Doo Right. My favourite track is the tremendous Mary Mary So Contrary with Malcolm Mooney ad libbing the nursery rhyme over Michael Karoli's jangly guitar chords and trademark distorted solos.

Mooney jumped ship shortly afterwards returning to his native America allegedly on advice of his psychiartrist who recommended that getting away from the chaotic music of Can would be good for his mental health.

5. Movies (1979)


Revolutionary! Holger Czukay's solo projects have been the most successful and there is no better place to start than this 1979 outing. Movies is an ever interesting concoction of tapes, loops and samples. Fascinating, bizarre, daring, yet beautiful and cohesive. Movies is a work of genius that still sounds current today.

Although it featured all the current Can band members in support it doesn't really sound like any other Can record (or any other record by anyone). Furthermore whereas the Can albums of the time were heading towards a rather uneven and irrelevant world pop style Czukay was pushing the boundaries of experimentation enjoying a free reign beyond what he could do within Can.

4. Soundtracks (1970)


A personal favourite yet often overlooked as a proper Can album. Even the band didn't necessarily consider it a genuine album release, other than a compilation, with the following text printed on the cover:

Can Soundtracks is the second album of The Can but not album no. two... Album no. two will be released in the beginning of 1971.

This is a shame as Soundtracks is possibly the closest they came to another Ege Bamyasi particularly with the Damo Suzuki fronted funky numbers Tango Whiskeyman and Don't Turn The Light On, Leave Me Alone. The outgoing Malcolm Mooney is not to be outdone here though leaving us with one of his best vocal performances on the gorgeous She Brings The Rain featuring walking double bass and jazz guitar chords.

The highlight though is clearly the awesome Mother Sky, a forerunner to Hallelujah from the following "album no.two" Tago Mago, and nothing like film music!

3. Delay 1968 (1981)


Initially entitled Prepared To Meet Thy Pnoom, although no record company was willing to release it at the time, this album didn't surface until 1981 which was a shame as it contains some of Can's most powerful rock music not least in the extended guitar and bass wig outs of Butterfly, Uphill, and Little Star of Bethlehem. Title track Pnoom is 26 seconds of jazz honking over a chirpy bass and slow builder Thief was covered by Radiohead.

With an emphasis on the guitar and a nod to The Velvet Underground this is Can's rawest and heaviest album and a welcome companion piece to Monster Movie which was spawned from the same sessions and became the official debut.

Singer Malcolm Mooney is inspired throughout with his stream of consciousness repetitive chanting. You can only imagine what he was smoking in those days:

Froggy and Toady carried off the tangerine seeds one by one
And came back for the popcorn after dinner
Asking, "Will you please have some?"
Correction: the coathanger should be upside-down
Oh little star of Bethlehem

2. Ege Bamyasi (1972)


All the best bits in one compact set. Probably the best introduction to Can and the perfect fusion of their raw early sound and the more polished later sound. Across only 7 tracks spanning 40 minutes the band explore rock, jazz, funk, electronica and avant garde.

The avant garde is kept in check in comparison to the expansiveness of Tago Mago with only Soup going entirely off piste. Beginning with a slow build up of free form jazzy noodlings punctuated by Liebezeit's crisp drum rolls, Czukay's slurred bass line suddenly announces one of Can's greatest ever riffs. The bass and drums get quicker and quicker before collapsing in a crash to be followed by Damo's random musings over weird distorted sounds which I assume emanate from Schmidt's keyboards (long time Can commentator Duncan Fallowell likened Schmidt's keyboard noises to the sound of a UFO). This six minute section reminds me a little of the free form jazz noodlings at the start of side two of In The Court of the Crimson King which took me years to appreciate before becoming my favourite part of that record. It's actually very different but the effect is the same.

With Can such diversions into the avant garde are much more common place and to be expected but this is really the only part of Ege Bamyasi where the randomness is embraced with abandon.

The next longest track is the epic Pinch which follows the classic Can blueprint of an energetic Jaki Liebezeit drum beat underpinning weird and wonderful improvisational noises from the other musicians.

The other tracks on the album are beautiful song miniatures expressing the Can sound at it's most efficient.

1. Tago Mago (1971)


Hallelujah! All hail the greatest rock drumming in the world! 

Having enjoyed a diet of standard rock as a teenager I was literally blown away on hearing this album. It was like nothing I'd ever heard before. Funky, heavy, sexy, weird, wonderful, timeless.

First track Paperhouse starts off as a conventional rock song but two minutes in there is a sudden shift of gear which launches the track into a three minute frenzy before it returns to the calm of the opening verses. One final burst of frenzy at the end before we segue straight into the circular drum patterns of Mushroom. Side 1 ends with Oh Yeah which builds quietly with organ and Damo Suzuki moaning over an insistent bass, and funky drummer pattern.

Centre piece of Tago Mago is the 18 minute Hallelujah which took up Side 2 of the original double album vinyl. If there is one track that encapsulates what Can are all about this is it.

From here things get really weird with two long experimental tracks straight out of the Stockhausen school. Aumgn and Peking O take up the majority of the sides 3 and 4 of the old double album. Damo Suzuki barks, growls and shouts odd sounds in his unique language. It's not an easy listen but nevertheless always fascinating.

The album ends with the gentle Bring Me Coffee Or Tea which heralds in a more commercially friendly sound which would be developed on Ege Bamyasi.

It's a tough call between this and Ege Bamyasi for top spot in this listing. Ege is the more completely formed and consistent album but Tago Mago just wins out on the strength of the first two sides and in particular Hallelujah, Can's greatest ever work.     

When we made Tago Mago we knew it could be an event that happens once in a century.
Holger Czukay 






So there you have my Can Top 20.  How many of these are essential? How far would you go? Are there any obviously misplaced albums or any that are missing from the list altogether - perhaps one I've not even heard or an overlooked solo album? Is Tago Mago or Ege Bamyasi your favourite or can you make a case for Future Days? Is Rite Time the top of the dummys or should it be Out of Reach or even Landed? Are any of the post Damo or later period albums worth having or will a good compilation suffice? Does Ege Bamyasi alone tell you all you need to know about Can? Is the new Singles Compilation any good?  I see this list as organic - I will revisit and potentially rearrange over the coming months. I'd love to hear your comments.

Eddy


To watch a youtube video rundown with 30 second clips of each album please visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NruwxoogDps





Since you’re here… 

… I have a small favour to ask. No more people are reading the blog than ever and advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. But unlike many news organisations, I haven’t put up a paywall – I want to keep my journalism as open as I can. So you can see why I need to ask for your help. My independent, investigative journalism doesn't take much time, nor money or work to produce. I do it because it's fun and I learn a lot and believe my perspective matters – because it might well be your perspective, too. If everyone who reads my blog, who likes it, helps to support it, we could have more great music in our futures. For no money at all you can support 6 Album Sunday and it only takes a second. Please sign up for email alerts here>>. 

About The Author

Eddy Bamyasi

Eddy is a music writer from Brighton, England, named after a Can record. Each Sunday he logs and reviews the albums that happen to be in his vintage Pioneer 6-CD magazine changer, amongst other things.

4 comments:

  1. It was a mistake for a timeless band like Can to allow a dated sound like 90's drum & bass to dominate all the tracks on their remix album. The drum machines completely negate Jaki's drumming, which is so wrong. So along with the tired, uninspired Out of Reach I'd rate Sacrilege as their worst. And the reunion album Rite Time isn't nearly the disaster some reviewers make it out to be. After their long separation Mooney sounds alive & kicking, as if trying to make up for lost time, and the rest of Can allow his playful whimsy to dictate the album's tone. The end product sounds ort of like "Little Star of Bethlehem" meets Talk Talk, with really good drumming. Also worth mentioning is that there's a fascinating (even without English subtitles) German TV documentary on youtube that documents the reunion and making of Rite Time.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Sean, sorry I missed your post earlier. I must give Rite Time another go and seek out the documentary. Any Talk Talk reference is a good thing. I like parts of Sacrilege but agree it ironically now sounds dated due to the drum n bass emphasis. And being Can drum and bass enhancement was the last thing they needed.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The worst Can album by a massive distance is " Only you" how that ever escaped into the world is beyond me.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks Bevis, I don't actually know that album - is it a compilation or a track or do you mean something else?

    ReplyDelete

Powered by Blogger.

Leading Artists (by appearance)

neil young (26) van morrison (22) john martyn (18) tangerine dream (18) felice brothers (16) pink floyd (14) led zeppelin (13) black sabbath (12) brian eno (12) whitest boy alive (12) bonnie prince billy (11) can (11) david sylvian (11) radiohead (11) talk talk (11) beatles (10) cluster (10) cocteau twins (10) laura marling (10) nick cave (10) afro celts (9) beck (9) bob dylan (9) fennesz (9) genesis (9) iron and wine (8) loscil (8) midlake (8) paolo nutini (8) tom waits (8) autechre (7) foals (7) nucleus (7) richard hawley (7) stars of the lid (7) camel (6) david bowie (6) dj vadim (6) efterklang (6) elo (6) fairport convention (6) harmonia (6) holger czukay (6) kings of convenience (6) low (6) luke vibert (6) matthew e white (6) miles davis (6) sahb (6) the doobie brothers (6) tord gustavsen (6) war on drugs (6) william basinski (6) arovane (5) bear's den (5) black keys (5) boards of canada (5) bob marley (5) calexico (5) edgar froese (5) father john misty (5) hawkwind (5) jan jelinek (5) king crimson (5) mouse on mars (5) nils frahm (5) public service broadcasting (5) robert plant (5) sigur ros (5) takemitsu (5) arbouretum (4) badly drawn boy (4) budgie (4) carly simon (4) carole king (4) decemberists (4) emeralds (4) four tet (4) handsome family (4) hidden orchestra (4) jethro tull (4) jj cale (4) john legend (4) klaus schulze (4) kruder and dorfmeister (4) manuel gottsching (4) opeth (4) penguin cafe orchestra (4) ravi shankar (4) soft hair (4) steely dan (4) the unthanks (4) tim hecker (4) trees (4) ulrich schnauss (4) KLF (3) alan parsons project (3) alex harvey (3) alison krauss (3) alva noto (3) barclay james harvest (3) bon iver (3) bonobo (3) caitlin canty (3) caribou (3) chicago (3) coldplay (3) curtis mayfield (3) david crosby (3) deep purple (3) depeche mode (3) eilen jewell (3) enid (3) fleetwood mac (3) floating points (3) free (3) gorillaz (3) gram parsons (3) grateful dead (3) grobschnitt (3) incredible string band (3) james morrison (3) jill scott (3) john grant (3) john surman (3) keith jarrett (3) kraftwerk (3) lal waterson (3) last shadow puppets (3) lift to experience (3) lynyrd skynyrd (3) mahavishnu orchestra (3) manitoba (3) mike oldfield (3) mike waterson (3) monolake (3) neu! (3) palace brothers (3) philip glass (3) popol vuh (3) quantic (3) rodriguez (3) rokia traore (3) rolling stones (3) rory gallagher (3) roxy music (3) rush (3) simon and garfunkel (3) sly and the family stone (3) steve hillage (3) suede (3) sufjan stevens (3) the comet is coming (3) tim buckley (3) wagon christ (3) wilco (3) 4hero (2) abc (2) ac/dc (2) al stewart (2) amon duul II (2) aphex twin (2) arctic monkeys (2) baka beyond (2) band of horses (2) belle and sebastian (2) blue oyster cult (2) blue states (2) bonzo dog band (2) boris salchow (2) burial (2) cardigans (2) carlos barbosa-lima (2) charles mingus (2) chemical brothers (2) chris rea (2) cinematic orchestra (2) compilations (2) crosby stills nash (2) david darling (2) death in vegas (2) debussy (2) dj shadow (2) doors (2) earl sweatshirt (2) eloy (2) emilie simon (2) erik satie (2) farben (2) festivals (2) fleet foxes (2) francois and the atlas mountains (2) fripp and eno (2) gas (2) gong (2) granados (2) green on red (2) griffin anthony (2) jazzland (2) jean sibelius (2) jeff buckley (2) john coltrane (2) johnny flynn (2) josh t pearson (2) julian cope (2) kamasi washington (2) kanye west (2) kate bush (2) ketil bjornstad (2) la dusseldorf (2) lambchop (2) larkin poe (2) little feat (2) ludovico einaudi (2) magma (2) marianne faithfull (2) marvin gaye (2) mike lazarev (2) money mark (2) morton feldman (2) nektar (2) nightmares on wax (2) ninja (2) nirvana (2) nitin sawhney (2) peace (2) porya hatami (2) prefuse 73 (2) prem joshua (2) randy newman (2) robert fripp (2) ryan adams (2) scorpions (2) scott and maria (2) scott matthews (2) servants of science (2) soft machine (2) steve miller (2) susumu yokota (2) talvin singh (2) the who (2) thievery corporation (2) traffic (2) truckstop honeymoon (2) ufo (2) up bustle and out (2) weather report (2) wiley (2) willard grant conspiracy (2) wishbone ash (2) wyclef jean (2) yes (2) abba (1) acid mothers temple and the cosmic inferno (1) aimee mann (1) air (1) alabama 3 (1) alice coltrane (1) amadou and mariam (1) andy shauf (1) anthony hamilton (1) april wine (1) arcade fire (1) ashra (1) asia (1) badger (1) barber (1) beach boys (1) bee gees (1) beirut (1) bert jansch (1) beuno vista social club (1) bill laswell (1) biosphere (1) bjork (1) blow monkeys (1) bob geldof (1) bob holroyd (1) bob seger (1) bombay bicycle club (1) boubacar traore (1) broken social scene (1) bruce springsteen (1) bruch (1) byline (1) captain beefheart (1) cardi b (1) cast (1) cat stevens (1) catfish and the bottlemen (1) charles and eddie (1) chopin (1) chris child (1) christine and the queens (1) chuck prophet (1) climax blues band (1) cosmic jokers (1) crowded house (1) d'angelo (1) daft punk (1) david goodrich (1) davy graham (1) dexy's midnight runners (1) dolly collins (1) donald fagen (1) dreadzone (1) dub pistols (1) eagles (1) echo and the bunnymen (1) eden espinosa (1) eels (1) elbow (1) electric ape (1) emerson lake and palmer (1) erlend oye (1) erukah badu (1) essays (1) euphony in electronics (1) faust (1) feist (1) flaming lips (1) future days (1) gamma (1) gang of four (1) gentle giant (1) goat roper rodeo band (1) godspeed you black emperor (1) gorecki (1) groove armada (1) grover washington jr. (1) gun (1) guru guru (1) hatfield and the north (1) hats off gentlemen it's adequate (1) heron (1) hiss golden messenger (1) hozier (1) human league (1) idles (1) india arie (1) iron and wire (1) isaac hayes (1) james brown (1) james joys (1) jamie t (1) janelle monae (1) jayhawks (1) jean-michel jarre (1) jerry paper (1) jim croce (1) jimi hendrix (1) jjcale (1) john cale (1) john mclaughlin (1) jon hassell (1) jurassic 5 (1) kacey musgraves (1) keith berry (1) kid loco (1) king tubby (1) king's consort (1) kings of leon (1) kirk degiorgio (1) kodomo (1) lenny kravitz (1) lighthouse (1) love supreme (1) luc vanlaere (1) lumineers (1) mark pritchard (1) mark ronson (1) me'shell ndegeocello (1) messiaen (1) metallica (1) micah frank (1) michael hedges (1) michael jackson (1) mike west (1) mitski (1) modest mouse (1) moody blues (1) morte macabre (1) motorhead (1) national health (1) nick drake (1) nusrat fateh ali khan (1) oasis (1) omd (1) orb (1) orquesta reve (1) other lives (1) oval (1) paco pena (1) paladin (1) panda bear (1) pat metheny (1) paulo nutini (1) pentangle (1) pierre bensusan (1) portishead (1) proprio (1) protoje (1) purcell (1) pussy riot (1) queen (1) rainbow (1) ramsay midwood (1) rautavaara (1) rem (1) rhythm kings (1) richard strauss (1) robyn (1) roni size (1) ryuichi sakamoto (1) sada sat kaur (1) saga (1) sam jordan (1) sammy hagar (1) santana (1) scaramanga silk (1) shakti (1) shirley collins (1) shostakovich (1) snafu (1) snatam kaur (1) sparks (1) st germain (1) stanford (1) steeleye span (1) stereolab (1) steve reich (1) styx (1) supertramp (1) susumo yokota (1) t bone walker (1) terry riley (1) the band (1) the clash (1) the jayhawks (1) the streets (1) the wreks (1) tricky (1) tycho (1) uriah heep (1) velvet underground (1) venetian snares (1) vladislav delay (1) whiskeytown (1) whitesnake (1) william ackerman (1) yngwie j malmsteen (1) zhou yu (1) ╬╝-Ziq (1)