Category: Can

Can – Soundtracks

ARTIST: Can                                        Can-Soundtracks_(album_cover)

TITLE: Soundtracks

YEAR RELEASED: 1970

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: None

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Mother Sky

LINEUP: Holger Czukay, Michael Karoli, Jaki Liebezeit, Irmin Schmidt. Damo Suziki sings most, but Malcolm Mooney vocalizes two tracks.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: These were songs Can contributed to film soundtracks over a two year period. One track stands out above all.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Very important filmmakers used very important progressive groups to make soundtracks for their very important films. Can, being a outre progressive group, was tapped for several films.

Soundtrack songs can sound odd out of place. They also can meander, and not make sense without the film in front of you. Can’s contributions to several films (all German) did make sense in a way – well – in a way that Can songs do. Except one.

“Mother Sky”, tabbed for a film not even released when this album was released (the movie was Deep End starring Jane Asher and John Moulder Brown), is the highlight, and may be the highlight for Can as a band as a whole. It’s 14:23 of the band chugging along in a groove, with Michael Karoli going off on his guitar. It’s fantastic.

The rest, well, for Can fans only – and then for background music.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: This marked a transition for the band. “Mother Sky” would be the template for further Can explorations

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No 

GRADE: B: “Mother Sky” is an A++ track and you can be excused for just keeping that one.

Can – Monster Movie

ARTIST: Can                                               220px-CanMonsterMovieAlbumCover

TITLE: Monster Movie

YEAR RELEASED: 1969

CHART ACTION: Nah.

SINGLES: None

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Only those who love Krautrock and / or weirdness

LINEUP: Irmin Schmidt, Jaki Liebezet, Holger Czukay, Michael Karoli, Malcolm Mooney

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: After a rejected album (later released about 13 or so years later), Can records a ‘more accessible record’. Of course, it has a side long track.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The beginning of Krautrock? Maybe. Can had a couple of singles and a rejected album under their belt when Music Factory (later Liberty and United Artists) released this record in Europe in 1969.

It wasn’t quite psychedelic, or something for hippies. It was its own thing. There are some regular song structures here, but there’s some jazz improvisations, and rhythmic influences from other cultures all thrown in the mix. Add to that, while the band was German the singer was an African-American poet living in Germany.

This is intriguing, and while not all of the pieces come together, and some parts are a little off, especially Mooney’s odd, abstract lyrics. it’s still a noble experiment in sounds.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Malcolm Mooney left the band soon after and went back to the US. Allegedly he had a nervous breakdown.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No

GRADE: B+:  “Yoo Doo Right”, the 20-plus minute opus, is one of the better long form songs, but a couple of pieces of it and parts of the other songs on the albums needed a bit more polish.