278. Can - Future Days (1973)
1. Future Days
4. Bel Air
This is exactly what I was expecting from Can and then some. Some amazingly modern-sounding innovative music that is like the Leonardo Da Vinci of the 70's (inventing helicopters centuries before anyone else, not being an Elder of Zion or whatever the fuck).
I guess Can have this amazingly modern sound thanks to their drummer in great part. The man is a human metronome, he can sustain a perfect beat for 20 minutes in a way that only machines would be able to do later, his subtle shift add to what is an astoundingly fresh sound. Damo Suzuki is also interesting and sometimes sounds like the guy from the Sugarcubes singing.
Can is one of those groups that deserves a much, much wider recognition, it is one of the most amazingly innovative bands ever. Actually this is probably the right album to start with if you want to get into Can, it is much more accessible than Tago Mago and more evenly astonishing, form the title track to the 20 minute long Bel Air.
A big highlight of this album is Moonshake, however, showing that Can can also work as a pop group, a very different one, but a pop group nevertheless. The 3 minute song is very near perfect and it shows that Can don't depend on the long jams to be astounding. They are even pre-dating Eno's explorations of ambient music here, a really worthy and essential album that is fresh and innovative without being too demanding to the listener while still hiding many layers of complexity. Get this at Amazon UK or US.
2. Future Days
3. Bel Air
Major artists working in the post-punk genre such as The Fall, Public Image Ltd., David Bowie, Talking Heads, Joy Division and The Stone Roses have cited Can as an influence. Brian Eno made a short film in tribute to Can, while John Frusciante of the Red Hot Chili Peppers appeared at the Echo Awards ceremony, at which Can were awarded the most prestigious music award in Germany, to pay tribute to guitarist Michael Karoli.
John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten), formerly of the Sex Pistols, formed Public Image Limited patterned after Can's early 1970s five member lineup. Lydon wanted to join Can in 1979 as the group decided to disband. During their Kid A tour, Radiohead performed a cover of the song "Thief" from Delay 1968 , and have claimed Can as an influence. Mark E. Smith of The Fall pays tribute to Damo Suzuki with the track "I Am Damo Suzuki" on the 1985 album This Nation's Saving Grace. At least three notable bands have named themselves in tribute to Can; The Mooney Suzuki for Malcolm Mooney and Damo Suzuki; the indie rock band Spoon after the hit "Spoon"; the electronic band Egebamyasi, formed by Scottish musician Mr Egg in 1984, after Can's album Ege Bamyasi. The Scottish writer Alan Warner, born in Oban in 1964, has written two novels in tribute to two different Can members (Morvern Callar to Holger Czukay and The Man Who Walks to Michael Karoli respectively).
Excerpt of Moonshake, you get the idea: