“It’s true. Can saved us all at least a decade before most of humanity even knew of their existence (my corner of it anyway). Because while everybody else was reeling from the meltdown of the Beatles, the deaths of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, the end of 1960s in general, backtracking deeper and deeper into so-called authentic blues, or going all progressive, singing of castles, strange kingdoms, lost dimensions (not that there was anything particularly wrong with it) … the Communist-Anarchist-Nihilist combo known as Can (operating out of their own schloss in Koln, West Germany) were still fiercely working the now, deep into the pretty much infinite groove of Halleuwah, the Lord be praised indeed! Howls and riffs and passing rips of melody and noise and the best f***ing drummer ever — the whole mad stew still sounding fresh and dangerous and profoundly ahead of its time even now, decades later. Why is it not way higher on this list then? Good question. I guess I must’ve been just post a phase of listening to it too much when I was compiling things.” (Philip Random)
Last week’s Randophonic radio was completely concerned with the music of Can and Jaki Leibezeit (who died recently). So much so that it requires three Mixcloud streams to do it all justice. The first two are a re-run of an old Randophonic show called Canned Goods, with the third a recent mix of material that Herr Lebezeit contributed to outside of Can (1977-2013).
As the story goes, Jah Wobble‘s dream was to somehow hook up with Can’s rhythm section (Holger Czukay and Jaki Liebezeit) and make a record, which he finally pulled off for Full Circle. Except he took the record company’s advance money, blew it all on drugs, alcohol, other stupid stuff, and neglected to pay his heroes, who he then avoided for years out of shame. But the album still stands, one of the best of 1982, or any other year for that matter. How Much Are They? was the single.