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Cologne, Germany (1968 – 1979)

Can was an group founded in Cologne, Germany in 1968. Describing themselves as an “anarchist community”, they constructed their music largely through improvisation and editing, in a way similar to several composers of the time. They had only occasional commercial success, but exerted a huge influence on subsequent and music. They are generally held to be one of the finest of the original bands, and are among the most important artists in recent music history.
A lot of their initial popularity came from positive press in the UK (when many other Krautrock bands were shunned by UK media such as NME) and airplay on John Peel’s BBC radio programmes, which led to extensive touring in the UK. They also gained exposure in Germany by doing soundtrack work for German filmmakers.

Keyboardist Irmin Schmidt and bassist/producer Holger Czukay had studied electronic music together under Karlheinz Stockhausen circa 1966. Schmidt was inspired to start the group following a trip to New York where he was “corrupted’ by Andy Warhol and The Velvet Underground. As well as Schmidt and Czukay, the initial lineup included guitarist Michael Karoli, a former pupil of Czukay; and drummer Jaki Liebezeit.

Their first vocalist was an American sculptor, Malcolm Mooney, who joined them living in an old castle with their own music studio, Inner Space. Mooney added a sort of “outsider artist” approach to his improvised vocals, but the chaotic lifestyle was damaging to his mental health and he eventually fled back to the USA on advice of a psychiatrist. He later contributed to the ‘reunion’ album Rite Time in the mid ’80s.

Mooney was replaced by Kenji “Damo” Suzuki, found busking outside a café in Munich.


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  • Doppz

    There was a time that I forgot Can was the best band of all time...but that was awhile ago.

    16 Feb 1:19pm Reply
  • Musicflyer

    Yo la Tengo are your fans, for sure, and so do I

    14 Feb 7:47pm Reply
  • Jules020

    Inherent Vice brought me here ....

    14 Feb 4:44pm Reply
  • RationalGazerr


    14 Feb 4:29pm Reply
  • Luna_Sternchen

    Vitamin C, this is it [2]

    12 Feb 7:56pm Reply
  • dethronedempera

    I wish they collaborated with Sun Ra. [2]

    29 Jan 10:02pm Reply
  • mahu_d

    the drumming on yoo doo right is physically impossible.

    10 Jan 6:43pm Reply
  • Chao-G

    I used to think Can is overrated, for some reason. I now understand why they're considered one of the greatest bands of all time.

    29 Dec 2014 Reply
  • ParalelFuture

    it is great to see that this band have so many people that listens to their music after all these years!

    25 Dec 2014 Reply
  • Sad_florenthine

    Love this band.

    19 Dec 2014 Reply
  • MisterJunior

    Jaki Liebezeit is one of the greatest drummers in popular music. I'd say it's a toss-up between him and Bill Bruford in my view. The guy can do it all. At times it's difficult to believe that one man is doing all of the drumming on his own.

    11 Dec 2014 Reply
  • Kansas-Eskimo

    I wish they collaborated with Sun Ra.

    10 Dec 2014 Reply

    One of the most important bands in music history. They created sounds for future genres and styles as back as the early 70s: world music, electrofunk, disco, trip hop and dubstep, which is extraordinary impressive for a psychedelic rock band.

    8 Dec 2014 Reply
  • Massive_Anus

    Future Day smooth as a dove's asshole

    26 Nov 2014 Reply
  • Jaina999


    25 Nov 2014 Reply
  • hayward

    Admittedly hadn't heard of them until seeing INHERENT VICE. Fucking phenomenal stuff.

    22 Nov 2014 Reply
  • ParalelFuture

    THIS BAND IS TRULY UNIQUE! They're music is .... (cannot find the words to describe it).....

    5 Nov 2014 Reply
  • pitchyforks


    28 Oct 2014 Reply
  • jussi_m

    Smoke (E.F.S. No. 59) on Flow Motion is great.

    25 Oct 2014 Reply
  • rhayader18

    The greatest band for a stoner. Trust me.

    24 Oct 2014 Reply
  • All 1943 shouts

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