From The Morton Blog

40th Anniversary of Can's Tago Mago

By , Editor
I've been pondering lately what it means to be "ahead of your time." Typically, it means your work is so innovative and alien that it takes years and intervening work by less innovative artists to "train" an audience to appreciate your mode of expression.

If this description applies to anyone, it applies to the sui generis German tribal art-noise ensemble Can, whose (arguably) defining moment was the Tago Mago album, released in 1971.

can-holger-czukay-malcom-mooney-kenji-damo-suzuki-jaki-liebezeit.jpgThis is "space rock," with the "rock" part coming primarily from instrumentation and hair-length, as the music is about as far from Chuck Berry and power chords as it gets, whirling, ducking, spinning, sidestepping, cavorting, droning in and among bassist Holger Czukay, guitarist Michael Karoli, drummer Jaki Liebezeit, vocalist Damo Suzuki, and keyboardist Irmin Schmidt, who observed that at their best, Can was like a "Mighty, pulsing organism."

Today, Spoon/Mute Records announced a 40th anniversary edition of Tago Mago, coming out on November 15, packaged in the original UK artwork for the first time since 1971, and including a bonus CD with 50 minutes of unreleased live material from 1972, remastered in 2011.

I have the 2007 remastered CD, and it rocketh. Well, it more "pulses" than "rocks," but you know what I mean. Maybe the public will catch up this time around, as there is a lot more Can coming in 2012.

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Eric Olsen is a career media professional and serial entrepreneur who has written influentially on a vast array of topics for periodicals, books, TV, radio, and the Internet. Olsen founded and published award winning online magazine Blogcritics.org and oversaw creation of the original content organization…

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