Can – Tago Mago (1971)

Artist Credit
Can Audio Production, Primary Artist
Holger Czukay Audio Engineer, Bass Instrument, Guitar (Bass), Member of Attributed Artist
Michael Karoli Guitar, Member of Attributed Artist
Jaki Liebezeit Drums, Member of Attributed Artist
Irmin Schmidt Keyboards, Member of Attributed Artist
Damo Suzuki Member of Attributed Artist, Vocals

With the band in full artistic flower and Damo Suzuki’s sometimes moody, sometimes frenetic speak/sing/shrieking in full effect, Can released not merely one of the best Krautrock albums of all time, but one of the best albums ever, period. Tago Mago is that rarity of the early ’70s, a double album without a wasted note, ranging from sweetly gentle float to full-on monster grooves. “Paperhouse” starts things brilliantly, beginning with a low-key chime and beat, before amping up into a rumbling roll in the midsection, then calming down again before one last blast. Both “Mushroom” and “Oh Yeah,” the latter with Schmidt filling out the quicker pace with nicely spooky keyboards, continue the fine vibe. After that, though, come the huge highlights — three long examples of Can at its absolute best. “Halleluwah” — featuring the Liebezeit/Czukay rhythm section pounding out a monster trance/funk beat; Karoli’s and Schmidt’s always impressive fills and leads; and Suzuki’s slow-building ranting above everything — is 19 minutes of pure genius. The near-rhythmless flow of “Aumgn” is equally mind-blowing, with swaths of sound from all the members floating from speaker to speaker in an ever-evolving wash, leading up to a final jam. “Peking O” continues that same sort of feeling, but with a touch more focus, throwing in everything from Chinese-inspired melodies and jazzy piano breaks to cheap organ rhythm boxes and near babbling from Suzuki along the way. “Bring Me Coffee or Tea” wraps things up as a fine, fun little coda to a landmark record.

Join Us on Our Facebook Group

Similar Albums

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *