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Classic Album Review: Can | Box

The Krautrock pioneers compile some wicked unreleased ’70s live recordings.

This came out in 1999 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Listening to ’60s German avant-rock pioneers Can makes you realize just how much the music biz has changed in three decades.

These days, no major label in its right mind would release an album of 16-minute-long art-rock freakouts. Thank heavens, then, for the lunatics at New York’s Mute Records, the North American distributors of the new 30th-anniversary Can set, Box. The two music CDs compile some wicked unreleased live tracks from the ’70s — even while churning out throbbing aural sculptures, free-flowing flights of fancy, the occasional creative cacophony and yes, single songs longer than some other artists’ albums, Can always rocked. As further proof, you get a video with archival live footage and a bulky trilingual book. It’s all so crazy it just might work.