Exposé Online banner

Can — Box
(Spoon Spoon041, 1999, 2CD/Book/Video)

by Jeff Melton, Published 2000-05-01

Box Cover art

Can's legacy in the progressive rock/experimental field is nothing short of legendary. What has been lacking is any real tangible support for the myth in the form of easy access for present day consumption (besides re-issue of the band's uneven catalog). True to the task then is Box, which collects three valid media types together and puts flesh to the fleeting ghost of times gone by. I've broken this review into three segments to reflect the unique elements of the packaging: Video: This is the real meat of the set with many facets of the band visually represented. Included is a complete live free festival performance by the group circa 1972 with Damo Suzuki on vocal with a juggler as visual complement. This in itself is the real reason to own the set, along with various live performances on the BBC and the documentary film chronicling Malcolm Mooney's return during the Rite Time sessions. Overall the tape is 133 minutes of pure ecstasy and a must for die-hard fans to see. Book: Also included in the set is a multi-page tome, which describes various impressions of the band by contemporaries as well as fans. Brian Eno's uncertain commentary is notable since it originates from the fan base rather than by peer. Unfortunately there is far too much detail in languages other than English which biases the text, but does give it a multi-cultural flavor. Discs: Archivist Andy Hall has collected some of the bands more interesting bootleg performances of the 70s period and presented them in a slightly cleaned up fashion. Featured are a few definitive performances by the quartet including "Vernal Equinox" from 1975 and a wild improv as a closer for a show in Colchester '72. These discs are also available separately for purchase. This set is easily the best pick for box set of the year. It is highly recommended to fans and newbies as a channel into an overlooked, but rewarding group and their unique forms of art and impressionism. As of this writing, the package is sold out and only individual pieces are available for purchase.


Filed under: New releases, Archives, Issue 19, 1999 releases

Related artist(s): Can, Damo Suzuki, Holger Czukay

Latest news

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart $amp; Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Marc Anderson - Timefish – Usually prog fans expect a certain level of complexity in their music, and a quarter-century's worth of artists have pushed the level of complexity in rock music in many ways: structurally,...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues