David Fricke on 2017's Best Prog Reissues

Can's complete singles, a massive King Crimson box and more

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Can, 'The Singles'
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Can, 'The Singles'

There is an actual hit single here – "Spoon," a three-minute spell of tribal-drum hypnosis, circular-guitar turbulence and mantric singing that went Top 10 in Germany in early 1972 after it appeared as the theme to a popular TV crime series. But Can naturally made inner-movie scores – moving-sound pictures in pneumatic surge, repetitive hooks and chant-like vocals – that were effectively compacted on their many 45s, nearly two dozen A and B sides starting in 1969 and compiled on this CD. Two of the best: the blue-jazz ballad "She Brings the Rain" with original singer Malcolm Mooney; and the stuttering creep and shouting confrontation of "Vitamin C" with his Japanese successor Damo Suzuki. Can typically composed and recorded in long-form improvisations, editing the results for their albums. This is an even tighter suspense and magnetism.

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