‘Can’ are probably one of the most known bands of the music idiom called ‘Krautrock’.
The beginning of this bizarre band can be traced back in 1968,when Irmin Schmidt returned to Germany (Cologne) after a trip in New York. There he had spend some time with many avant-garde musicians, and there it was that the idea of a German avant-garde band came to his mind.
Upon his return he formed a band with the music teacher Holger Czukay and the American composer/flautist David Johnson. Soon a couple more members were added, and ‘Inner Space’ were all set. (That was their first name). Later they changed the band’s name to ‘The Can’, and finally just ‘Can’. At this very early point David Johnson quits the band and he’s been replaced by the American vocalist/sculptor Malcolm Mooney. During the whole 1968 they were recording many songs while they tried to find a record company. It will be 1969 when they will finally be able to release their first record with the name ‘Monster Movie’.
After the release, Malcolm Mooney quits the band and returns to USA due to the advice of his psychiatrist, that it would be very good for his mental health to get away from the chaotic music and environment of Can… His replacement will be the Japanese hippie/traveller Kenji ‘Damo’ Suzuki, which they found buskin on the sidewalk outside a cafe in Munich.
With this line-up they released ‘Soundtracks’ (1970), which was actually a compilation of music made for films. But in the next few years Can will reach their top in creativity as a band.
First with the double record ‘Tago Mago’ (1971) but mostly with the famous ‘Ege Bamyasi’ (1972). From this last record 2 singles came out that climbed on the German Top-40 singles charts. ‘Vitamin C’ and ‘Spoon’. The next year they released the more ambient-style ‘Future Days’ (1973), and after this album Suzuki quits the band,he got married with his German girlfriend, and he becomes a Jehovah’s Witness.
From this point and on, Can changed their music to a more ambient style and mostly instrumental.
They released a few more records before they split up in 1979. Since then, every few years some of the members are gathering, performing a few concerts only to split up again. Their mere record at this period was released in 1989 under the name ‘Rite Time’.
In the following video you can listen to the song "Vitamin C"