Revolutionary may be a word that gets thrown around a lot in music, but there really is no other way to describe Germany’s finest psychedelic export, Can. By blending elements of traditional rock music with avant-garde funk, jazz and beyond, Can laid the foundation for what would become known as krautrock and go on to influence an entire world of music outside of their own scene.
While their roots date back to 1966, the band really started to take shape in 1968 under the name Inner Space and recorded a number of songs which would be known as Prepared to Meet The Pnoom. These recordings wouldn’t be released until later under the Delay 1968 title, and they changed their name to The Can (then later just Can) to focus on their debut album, Monster Movie.
All Can wanted to do in this era was make more accessible music to what had come previously, but little did they know they would be making one of the rarest records in existence. The original pressing has a very fragile matte sleeve, featuring an orange circular image in the centre, along with the tagline ‘Made in a castle with better equipment’. It was also the first of two releases on the Music Factory label and has the catalogue number hand scratched into the run out. There is a transitional pressing in existence that has the Liberty Records matrix from subsequent pressings etched, as well. This is believed to be due to Liberty wanting to rush release the reissue of the album after signing the band, before they fully switched over to the Galactus artwork that is now synonymous with the album.
Given its extreme rarity and historical significance, original copies of the album change hands for around £5000 subject to their condition. This is a true investment piece, which rarely ever shows up for sale on the open market. If ever there was a krautrock holy grail, this would be it.
This article appeared in issue 36 of Long Live Vinyl magazine, available now.
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