[[caption-width-right:350:''Carrying my own in the afternoon / Hiding a spoon, she will be soon'']]

Can was a famous experimental rock band from UsefulNotes/WestGermany active in TheSixties and TheSeventies, known for its NeoclassicalPunkZydecoRockabilly sound and considerable influence on avant-garde, experimental, ambient, PunkRock, [[NewWaveMusic New Wave]] and electronic music. UK music critics named Can and other German bands' music (such as [[Music/{{Neu}} Neu!]], Music/{{Kraftwerk}}, and Faust) as {{Krautrock}}.

Notably, none of the bandmembers had much experience with rock music when Can was formed in 1968 - Czukay was a classical music teacher (and former student of Karlheinz Stockhausen) who only became interested in rock after hearing "I Am the Walrus" by Music/TheBeatles, Karoli and Liebezeit had played in jazz bands and Schmidt was an avant-garde classical musician. Similarly, Karoli, born in 1948, was the youngest core member at the time, with Czukay, Liebezeit and Schmidt being all born in 1938, 1939 and 1937, respectively.

Recruiting African-American vocalist Malcolm Mooney, Can recorded their debut album, ''Monster Movie'' in 1969. ''Movie'' showcased Can's SignatureStyle, a deeply experimental fusion of Krautrock, {{Funk}} and PsychedelicRock based largely around [[{{Improv}} improvisation]] (their 20-minute "Yoo Doo Right" was originally a 6-hour improvisation), repetition and Mooney's unhinged stream-of-consciousness ranting. Liebezeit's tribal, funky drumming served as the framework for extended solos by Schmidt, Karoli and Czukay, which would then be edited and spliced together in the studio to form actual songs.

Mooney quit Can soon after ''Movie'', suffering from mental health problems. He was replaced by Damo Suzuki, a Japanese drifter the band found busking in Munich. His wildly varied vocal style (easily switching between cryptic mumbling and outright screaming) and WordSaladLyrics sung in a variety of languages meshed well with the band's already existent sound. The resulting string of critically acclaimed albums, ''Tago Mago'', ''Ege Bamyasi'' and ''Future Days'' saw the band abandon any semblance of traditional song structures in favour of free improvisation, embracing constructing songs from tape editing, electronics and worldbeat influences even further. ''Days'' is even regarded as an early example of ambient music.

Suzuki left after ''Days'', with vocal duties taken over by Karoli and Schmidt. While their first post-Suzuki album, the ambient ''Soon Over Babaluma'', was well received, the band's critical fortunes decreased as they evolved into an even more conventional style with later albums, even if they managed to obtain a hit single in the UK with 1976's "I Want More". Czukay left in 1977 after being slowly pushed out of the band, replaced by Traffic bassist Rosko Gee and with additional percussionist Rebop Kwaku Baah recruited from the same band. After two more poorly performing albums, Can disbanded in 1979, with a temporary reunion featuring Mooney taking place between 1986-1991. This resulted in a new album, ''Rite Time'', and a contribution to ''Film/UntilTheEndOfTheWorld'''s soundtrack.

Can's members frequently cited bands such as Music/TheBeatles, The Music/VelvetUnderground, Music/JimiHendrix, Music/FrankZappa, Music/JamesBrown, Music/MilesDavis, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Michael von Biel and their interest in world music as significant influences on their psychedelic-progressive-funk-rock sound. In turn, they have been cited as an influence by numerous AlternativeRock, post-rock and PostPunk bands and artists like Music/TheFall, Music/JoyDivision, Music/SiouxsieAndTheBanshees, Music/PublicImageLtd, Music/TalkingHeads, Music/TheStoneRoses, Music/TalkTalk, Music/PrimalScream, Music/BrianEno, Music/{{Radiohead}}, Music/SonicYouth, Music/TheJesusAndMaryChain, Music/{{Pavement}} and Music/TheMarsVolta.

Also, Music/KanyeWest sampled their song "Sing Swan Song" for his "Drunk and Hot Girls", so you may have heard them from there.

* ''Monster Movie'' (1969)
* ''Soundtracks'' (1970)
* ''Tago Mago'' (1971)
* ''Ege Bamyasi'' (1972)
* ''Future Days'' (1973)
* ''Soon Over Babaluma'' (1974)
* ''Landed'' (1975)
* ''Unlimited Edition'' (1976) - compilation of unreleased material
* ''Flow Motion'' (1976)
* ''Saw Delight'' (1977)
* ''Out of Reach'' (1978)
* ''Can'' (1979)
* ''Delay 1968'' (recorded 1968-1969, released 1981)
* ''Rite Time'' (1989)
* ''The Lost Tapes'' (2012)

* Holger Czukay - bass guitar, sound engineer, electronics, tape manipulation (196877, 1986, died 2017)
* Michael Karoli - guitar, vocals, violin (196879, 1986, 1991, 1999, died 2001)
* Jaki Liebezeit - drums, percussion (196879, 1986, 1991, 1999, died 2017)
* Irmin Schmidt - keyboards, vocals (196879, 1986, 1991, 1999)
* David C. Johnson - reeds, winds, electronics, tape manipulation (1968)
* Malcolm Mooney - vocals (196870, 1986, 1991)
* Damo Suzuki - vocals (197073)
* Rosko Gee - bass (197679)
* Rebop Kwaku Baah - percussion, vocals (197779, died 1983)

!!Can provides examples of the following tropes:
* BookEnds: ''Monster Movie'' and ''Rite Time'', the first and last official records by the band, were the only ones which Malcolm Mooney sang on every vocal track.
* CarefulWithThatAxe: Suzuki slipped into this territory sometimes, particularly on "Peking O."
* CloudCuckooLander: Damo Suzuki. ''And'' Mooney, who suffered a nervous breakdown and left the band at his psychiatrist's request lest he lose more of his marbles.
* CreepyJazzMusic: Part of their GenreBusting reputation came from Jaki Liebezeit, who prior to Can, used to play in a fore-running European free jazz band. He brought his influence to the band, and provided a frenetic, primal sound for the rest of the band to improvise (and, by extension, [[NightmareFuel/{{Can}} create nightmares]]) on top of.
* CultSoundtrack: Several songs they wrote for films have been compiled on the album "Soundtracks" (1970). Among these Film/DeepEnd is probably the best known cult film.
* DemotedToExtra: Holger Czukay after Rosko Gee joined the band. He was reduced to doing various audio effects before finally leaving the band.
* EpicRocking:
** The band's trademark. Examples include: "Father Cannot Yell", "Mary, Mary So Contrary", "Yoo Doo Right", "Cutaway", "Mother Sky", "Paperhouse", "Oh Yeah", "Halleluhwah", "Aumgn", "Peking O", "Bring Me Coffee or Tea", "Pinch", "Soup", "Future Days", "Spray", "Bel Air", "Cutaway", "Ibis", "Splash", "Chain Reaction", "Quantum Physics", "Vernal Equinox", "Unfinished", "Flow Motion", "Animal Waves", "November", "All Gates Open", "Safe", "Butterfly", "Little Star of Bethlehem", "On the Beautiful Side of a Romance" and "Like a New Child".
** "Yoo Doo Right" is definitely this, as is attested to above. Also, their live improvisations as a rule were absurdly epic.
** "Outside My Door", whilst not being as long as some of the aforementioned songs, definitely comes under this trope. It rocks like a bitch. Proto-punk, anyone?
* {{Improv}}:
** When interviewed on the release of the 2012 compilation ''The Lost Tapes'', Holger Czukay made the distinction that Can's jamming wasn't the usual method of having them dick around on their instruments until they landed on an idea, but starting with a specific idea in mind and focusing on isolating its key elements and seeing where it could be taken. This resulted in the songs working both in ''and'' out of the scene's context.
** "Yoo Doo Right" is a twenty-minute song taken from a six-hour-long improvisation.
* InTheStyleOf:
** The "Ethnological Forgery Series" (abbreviated "E.F.S."), where the band attempts (successfully) to imitate various forms of ethnic music.
** "Turtles Have Short Legs" is essentially "Can plays [[TheSixties goofy '60s piano pop]]."
** "Mother Upduff" is their own version of "The Gift" by Music/VelvetUnderground, but based around an old UrbanLegend and not including anybody trying to mail themselves with fatally disastrous results.
** Their cover of Offenbach's "Infernal Galop" from ORPHEUS IN THE UNDERWORLD -- a/k/a "Music/TheCancanSong." A [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment "Can Can Can"]] -- proves that some Germans do indeed have a sense of humor.
** The bassline of "Mother Sky" is based on Music/PinkFloyd's "See Emily Play".
* LeaveTheCameraRunning: "Cutaway" has a long bit in the middle with StudioChatter with somebody asking Holger to use his frequency modulator in tune with Michael's guitar.
* LoopedLyrics: Of the MadnessMantra ("Yoo Doo Right", "Mushroom") and the just-plain BrokenRecord type ("Halleluhwah").
* MadnessMantra:
** Everything they ever made with Mooney, ''especially'' "Yoo Doo Right".
** About half of their Suzuki-era output, too. Just listen to "Paperhouse" and tell me that the "you just can't get that no more" bit ''isn't'' the very sound of someone losing their marbles. Even more so "Mushroom". Especially "Mushroom".
* MeaningfulName: "Liebezeit" means "loves time" in German.
* NeoclassicalPunkZydecoRockabilly: The band's sound blended rock, jazz, avant-garde classical and world music.
%% * NonAppearingTitle: So many.
* RearrangeTheSong: The band reworked its songs dramatically on stage, as live recordings attest.
* {{Sampling}}:
** They were one of the pioneers, way back before samplers were invented - Czukay would painstakingly splice together tapes culled from various sources.
** And then Music/KanyeWest sampled ''them'' for his song "Drunk and Hot Girls".
* ScaryMusicianHarmlessMusic: Zig-zagged. Their music has a reputation for being creepy, trippy, and confusing, but the chief members were all academics, well versed in jazz and classical music. Both of their frontmen, however, had enough {{Cloudcuckoolander}} tendencies that they could qualify as scary musicians.
* {{Scatting}}: Made frequent use of by Suzuki, most notably on the tracks "Peking O" and "Soup".
* SingleIssueWonk: In the same interview mentioned above, Czukay described Liebezeit as having pestered him constantly to not lose "the groove" while he was editing their jams into songs, to the point that Liebezeit also became quite adept at knowing when to cut a reel of tape without affecting the rhythm.
* StepUpToTheMicrophone: "Aumgn" makes use of Schmit chanting to provide the vocal track. Later, when Suzuki left the band, he and Karoli would both take over vocal duties.
* TitledAfterTheSong: The bands Music/{{Spoon}} and Hunters and Collectors both took their names from Can songs.
* VisualPun: The cover of ''Ege Bamyasi'' which featured a can.
* WordSaladLyrics: Once Damo joined it became outright Word Puree Lyrics, frequently bordering on IndecipherableLyrics.
* WritingAroundTrademarks: The cover of ''Monster Movie'' shows a faceless [[Comicbook/FantasticFour Galactus]].