Can – Future Days

• “Future Days” (seems only a shortened edit is allowed on YouTube) set to a picture of the housing album cover. Thanks to Orlando Marzilli.

7.9 “Great Prog from Germany”

From their fifth album “Future Days” (United Artists Records UAS 29 505 I) released in 1973.

Mellow vibes abound on the 5th LP from the egalitarian quintet; a series of electric symphonies big on atmospheric beauty and ever-complex rhythms.

Opener “Future Days” is my favourite of the 4 pieces; the vocals from Damo Suzuki are stripped way down low although he is an integral part of the whole feel. This seems to be the way he himself wanted it. He later commented:

“Future Days is for me the best album I made with Can, because it was very easy to quit from Can after that album. I wanted nothing from them after that. Musically, I was very satisfied.”

The progressive jazz vibe is maintained immediately on “Spray”, a piece which almost seems to journey in an imagined film where a frantic, eerie situation finally resolves itself leaving the scene basking in a summer haze. “Moonshake” is notable for abandoning the template by introducing an insistent and chugging 3-minutes of action which is entirely danceable. “Better make this one a single” they said. By sheer contrast, “Bel Air”, widely regarded as one the greatest pieces in the Can story, takes up the entirety of side 2, with a runtime of some 20 minutes. Here, the aforementioned hazy summer afternoon is re-imagined for at least the first four and the last two minutes, giving way in the middle to almost a quarter of an hour’s worth of freaky dancing.

Despite the track lengths this set is never tiresome; “Future Days” is a hazy, fuzzy, warmly satisfying experience. Damo was ahead when he quit.

You can check out the rest of my album reviews for 1973 here.

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