mon 24/06/2024

Reissue CDs Weekly: Can, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Dreamboats & Petticoats | reviews, news & interviews

Reissue CDs Weekly: Can, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Dreamboats & Petticoats

Reissue CDs Weekly: Can, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Dreamboats & Petticoats

Stellar Krautrock exhumation, one of America's greats and a tasty summation of an era vanishing into history

Damo Suzuki-era Can: strict and intense yet elasticHildegard Schmidt

Can The Lost TapesCan: The Lost Tapes

Kieron Tyler

Despite being compiled from previously unreleased material, the extraordinary The Lost Tapes is as wonderful as last year's 40th Anniversary edition of Tago Mago. This archive trawl outpaces previous exhumations like Limited Edition, Unlimited Edition, Delay ‘68 and Prehistoric Future by a very long distance. Not because it’s a three-CD set, but due to the sheer quality of what’s heard. Can still had material on the shelf equalling what they issued. Little is from the post-Damo Suzuki configuration of the band (it’s roughly half-and-half between the Suzuki and the earlier, Malcolm Mooney-fronted, incarnations of the band).

The Lost Tapes takes the stage with “Millionenspiel”, a track from 1968 when they still traded as Inner Space. With its strict and intense yet elastic rhythmic spine, it could have sat easily on any of Tago Mago's four sides. “Waiting for the Streetcar”, which follows, is as jaw-dropping and magnificent as released classics like “Mother Sky”. About a third of the tracks are drawn from soundtracks. Film was an important outlet: their second album (Soundtracks) compiled music made for films, and their previously unheard soundtracks to Kama Sutra and Agilok and Blubbo were recently issued for the first time. Much of what they released was composed during jam sessions, some of which are heard in an edited form here. “Dead Pigeon Suite”, another highlight, is where both meet. As an improvisation, it evolved into Ege Bamyasi’s “Vitamin C”, and had been originally worked up for the soundtrack of Tote Taube auf der Beethovenstrasse (Dead Pigeon on Beethovenstrasse).

Can’s keyboard player Irmin Schmidt found the tapes, compiled the best and then passed them to his son-in-law and regular collaborator Jono Podmore to make them fit for release. Together, they’ve created a seamless listen. The Lost Tapes is essential.

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers The Live AnthologyTom Petty & the Heartbreakers: Live Anthology, Playback

Kieron Tyler

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers play their first UK shows for over a decade next week, at the Royal Albert Hall. The concerts sold out ages ago, but anyone wanting a slice – large blocks actually – of what makes him and the band an all-time great can look to this pair of box sets, reissued to coincide with the dates. Playback is a straightforward, but exhaustive, six-CD career-spanning anthology first issued in 1994. The Live Anthology, from 2009, is for the committed and is the more interesting of the pair. A monster of a box, it contains five live CDs, cherry-picking tracks from shows between 1978 and 2006. There’s a vinyl reproduction of the rare Official Live ‘Leg, recorded in Boston at the end of 1976, a DVD of a 1994 documentary and another of a 1978 show. The main live tracks are also included on a Blu-ray disc. The book is exemplary, as are the reproduced ephemera. A small, hardback notebook (with blank pages) is also included. Just don’t try to use the repros of vintage backstage passes at next week’s shows.


dreamboatsVarious Artists: Dreamboats and Petticoats: Three Steps to Heaven

Thomas H Green

The latest compilation album from Dreamboats and Petticoats, the hugely successful multi-media and theatrical operation that celebrates pre-Beatles pop, is based around a photograph that singer-actor Jess Conrad has dug out of his personal memorabilia. In it, the freshest male talent of 1961 lines up on Jack Good’s Wham TV show to find out who has won Most Popular Singer of the Year. There they are – Billy Fury, Jess Conrad, Gene Vincent, Joe Brown, Eddie Cochran, Adam Faith and Marty Wilde - and the music on these two CDs, as well showcasing their songs, represents the photograph’s mixture of pretty-boy pop and rock’n’roll thrust. While the emphasis is happily on the Little Richard/Chuck Berry/Chubby Checker side of things, there’s space for Bobby Darin, Neil Sedaka, etc. However, even the choice of ballads veers toward the classic – who’s going to argue with Roy Orbison’s “Only The Lonely”? – thus Three Steps To Heaven, while hardly digging up lost pearls, delivers a tight, tasty summation of an era fast vanishing into history.

Can perform "Mother Sky"

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