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NPR Arts & Life

Can's Singles To Be Reissued: Hear The Goofy Novelty 'Turtles Have Short Legs'

Can's <em>The Singles</em> will be released June 16.
Can's <em>The Singles</em> will be released June 16.

Can made music from an imaginary country, one with its own traditions and language — which means none at all. In its work, jazz, funk, electronic, psychedelic and minimalist music ran wild through impossible valleys and fantastic mountaintops. Some call it krautrock by virtue of the band's German home base in Cologne. Most just call it Can.

For all of its sprawling albums, Can maintained a healthy appetite for singles, which have now been collected. Out June 16 on Mute, The Singles will collect... well, guess. From radio edits of fan favorites like "Halleluwah" and "Future Days" to lesser-knowns.

Today's announcement comes with "Turtles Have Short Legs," Can's third single, originally recorded during the Tago Mago sessions and only ever issued on 7" vinyl. It's a hilariously goofy attempt at a novelty single, like The Beatles' "We Can Work It Out" refracted in a funhouse full of mirrors. Writing about the song on Head Heritage, Julian Cope says, "It's unlike any Damo [Suzuki]-era Can piece ever, appropriating an absurd Teutonic toy town piano phrase that winds up subverting it in waves into a slow, untrammeled monster."

Farther down the line comes exciting news about a new Can book in spring 2018. There will be a complete, authorized biography written by The Wire's Rob Young, plus the Can Kiosk by band member Irmin Schmidt, a "collage of thoughts, visuals and interviews," states the press release.

The Singles track list:

"Soul Desert"
"She Brings The Rain"
"Spoon"
"Shikako Maru Ten"
"Turtles Have Short Legs"
"Halleluwah (Edit)"
"Vitamin C"
"I'm So Green"
"Mushroom"
"Moonshake"
"Future Days (Edit)"
"Dizzy Dizzy (Edit)"
"Splash (Edit)"
"Hunters And Collectors (Edit)"
"Vernal Equinox (Edit)"
"I Want More"
"...And More"
"Silent Night"
"Cascade Waltz"
"Don't Say No (Edit)"
"Return"
"Can Can"
"Hoolah Hoolah (Edit)"

The Singles comes out June 16 on Mute.

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