Out of Reach

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All but unknown to most but the most hardcore Can fanatics, 1978's Out of Reach is one of the group's rarest albums. This is due in large part to the fact that bassist Holger Czukay left the band before the recording sessions, and drummer Jaki Liebezeit has a greatly reduced role, leaving most of the rhythm duties to percussionist-come-lately Reebop Kwaku Baah. As a result, many fans don't consider this a true Can album. They have a point, and there's no doubt that this is not one of Can's better albums. However, it's not an album to be dismissed outright. As on the group's proper swan song, 1977's Saw Delight, new bassist Rosko Gee largely leads the group, and his jazz-inflected playing is marvelous, especially on the centerpiece improvisations "November" and "Serpentine." On the down side, he should never have been allowed to sing: The inept "The Pauper's Daughter" is saved from being Can's worst-ever recording only by the even worse "Like Inobe God" on side two. Can themselves have disowned this album, making it the only Can music not reissued on their Spoon label in the '90s.

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