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Tago Mago [Vinyl]

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Vinyl, February 19, 2002

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Product Details

  • Vinyl (February 19, 2002)
  • Label: Mute U.S.
  • ASIN: B00005YJ5Q
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #317,635 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Paperhouse
2. Mushroom
3. Oh Yeah
4. Halleluhwah
5. Aumgn
6. Peking O
7. Bring Me Coffee or Tea

Customer Reviews

Back in the days of LPs, _Tago Mago_ was a big double album.
Lord Chimp
Akin to any truly innovative musical composition, even the most thorough of descriptions fall despairingly short of personifying the actual experience.
This record is seriously one of the most unbelievable experiences that I can recommend to a music listener.
Jorge Pawsoda

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Avernus on February 21, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Can's 1971 release, "Tago Mago," is nothing less than a watershed moment in the world of early progressive rock. Surrounding the emergence of Can was a highly sophisticated rock evolution. With the likes of King Crimson pushing performance boundaries into substantially more complex territory and Pink Floyd exploring the outer realms of space, it would be logically difficult to emerge as something truly unique during the rise of progressive rock in the early seventies. Ironically, Can made originality look effortless. With complexity rapidly becoming the focus of rock, Can pushed against the grain, delving into a far more primal brand of avant-garde modern minimalism, with magnificent success. "Tago Mago" is truly years ahead of its time.

"Tago Mago" was originally released as a two disc LP, therefore clocking in at around 70 minutes rather than 45 minute standard LP time. The contrast between each disk is exceedingly stark, showing two distinct sides of this anomalous entity. The first half of this disk ("Paperhouse"- "Halleluhwah") is very "jammy." The songs are largely made up of repetitive percussive cycles and various bits of improvisation. While the songs largely pulse forward at a non-transitive rhythm, there is much more going on than would seem possible within each track. "Paperhouse" starts off relatively slow, and eventually loops into an expansive jam session, containing some delightful guitar work from Michael Karoli. "Paperhouse" ends with an intense let-out of energy that Jaki Liebezeit has masterfully brewing through his increasingly aggressive percussive cycles. "Mushroomhead" then begins.
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68 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Samhot on December 31, 2004
Format: Audio CD
There's not an easy way to describe the music found on _Tago Mago_, but here's a slight stab at it: Imagine a proto-Radiohead (the vocalist reminds one of Thom Yorke at times) with tasteful psychedelic/jam elements *slightly* reminiscent of Cream, The Grateful Dead, The Yardbirds and others of that pantheon - added with an ambient aesthetic foreshadowing some of the ambient/dance music that became large some decades later (this was released in 1971.)

This is just a taste of what you'll find on this album, added with many other elements. A track by track overview:

"Paperhouse"--A 7 1/2 minute psychedelic workout featuring some tasteful guitar noodling, an addictive rhythm and some sensual vocals from (then) Oriental singer named Kenji 'Damo' Suzuki. I just love that sensual accent. The first day I got this, I listened to this track alone 23 consecutive times (non-stop), which came out to over 2 1/2 hours. It can get very addictive (as well as the rest of the album.)

"Mushroom"--A proto-ambient/dance number. To be honest, some of these tracks could mislead you from believing this came out in 1971, because they don't sound too dated.

"Oh Yeah"--Another ambient number. This time, with some bluesy licks and some eerie keyboard textures. Once again, the underlying funky, tasteful rhythms can become very addictive.

"Halleluwah"--A mid-tempo number which manages to keep the same rhythm for 1,107 seconds (with the exception of a quiet break somewhere in the middle) without sounding like it drags. By the way, the time limit--1,107 seconds--is 18:27 folks, if you were confused by the "seconds" sentence. Once again (sorry if I sound repetitive), the grooves & rhythms, the guitar/bass interaction and the vocals are so tasty, they can get addictive.
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46 of 49 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 26, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I honestly think that this is some of the greatest ever recorded music. Ok, admittedly the song-writing isn't great, but to criticize that would be to miss the point slightly. The fact is, these men had no pretence to being songwriters. Instead, they concentrated on rhythm, texture and electronics, and, in doing so, re-invented their instruments. Tago Mago is their best album. It opens with Paperhouse, which sounds pretty unremarkable to start with. That is until they descend into an unstoppable, primal rhythm, which maintains its intensity for the duration of the track. Mushroom is the shortest track and strangely eerie, but again has some impressive drumming. Then you get possibly the funkiest 25 minutes of music ever. Oh Yeah, uses a wonderful cyclic groove as the base for some inventive experimentation with backwards sounds and some great guitar imrovisation. The centre piece, however, is Halleluhwah. Incredibly, the band manage to create an even more complex and funky groove than on Oh Yeah, and stretch it out for far longer and include all manner of sounds and effects (including what sounds like a modern drum'n'bass rhythm on drum machine) to ensure that it sounds like nothing ever before or since. This track can either be soothingly hypnotic or funky depending on mood. From there on, Can move into altogether more sinister areas. Aumgn is extraordinary. Mainly electronic, Damo Suzuki seems to be trying to exorcize demons through religious chanting while the band create a claustrophobic atmosphere with very little use of recognisable sounds. It climaxes with an ear-bending tribal dance rhythm and Suzuki's unholy shreeking. Peking O takes music far past the normal boundaries of taste.Read more ›
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