Halleluhwah - Wikiwand

2021 Song Draft- Round 6 Pick 10- Aphoristical selects- ‘Halleluwah’-Can.

Germany’s Can were too ahead of their time, and too weird, to enjoy a hit record. They were hugely influential; when Radiohead ditched guitar rock in favour of more experimental work, Can were one of the bands that they cited as an influence. Can synthesised a lot of different ideas; their studio tracks were often derived from improvisations. Their members had backgrounds in jazz and classical – keyboardist Irwin Schmidt and bassist Holger Czukay studied with Stockhausen. They were also inspired by the rock music of psychedelic-era Beatles and The Velvet Underground.

Can’s peak period is often reckoned to be the years when Japan’s Damo Suzuki fronted the band. Can released four albums between 1970 and 1973, and ‘Halleluwah’ is drawn from this period.

It’s an 18 minute behemoth that took up an entire side of 1971’s Tago Mago. The most noticeable feature is Jaki Liebezeit’s monster drum groove, which powers the song, while Damo Suzuki’s performance is typically charismatic and cryptic. Most of Suzuki’s lyrics are ostensibly in English, but they’re difficult to understand. It’s difficult to believe ‘Halleluwah’ was recorded in 1971 – the rhythm-heavy and improvisational sound is forward thinking and still sounds fresh and exciting.


  1. hadn’t heard of them before, and am just beginning to listen to the track. First minute or so sounds OK… won’t guarantee I’ll get through the whole 18 min, but I might. Anyway, thank you for bringing us something different and what I bet is a new act to many.

  2. I have listened to them and I’ve liked what I heard…they are progressive but they make it enjoyable…not just “look how good I am.”

  3. Just finished listening to this el mundo jam. Love the thread that carries throughout it. It got a little cacophonous towards the end and then leveled out nicely. I don’t see the Radiohead connection but if Radiohead said they influenced them then they must have. I liked hearing this new music. Nice choice.

  4. This does not ring a bell with me at all, but I could certainly listen to it for awhile. It’s almost an instrumental. They could have left out the vocals altogether and it would still be almost as good, imo. I think I could sit at my desk and do work with this playing. It’s pleasant and interesting, but not too distracting, until towards the end when it gets a bit screechy. Thanks for expanding my horizons with this one.

    • It’s interesting, because Suzuki left after a couple more albums (to become a Jehovah’s Witness), and they were a bit boring as a studio band without him. But he’s basically another instrument.

  5. Thanks for posting Graham. I have heard of Can but really had no clue what they were about. Once again expanding my musical horizons! I was reading a description of them on Spotify and it said one of their other 20 minute songs was edited down from a 6 hour jam that only ended when the amplifiers started to smoke! Crazy!

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