Here's Phil's review for the original 3CD version in the box which is now gone.
It’s a well known fact that Can are the best band that have ever existed. They’re a band that I’ve spent more time with than pretty much any other and over the last 20 or so years I’ve heard their first 6 or 7 albums more than any other record I can think of. Their output from from 1968 to 1975 was nearly always brilliant and they’ve influenced The Fall, Sonic Youth, Pil, Wire, the post punk movement... I could go on. Hugely influential and hugely brilliant and if you’ve not checked out any of their music then you really should do! There is a vinyl box set of all of their albums planned for later this year which is potentially very exciting (and expensive!).
In the meantime The Lost Tapes is here and it’s a release I was stupidly excited about (see above) and I rarely get excited about anything these days. It’s a 3 CD box set with a tasty informative booklet in a 10” old styley reel to reel box. It looks lush! It’s not just a load of shitty out takes either. It’s like listening to a bunch of new Can albums from their strongest era which is essentially a massive wet dream for me. Irmin Schmidt has overseen this project (which has taken years apparently) and he’s gone through hours and hours of Can’s old tapes to get this collection together. This is all archived material by the way which wasn’t released for a variety of reasons (space restrictions on vinyl and soundtracks to films which weren’t released).
So there’s 30 unreleased tracks on here all recorded between 1968 and 1976. The driving rhythm section of Jaki Leibezit on drums and Holger Czukay on bass is a potent one and I’ve always been a massive fan of Jaki’s drumming. He is a total machine. Michael Karoli’s abrasive guitar is as genius as ever, Irmin Schmidt’s keyboards compliment brilliantly and of course there’s sporadic maniacal vocals from Malcolm Mooney and Damo Suzuki over a variety of the tracks. All the usual Can traits and styles are showcased throughout the album.
There’s some proper belting tunes on there like 'Deadly Doris' which sounds like it’s fallen off 'Delay 68', 'Millionenspiel' is pure driving surf rock, 'Bubble Wrap' is a 9 minute epic with scraping guitars, brilliant syncopated drumming, Damo Suzuki’s improvised vocals and it’s a total psychkrautpop jammed up doozie. 'Barnacles' is total jazzfunk... it’s all over the shop! There’s some of their more experimental music (ie less songy) on there as well and that’s spread across the 3 CD’s. The flow on each disc works with the differing styles of Can being paraded fully throughout the entire set.
It’s an amazing set and one for any true ‘Canfan’ out there. I can’t recommend this highly enough.