Recently, I revisited pioneering German Krautrock group Can’s classic title ‘I Want More’, and the special edition released in 2006 for their thirtieth anniversary, a minute item of seven inches. This version is ten years old, and upon reencountering it, I am immediately reminded that the single itself has already been released for forty years.
‘I Want More’ is the opening number of Can’s 1976 album Flow Motion, the second album after Landed that the band had recorded at the British-owned Virgin Records (it was still an independent record brand at the time). Back then, the band was made up of the core four: Holger Czukay, Irmin Schmidt, Jaki Liebezeit and Michael Karoli.
Keyboard player Schmidt contributes his quirky vocals to ‘I Want More’, however, the focus lies in Can’s muse: the commercial, multifaceted disco genre as an eye-catching inspiration, creating a “peculiar disco number”. This three-minute pop track should be deemed as their prided krautdisco magnum opus. Alas, ‘I Want More’ became Can’s only hit song, and placed them on the U.K. Singles Chart with a whooping 26th, landing them their gig on ‘Top of the Pops’. That night, Karoli had sported a trendy afro, while Czukay worked wonders on his trusty friend – the double bass.
1976 saw the rise of the punk movement in Britain and the States. Through the collision of punk and new wave, rock bands of the progressive era from the previous generation were slowly departing from the enclosed, barricaded region of rock music and producing cleaner, shorter and more sophisticated songs starting from the ”70s. Can released ‘I Want More’ in 1976, and it was as if they were able to predict the future. The dance-rock crossover, krautdisco number was an ode to dance music, from sincerely, the new wave/post-punk era. Thus, Can’s trend prophecy gave birth to a seemingly commonplace yet striking track, serving as a modern enlightenment from the gurus of the ’70s.