Ege Bamyası

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Ege Bamyası
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 1972
RecordedInner Space Studio, December 1971 to June 1972
LabelUnited Artists
Can chronology
Tago Mago
Ege Bamyası
Future Days
Singles from Ege Bamyası
  1. "Spoon"
    Released: 1971
  2. "Vitamin C"
    Released: 1972
  3. "I'm So Green"
    Released: 1972

Ege Bamyası (Turkish pronunciation: [ˈeɟe ˈbamjasɯ], lit. "Aegean okra") is the third studio album by German krautrock band Can, originally released as an LP in 1972 by United Artists. The album contains the single "Spoon", which charted in the Top 10 in Germany, largely because of its use as the theme of a German TV thriller mini-series called Das Messer (The Knife). The success of the single allowed Can to move to a better studio, in which they recorded Ege Bamyası.

Ege Bamyası was remastered as a hybrid SACD in 2004, which includes a booklet with commentary on the album by former Melody Maker journalist David Stubbs, as well as previously unreleased photos of the band. The album has received much critical acclaim since its release and has been cited as an influence by various artists. Several artists have played cover versions of songs from Ege Bamyası. Remix versions of several tracks by various artists are included on the album Sacrilege.

Production and release[edit]

With the commercial success of their hit single "Spoon" (which reached #6 on the German charts[5] and sold 300,000 copies), Can was able to hire a large ex-cinema in Weilerswist near Cologne, which they used as a part-working, part-living space, and which they named "Inner Space". However, things nearly didn't work out as guitarist Michael Karoli recalled that the sessions were "frustrated by keyboardist Irmin Schmidt and vocalist Damo Suzuki's playing chess obsessively day in, day out"[6] and that "completing recording became a frantic process, with some tracks having to be recorded practically in real time and the single 'Spoon' added to make up for a shortfall in material."[6]

Ege Bamyası was recorded by Holger Czukay at Weilerswist[7] and originally released in 1972 by United Artists. In September 2004, the album, along with the majority of Can's discography, was remastered and released as a hybrid SACD.[8] The re-release includes a booklet with commentary on the album by David Stubbs, as well as previously unreleased photos of the band.

The success of the song "Spoon" and sales from this album inspired Can to throw a free concert in an attempt to reach a wider audience. The Can Free Concert was filmed by Martin Schäfer, Robbie Müller and Egon Mann for director Peter Przygodda at the Cologne Sporthalle on 3 February 1972 and is included on the Can DVD.[9]

In a 2006 interview with David Stubbs in Uncut magazine Irmin Schmidt commented: "People imagine Can was all done in the editing, but for 'Soup' there was no editing at all. We'd found out the record was too short; it needed ten more minutes of music by the next morning, so we wrote, played and recorded it the night before. No editing!" Czukay added: "We recorded Ege Bamyasi in a new studio, which had formerly been a cinema. That new environment affected the sound. The drums were not so heavy and rough, the vocals and instruments were separated out. 'Vitamin C' became the title track of Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street, a movie by Samuel Fuller. That's often how it was. We made music, then found a use for it later. 'Soup' is my favourite track."[10]

Cover artwork[edit]

The album cover shows a photograph of a can of "Ege Bamyası" (Turkish for "Aegean okra"). In the August 2006 Uncut interview with Stubbs, Schmidt explained: "The can on the cover is not a silly concept idea. It was a can Jaki had found in a Turkish shop. There, the word Can means something like Life. There's no concept behind titles like "Vitamin C" and "I'm So Green", but certainly we were very organic in our sound by now."[10]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Encyclopedia of Popular Music[12]
The Great Rock Discography7/10[13]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[19]
Spin Alternative Record Guide8/10[17]
Tom HullB+[20]

Ege Bamyası has received considerable critical acclaim since its release. British music weekly Melody Maker wrote: "Can are without doubt the most talented and most consistent experimental rock band in Europe, England included."[21] PopMatters characterized the album as "every bit as compact and tetchy as its predecessor was epic and spacey," calling it "a masterful piece of psychedelic rock fused with tightly wound funk."[4]


As of November 2020, Acclaimed Music finds Ege Bamyasi to be the 629th most acclaimed album of all time.[22]

Accolades for Ege Bamyasi
Publications/Sources Accolade Year Rank
Pitchfork "Top 100 Albums of the 1970s" 2004 19[23]
Rolling Stone "Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time" 2020 454[24]
Uncut "200 Greatest Albums of All Time" 2016 75[25]
NME "NME's The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time" 2013 297[26]
Stylus "Top 101-200 Albums of All Time" 2004 113[27]
Paste "The 70 Best Albums of the 1970s" 2020 63[28]
Fact "The 100 best albums of the 1970s" 2014 97[29]



Various artists have cited Ege Bamyası as an influence. Stephen Malkmus of Pavement has been quoted as saying "I played Can's Ege Bamyası album every night before I went to sleep for about three years."[30] Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth recalls, "I found Ege Bamyası in the 49-cent bin at Woolworth's. I didn't see anything written about Can, I didn't know anything about them except this okra can on the cover, which seemed completely bizarre. I finally picked that record up, and I completely wore it out. It was so alluring. Something about it made Can seem to be playing outside of rock 'n' roll. It was unlike anything else I was hearing at the time."[31] Geoff Barrow of Portishead picked Ege Bamyası as one of their favourite 13 albums on The Quietus' Bakers Dozen series.[32] The band Spoon takes its name from the eponymous track on this album, and cites the band as a major influence.[33]

Covers & samples[edit]

There have been cover versions of songs from Ege Bamyası by various artists. "I'm So Green" was covered by Beck and was submitted for a planned Can tribute album produced by the Dust Brothers.[34] Kanye West sampled "Sing Swan Song" for his song "Drunk and Hot Girls" on the album Graduation, and derives many of the song's lyrics from Damo Suzuki's vocals.[35] Remix versions of several Ege Bamyası songs are included on the album Sacrilege. The Kleptones have incorporated "Vitamin C" into their mix "Hectic City 7 – May Daze".[36] For the album's 40th anniversary, Stephen Malkmus played it in its entirety on 1 December 2012 at WEEK-END Festival in Cologne, Germany.[37] A recording of this performance was released as a limited-edition live album on Record Store Day 2013.

In popular culture[edit]

"Vitamin C" can be heard in Pedro Almodóvar's movie Broken Embraces[38] as well as in Paul Thomas Anderson's adaptation of the Thomas Pynchon novel Inherent Vice.[39] It also features prominently in the 2016 Netflix series The Get Down as a theme for the character Dizzee Kipling and in an episode of Preacher.[40] In addition to Das Messer, "Spoon" also appears in the soundtrack to Morvern Callar while "I'm So Green" was used in the documentary Spaceship Earth.[41]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Czukay, Karoli, Liebezeit, Schmidt, Suzuki.

Side one
2."Sing Swan Song"4:49
3."One More Night"5:36
Side two
4."Vitamin C"3:32
6."I'm So Green"3:06
Total length:40:06



  • Ingo Trauer – original artwork
  • Richard J. Rudow – original design
  • Andreas Torkler – design (2004 re-release)


  1. ^ Schütte, Uwe (2017). German Pop Music: A Companion. Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG. p. 64. ISBN 978-3-11-042572-7.
  2. ^ Reynolds, Simon (1995). "Krautrock Reissues". Melody Maker. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
  3. ^ Cole, Jake (3 September 2014). "Can: Monster Movie/Soundtracks/Tago Mago/Ege Bamyasi". Spectrum Culture. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  4. ^ a b Begrand, Adrien (5 August 2005). "For the Sake of Future Days Can's Second Golden Era". PopMatters. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
  5. ^ Ehnert, Günter (1999). HIT BILANZ Deutsche Chart Singles 1956-1998. Taurus Press. ISBN 3-922542-60-3.
  6. ^ a b Stubbs, David (2004). Ege Bamyasi (CD liner notes). Spoon Records.
  7. ^ Hightower, Laura. "Can". Enotes. Retrieved 17 April 2008.
  8. ^ Mute Records. "Biography". Mute Records. Archived from the original on 20 December 2008. Retrieved 4 April 2008.
  9. ^ "Spoon 47: CAN DVD". Spoon Releases. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 2 November 2011.
  10. ^ a b Uncut, No. 111, August 2006. Quoted in: "Brian Eno is MORE DARK THAN SHARK".
  11. ^ Raggett, Ned. "Ege Bamyasi - Can | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2 November 2011.
  12. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). "Can". Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-0857125958.
  13. ^ Martin C. Strong (1998). The Great Rock Discography (1st ed.). Canongate Books. ISBN 978-0-86241-827-4.
  14. ^[dead link]
  15. ^ Leone, Dominique (10 November 2004). "Can: Ege Bamyasi". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2 November 2011.
  16. ^[dead link]
  17. ^ Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). "Minutemen". Spin Alternative Record Guide (1st ed.). New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 0-679-75574-8.
  18. ^ Ramsay, J T (7 January 2005). "Can: Tago Mago / Ege Bamyasi". Stylus Magazine. Archived from the original on 27 October 2011. Retrieved 2 November 2011.
  19. ^ Nathan Brackett; Christian David Hoard (2004). The new Rolling Stone album guide. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 134. ISBN 978-0-7432-0169-8.
  20. ^ Tom Hull. "Grade List: can". Tom Hull - on the web. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  21. ^ Smith, Gary (31 August 2003). "CAN Biography". Archived from the original on 30 October 2011. Retrieved 2 November 2011.
  22. ^ "Acclaimed Music". Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  23. ^ "Staff Lists: Top 100 Albums of the 1970s". Pitchfork. 23 June 2004. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
  24. ^ "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. 22 September 2020. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  25. ^ " Uncut Lists ." Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  26. ^ Barker, Emily (24 October 2013). "The 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time: 300-201". NME. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  27. ^ "Top 101-200 Favourite Albums Ever". Stylus Magazine. 22 March 2004. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  28. ^ "The 70 Best Albums of the 1970s". Paste. 7 January 2020. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  29. ^ Kelly, Chris; Lea, Tom; Muggs, Joe; Morpurgo, Joseph; Beatnick, Mr.; Ravens, Chal; Twells, John (14 July 2014). "The 100 Best Albums Of The 1970s". Fact. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  30. ^ Reynolds, Simon. "Pavement interview". Melody Maker. London: IPC Specialist & Professional Press (Spring 1992). ISSN 0025-9012. Retrieved 2 November 2011.
  31. ^ Sarig, Roni (1998). The Secret History of Rock: The Most Influential Bands You'Ve Never Heard. Watson-Guptill Publications. p. 125. ISBN 0-8230-7669-5.
  32. ^ "Features | Baker's Dozen | Bakers Dozen: Portishead Choose Their Favourite 13 Albums". The Quietus. 31 August 2011. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  33. ^ Warren, Tamara. "Waxing Poetic", Anthem, Fall/Winter 2005, p. 54.
  34. ^ "Beck Song Information - I'm So Green". Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  35. ^ Scaggs, Austin (20 September 2007). "Kanye West: A Genius In Praise of Himself". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  36. ^ "Hectic City 7 - May Daze". 27 May 2008.
  37. ^ Minkster, Evan (6 December 2012). "Watch Stephen Malkmus Perform Can's Ege Bamyasi". Pitchfork. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
  38. ^ Rose, Steve (11 March 2011). "Can: the ultimate film soundtrack band?". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  39. ^ Renshaw, David (18 November 2014). "Details of Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood's 'Inherent Vice' soundtrack confirmed". NME. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  40. ^ "WhatSong Soundtracks - Stream Songs from the Latest Movies & TV Shows". Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  41. ^ "Playlist". Spaceship Earth. Retrieved 26 November 2020.

External links[edit]