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Top Of The Progs: Can - I Want More

Keyboard player Irmin Schmidt recalls the hit that saw Can feature on Top Of The Pops!!

I Want More b/w …And More

(Virgin, 1976)

Highest Chart Position: No. 26

This was the 11th single Can had released, but the only one to chart in Britain. The lyrics were written by Peter Gilmour, who was the band’s live sound engineer. The single was reissued in 2006 to mark the 30th anniversary, and reached number 103 in the UK. The single is one of few occasions when all members of the bands are featured on vocals.

Where did the inspiration for the song come from?

“As was usual with us, it just came from jamming out a musical idea and seeing where it led. We never set out to write a single. Let alone a hit one. For all we knew, it could have ended up being 12 or 13 minutes long. We always did what suited the ideas we had. The fact I Want More came out the way it did was simply down to the way the idea developed.”

What was the reaction to it?

“I think we were always fortunate that our fans accepted everything we did. They had no expectations, so whatever the type of song we did, or its length, it was fine by them. That gave us the freedom to have a hit like this and know it would never undermine anything more complex we tackled.

“The other thing was that it sold a lot of copies, so there was an audience outside of our usual one that picked up on the song. That was obviously good for the band.”

Did you feel like pop stars?

“I could sound pompous and say we were too cool to be pop stars. But there was obviously an element of that going on. I remember one ‘pop star’ moment was when we were asked to appear on Top Of The Pops. But it was such a last minute thing that we all had to come back from holidays in various destinations. Michael [Karoli] was in Kenya, though, and we couldn’t reach him. This was in the days long before mobile phones and email. So, we had to do the show with a stand in guitarist. If you find the footage, you’ll see this guy at the back playing guitar and looking awkward. I can’t even tell you his name!”

Was having a hit a blessing or curse?

“Oh, it was neither. We’d had successful singles before in Germany, so we took it all in our stride. And we were never under pressure to have more hits. Our label knew trying to get us to do that was a waste of their time. We’d always do what we wanted, and I Want More didn’t alter that.”

Malcolm Dome

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica, published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. He would later become a founding member of RAW rock magazine in 1988.

In the early 90s, Malcolm Dome was the Editor of Metal Forces magazine, and also involved in the horror film magazine Terror, before returning to Kerrang! for a spell. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009. He was actively involved in Total Rock Radio, which launched as Rock Radio Network in 1997, changing its name to Total Rock in 2000. In 2014 he joined the TeamRock online team as Archive Editor, uploading stories from all of our print titles and helping lay the foundation for what became Louder.

Dome was the author of many books on a host of bands from AC/DC to Led Zeppelin and Metallica, some of which he co-wrote with Prog Editor Jerry Ewing.