CAN : Turtles Have Short Legs 7" (1971)

Can Turtles
Can 71
Despite Can ascending to near deity status over the course of the last decade, it's surprising how few people know about this uncharacteristically daft 7". Recorded during the Tago Mago sessions & released on Liberty in 1971, it's sufficiently odd to suggest that both band & label realised Can's only opportunity for blagging a little chart action would be via the "weird" novelty hit route. "Turtles Have Short Legs"could, I guess, be ranked alongside similarly peculiar early 70s smashes like "Mouldy Old Dough" & "Popcorn" though, typically, Can's effort failed to chart anywhere. Intriguingly, though it was recorded in 1971, it actually sounds as if it might've been extracted from one of their far later Virgin-era LPs, the humdrum Flow Motion for instance? Incidentally, there's a marginally longer alternate mix of "Turtles Have Short Legs" doing the 'rounds on various bootlegs.

The B-side is a savagely truncated version of Tago Mago's "Halleluwah" suite, pared down from 18+ mins to just over 3. Bizarrely, it still sounds great & has never been reissued in this form to my knowledge (schnell!). It's the groovy mid-section that sounds like a listless, flower power Happy Mondays loping around a psychedelic bierkeller that made the cut, of course. Apparently there's a 3 minute edit of "Future Days" on the b-side of UA's seldom seen "Moonshake" 7" - anybody heard it?


  1. Cheers for this, have never heard it before despite having most of their albums via the early 90's CD reissues. Can't beat Future Days for getting stoned to...

    Love the Magritte header by the way.


  2. I've got a couple more Can oddities to post. If I end up not uploading them I'll send you the mp3s instead, yep...?

    P.S. The Magritte thing was a "happy accident", looks good though!

  3. Kevin MacNutt15.8.10

    Check out this music video for this song:
    Edited together from "Free Concert" footage and from a WDR piece on the band from 1971.

  4. If that's a posthumous edit job it's incredibly well done!

  5. sad trainspot response.

    I thought loads of people would know turtles have-a shrawt reggs from cannabilism 1(2?)

    In furious tape making days in mid 90's, I must of put it on about 10-12 tapes for people....that an uphill.

    Have you heard 'the million game'?

    Quite groovy beat with wailing sax and eastern flute theme tune to a (i think)..game show?!

    must be sixties...so just when they got going.

    it was on Krautbloodyrageous comp a few years back.

    Well they say its Can and no ones disagreed.



  6. Hey David, I think '68 Can (pre-Damo, pre-Malcolm) may have recored under various pseudonyms? There's definitely a 7" & LP available by them when they were called The Inner Space, & there's that Kama Sutra EP as well (a soundtrack I think?).

    Do you have an mp3 of "The Million Game" by any chance, I'd love to hear it?

  7. yes, sure can.

    dont know how to stick it here? e mail on front page website, just click my name here.

    you can look at my book to aha! But this isn't Spam right?!!

    I have Kamasutra album, its awright...gets quite hippy and noddle ee...but some nice bits nice...unmistakeably can...some of bits become can things later...i dont rush to listen though.

    didn't know there was an innerspace album hmmmm investigation called for.


  8. OK, I'll defo send you an e-mail then - I've already had a peek at your book btw, some of those train ticket collages are great/hilarious!

    The Inner Space's LP has been reissued on LP/CD, Discogs entry here:
    ...20 mins of additional material on the CD apparently!