Can The Can

Album: Quatro (1973)
Charted: 1 56

Songfacts®:

  • This was Suzi Quatro's first hit; it reached #1 on the UK, Japanese, European and Australian charts. Quatro is an American who joined Mickie Most's RAK label roster, becoming part of the glam rock revolution. Most produced her first single, "Rolling Stone," but it went nowhere, so he asked songwriters Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman to write an produce her next single. The result was "Can The Can."
  • When asked what "Can The Can" means, Nicky Chinn replied: "It means something that is pretty impossible, you can't get one can inside another if they are the same size, so we're saying you can't put your man in the can if he is out there and not willing to commit. The phrase sounded good and we didn't mind if the public didn't get the meaning of it."
  • Suzi Quatro: "I can hear a record for the first time and know whether it will be a hit. And I knew as soon as we had finished recording that we had a big hit on our hands." (above quotes from 1000 UK #1 Hits by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh)
  • This was the first #1 UK hit for a solo female artist since "Those Were The Days" by Mary Hopkin in 1968.
  • Quatro never hit it big in her native America, although she did have a memorable role on the TV series Happy Days playing Leather Tuscadero. She landed several more UK hits, including the #1 "Devil Gate Drive," and influenced a generation of female rockers, notably Joan Jett.

    Quatro wrote many of her own songs, but they tended to be album cuts, with the Chapman/Chinn team getting the singles. In a Songfacts interview with Quatro, she explained: "I was very boogie-based, very bass-based. And they went away and wrote 'Can the Can.' We had the arrangement where I could write the albums, and they would write the three-minute single - although I did have singles out myself, like 'Mama's Boy.' I didn't learn anything from their songwriting, because I always had my own thing. Whatever I did, I did."

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Jackie DeShannon - "Put a Little Love in Your Heart"They're Playing My Song

It wasn't her biggest hit as a songwriter (that would be "Bette Davis Eyes"), but "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" had a family connection for Jackie.

Strange MagneticsSong Writing

How Bing Crosby, Les Paul, a US Army Signal Corps Officer, and the Nazis helped shape rock and Roll.

Chris Robinson of The Black CrowesSongwriter Interviews

"Great songwriters don't necessarily have hit songs," says Chris. He's written a bunch, but his fans are more interested in the intricate jams.

Billy Joe ShaverSongwriter Interviews

The outlaw country icon talks about the spiritual element of his songwriting and his Bob Dylan mention.

Michael BoltonSongwriter Interviews

Into the vaults for this talk with Bolton from the '80s when he was a focused on writing songs for other artists.

The FratellisSongwriter Interviews

Jon Fratelli talks about the band's third album, and the five-year break leading up to it.