Saturday, April 17, 2010

Quiet Sun - Mainstream (1975)

Mainstream is the only album of the UK band Quiet Sun. The band split up in 1972, Manzanera to Roxy Music, MacCormick to Matching Mole, Hayward to This Heat and Jarrett began to teach mathematics.

In 1975, Manzanera booked a studio for 26 days to record his first solo album Diamond Head and got Quiet Sun together again to record a studio album from their previously composed material at the same time. The result Mainstream was critically acclaimed and became the New Musical Express' album of the month, apparently Island Records' fourth or fifth biggest seller at the time, close up to Bad Company and Cat Stevens.

Reworked versions of two tracks from Mainstream ("Mummy was an asteroid..." and "Rongwrong") were performed by Manzanera's 801 project during 1976 and feature on their acclaimed LP 801 Live.

A CD release of Mainstream was released in 1997 on Manzanera's label, Expression Records.

01. "Sol Caliente" (Phil Manzanera) – 8:02
02. "Trumpets with Motherhood" (Charles Hayward) – 1:30
03. "Bargain Classics" (Dave Jarrett) – 5:37
04. "R.F.D." (Jarrett) – 3:09
05. "Mummy was an asteroid, Daddy was a small non-stick kitchen utensil" (Bill MacCormick) – 6:09
06. "Trot" (Manzanera) – 5:00
07. "Rongwrong" (Hayward) – 9:39

* Charles Hayward - drums, percussion, keyboards, voice
* Dave Jarrett - Fender rhodes, steinway grand piano, farfisa & hammond organs, VCS3
* Phil Manzanera - electric 6 & 12 string guitars, treated guitars, fender rhodes piano
* Bill MacCormick - electric bass, treated bass, back-up voices


* Brian Eno - synthesizer, treatments & oblique strategies
* Ian MacCormick - back-up voices

Monday, April 12, 2010

Henry Cow - Concerts [1976]

Henry Cow Concerts is a live double album by English avant-rock group Henry Cow, recorded at concerts in London, Italy, the Netherlands and Norway between September 1974 and October 1975. Sides one and two of the LP record consist of composed material while sides three and four contain improvised pieces.

The album includes Henry Cow's last John Peel Session, recorded in September 1975 and extracts from a concert with Robert Wyatt at the New London Theatre in May 1975. "Groningen" (recorded in September 1974) is part of an instrumental suite where the band improvised around fragments of an early version of Tim Hodgkinson's "Living in the Heart of the Beast" from In Praise of Learning (1975). Another performance of this suite (in full) later appeared in "Halsteren" on Volume 2: 1974-5 of The 40th Anniversary Henry Cow Box Set (2009).

01 - Beautiful As The Moon; Terrible As An Army With Banners,Nirvana For Mice,Ottawa Song_Gloria Gloom
02 - Bad Alchemy Little Red Riding Hood Hits The Road
03 - Ruins
04 - Groningen
05 - Groningen Again
06 - Oslo
07 - Off The Map
08 - Cafe Royal
09 - Keeping Warm In Winter Sweet Heart Of Mine
10 - Udine

* Lindsay Cooper – bassoon, flute, oboe, recorder, piano
* Chris Cutler – drums, piano
* Dagmar Krause – voice, piano
* Fred Frith – guitar, piano, violin, xylophone
* John Greaves – bass guitar, voice, celeste, piano
* Tim Hodgkinson – organ, clarinet, alto saxophone, piano (Greasy Truckers set, CD release only)
* Robert Wyatt – vocals ("Bad Alchemy" and "Little Red Riding Hood Hits the Road")
* Geoff Leigh (Greasy Truckers set, CD release only) – tenor and soprano saxophone, recorder, flute, clarinet

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Fred Frith - Gravity (1990)

Gravity is a 1980 solo album by English guitarist, composer and improviser Fred Frith from Henry Cow and Art Bears. It was Frith's second solo album and his first since the demise of Henry Cow in 1978. It was originally released in the United States on LP record on The Residents's Ralph record label and was the first of three solo albums Frith made for the label.

Gravity was recorded in Sweden, the United States and Switzerland and featured Frith with Swedish Rock in Opposition group Samla Mammas Manna on one side of the LP, and Frith with United States progressive rock group The Muffins on the other side. Additional musicians included Marc Hollander from Aksak Maboul and Chris Cutler from Henry Cow.

Gravity has been described as an avant-garde "dance" record that draws on rhythm and dance from folk music across the world. Allmusic called it one of the most important experimental guitar titles from Fred Frith.

01. "The Boy Beats the Rams (Kluk Tluce Berany)" – 4:54
02. "Spring Any Day Now" – 3:04
03. "Don't Cry For Me" – 3:28
04. "The Hands of the Juggler" – 5:31
05. "NorrgĂ„rden Nyvla" – 2:54
06. "Year of the Monkey" – 4:11
07. "What a Dilemma" – 3:11
08. "Crack in the Concrete" – 1:24. "Come Across" – 2:47
09. "Dancing in the Street" (Gaye, Stevenson, Hunter) – 3:20
10. "My Enemy is a Bad Man" – 1:22
11. "Slap Dance" – 2:32
12. "A Career in Real Estate" – 4:42
13. "Dancing in Rockville Maryland" – 3:04

Bonus tracks on 1990 CD re-issue

14. "Waking Against Sleep" – 2:08
15. "Terrain" – 3:50
16. "Moeris Dancing" – 5:03
17. "Geistige Nacht" – 5:18
18. "Life at the Top" – 1:40
19. "Oh Wie Schon Ist Panama!" – 5:02

musicians include:
Fred Frith – guitar, bass guitar, violin, keyboards, drums (tracks 1,5,7)
The Muffins
Chris Cutler – drums (tracks 3, 15-18)
Lindsay Cooper – bassoon, oboe (tracks 15,16)
Tim Hodgkinson – alto saxophone (track 15)
Dagmar Krause – voice (track 17)
Tom Cora – bass guitar, percussion (track 19)
Samla Mammas Manna
and others...