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Concerts [VINYL]


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Product details

  • Vinyl (19 Nov 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Rer
  • ASIN: B009WW1HTU
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 332,200 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Dr. D. B. Sillars VINE VOICE on 11 Oct 2006
Format: Audio CD
This is probably the most representative recording of what Henry Cow were about. Part composition, part improvisation. The recordings presented here are for me the band shown at their very best. The performances are exhilarating, especially Fred Frith whose guitar manipulations are extraordinary. The first 5 pieces are taken from a BBC session and is a truly wonderful medley, each track seamlessly flowing into the next. A beautifully recorded session, with Bob Drakes wonderfully detailed and sympathetic mastering bringing out all the nuances in the performance, especially Chris Cutlers dynamic cymbal work. For me the highlight of the album has always been the live version of Fred Friths "Ruins". Not only brilliantly played by the band, this version knocks spots off the studio version from "Unrest", but Frith plays one of the most extraordinary non-rock based guitar "solos" you will ever hear. His command and control of his guitar to produce something of its own, yet fitting in with the dynamics of the piece is still after all these years sensational! He performed a similar miracle during the piece "Groningen". Some of this stuff is "difficult", especially the almost 30 minute improvisational piece "Oslo". Thankfully, here it has been broken down into 8 sections to make it more digestible, though the official line is that it's for "navigation purposes".

The original double LP has been expanded here to a 2 CD set with tracks taken from studio sessions after Henry Cow's aborted appearance at the Greasy Truckers concert. Although a CD version was available a number of years back on the US label East Side Digital, this newly remastered version is on ReR and is hence easier to obtain and is the definitive version. Full marks to Bob Drake, whose mastering work is always subtle and exquisite.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 3 Jan 2001
Format: Audio CD
I bought the original in 1976 unheard, based on the NME review, and grew to love this record. The first side-and-a-half is densely packed with fantastic tunes set to dense jazz textures. As the record progresses the mood drifts into ethereal with long 'floating' sections. Some of the between-tune wig-outs put you in mind of Roni Size's live show, being both totally out of control and perfectly under control at the same time. I hope the on-stage gatefold shot is preserved for the CD, the band look exactly the bunch of Socialist Worker students that they sound. There is no point wondering why there is no music like this now, when people like this no longer exist.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Cakefinger on 17 May 2011
Format: Audio CD
THe fourth album by Henry Cow was a tour de force. The introduction of the vocals of Dagmar Krause to a previously predominately instrumental group meant that they were playing proper songs. The opening suite of songs (from a Peel session) shows her singing style integrating perfectly with the somewhat austere nature of Henry Cow, and adding a slight whiff of Weimar Cabaret to the proceddings. Her vocals on the Matching Mole tune Gloria Gloom are a particular highlight.

Matching Mole were of course Robert Wyatt's group after he was ejected from the Soft Machine and he turns up here duetting with Krause on the Slapp Happy (Krause's previous group) tune Bad Alchemy, and a funked up (a groove on a Cow record whatever next) version of his own Little Red Riding Hood Hits the Road. Although I find the sound quality of these two tunes to be somewhat tinny, the sheer energy and enjoyment of the players more than compensates.

This is then followed by a beautiful rendition of guitarist's Fred Frith's compsition Ruins. It flows with a stately elegance, and is far supierior to the version to be found on their second album Unrest.

After this we enter into free rock territory. Henry Cow were always an improvisational group at heart and the rest of the two discs follow in this vein. Sequenced in a different running order to the original vinyl, and adding their contribution to the second Greasy Truckers Album - wonder what Camel fans made of it? - they still make challenging but rewarding listening. If you like the textures that can be created from improvisation, then you will love this, as it records a superlative band at the peak of their powers. They create textures of light and dark, coaxing strange sounds from their instruments which they were never designed to make, and that includes Dagmar Krause's vocal contribution.

Great stuff
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 7 reviews
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
The best of Henry Cow 1 Dec 1999
By "lexo-2" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Anyone who'd only heard Henry Cow's intricate and occasionally twiddly studio albums could never guess that onstage they could be a seething rock beast, yet such is the case, as this generous double album proves. Actually only about two-thirds of it is genuinely live; the first enormous medley comes from a BBC session, and features the swooningly wonderful Dagmar Krause in full voice about the evils of capitalism, plus some exceptionally nasty guitar from Fred Frith. There's a wonderful duet between Dagmar and Robert Wyatt at a live gig in London, with a surging cover of Wyatt's Little Red Riding Hood Hits The Road that crushes the original version like a grape. Lots of inimitable collective improvisation, and a generally punchy and muscular sound. Certainly the place where those who've never listened to the Cow should start.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
EXCELLENT AND A half 28 Dec 2010
By Bill Your 'Free Form FM Print DJ - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Uncle Meat by Frank Zappa is a classic album. This 1969 piece was one of the first in rock to exploit modern classical ideas like cut and paste of found sounds, and using advanced harmonics and highly abstract rhythms as rock and roll collage. It would probably be more well known outside of Zappa/art rock circles had its ideas been more accessible.

They weren't, and the only people in rock brave and able enough to pick up Zappa's gauntlet were the English Canterbury progressive groups, making music using counterpoint and abstraction in ways Yes and ELP never dreamed. Henry Cow does not sound much like 1966-69 MOI Zappa, but builds on Uncle Frank's blueprint. Check out the space compressed chamber music on Concerts.

The album is no quickie. These is a dense ride. All the tracks here have many parts, all full of weird rhythms, and layered instrumental passages, with an excellent female singer working over top. Listen just thirty seconds and you are not sure what you heard--it is like a whole half album has gone by, there is so much going on.

But it is all worth hearing and this takes time to hear. If, like we all do, you think in terms of songs with ABA parts, 4/4 time, hearing Henry Cow work over two CDs is quite a process. Your musical reflexes need time to adjust themselves.

So inclined, you can work to break this music down in the ear, or play over and over and let it enter your subconscious. The temptation is to first retreat to the known, to anything that feels more reflexive. But stay with this and you will be well rewarded. You will hear this in your blood. Give yourself a vacation and spend it with Henry Cow
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Awsome 27 April 2007
By Rita A. Lemay - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I have all Henry Cows albums and I think this has to be there best, It has all there best songs from most of there albums, and alot of the live songs have extra improised parts to them and most of the songs on disc 2 all are improised. If your a just starting fan or if you want to add to your collection buy this.
Henry Cow 3 Feb 2014
By Bryan Haase - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
Like other recordings of Henry Cow better but overall happy to have this recording on vinyl just does not flow like it should
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
"Here's Some Corrected Info on HENRY COW's 'CONCERTS'......" 27 Feb 2014
By John H. McCarthy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
'CONCERTS' (Originally released in 1976 as a double album)
the songs/recording info:
CD #1:
1. "Beautiful as the Moon - Terrible as an Army with Banners" (Frith, Cutler) >
2. "Nirvana for Mice" (Frith) >
3. "Ottawa Song" (Frith, Cutler) >
4. "Gloria Gloom" (Wyatt, MacCormick) >
5."Beautiful as the Moon (Reprise)" (Frith, Cutler) - 22:46
(Tracks 1-5 John Peel BBC Session, August 5, 1975)
6. "Bad Alchemy" (Greaves, Blegvad) >
7. "Little Red Riding Hood Hits the Road" (Wyatt) - 8:16
(New London Theatre May 21, 1975, John Greaves-piano)
8. "Ruins" (Frith) - 16:14
(Palamostre Auditorium, Undine, Italy October 13, 1975)
9. "Groningen" (Hodgkinson, Henry Cow) - 8:49
10. "Groningen Again" (Henry Cow) - 7:12
(Vera Club, Groningen, Holland Sept. 26, 1974)
CD#2
1. "Oslo" (Henry Cow) - 25:59
2. "
3. "
5. "
6. "
7. "
8. "
(Hovikodden Arts Centre, Oslo, Norway, Lindsay Cooper-recorder, Chris Cutler-piano)
CD only Bonus Tracks:
9. "Off the Map" - 8:30 ("Solo Piano" (Hodgkinson)/"Trio" (Hodgkinson, Cutler, Frith)
10. "Café Royal" (solo guitar) (Frith) - 3:22
11. "Keeping Warm in Winter" (Frith, Greaves)/"Sweet Heart of Mine" (Henry Cow) - 10:06
(Manor Studio Nov. 4, 1973, originally released on Side 2 of 'Greasy Truckers Live At Dingwall's Dance Hall' 2LP set*)
12. "Udine" (Henry Cow) - 9:29
(Palamostre Auditorium, Undine, Italy October 13, 1975, Lindsay Cooper-piano))
the band:
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 CD#2 Track 9)
Robert Wyatt - vocals ("Bad Alchemy" and "Little Red Riding Hood Hits the Road")
Geoff Leigh - tenor and soprano saxophone, recorder, flute, clarinet (CD#2 Tracks 8-10 Only)
other credits:
Produced by HENRY COW
CD#1 Tracks 1-5 Recorded and mixed by Bob Conduct & Tony Wilson
CD#1 Tracks 6-7 Live mix by Sarah Greaves, Recorded by Norman Jon
CD#1 Track 8 Live mix: Niel Sanford, Recorded by Sandro Pascolo & Stephano Spizzamiglio
CD#1 Tracks 9-10 Live mix: Sarah Greaves
CD#2 Tracks 1-8 Recorded and mixed by Jack balchin & Harold Clark
CD#2 Tracks 9-11 Recorded and mixed by HENRY COW & Tom Newman
CD#2 track 12 Live mix: Niel Sanford, Recorded by Sandro Pascolo & Stephano Spizzamiglio
Cover art: Maggie Thomas
CD Remastering: Bob Drake @ Studio Midi Pyrenees, France

* 'GREASY TRUCKERS LIVE AT DINGWALL'S DANCE HALL' was a 2LP set released in 1974 of an October 1973 concert performed by CAMEL, HENRY COW, GONG and GLOBAL VILLAGE TRUCKING COMPANY. Each side of the double album was dedicate to one group's performance. COW's contribution had to be re-recorded a week later at The Manor Studios because a power failure at the event had delayed the start of the concert. Because they were last billed, the 2AM curfew would've reduced their set to ten minutes! At The Manor, they improvised, recorded, and mixed their "Greasy Truckers" set in one session. There's an outtake from this session, "Bellycan," that was released on the 1991 East Side Digital CD re-mix of 'LEG END.' The "Greasy Truckers" were an organization somewhat based on the Diggers in San Francisco, with the proceeds from their concerts and LP sales donated to worthwhile causes. 'GTLaDD' was the second in a series of concert albums recorded at benefits organised by the Greasy Truckers. The first was 1972's 'GREASY TRUCKER'S PARTY' re-released in 2007 as a terrific expanded 3CD set. Each disc featured full perfomances from MAN, BRINSLEY SCHWARZ and HAWKWIND. The MAN set is also available as a stand-alone CD. Don't let the ridiculous prices here fool you, you can order it from Amazon.uk for less than $20......
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