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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wot, no drum solo?, 9 Mar 2004
This review is from: Feels Good to Me (Audio CD)
Yes, it's true - a drummers album with no drum solos. And all the better for it!
"Feels Good to Me" was Bill Brufords' first solo outing, and consists of mostly jazz based instrumentals. Here, he works with a small core band - Dave Stewart on keyboards, who also helps Bruford in writing some of the tunes; Allan Holdsworth on guitar; and a young, exceptional bass player called Jeff Berlin. This band is augmented by Annette Peacock on vocals, and one or two other musicians assist.
You might have expected, with a background playing in Yes, King Crimson and Genesis, another prog-rock outing but no; Bill Bruford clearly has a love of jazz, and a real feeling for it, and it shows here.
I bought this album on vinyl when it was first released in 1978, only to loose it! So re-discovering it on CD is a joy. The album comprises tunes lasting mostly around 5 minutes, with some quite complex structures and time signatures (think "Five per cent for Nothing" (from Fragile)) - but here, not (often) at the expense of tune or ryhthmn.
Brufords' playing is so crisp, each note so precise, and it's a pleasure to listen to a drummer who takes the trouble to think before he hits the skins! Thats not to say he's not fast and furious when he wants to be - but he avoids the cliche of "now its my turn for a solo". Dave Stewart's keyboard work is colourful but doesn't intrude, Allan Holdsworth is blindingly fast if a little too "nasal" in places for me - he doesn't have a "big" sound - but Jeff Berlin is a revelation. I'm not a musician but I remember listening to the album with a bass player telling me in awe of Berlin's technique, and even to the untrained, his ability is obvious.
Annette Peacock sings/croons her way through two numbers - "Back to the Beginning", and "Say Goodbye to the Past", which is the last and probably best track, building to a climax of guitar and drum runs before fading out. Of the instrumentals, "Sample and Hold" is the best, finishing off side 1 - oops, I always remember it that way from vinyl! One track, "Springtime in Siberia", doesn't have Bruford playing at all - just a lovely, gentle tune with piano and brass (flugelhorn, I believe). Sublime.
The album is not entirely without flaws - in places, the structures are a little too clever and perhaps some more improvisation would have been nice - but for my money, it's still worth 5 stars. The shame is, if your reading this review you probably have a good idea what to expect - and if you're not, well you won't know what you're missing.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bill Bruford, 24 Sep 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Feels Good to Me (Audio CD)
Bill Bruford was a founding member of Yes through the years 1968-1972, and whilst with the band recorded five albums each of which was more successful than its predecessor. When Bill left Yes in 1972 following the release of "Close To The Edge", there were those who concluded that he'd taken leave of his senses.
But it proved an astute musical move. As King Crimson's enigmatic leader Robert Fripp decided to split the band after three tumultuous albums and move on to other projects, Bill moved to playing countless sessions, and was also briefly a member of the bands National Health, Gong and, more famously, Genesis, where he played alongside Phil Collins, who had just stepped up to the microphone following the departure of Peter Gabriel. Bill was the drummer in the live Genesis situation and was with the band for the majority of 1976 while the band toured their album A Trick Of The Tail.
Following his tenure with Genesis, Bill recorded his debut album as a leader-- "Feels Good To Me", released 1978. Considered a solo album, it predated the official start of the band "Bruford" although it features musical performances from many of the musicians who would go on to work with Bill full-time in that group.
The album features a number of key tracks including the instrumental tracks Beelzebub and Sample And Hold. Vocalist Annette Peacock contributes vocals to four tracks and a co-writing credit on the track "Adios a la Pasada" (Goodbye To The Past). Elsewhere the album features performances from keyboardist Dave Stewart, bassist Jeff Berlin, guitarists Allan Holdsworth and John Goodsall (Brand X) and flugelhorn player Kenny Wheeler.
This re-issue of Feels Good To Me has been re-mastered and also includes a bonus track in the form of an unreleased version of Joe Frazier.
As with all the albums in the Winterfold series of releases, Feels Good To Me comes re-packaged with a bonus disc containing music from the contrasting Summerfold catalogue and an exclusive interview with Bill Bruford.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First time on CD in the UK, 18 Mar 2005
By 
Dr. D. B. Sillars - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Feels Good to Me (Audio CD)
As a member of Yes and King Crimson during their glory days, Bill Bruford quickly established a reputation as being one of the most technically accomplished rock percussionists. His work on albums such as "Fragile" and "Red" admirably showcased his distinctively sharp, complex drum patterns. After Crimson folded he spent a few years as a jobbing drummer, filling in spots for the likes of Genesis and National Health. After an abortive grouping with John Wetton and Rick Wakemen, he ventured a first solo album. Now, a solo album by a drummer does not sound like a good idea. Very few have the necessary compositional skills to pull it off. In fact the only other drummer that immediately comes to mind is Billy Cobham. But on this first album Bruford surrounded himself with exemplary musicians to produce a really accomplished album.
There is very little of Yes or King Crimson here. This is nearer to jazz-rock territory, though probably more in keeping with the likes of National Health, Gilgamesh and Brand X. It's no surprise that the keyboardist from National Health, Dave Stewart makes a strong contribution to Bruford's album, both compositionally and as a musician. The other really significant musician here is guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His lightning speed, feathery touch produces some wonderful solos and guitar fills throughout. The addition of American vocalist Annette Peacock was a masterstroke too. Her liquid, jazzy vocals add menace and sensuality to the excellent "Back to the Beginning" and "Seems Like a Lifetime Ago". The pure tone of Kenny Wheeler on flugelhorn also adds class to the proceedings. He really shines on the beautifully elegiac "Springtime in Siberia". The rhythm section is completed by American bassist Jeff Berlin who with his deep funky tones is an unusual, but refreshing partner for Bruford, who was used to the more studious English prog bassists such as Chris Squire and John Wetton.
This was a great opening shot by Bruford. He really proved that he could write interesting and catchy music. Groups such as Finneus Gauge and Thieves Kitchen would use this album as inspiration for their own work many years later, such is the mark it has made. After this Bruford would form UK with Holdsworth, Wetton and Eddie Jobson but after that partnership floundered after one album,he put together his own band with the core members from "Feels Good to Me".
Unbelievably this album has never been released in the UK on CD before, so it's kudos to Bruford for setting up his Winterfold label in order to re-release his back catalogue. The remastering is excellent and really brings out the top notch production of the original recording and the details in the instrumentation, particularly Brufords delicate touches on cymbals and assorted percussion and the breathiness of Annette Peacocks vocals. One minus point is the uninspired layout of the accompanying booklet, with poorly produced typography and garish reproduction of the original artwork. This seems like a direct reproduction of the original US CD release. I would have expected something a bit more classy than this really.
Coming up next is "One of a Kind" by the Bruford band of Stewart, Holdsworth, Berlin and the man himself. If anything, it's even better than this excellent debut.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Personsl Album To Me......, 4 Feb 2009
This review is from: Feels Good to Me (Audio CD)
I saw this line up playing with Bill Bruford in 1979 at Manchester University.Whilst walking a 500 mile Peace March across Britain.
Bruford asked me not to applaud so long and louldly when he came out on stage.He spoke about his brother liking punk music in a favourable manner.The press and the record industry had become anti-intellectual and this genre of music was regarded as out of fashion by the Malcolm McClairens of this world.Altough the university students of the time loved it.
This album should have and could have been as big as anything Yes or King Crimson ever released. Selling millions if it had been marketed a few years earlier.This line up should have extensively toured America and Europe.
The rhythm section on this album is out standing!There is an edge to Alan Holdsworth guitar playing that was never repeated on any of his other musical projects.He doesn't even mention playing on this album on his own web page!This music makes my soul feel free and its timeless.
I wish Bruford still played this material live.Its wonderful...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Feels Best To Me, 22 Nov 2010
This review is from: Feels Good to Me (Audio CD)
You will find several commentaries here regarding the content of this wonderful album. I do not intend to repeat them. I just want to say that the world is a poorer place for not realising the musical jewels that live beneath the mainstream, radio-friendly mush that masquerades as music to the legions of toe tapping, point-missers busily going about the furtherance of their ignorance. This is one of those jewels: equalled by some, bettered by none. Whatever your musical taste, provided you have just some, I cannot recommend this album highly enough. Buy it and feed upon it forever.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars jazz-tastic!, 19 April 2006
By 
V Rikowski "The Music Man" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Feels Good to Me (Audio CD)
This album pushes many forms of the musical imagination to the limit given the time and culture in which it was made. Dave Stewart as always is fantastic (it was his charm in EGG which brought me to this album in the first place). I particularly like the vocals by Annette Peacock. She has a very attractive and femanine voice.

'Feels Good to Me' is an awe inspiring album, but the listener is encouraged by it not to be inspired by the actual album but by the world around us with beautifully sung lines such as 'how amazing is this life!' and 'you and I exist therefore we are becomming'.

Most songs have a possitive feel to them, which is unusual considering the musical complexity that has been put on show here and the manner of its complexity. When you first hear it, it is not an easy album to listen to, especially when Bill Bruford plays like a madman on the xylaphones, a classy yet initially startling touch. Yet after a number of hearings all musical difficulties somehow pass away and it almost seems as if every complex melody line and time signature fades away and becomes understandable and perhaps even simple and uncomplicated.

Thus with it comes its life-embracing message that life itself is that which first appears complicated and unbearable in intensity yet through experience it can be simplified and celebrated which I think is the message that lies within the heart of the album.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One for the island, 22 Feb 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Feels Good to Me (Audio CD)
One of the first albums I ever bought and almost 30 years on it still provides a very special listening experience. Quality production - for the vinyl at the time - beats virtually anything produced in today's 'digital' studios. Faultless musicianship and, most importantly, interesting, involving compositions. Only shame is that's it's a one of a kind - a sentiment supported by the follow-up record (which is just okay)!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Classic British Fusion, 4 Mar 2014
By 
John F (Staffordshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Feels Good to Me (Audio CD)
'Feels Good to Me' is the first and easily the best of the three Bruford studio albums. Annette Peacock's haunting jazz-inflected vocals add an emotional edge to the proceedings while Allan Holdsworth's fluid guitar playing has never sounded better. Standout tracks are 'Seems Like a Lifetime Ago (Parts One and Two)' and 'Either End of August'.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars vocals too loud in places but..., 7 Dec 2005
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Feels Good to Me (Audio CD)
... usual excellent fusion from Bruford and his crew. Has a certain night club feel, strangely. Vocals do spoil it in places I feel, not least because of the rather oddly forward and bassy mix they're given (even though it's a female voice!)
I really do feel these guys were magicians with their respective instruments. How on earth they work out some of the rhythmic structures I'll never know even after years of listening
Still the Kings of British fusion
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1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars not one of a kind, 28 Oct 2006
This review is from: Feels Good to Me (Audio CD)
I'll keep this short and sweet. This is great music on a par with 'One of a Kind' but it's let down by the vocals, they are truly terrible. Sorry everyone but she really cannot sing and it spoils what is a great album. Thus 4 stars instead of the 5 stars it probably diserves. Thank god it's mostly instrumental and she didn't sing on another 'Bruford' album of any kind. This is a great jazz album one of many 'Bill Bruford' has produced over the years and worth having dispite the vocals.
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Feels Good to Me
Feels Good to Me by Bill Bruford (Audio CD - 1990)
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