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In Praise of Henry Cow,
This review is from: In Praise Of Learning (Audio CD)
I can think of no other album that re-shaped my musical head.
I can still remember the thrill of hearing the first track - War - after a friend lent me his elder brother's copy.
War sets the tone for the whole record - angry, complex, layered - sung with manic intensity by Dagmar, balanced by Peter Blegvad's calm urging to "tell of the birth, tell how war appeared on Earth".
Having been aurally assaulted from the start, the rest of the album delivers revolutionary music along with the revolutionary lyrics and song titles - the only dated aspect of this mid 70s masterpiece. I'd never heard anything like this before and to this day, I still haven't. Some people hated the merging of the two bands - Henry Cow and Slapp Happy - but I think this merger left a legacy which is still going strong today. Check out the current music distribution label created by Henry Cow drummer Chris Cutler - ReR Megacorp - this'll show what a legacy has been left. There you'll also find some great live versions of two of these tracks (Living in the Heart of the Beast and Beautiful as the Moon) on the Jan 2009 released 9 CD/1DVD Henry Cow box set.