One of a Kind
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BRUFORD One Of A Kind (2005 UK 11-track digitally remastered CD album originally released in 1979 and features guitarist Allan Holdsworth bassist Jeff Berlin and keyboardist Dave Stewart includes the Bonus Recording Manacles; bookletpicture sleeve with back inlay)
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In some ways "One of a Kind" owes more to National Health than UK. The opening track "Hells Bells" is a stormer, with Dave Stewart belting out bubbling synth lead lines. "Fainting in Coils" hints at the Hatfield and the North sense of humour with Bruford himself reading from Lewis Carroll. The part of Alice is read by the future Mrs Brian Eno! "The Abingdon Chasp" is a gorgeous Allan Holdsworth piece. The final two tracks "Forever Until Sunday" and "The Sahara of Snow" were originally played by UK. In fact Eddie Jobson guests on violin on the former, which on the original album was uncredited, Jobson not wishing to confuse past and present UK. Now he is at last credited in the sleeve notes. This CD version is rounded out by an excellent bonus track, "Manacles". This live track may lack sonic fidelity (i.e. it is of bootleg quality) but more than makes up for that in a superbly typical fuzzy organ solo by Dave Stewart.
"One of a Kind" is an exceptional album from an exceptional band. Freed by the band politics of UK, Bruford and team mates really stretch out and enjoy what they are doing here. It's a pity that the line-up didn't last long. Allan Holdsworth left soon after the recording of the album to be replaced by John Clark who features on the bonus track and on the following, final studio album "Gradually Going Tornado".
It's good that Bill Bruford is making his back catalogue widely available. On the strength of "One of a Kind", this album is very special and should be considered alongside the very best fusion and instrumental rock that was being produced back in the late 70's.
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".
Bill recorded his debut album as a leader in 1978-- "Feels Good To Me", but it wasn't until the conclusion of an 18-month spell with the band UK that his vision of a more permanent outfit bore fruit. Joining Bill and guitarist Allan Holdsworth in "Bruford" was bassist Jeff Berlin and keyboardist Dave Stewart, both of whom had also made key musical contributions to Feels Good to Me.
Key tracks on One of a Kind include Hell's Bells, Fainting In Coils and Five G.
This re-issue of "One of a Kind" has been re-mastered, and includes a previously unreleased bonus track-- "Manacles".
As with all the albums in the Winterfold series of releases, "One Of A Kind" comes re-packaged with a bonus disc containing music from the contrasting Summerfold catalogue and an exclusive interview with Bill Bruford.
This album completely redefined jazz rock and gave it a British sound, free from the excessess of the American jazz rock scene.
Holdsworth's guitar sound inspired a generation to rediscover the joys of the 'wangy bar', Jeff Berlin proved himself to be one of the most underestimated exponents of the bass guitar the other side of the millenium and Dave Stewart has his finest hour.
You must give this one a try!
Bill Bruford ruffled a few feathers in the Radio 1 interview at the time it came out when he criticized so much new wave music.
38 years on I still admire the simplicity of the production and yet there is nothing missing. I also do not find it has dated at all. It sounds fresh to me now.
I bought the CD so that I at last had The Abingdon Chasp, Forever Until Sunday and The Sahara of Snow Part 1 on CD to go with the Best of selection CD I have had for years.
I think this is the best of the 3 studio albums Bruford did as a band. Feels Good To Me has its moments while Gradually Going Tornado has a rough edge and 3 tracks with vocals. All albums are notable but One of The Kind has always struck me as being the most complete.
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