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4.2 out of 5 stars
28
4.2 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 4 March 2009
I have to admit that, when I first came across this on Amazon, I thought someone was taking the mick. But, no, it really is 'No Pussyfooting' played at different speeds and backwards.

The track listing is not very clear, so let's try and clarify it a bit.

CD 1 has got:

1 The Heavenly Music Corporation (20.52)
2 Swastika Girls (18.58)
3 The Heavenly Music Corporation (reversed) (20.52)

And CD 2:

1 The Heavenly Music Corporation (half speed) (41.49)
2 Swastika Girls (reversed) (18.54)

So, does messing about with these two classic electronica tracks work? Does it add anything?

I have to say that I first heard 'No Pussyfooting' when it came out in 1973 and I have been listening to it ever since, so I do know both pieces very well.

'Swastika Girls' backwards (CD2, track 2) is very similar to Swastika Girls forwards. The differences are mainly subtle, being the reversal of the attack and decay (obviously). In one or two places, where the original attack was pronounced, it's quite scary, almost animalistic. But, overall, it doesn't really add very much.

'The Heavenly Music Corporation' at half speed (CD2, track 1) is more interesting. Again, it does get quite scary and I'm sure there are loads of sub-sonics there. Certainly, I could feel the vibrations through the floor. It becomes much more solid, like sonic icebergs, or sound volcanoes. Fripp's guitar still slides over the top, but kind of comes across as, well, elephantine. Elegantly elephantine. It definitely feels like there is an aural elephant in the room. After listening to it, the original (CD1, track 1) sounds positively skittish.

'The Heavenly Music Corporation' reversed (CD1, track 3) starts out sounding remarkably like the morphing monster from John Carpenter's 'The Thing'. But, after a while, it settles down and sounds quite affective. It reminded me a bit of Phil Manzanera's 'Lagrima', from his 'Diamond Head' album. Overall it does sound pretty much the same as played forward. But there are enough little differences to make me keep listening. It's kind of a subtle re-interpretation of the original.

So, overall, the most 'interesting' track is 'The Heavenly Music Corporation' (half speed). But it's hard work. And, honestly, I don't think any of these versions improve on the originals sufficiently to really make it worth it.

If you do not already have the original two tracks, buy this as it contains the originals plus these 're-interpretations'. If you already have the originals, well, it's up to you. I mean, they're interesting but I'm not sure how often they'll get played. The originals get five stars.
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on 27 February 2014
Eno has done a hell of a lot of better stuff than this since and although perhaps a landmark in experimental music it wasn't as far as I'm concerned more than a blind alley. Or hall of mirrors.
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on 15 June 2017
Brilliant record though the additional tracks are unessasary I think.
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VINE VOICEon 9 December 2008
Robert Fripp and Brian Eno, both pioneers of slightly left-of-centre music in the 1970s, collaborated on this in 1973. All it consists of, in layman's terms, is Fripp playing guitar and Eno manipulating the tapes. It, along with the slightly less fashionable Tangerine Dream's Phaedra, is one of the major ambient releases of the 70s, and paved the way for Eno to record classics like Ambient 1: Music for Airports and the especially beautiful Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks. This particular reissue is extended to a second disc,and contains slightly different versions of the two tracks (Heavenly Music Corporation & Swastika Girls)that made up the original album.An exemplary remaster provides excellent sound for what was essentially a low-fi recording. One slight negative though-no sleevenotes. It would have been nice to hear Fripp & Eno's perspective on this 35 years on. Essential nonetheless.
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on 5 September 2017
well
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on 7 October 2008
I agree with much that has been said about the excellence of this album but surely Amazon have scored 1 star agian for lumping all the old reviews for the original CD version of this album into the page for this new version. I looked this up to try to get a handle on the "reversed" and "half speed" versions that are included in this 2 CD edition. Sadly there does not seem to be any.

To my ears the half speed version of Heavenly Music Corporation is very heavy and dense. You will not want to play this on anything that can not cope with very deep bass sounds. The reversed Swatsika Girls version sounds very similar to the forwards version. Great stuff
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on 18 January 2007
This review is for the 'standard version', there is a newer release which includes the same compositions at different speeds and backwards. I have listened to samples of it and have no desire to replace this version. Eno and Fripp developed a tape loop feedback system to apply to the guitar work of Robert Fripp. This recording shows the system off to its maximum potential and consists of two long tracks that explore a soundscape entirely invented by their unique musical talents. Swooping guitar sounds combine with synthesised textures in what can sometimes begin to feel very dense. There is a lot of detail in the treatments as well and these maintain the listeners interest. Despite the age of the record it does bear repeated listenings and my copy gets a regular airing at home. An essential Fripp & Eno recording and one of the better examples of Fripp's work.
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on 31 July 2004
1973's 'no pussyfooting' is a classic example of two artists at the top of their respective games collaborating to create something magnificent.
in this case it was king crimson guitarist robert fripp (inventor of the famous 'frippertronics' technique) and brian eno, legendary roxy music synthesizer twiddler.
it's a majestic minimalist experiment that has little or no concern with the typical elements of rock. no rhythm section and no vocals, just a black gibson les paul guitar and some machines. it's ice-cold, eerie, sophisticated cover photo gives clues to the music within.
the entire album consists of two side-length pieces, entitled 'the heavenly music corporation' and 'swastika girls'. 't.h.m.c' is a grand, sweeping piece that shows off the stark contrast between the two artists. it's like hot and cold: the icy, relentless pulsing of eno's revox tape reels and synths, and the dense, earthy rumble of fripp's extended solos. it's stunning.
at first, 'swastika girls' seems like a bit of a let down compared to the last twenty minutes, but it's not. again, the contrast is startling. eno's synths glitter and sparkle like the sun on water, twinkling until the last second. fripp's gibson enters quietly after around seven and a half minutes, building in intensity until it sounds like the turbo-charged turbine engine we heard on the first track.
admittedly, the thought of an album with only two tracks each lasting twenty minutes and being entirely instrumental puts a lot of people off. i know that my parents and my mates hate this album, and that a lot of people dismiss this kind of music as wallpaper music, but i was stunned by it straight away. i love 'no pussyfooting' and you need only listen to a few seconds of the middle section of track one (the part where fripp almost paraphrases hendrix at woodstock '69) to know that this is anything but background.
'no pussyfooting' is apparently not the easiest cd in the world to get hold of, but it is well worth seeking it out, as is fripp & eno's second effort, 'evening star', which follows in the same formula but is a bit more concise.
five stars, without a doubt. *****
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on 10 December 1999
I have never been a big fan of ambient music, but this was absolutely incredible... the long, low slides at the end of the album made my speakers rattle... I recommend this music whole heartedly to anyone interested in ambient or electronic music
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on 18 April 2001
Eno and Fripp developed a tape loop feedback system to apply to the guitar work of Robert Fripp. This recording shows the system off to its maximum potential and consists of two long tracks that explore a soundscape entirely invented by their unique musical talents. Swooping guitar sounds combine with synthesised textures in what can sometimes begin to feel very dense. There is a lot of detail in the treatments as well and these maintain the listeners interest. Despite the age of the record it does bear repeated listenings and my copy gets a regular airing at home. An essential Fripp & Eno recording and one of the better examples of Fripp's work.
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