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Henry Cow

Leg End

Leg End

UPC: 8033706214015

Format: LP

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Henry Cow: Fred Frith (vocals, guitar, violin, viola, piano); Geoff Leigh (vocals, flute, clarinet, recorder, saxophone); Tim Hodgkinson (vocals, clarinet, alto saxophone, piano, organ); John Greaves (vocals, whistle, piano, bass); Chris Cutler (vocals, whistle, piano, drums, toys).
Originally released on Virgin in 1973. Originally released in the U.S. on Red in 1979.
Henry Cow's debut is a dazzling preview of everything the band would explore throughout its career. Opening with Fred Frith's "Nirvana for Mice," the album mixes tightly structured compositional themes with adventurous improvisational passages. One of the most important elements in the band's sound is drummer Chris Cutler, who produces a sound that's constantly in motion but never unnecessarily busy.
This original quintet lineup would splinter soon after this release. Departing reed player Geoff Leigh was replaced by Lindsay Cooper (who played bassoon and oboe) with the release of this album's follow-up, UNREST. The writing of multi-instrumentalist Tim Hodgkinson writing stands in compelling contrast to Frith's, with Hodgkinson's sense of European classicism rubbing shoulders with avant-garde jazz and rock. While later releases found Henry Cow staking out its own sonic turf more rigorously, comparisons here to Frank Zappa's most earnest compositional work are quite apt.

Tracks:

1 - Nirvana for Mice
2 - Amygdala
3 - Teenbeat Introduction
4 - Teenbeat
5 - Extract From "With the Yellow Half-Moon and Blue Star"
6 - Teenbeat (Reprise)
7 - Tenth Chaffinch
8 - Nine Funerals of the Citizen King