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Thread: Henry Cow Discussion

  1. #51
    Of the studio albums I like Western Culture and In Praise of Learning most (Living in the Heart of the Beast is probably my single favorite tune). I also very much dig some of the side projects, especially News from Babylon and the Art Bears.
    Ephemeral Sun - because I gotta do something about these boxes of CDs in the basement: http://www.ephemeralsun.com

  2. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    They might have turned off a lot of their former and/or potential fans with severely re-made initial versions of the 3 sock albums....

    Just a thought.
    Same thought I had.

    I remember buying those ESD CDs and thinking: WTF?

    Since I presume the band were involved because they did the remixing, they would share in the blame. But during the height of the era where people were converting from vinyl to CD, a big part of Cow's catalog was only out in a perplexing, drastically remixed form.

    Certainly unusual.

  3. #53
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffCarney View Post
    Same thought I had.

    I remember buying those ESD CDs and thinking: WTF?

    Since I presume the band were involved because they did the remixing, they would share in the blame. But during the height of the era where people were converting from vinyl to CD, a big part of Cow's catalog was only out in a perplexing, drastically remixed form.

    Certainly unusual.
    A label can only release what is given to them.

    What was giving to them to release were things in 'perplexing, drastically remixed form.'

    [nicely said, btw]
    Steve F.

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    "The older I get, the more I realize that cynicism is just realism spelled wrong."

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  4. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by Lieto View Post
    Seems like a lot of people are not huge on In Praise of Learning. I love this one, always have.
    In Praise is easily the one I listen to the most. Followed by Unrest, the live box, s/t. Desperate Straights and Western Culture don't get in the rotation much, not sure why. I like them fine, but the others just hit the spot I guess.

    On a side note, I've never gotten into Art Bears as much as Henry Cow.

  5. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    The band that everyone assumes is My favourite group. Ever. But actually isn't even in my top 20.
    Heh. Guilty as charged.

  6. #56
    I'm in a strange place because I was introduced to In Praise of Learning when I bought the "inferior" remixed version. I listened to it like there was no tomorrow, so now I have that mix burned into my head as my primary experience of Cow at an impressionable time. I still love the remix and although I own original vinyl, it's like a different album to me, neither better nor worse. I can definitely see why the remix upset fans, but if you turn the treble way down, it has its own charm.

  7. #57
    Member Phlakaton's Avatar
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    having only heard the ESD remixed ones from the start - imagine my shock and total satisfaction upon hearing the original mixes - it was like night and day... LOVE the originals so much more - I dont think I've gone back to even give those ESD ones a single listen since.

  8. #58
    We should probably note that the stereo master tapes for the first album and IPOL are apparently lost. This may have necessitated a remix from the multitracks (which thankfully existed) for the CD reissues. I am not certain about Unrest.

    Why the remixes were so drastic? No idea ...

  9. #59
    Boo! walt's Avatar
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    I recall being a bit peeved when the first cd iteration of Legend arrived and upon playing Teenbeat Reprise,hearing piano mixed so high, high enough to distract me from Fred Frith's incandescent,magnificent fuzz guitar solo.

    I was quite the happy camper when the original mix came out and corrected this.
    Last edited by walt; 03-08-2014 at 11:53 AM.
    "please do not understand me too quickly"-andre gide

  10. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by Phlakaton View Post
    imagine my shock and total satisfaction upon hearing the original mixes - it was like night and day... LOVE the originals so much more
    I think the most puzzling thing when you listen to the original mix of "Living In the Heart" is the immense and intense electricity of its execution; this is such obvious *ROCK* music with an 'R', yet it moves on so many levels of written texture and timbre that it completely transcends the tag all the same. Itus doubtful if actual rock music ever really got more radical than this - and I'm not thinking in political terms.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  11. #61
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    It's doubtful if actual rock music ever really got more radical than this.
    I would probably agree - for the time period under discussion.

    Since that time, imo, bands like Zs are at least as radical (not necessarily better, but as or more radical)

    ymmv
    Steve F.

    www.waysidemusic.com
    www.cuneiformrecords.com

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    "The older I get, the more I realize that cynicism is just realism spelled wrong."

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  12. #62
    Chronic Overspender zombywoof's Avatar
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    Scrotum Scissor, I have to say, I really enjoy reading your posts. You really help me see these Cow (and other) albums in a different, much deeper way. Well done!
    Check out Colouratura's sophomore release Unfamiliar Skies - out this spring on Melodic Revolution Records!

    colouratura.bandcamp.com

  13. #63
    Member Romerovm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffCarney View Post
    Same thought I had.

    I remember buying those ESD CDs and thinking: WTF?

    Since I presume the band were involved because they did the remixing, they would share in the blame. But during the height of the era where people were converting from vinyl to CD, a big part of Cow's catalog was only out in a perplexing, drastically remixed form.

    Certainly unusual.
    Jeff,

    If you haven't heard the vinyl audiophile reissues on ReR you have to! They sound incredible. I can't get them off my TT.

  14. #64
    Yes, I agree that the ESD remixes (there were only 2, IIRC - In Praise and Legend) were not so efficacious. But, credit where credit is due:

    In the case of In Praise, much of it had to be basically "remade" from previously unused and unfinished takes, as the multitrack masters were mostly long gone.

    As for Legend, it's sad that they chose to re-write history by muting Geoff and adding Lindsay. But, that was a value judgement by Tim H., who stands by that decision, to this day.

    Otherwise, I'm sure that everyone involved had the best of intentions, and did the best they could, given the parameters.......

  15. #65
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    I am ashamed to say that I had to look up "efficacious"...

    Steve F.

    www.waysidemusic.com
    www.cuneiformrecords.com

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    "The older I get, the more I realize that cynicism is just realism spelled wrong."

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  16. #66
    Howdy Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    I never upgraded from the 'bad' versions and those are the only ones I know. When I ripped Unrest for my MP3 player, I at least doubled the volume level to make it listenable. I guess I might like to see what the fuss was about with the remasters.

    What's the best/cheapest way to get your hands on the originals? Some of them seem to be at Amazon, some don't. Is the current release of Concerts on CD significantly different from the original CD? Are the MP3 versions on Amazon the original mixes? For instance, the Legend on MP3 doesn't have Bellycan, so I'd guess that was the original.

  17. #67
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by undergroundrailroad View Post
    I'm in a strange place because I was introduced to In Praise of Learning when I bought the "inferior" remixed version. I listened to it like there was no tomorrow, so now I have that mix burned into my head as my primary experience of Cow at an impressionable time. I still love the remix and although I own original vinyl, it's like a different album to me, neither better nor worse. I can definitely see why the remix upset fans, but if you turn the treble way down, it has its own charm.
    Electrodes to the head, reboot. Just sayin'.

  18. #68
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    I am ashamed to say that I had to look up "efficacious"...
    Not a big Garrison Keilor fan, huh.

  19. #69
    Quote Originally Posted by Romerovm View Post
    Jeff,

    If you haven't heard the vinyl audiophile reissues on ReR you have to! They sound incredible. I can't get them off my TT.
    Maybe I'll check them out.

    Given that the masters are lost for albums mentioned, however, I've been unsure as to what exactly they were sourced from.

  20. #70
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    I would probably agree - for the time period under discussion.

    Since that time, imo, bands like Zs are at least as radical (not necessarily better, but as or more radical)

    ymmv
    That's such an awkwardly fitting analogy, I think! I've always thought of Zs as the heir to that total "outsider" role which HC cultivated towards their own contemporary bunch of experimental rock adversaries - as much outside of as part of the overall "avant-progressive" phenomenon, and emannating just as much from new musics or "post-jazz" as from rock while still claiming their place amongst the latter. Like Henry Cow, Zs are fundamentally different yet so organically of and for their time, sporting music which demands understanding but still works on its own internally defined set of ground rules.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  21. #71
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffCarney View Post
    Given that the masters are lost for albums mentioned, however, I've been unsure as to what exactly they were sourced from.
    I seem to recall they were vinyl dubs, from Steve F.'s own pristine Japanese pressings, carefully (and may I say, masterfully) cleaned up to sound like the original tapes.

  22. #72
    Chronic Overspender zombywoof's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    I seem to recall they were vinyl dubs, from Steve F.'s own pristine Japanese pressings, carefully (and may I say, masterfully) cleaned up to sound like the original tapes.
    Are those vinyl rips?

    Wow, they sound fantastic!
    Check out Colouratura's sophomore release Unfamiliar Skies - out this spring on Melodic Revolution Records!

    colouratura.bandcamp.com

  23. #73
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Not a big Garrison Keilor fan, huh.
    Or Scaffold.


  24. #74
    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    I seem to recall they were vinyl dubs, from Steve F.'s own pristine Japanese pressings, carefully (and may I say, masterfully) cleaned up to sound like the original tapes.

    You're talking about the "Original Mix" CDs which were mastered from vinyl. I don't quite share your enthusiasm for them but at least they got the original mixes back in print.

    Victor was recommending the recent vinyl reissues. I don't know how those were sourced.

  25. #75
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    That's such an awkwardly fitting analogy, I think!
    Not sure if that means you agree or disagree! But thank you!


    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    I seem to recall they were vinyl dubs, from Steve F.'s own pristine Japanese pressings...
    Legend was indeed taken from my Japanese vinyl copy for the CD edition.

    Don't know anything about the other CD editions or what was used for the vinyl edition. But, tapes do sometimes get found after being 'lost', Jeff. It's certainly happened to us a few times.
    Steve F.

    www.waysidemusic.com
    www.cuneiformrecords.com

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    "The older I get, the more I realize that cynicism is just realism spelled wrong."

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

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