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Henry Cow - The Henry Cow Legend [Aka: Legend or Leg End] CD (album) cover


Henry Cow



4.14 | 230 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Ah, the land of the terrible pun, where Canterbury-style soft sock - I mean rock - meets jazz. Not quite a legend, this album does point the way towards the future emergence of the so-called 'rock-in-opposition' genre. Therefore it is a must-listen for every serious student of progressive rock.

A must-listen, but definitely not a must-own. This album is not radical enough for the RIO fan, too serious and atonal for the Canterbury fan, and altogether too weird for the majority of prog lovers. That said, it's certainly a challenge worth taking up. Be patient: the dissonance doesn't last long and starts to make sense after a while ('Teenbeat' in all its guises is a very interesting listen), and there are some stellar moments (the guitar in 'Teenbeat reprise', the way 'Amygdala' develops, and the splendid 'Nine Funerals'). Other tracks don't work for me: the improv 'The Tenth Chaffinch', for example, offers a fascinating soundscape but lacks the spark this sort of experiment ought to have.

The HENRY COW socialist collective would go on to record better and far more challenging albums than this, but 'Leg End' is definitely the place to start. And if you're not lured to go on any further, at least you can tell the occasional prog-snob in the forums that you've listened to it!

russellk | 3/5 |


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