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Fripp & Eno - The Essential Fripp & Eno  CD (album) cover


Fripp & Eno


Progressive Electronic

2.46 | 17 ratings

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3 stars The Essential Fripp and Eno is a curious release that contains some of the most original and influential minimalist electronic prog of the 70s by two acknowledged masters of the style. The real attraction is the inclusion of 4 tracks from an abandoned 1979 Fripp and Eno session, although they are stylistically quite different from anything else released under the Fripp and Eno banner.

The CD opens with the No Pussyfooting album in its entirety - splendid stuff to be sure, but if you're a fan you probably own the album already. This is followed by the first two tracks from Evening Star - the most accessible and melodic tracks Fripp and Eno ever released. Up to this point the CD contains a little over 50 minutes worth of brilliant experiments in minimalism, using just electric guitar, tape loops and a little discreet synthesiser.

With Healthy Colours parts 1 - 4 the mood and style changes abruptly. These tracks were recorded in new York in 1979, and fall somewhere between Fripp's God Save The King and My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts, Eno's collaboration with David Byrne. Over a kind of automated funk backing (similar in some ways to Kurt's Rejoinder from Before and After Science) Fripp plays some cross picking and adds a few squalls of his unique guitar noise, while Eno throws in fragments of radio and TV dialogue as the piece unfolds. It's not bad at all, but sits rather oddly with the earlier pieces. If Healthy Colours had been released as a stand alone ep it would have made a lot more sense both commercially and artistically.

If you're a newcomer to Fripp and Eno start with No Pussyfooting or Evening Star as they were originally released. If you've already got those albums, this is worth picking up from a bargain bin but represents extremely poor value at full price. A good example of a badly thought out, low value compilation, despite containing so uch good music.

Syzygy | 3/5 |


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