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Henry Cow - Legend CD (album) cover

LEGEND

Henry Cow

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

4.11 | 168 ratings

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Warthur
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Whether LegEnd by Henry Cow is an "RIO" album or not seems to be a matter of debate. For my part, I would say that the term "RIO" is meaningless when applied to anything released before the actual RIO festivals were set up, because the participants in them had very little in common musically beyond being shunned by the record companies and having an avant- garde approach to progressive music. It makes somewhat more sense to apply the label to works by the original bands after the festivals kicked off, since it would only be natural for them to draw more on each others' ideas after working so closely together, and it makes perfect sense to apply it

So, if LegEnd isn't RIO, what is it? For my part, I think it has an undeniably Canterbury- influenced sound, making it no surprise that Henry Cow members would crop up on undeniably Canterbury albums from time to time. It sounds, in fact, like the group taking the Soft Machine's work on Third in a different direction from the free jazz that legendary group would drift into on its fourth and fifth studio albums, opting instead to add a few elements of chamber music, draining out the spaciness and adding some wild Gentle Giant instrumentation and complexity (and some vocal harmonies when it comes to the matter of the Citizen King). It's certainly an interesting mixture and a good start for the group, though their most original work was yet to come.

Warthur | 4/5 |

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