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Eclectic Prog

4.11 | 558 ratings

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4 stars In 1980, I read an "old" Rock magazine (from 1978) which had a review about this album. At that time, I knew that Bill Bruford have played with YES and King Crimson. I realized later that in fact Bruford, John Wetton and Eddie Jobson appear in King Crimson`s live album called "USA" (Jobson added overdubs for that album), so I thought that this U.K. band was like "a King Crimson line-up without Robert Fripp". It was until mid 1980 that I found the second U.K. album called "Danger Money". I bought it. In late 1980, I bought their live album called "Night After Night". It wasn`t until late 1981 that I listened for the first time to this "U.K." album, their first. A cousin had it in L.P., a very used copy with a lot of scratches. I recorded it on a cassette. It wasn`t until 1997 when I bought the CD that I really appreciated this album very much. The original L.P. cover lists the 3 first songs as part of the "In the Dead of Night Suite" as I call it (not titled as that in the cover):"In the Dead of Night:1. In the Dead of Night 2. By the Light of Day. 3. Presto Vivace and Reprise". The CD cover doesn`t list these songs as part of a three part musical piece. The song "In the Dead of Night" has a very good guitar solo by Allan Holdsworth. "By the Light of Day" has not guitars, but it has a violin solo and "dark" keyboards atmospheres by Jobson. "Presto Vivace and Reprise" has interesting drums and keyboards. "Thirty Years" is a song with a lot of keyboard atmospheres, very good drums and percussion by Bruford, and a lead guitar by Holdsworth. "Alaska" is an instrumental piece by Jobson, with a melody played by Holdsworht on guitar."Time to Kill" has very good drums and a violin solo. My favourite song in this album is "Nevermore", which starts with Holdsworth`s acoustic guitars. It also has very good solos by Holdsworth and Jobson. The last song, "Mental Medication", is mostly a jazz-rock song. This band started in late 1976 when Wetton called Bruford to play in a band with Rick Wakeman. They rehearsed for 6 weeks before Wakeman left the projected band and re-joined YES for the "Going for the One" album.Bruford and Wetton wanted to carry on playing together, so Wetton invited Jobson, who was playing with Frank Zappa.He didn`t join them very soon because he had some work to do with Zappa`s band. Bruford recorded his first solo album "Feels Good to Me" in mid 1977, with Holdsworth on guitar. When Wetton, Jobson and Bruford finally were rehearsing together, Bruford invited Holdsworth to the new band called "U.K.". They recorded this first album between December 1977 and January 1978. They toured during 1978, until they started to have problems due to different ideas about the musical style for the band: Bruford and Holdsworth wanted a more jazz- rock style for the band, while Wetton and Jobson wanted a more Pop-Rock (in the case of Wetton) and Prog Rock (in the case of Jobson) style for the band. So, in late 1978, Bruford and Holdsworth left the band (Bruford says in his official website that he and Holdsworth were "fired" by Wetton, as he considers Wetton as the "real founder" of the band). I think that the most interesting thing in this album, apart of the music played by these four very good musicians, is Bruford`s drums and percussion playing, with a lot of changes in time signatures and very good technique.Holdsworth has his most interesting playing in the songs "In the Dead of Night", "Thirty Years", "Nevermore" and "Mental Medication". For the most part, Jobson is the main musician with his keyboards. Wetton plays his bass as good as usual, singing very good too. I consider this album as their best. "U.K.", like other Rock "supergroups" (like Blind Faith and Asia) couldn`t be playing together for a long time.
Guillermo | 4/5 |


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