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MADE AVAILABLE - JOHN PEEL SESSIONS

This Heat

RIO/Avant-Prog


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This Heat Made Available - John Peel Sessions album cover
4.07 | 26 ratings | 4 reviews | 31% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1996

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Horizontal Hold (8:28)
2. Not Waving (8:11)
3. The Fall Of Saigon (6:08)
4. Rimp Romp Ramp (6:43)
5. Makeshift (6:18)
6. Sitting (2:22)
7. Basement Boy (2:16)
8. Slither (2:16)

Total Time: 42:42

Line-up / Musicians

- Charles Bullen / unavailable
- Gareth Williams / unavailable
- Charles Hayward / unavailable

Releases information

Recorded for the John Peel Show at BBC Maida Vale Studios, London, 28 March (tracks 1-3) and 26 October 1977 (tracks 4-8)

CD These Records ‎- THESE 10 CD (1996, UK)
CD This Is ‎- this is 4 (2006, UK) Remastered

Thanks to Syzygy for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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THIS HEAT Made Available - John Peel Sessions ratings distribution


4.07
(26 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(31%)
31%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
38%
Good, but non-essential (23%)
23%
Collectors/fans only (4%)
4%
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)
4%

THIS HEAT Made Available - John Peel Sessions reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Syzygy
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Like many an aspiring unknown band before them, This Heat recorded sessions for the John Peel show some time before their first record release. The sessions did not run completely smoothly - their use of tapes, especially snippets of short wave radio, raised a few eyebrows - but the results were excellent. Just over half of the disc contains versions of tracks that would subsequently be released on studio albums, and the remainder is (officially) unavailable in any form anywhere else.

The first session consisted of tracks that would appear on their debut album, parts of which had already been recorded. All of them are longer than the album versions, although otherwise they're pretty much fully formed, and it's gripping, intense stuff. It begins (like the debut album) with the mighty Horizontal Hold. A brief electronic drone is followed by a thunderous riff and then the piece unfolds much as it does on the debut, only here it has more of a raw, urgent quality. Charles Bullen in particular plays an extended solo that has a tense interplay with Hayward's drumming, while Gareth Williams wrenches a truly bizarre random solo from his keyboard. Not Waving slows the pace down somewhat, with Bullen's clarinet part rather more prominent than on the album version and Hayward's vocal recalling Robert Wyatt. The Fall of Saigon closes session #1, and it's another piledriver of a song underpinned by Hayward's muscular but precise drumming. Bullen turns in another fret melting solo and the group's massed voices make it sound like Canterbury vocalists backed by a tight Krautrock rhythm section.

The second session, recorded just over 6 months later, is something of a contrast with the first. Rather than play established parts of their live set and the album they were recording, This Heat presented a selection of improvisations and work in progress. If anything it's the better of the two sessions in that it showed another side of This Heat. The albums were the result of months or years of painstaking work in their own studio, and the attention to detail shows. This session gives an insight into their working processes and showcases their almost telepathic interplay, something which few other rock bands achieved. Rimp Romp Ramp starts as a guitar/bass/drums trio, and it sounds like parts of it later found their way into Health and Efficiency. Elsewhere there are a few bars of 3 chord thrash and even what sounds like a small quote from King Crimson's Fracture, before it all fades into a low key sound collage. This segues almost imperceptibly into the next track, which opens with some proto industrial noise before, at about 1:30, an early version of Makeshift Swahili emerges. The lyrics and main riff are already in place, but the arrangement would have evolved considerably by the time it was released on Deceit. The final 3 tracks are all just over 2 minutes long and continue with the improvised (or semi improvised) feel of Rimp Romp Ramp. As well as the Faust influence that is present throughout their work, there is something of Henry Cow's studio improvisations in these pieces, particularly side 2 of Unrest.

Made Available is an equally good album for established fans and newcomers. The versions of material released elsewhere are sufficiently different to be worth owning in their own right, while the otherwise unreleased pieces are well up to This Heat's abnormally high standards. Newcomers get a good introduction to the band which doesn't contain any superfluous material. Obviously it's not as coherent as the main studio albums, but it's still a remarkably powerful offering from one of the most important bands of the last 30 years. Recommended.

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
3 stars One of the amazing feats with DJ John Peel was his ability to dislike most prog groups from the golden era, but he managed to like some of the more challenging RIO and experimental groups like Faust, Henry Cow or as concerned in this review, This Heat. I was never sure whether Peelie understood this kind of music or he just fell strongly for that type of obtuse experimentations or maybe just wanted to appear hip and incense any experimental groups. Not really considering this last option, the least we can say is that the chance he gave to This Heat over two broadcasts sessions in the course of 77, gave the band a much needed boost, even if their profile wouldn't really be making headlines

Among the more accessible (and also better, IMHO) tracks are: the second part of the opening Horizontal Hold, Fall Of Saigon. Of the two sessions, I think I prefer the spring session (first three tracks) to the second (October session), even if Makeshift is most impressive track of the disc, with a B-52's Planet Claire vocal line. You'd swear Fred Frith was the guitarist on this second session, too. Not really more essential, than, any more of their studio albums.

Review by Lewian
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars The John Peel sessions on this album were actually recorded In 1977, but only released 19 years later. In 1977, punk became big as a move against the establishment, whereas progressive rock was an established force showing signs of complacency, with some bands already moving themselves toward the commercial mainstream. Early progressive rock (for example, Zappa, Pink Floyd, the early Krauts, King Crimson, and even ELP, in some sense) itself had some punky edge to it that became gradually weaker over time and with larger commercial success. By 1977 truly some refreshment was needed.

What This Heat do on these sessions is properly punk (if you take the spirit not the execution) and properly progressive and experimental. "Rock" it is... at times. 1977 is in fact astonishingly early for a more edgy rebirth of music in the progressive/experimental/psychedelic tradition, and truly astonishing this album is.

What you don't find in punk and even rarely in progressive rock (to some extent it's in the more outlandish recordings of Can, Faust, or Pink Floyd) is the key role of experimental sound exploration with a nod to contemporary avantgarde music, but much rougher and grittier than what came out of the academic music context at the time; still regarding inventiveness it's up with the best. This is contrasted with some sharp rhythmic parts and even the odd song-like structure (you could call it pre-post-punk, predating other sophisticated musicians developing away from punk but in a punk spirit by several years), always at danger to be swallowed by chaos. Rock music survives, with a good number of interruptions, until the end of track 5, and for the last three (shorter) tracks we go to somewhere altogether unstructured and more adventurous, where the band uses a remarkable range of sounds - surely this is the opposite from an album that sounds the same from beginning to end (some more of Charles Hayward's work takes the same direction, starting off in a somewhat more civilised and familiar place and then ultimately going completely off rails).

Personally I'm fine with both their avantgarde rock and their more sound experimentation based side (be warned by the way about how outlandish even their "rock" side is), and both are presented here on a very high level. In fact these are two sessions, the first one featuring three tracks that are also on their debut album, the second one having one track overlap with "Deceit" but otherwise material that hasn't appeared anywhere else. I like those albums, too, but I find the recordings here more fresh and lively, with a healthy dose of improvisation. Nothing against the probably more elaborated studio versions, but there's more chemistry going on here. The generally fine recording quality surely helps. Some more words about the "chemistry"... this is not random noise and you hear clearly how the musicians know what there are doing and how they "click" together. Charles Hayward is a drummer in the first place. He has some virtuosity but also can do straight hypnotic stuff; actually for a drummer he is surprisingly often happy not to drum, which is because he apparently loves bringing in tapes and sound alchemy just as much. He has a quite unique voice that evokes the idea of a meditative distant commenter, if rather rarely used. Charles Bullen's guitar can be quite abrasive, and Gareth Williams can play mind boggling bass parts, but more often all three of them work together creating their sound jungles from tape loops and things that should probably not be called musical instruments (or instruments played in a way they were not meant to be played), sometimes supported by drone-like keyboards.

Over their lifetime This Heat were a critics' favourite but didn't sell much, and it is clear why. This is not music for everyone, if you have too strong preconceptions about how music should sound, you better beware. But to fans of experimental music with an edge, this is a timeless and groundbreaking document. Truly excellent, challenging stuff worth 5 stars without reservation. I also recommend this as entry point to the work of This Heat and later work particularly by Hayward (Camberwell Now and solo work).

Latest members reviews

5 stars By the time This Heat were recording for the John Peel show, Can were dealing with some strange disco which later will be infused into some of the so-called "Neu Deutschewelle" aesthetics, and 2 years passed since Faust left their "V" album as a testament that yet had to be accomplished, somehow. ... (read more)

Report this review (#94897) | Posted by hrempe | Wednesday, October 18, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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