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Bill Bruford

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Bill Bruford Bruford: Rock Goes To College album cover
3.27 | 28 ratings | 2 reviews | 14% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Live, released in 2007

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Sample and Hold
2. Beelzebub
3. The Sahara of Snow (part one)
4. The Sahara of Snow (part Two)
5. Forever until Sunday
6. Back to the Beginning
7. Adios a la Pasada
8. 5G

Total Time 41:33

Line-up / Musicians

- Bill Bruford / drums
- Dave Stewart / keys
- Jeff Berlin / bass
- Allan Holdsworth / guitar
- Annette Peacock / voice

Releases information

Recorded live at Oxford Tech, March 7 1979 by BBC

Winterfold Records, 2007

Thanks to Atavachron for the addition
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BILL BRUFORD Bruford: Rock Goes To College ratings distribution

(28 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(14%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(46%)
Good, but non-essential (29%)
Collectors/fans only (11%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

BILL BRUFORD Bruford: Rock Goes To College reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars To date, this is the only official live release of Bill Bruford's 1979 outfit with the original lineup of Dave Stewart, Allan Holdsworth, Jeff Berlin and Annette Peacock. The superior Bruford Tapes - a live set recorded three months after this in New York featuring the marvelous "Unknown" John Clark and his drop-dead Holdsworth impersonation - still stands as the group's definitive performance in this writer's opinion. But historically speaking, this is a highly valuable document. That it was recorded at Oxford Polytechnic in front of an intimate and lively crowd, broadcast that week on BBC 2, just adds to the archival importance of arguably the finest jazz-rock ensemble the world has ever seen, one that produced precious few memories before its members were scattered to the wind. Bruford recalls: "We didn't think we were a 'fusion' group, and the word wasn't much used around or about us. We thought we were a rock group with fancy chords. We were also unaware that if we strayed too far outside of rock's clearly defined borders - three chords and 4/4 - we'd pretty soon get some hate mail. If you think jazz is conservative, try rock." It reminds us that even when this kind of music was accepted it was met by the world at large with impatience and suspicion.

The flat and imbalanced sound doesn't help things, either. I've heard bootlegs that sound like full studio productions compared to the TV broadcast quality here. But sometimes that's how it goes in musical archeology, you take the best you can find. We abruptly join 'Sample and Hold' from the Bruford debut, the tight bond between our leader and bassist Jeff Berlin immediately apparent, Bruford's energy and enthusiasm for the material blasting through and Berlin a rhythm monster handling anything thrown at him. Bruford's compositional partner Dave Stewart harmonizes and contrasts with the Bruford/Berlin pumping heart, and Alan Holdsworth, still developing his distinct attack but already a voice of great importance, rests his fluid scale-leaping on top of things with care. The tense meters of 'Beelzebub' are reproduced perfectly, and the tingle of Bill's triangle leads us to parts 1 and 2 of 'Sahara of Snow' from the One of a Kind record. Painfully slow 'Forever Until Sunday' finally breaks out with a little energy at the halfway mark, has a nice extended solo from Mr. Holdsworth and is followed by two songs from the uniquely-voiced Annette Peacock, 'Back to the Beginning' and 'Adios a la Pasada'. Electro-thumper '5G' ends as an instrumental showcase for all.

Frankly what we have here is an important, long-lost recording by a landmark band that will be of little interest to most, even to Bill Bruford fans. In this case I can't blame them but the CD won't likely be available forever, so if you need some live material from this period and can't find anything else, grab it. A DVD of the same show is also available.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
2 stars Back to the begining again

While the Bruford Tapes was released straight after it was recorded in 1979, the present live recording sat in the archives for many years before being released on CD (and apparently there is also a DVD version available, but I haven't seen it). This show was recorded earlier than the Bruford Tapes and features the original Bruford line-up including Allan Holdsworth on guitars and Annette Peacock on vocals. Some of the songs like Sample And Hold, Beelzebub, The Sahara Of Snow (both parts), and 5G are on both live albums, but others such as the two vocal pieces Back To The Begining and Adios A La Pasada - both originally on Feels Good To Me - are only here.

The sound quality of this recording is not perfect and I think it is best seen as of mainly historical interest. If you own the two studio albums One Of A Kind and Feels Good To Me as well as the live Bruford Tapes, I don't think you need this one as well unless you are a fan and collector of all things Bruford.

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