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THE CATHERINE WHEEL

David Byrne

Crossover Prog


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David Byrne The Catherine Wheel album cover
3.97 | 22 ratings | 2 reviews | 14% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1981

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Light Bath (instrumental *) (1:09)
2. His Wife Refused (4:31)
3. Adé (instrumental *) (3:22)
4. Walking (instrumental *) (0:52)
5. Two Soldiers (3:31)
6. Under The Mountain (instrumental *) (0:53)
7. Dinosaur (instrumental *) (2:36)
8. The Red House (3:17)
9. Wheezing (instrumental *) (3:12)
10. Eggs In A Briar Patch (3:31)
11. Poison (2:31)
12. Cloud Chamber (2:50)
13. Black Flag (instrumental *) (2:29)
14. My Big Hands (Fall Through The Cracks) (2:46)
15. Combat (instrumental *) (2:45)
16. Leg Bells (instrumental *) (2:40)
17. The Blue Flame (instrumental *) (3:25)
18. Big Business (5:06)
19. Dense Beasts (instrumental *) (3:11)
20. Five Golden Sections (instrumental *) (2:53)
21. What A Day That Was (5:30)
22. Big Blue Plymouth (Eyes Wide Open) (4:43)
23. Light Bath (1:10)

Total time 68:53

* Absent from LP edition

Line-up / Musicians

- David Byrne / bass, guitar, Oberheim OBX (5,6,11,21) & Prophet synths, triggered flute (1,23), piano (7,16,19), Fx (5,10,19), clavinet (7), organ (13,19,20), percussion (12,14,17,19), vibes (13,20), vocals (2,11,14,16,18,21,22), composer & producer

With:
- Dollette McDonald / vocals (11)
- Susan Halloran / vocals (22)
- Adrian Belew / electric (5,9,10) & steel drum (2) guitars, Fx (6)
- Brian Eno / bass (3,5,10), guitar (3), piano (5), vibraphone (10), Prophet synth (17), composer (3,5)
- Bernie Worrell / MiniMoog (2), piano (2,15), clavinet (18)
- Jerry Harrison / clavinet (10), organ (19), percussion (12)
- Richard Horowitz / flute (17)
- Douglas Gray / euphonium (20)
- Yogi Horton / drums, Concert toms (22)
- John Chernoff / percussion, congas (3,5), gong (2,10,20), piano (15), guitar (18), composer (4,15,16,18)
- Twyla Tharp / percussion (12)
- John Cooksey / drums (21)
- Steve Scales / congas (21)

Releases information

Commisioned by the Twyla Tharp Dance Foundation, Inc. "The Catherine Wheel" premiered September 22nd, 1981 at the Winter Garden Theatre, New York City.

Artwork: Jim Feldman with David Byrne (photo)

LP Sire ‎- SRK 3645 (1981, US/UK) Only the songs, no instrumentals

MC Sire ‎- M5S 3645 (1981, US) The complete score

CD Sire ‎- 256 979 (1988, Germany) As above
CD Sire ‎- 3645-2 (1990, US)

Thanks to ? for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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DAVID BYRNE The Catherine Wheel ratings distribution


3.97
(22 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(14%)
14%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(64%)
64%
Good, but non-essential (23%)
23%
Collectors/fans only (0%)
0%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

DAVID BYRNE The Catherine Wheel reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Slartibartfast
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars And the Byrne-lies down-on Broaaaoddway.

I hate to say it, but David Byrne had a prog peak. As the Talking Heads moved in a more commercial direction, David's work became rather dull. I still pick up his solo material on occasion, but primarily if I find it used while browsing a store.

This soundtrack album is one of his best along with the proggy Talking Heads albums and My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts. It really seems to be Byrne driven affair, but has a nice set of guest musicians: Adrian Belew, Brian Eno, Bernie Worrell. Twyla Tharpe even drops in doing water pot.

This is, of course, a score for a Broadway dance piece. If you take it for only it's musical value, there's a lot here to like. Most of the tracks are short, but there's a lot of purely instrumental bits. It's one of those musical things from the early '80's that doesn't suck.

A footnote (slight dance joke): A DVD is currently available, so you can either appreciate this as just a piece of music or see the spectacle of the original Broadway show. After all, it was ultimately a collaboration with Twyla.

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars David Byrne's collaboration with choreographer Twyla Tharpe produced this 1981 broadway album " The Catherine Wheel" Taking the album ,not the remastered version, and from the original vinyl release makes for a very pleasant album, almost a TH album with Eno/Belew influences, it sounds like a lite version of Remain In Light.The album more or less segues into one continuous track but independantly there are some real jewels on the Catherine Wheel.

" Eggs In a Briar Patch" has Byrne at his most sarcastic ..." little people don't mean anything, it's dope and liquor and...", stirring hypnotic rhythms in the background. " Big Business" has some nice guitar work and builds for about three minutes before Byrne unleashes some great vocals. " Cloud Chamber" is a wonderful instrumental which modern day band " The Flaming Lips" or " Mercury Rev would be proud of. " Big Blue Plymouth" and " My Big Hands ( Fall through the cracks" the other solid songs on a truly excellent work. I don't think David Byrne ever did anything remotely as good or as progressive as this as a solo artist so best check this one out. Four stars

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