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The Muffins

Canterbury Scene

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The Muffins 185 album cover
3.78 | 29 ratings | 5 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1981

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Angle Dance (4:11)
2. Antidote To Dry-Dock (4:58)
3. Zoom Resume (7:16)
4. Horsebones (2:25)
5. Subduction (0:59)
6. Dream Beat (3:34)
7. Under Dali's Wing (3:10)
8. These Castle Children (7:36)
9. Queenside (5:37)
10. Street Dogs (1:20)

Total time 41:06

Bonus tracks on 1996 CD release:
11. Angle Dance [Remix] (4:11)
12. Antidote to Drydock [Remix] (4:52)
13. Zoom Resume [Remix] (7:15)
14. Horsebones [Remix] (2:28)
15. Under Dali's Wing [Remix] (3:07)
16. Queenside [Remix] (5:37)
17. These Castle Children [Remix] (7:10)

Total Time: 75:12

Line-up / Musicians

- Dave Newhouse / piano, organ, piccolo flute, alto , soprano & baritone saxophones, clarinets
- Tom Scott / flute, soprano & alto saxophones, clarinets
- Billy Swan / guitar, bass, tenor sax solo (11), noises, vocals
- Paul Sears / drums, percussion, sax, vocal noises

- Fred Frith / guitar, prepared piano, violin, electronics, producer
- Dave Golub / clarinet (2-4)
- George Daoust / performer (4)

Releases information

Artwork: Jym Slavin

LP Random Radar Records ‎- RRR 010 (1981, US)

CD Cuneiform Records ‎- 55013 (1996, US) With 7 bonus tracks

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy THE MUFFINS 185 Music

185 by Muffins185 by Muffins
$87.72 (used)
185 by Muffins (1997-04-15)185 by Muffins (1997-04-15)
$94.27 (used)

More places to buy THE MUFFINS music online Buy THE MUFFINS & Prog Rock Digital Music online:

THE MUFFINS 185 ratings distribution

(29 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(31%)
Good, but non-essential (34%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (7%)

THE MUFFINS 185 reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Steve Hegede
5 stars This album smokes! The CD has two different versions of <185>, one version is full of overdubs and electronic effects (added by Fred Frith) and the other version is much rawer. Since this is my first album by The MUFFINS I really don't mind the produced version of <185> which starts the CD. But, many long time fans were surprised when they first heard the fancier version of The MUFFINS when <185> was originally released. So, the band decided to release a rawer version of the album which was similar to their live sound (and the sound on their older albums). Anyway, the music is absolutely incredible. The sax/bass/drum playing is really aggressive, quirky, and fast on ideas. At times I'm reminded of a progressive ska band because of the horn section, and at other times they sound more avant-garde. Overall, this will probably impress those who don't really like RIO.
Review by Sean Trane
3 stars The amazing thing with The Muffins is that they've released only one album while they were together (the debut Mana/mirage) but have released some four or five albums posthumously from the period where they were indeed a group. I was never sure whether this album ever did see the light of the day before Frith actually reproduce the album by adding his own touch in 81, but by the time the second version was released, The Muffins were no more (at least I think).

In either case, we get both versions on the same disc, which is of course a treat but also a real flaw. Even though there are differences between the two versions, who really wants to sit a double dose of this RIO? That RIO is often excellent (reminding me of the better Samla Manna), crossed with some Henry Cow (what a surprise, uh? ;-) attitudes, but the weird thing is that both albums do not bear the same tracks sequence or even the exact same track list; . Often the music is more of an improvised music that borders free-jazz, without really crossing the boundary. BTW, Frith does bring something to The Muffins' music, but whatever it is, I'm not sure it was really all that positive, because I prefer the original version.

On the one hand, this album is indeed the other facet of The Muffins, but really the one that most progheads will prefer is definitely the Canterbury soundscapes that seeped through the pores of Mana/Mirage. But that doesn't make this album any less worthy, even if it less essential to this writer's eyes (or should I say ears?).

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars In the book called "The Russians" there is a procedure in the story where certain classified material in libraries in the Soviet Union was stamped "<185>". This is where they came up with the title for this album.

Many people descibe the music on here as a cross between SOFT MACHINE and HENRY COW and I can't disagree. Fred Frith produced and played on this record, and it took only two days to record this album, and two days for mixing. The band heard over the years from fans and friends alike that this record did not sound like them. Which is why on this cd we have two versions of "<185>", with the second version being a re-mix from the original master tapes. They didn't re-mix the three improvs from the original album though, just skipping them completely. Apparently the re-mixed version is about as close to what this band sounds live as you'll here. I personally much prefer this version mainly because it sounds much cleaner and clearer to me. As usual with this band we get a lot of sax, clarinet and flute, along with piano, organ, violin, guitar, drums, bass and fuzz bass.

This band should be held in high esteem in my opinion, they're absolutely brilliant with the challenging and innovative music they present. I consider "<185>" to be an important part of my collection.

Latest members reviews

4 stars One of the most schizophrenic releases that I've heard! I've listening the CD reissue containing two different versions of the album. In late 1980, the Muffins were approached by Fred Frith with an offer to produce and guest on an album of material that he had heard the Muffins play. According to ... (read more)

Report this review (#100153) | Posted by progadicto | Thursday, November 23, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This one is dominated by the language of free jazz. The dissonances and complexity is going here very, very far. Musicianship and crazyness is still at the top but clearly the band is not anymore a rock band. Rewarding in the best way to the most complex side of RIO lovers this one is not recomm ... (read more)

Report this review (#36880) | Posted by | Saturday, June 18, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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