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Bill Bruford

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Bill Bruford Bruford: Feels Good to Me album cover
3.95 | 251 ratings | 32 reviews | 29% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1978

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Beelzebub (3:22)
2. Back to the Beginning (7:25)
3. Seems Like a Lifetime Ago (Pt. 1) (2:31)
4. Seems Like a Lifetime Ago (Pt. 2) (4:29)
5. Sample and Hold (5:12)
6. Feels Good to Me (3:53)
7. Either End of August (5:24)
8. If You Can't Stand the Heat... (3:26)
9. Springtime in Siberia (2:44)
10. Adios a la Pasada (Goodbye to the Past) (8:41)

Total Time 47:07

Bonus track on Winterfold 2005 remaster:
11. Joe Frazier (live) (4:39)

Line-up / Musicians

- Allan Holdsworth / electric guitar (1-10)
- Dave Stewart / keyboards, synths
- Jeff Berlin / bass
- Bill Bruford / drums & percussion (tuned & untuned), co-producer

- Annette Peacock / vocals (2,3,10)
- John Clark / electric guitar (11)
- John Goodsall / rhythm guitar (6)
- Kenny Wheeler / flugelhorn (3,7,9)
- Neil Murray / addit. bass

Releases information

ArtWork: Cream Group (design) with Gered Mankowitz (photo)

LP Polydor - PD-1-6149 (1977, US)

CD EG - EGCD33 (1982, US)
CD Winterfold - BBWF003CD (2005, UK) Remastered by John Burns w/ 1 bonus track recorded Live at the Park West, Chicago, USA (27.7.79)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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BILL BRUFORD Bruford: Feels Good to Me ratings distribution

(251 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(29%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(47%)
Good, but non-essential (21%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

BILL BRUFORD Bruford: Feels Good to Me reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Dan Bobrowski
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is Bill Brufords first solo foray. Many prog fans shuddered at Bill's turn to a jazz format. It's amazing when you think about Bill sitting at the piano and working the music out one note at a time. The only drawback to this disc is the vocals of Annette Peacock. I enjoyed her jazzy, instrumental approach to singing, but most people I know couldn't stand her voice and didn't hear the players. Most of the tunes are instrumentals, though. This should be included into any Fusion fans collection. Holdsworth, Berlin and Stewart help Bill shine. Amazing musicians!!!
Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars I knew this album after I have listened to the second album "One of a Kind". As for debut album, this is really great album. It has a unique musical composition. The music is fusion of jazz and rock but it's different with RETURN TO FOREVER or WHEATHER REPORT. If you happen to know FINNEUS GAUGE, yeah it's the same. I think FG has been heavily influenced by BRUFORD.

"Beelzebub" is well positioned to open the album. It's an uplifting jazz-rock fusion instrumental with dynamic drumming and great harmony. It has a very strong composition. " Back to the Beginning" is a track with female vocal of ANNETTE PEACOCK. Her vocal is really pure and fit with the song. ALLAN HOLDSWORTH plays great solo guitar in the interlude part. I have never heard any music that similar to the kind of music of this song. To me, it's a unique melody and composition. ANNETTE performs really well here. Again .. on "Seems Like a Lifetime Ago (Pt. 1) & (Pt. 2)" ANNETTE PEACOCK performs his vocal nicely in a very unique way. You may enjoy these two tracks as they flow nicely with smooth transitions between changing tempo. "Sample and Hold" is another excellent instrumental piece with simple drumming at intro followed by a complicated instrumentation in a staccato style. It's really great intro. The music then flows to keyboard sound and solo with accompanying lead guitar and jazzy beat drumming. I especially like this song because of the "vibraphone" (or the like) used in addition to drumming. Blended nicely with other instruments.

For typical fusion lover, I would recommend to jump to track 6 directly, i.e. "Feels Good to Me". This is the simplest song in entire songs of the album. The lead melody with keyboard sound is straightforward, you can emulate easily. When you find at the end of the song, there is a nice swift of melody where drum beat changes to higher tempo, accompanied with solo guitar and piano. Wonderful segment!

You will then experience the melancholy part of this album under "Either End of August". It is a slow and heartbreaking song. The flugelhorn is played beautifully followed by solo bass by BERLIN and continued with other instrument. JEFF BERLIN does his work on bass really well as he plays the bass as melody as well. What a unique song here. You may find that this song is a typical jazz song but if you observe the details, you will find that the composition is different. " If You Can't Stand the Heat..." is another uplifting track with vibraphone-like sound at the intro followed with solo bass as melody and solo guitar. It has a great tempo and full of energy.

The album is concluded nicely with a relatively long track "Adios a la Pasada (Goodbye to the Past)" that consumes 8:41 minutes. ANNETTE PEACOCK comes back again in this song with his unique style. The tempo varies widely during the span of this track. And . this track is well positioned to close the album.

What it is, is this Is what it is You and I exist Therefore we are becoming Here we are in this precisely now

How amazing is this life.

Yeah . life is so amazing!! Especially with progressive music like BRUFORD's Feels Good To Me and One of a Kind. The two deserve FIVE STAR. Songwriting is great. Beautiful composition, great musicianships, excellent production quality and great overall performance. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!! - Gatot Widayanto, Indonesia.

Review by Guillermo
4 stars In 1981-82 I was learning how to play the drums, and as I never took formal lessons,my "teachers" were many drummers which I have listened in rock, prog rock and jazz-rock albums, and also seeing drummers playing live in concerts in videos and in venues in my country. So, with the hope of learning something, I bought this album, and I wasn`t disappointed! Bill Bruford really deserves the place he has in prog rock and jazz rock music. He is also a very good composer, even if he says in the back cover notes for this album that he still had a lot to learn, as he composes his music mostly using the piano.The musicians who play with him in this album are also very good. The best songs in this album are: "Sample and Hold" (with very complicated drums, and I never learned how to play some of the drum parts, which reflect Bruford`s very good technique!), "Feels Good to me", "Either End of August", "If you can`t stand the heat" and "Adios a la Pasada (Goodbye to the past"). This album has a very good recording, and the mixing is also very good, with Bruford`s drums and percussion mixed at the "front". If some readers and reviewers are trained or not trained drummers, this is one of those albums with very good drums, and a good example of jazz- rock music. Two or three months ago, Bruford came to my country with his band "Earthworks" and played one or two concerts which I couldn`t attend. But he was interviewed by one T.V. channel, and even played a musical piece with the jazz band of the programme (I think it is called the "Eugenio Toussaint Trio").
Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Reading such excellent reviews prompted me to go out and buy the album a couple of months ago, I enjoy obscure prog rock like Gong, Steve Hillage and especially the more mainstream Yes, KC and Genesis both having had BB input at certain times. I also like off the wall, unpredictabel sound. That is certainly where Feels Good To Me comes in. It does have some excellent songs like the title track, 'Sample and Hold', ' Beezlebub' and ' Either End Of August' The musicianship is high calibre stuff but I do feel the album is let down in parts as in ' Back To The Beginning' where Annette Peacock does the song no favours, well personally I think it is poor all round, even as obscure and off the wall as it is.There are a few other moments on the album where it gets lost which is why it warrants a three star rating. If I compare this to the likes of a Chris Squire or Steve Howe debut or dare I say it another certain drummer, Phil Collin's debut I feel their offerings were stronger than Feels Good To Me. Not excluding the fact what a brilliant drummer Bill Bruford most certainly is.
Review by fuxi
5 stars What a marvellous album! I remember when it came out in the late seventies. Most of the members of Yes had just released solo-albums that were only so-so (no-one in their right mind could call BEGINNINGS, FISH OUT OF WATER, OLIAS OF SUNHILLOW true masterpieces, even though they all have their moments) - but Bill Bruford then astonished the world with an album that was sheer joy from start to finish.

It's no use trying to list all of FEELS GOOD TO ME's qualities, there's just too many, so here are just a FEW reasons to be cheerful: (1) Alan Holdsworth's extraordinary guitar solos (which would never sound better than here); (2) Dave Stewart's superb keyboard arrangements; (3) Kenny Wheeler's fluegelhorn interventions (how many rock drummers would have given one of the world's greatest jazz trumpeters such a tasteful role to play on their first solo-album?); (4) Annette Peacock's sexy vocals; (5) Jeff Berlin's incredible virtuosity on the electric bass; (6) and last, but certainly not least, Bill's own unique way of drumming, which has never failed to amaze me, from THE YES ALBUM (1970) to his latest forays with Earthworks...

My only criticism is that this album sounded great as an L.P. but rather tinny in its first reincarnation on C.D. (E.G. records). Much to my relief, the remastered version on Bill's own label now sounds beautiful and pure.

Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Bill Bruford, the jack of all trades drummer, released his first solo album in 1977. The album featured top echelon musicians in all their respective fields and the result is an incredible explosion of jazz and rock into a combination never seen before. These core musicians, Allan Holdsworth, Jeff Berlin, and Dave Stewart (and of course Bruford himself along with a few other musicians), created highly technical and complicated rhythmic patterns, and yet they also created fun, experimental, off the wall jazz music that any fan of groups like Brand X or Return to Forever will love. There is one fatal flaw to this album, though, and it really hurts the overall experience, but I shall get to that later.

The album opens with a concise and top notch drum beat in Beelzebub, some off the wall marimba percussion and some great start stop bass work from Berlin (as well as some sprawling Holdsworth guitar work). It's a short piece, but it sets the mood for the entire album. Back to the Beginning is where the main flaw of this album is first presented, and that is the vocals of Annette Peacock, who really throws the entire mood off and really is unfitting with her annoying voice. Musically, the song is perfect, but vocally, it's almost unbearable to listen to. Fortunately, though, there aren't that many vocal tracks on the album. Seems Like a Lifetime Ago is a two part piece that begins with some smooth atmospheres and some more vocals from Peacock, who doesn't really butcher the piece, but I'd still prefer an instrumental experience. The second part is a more laid back section, with some dynamic keyboards and some dreamy bell percussion. Add some more great sprawling and off the wall soloing from Holdsworth towards the end you have yourself an excellent piece. Sample and Hold goes through many different moods, from somber and very melodic, to spacey and very groovy, but it holds up very well.

Feels Good to Me begins rather simplistically, but soon enough little complexities and intricacies are introduced. Holdsworth is again at the top of his game with excellent and well timed guitar fills, and Dave Stewart has a nice piano performance towards the end. Either End of August has a nice horn arrangement and a nice hooking bass melodies and leads from Berlin as well as a floating synthesizer lines from Stewart. If You Can't Stand the Heat... is one of my favorite pieces on the album. It begins with a manic vibraphone melody that rises and falls at a rapid pace. Jeff Berlin adds his bit to the piece by playing some out of this world fills between Holdsworth swirling leads. Springtime in Siberia is a somber piano track with some melodic chord sequences from Dave Stewart and a somewhat triumphant horn line, it's not a bad track, but nothing I'd call brilliant. Adios a la Pasada ends the album with more grating vocals from Ann Peacock despite some incredible band performances from Bruford and Berlin, who really are nothing short of an amazing rhythm unit. I'd say of all the Peacock songs on the album, this is the best one, mainly because it doesn't feature much vocal and the musicians are able to spread their wings.

In the end, Feels Good to Me should feel good to most jazz rock enthusiasts and those who are fans of the undeniable drum prowess of Mr. Bruford. If you can get past the more than obnoxious vocals and really pay attention to the music, you'll find some of the most engaging and fun fusion around. Recommended, but for some reason this album doesn't really deserve four stars. Sure the music is nothing short of breathtaking, but some of the pieces are a bit samey and (as I've said many times before, but I can't help it) the vocals just ruin some tracks. 3.5/5.

Review by Prog-jester
3 stars "Feels good to me" - Bill says. "Same here" - I say. With prominence of GOOD (but non- essential).

Actually, 3.5 stars. With talents of Allan Holdsworth, Dave Stewart and Bill Bruford you simply CAN NOT get a bad album. You can even not listen to it - just imagine what Allan would play, then what Dave would play, etc...Seriously, the album seems to be a cross between NATIONAL HEALTH (with whom Bill had a short collaboration) and UK (wait a while young's going to be later!). Wonderful femine vocals shape the form, and Jeff Berlin's talent (whom I didn't know before this album at all) is unquestionable one too.

Highly recommended if you're into Jazz-Rock and Canterbury. Try it even if you're stuck to other genres (like I do ;) ), you won't regret anyway!

Review by b_olariu
4 stars This is Bill Brufords first solo album. The only drawback to this disc is the vocals of Annette Peacock. I enjoyed her jazzy, instrumental approach to singing, but her voice is to in front and i quite didn't hear the players. Most of the tunes are instrumentals, though. This should be included into any Fusion fans collection. Holdsworth, Berlin and Stewart help Bill shine. Amazing musicians, i will give 4 stars, the best Bruford to me remains the next one One of a kind. Some super tracks are the first Beelzebub and Feels good to me, the rest is amazing too.
Review by Sean Trane
3 stars Bruford's most highly rated solo album before creating his Earthworks Band is one that I always had problems understanding why it received such highly rated reviews. Not being much a fan of National Health, UK or Earthworks itself, I am also not quite as keen on later 70's fusion (as opposed to early 70's jazz Rock ala Bitches Brew or Nucleus), you might just get a glimpse of why I will not be that lenient on this album. While BB's backing band holds some of the best names in the Fusion/Canterbury realm, this album appears to be a little light on the songwriting and a bit heavy on the virtuosic side: indeed Dave Stewart and Allan Holdsworth were the usual friends, but to my knowledge, this was his first encounter with jazz singer Annette Peacock (outside her first album, I am NOT a fan) and with his future regular Jeff Berlin, the whole thing seeming rather cold and even aloof.

The album starts strong enough with the instrumental Belzeebub and the lengthy Back To The Beginning (marred by Annette's way too present vocals), but quickly boredom settles as the two-part Seems Like A Lifetime Ago (it sure does, too! ;-) is breaking all- too-beaten paths like the highway between the kitchen sink and the dishwasher. If the first part is boring sung trad cool jazz, the second part is definitely fusional (and probably the rockier track on the album), arousing your attention to drop it as soon as it caught it. We are very close to Brand X's early fusion music, but not having Moroccan Roll's enthusiasm, even if Sample And Hold and the title track try hard to maintain the level. We soon enter a world of well-heard-before fusion somewhere between National Health, Weather Report, Ponty, Brand X Doldinger's Passport (before they went "world") or Spirogyra. Nothing to get too excited about, unless your sweet spot is there.

Don't get me wrong, the record is monstrously well played, impressive of mastery, flawless in execution, perfect in the production dept, but something is missing here (or it there something too much?), but it is best expressed by If You Can't Stand The Heat and its cold-hearted bravado showpiece. The album is closing (unfortunately) on Adios A La Pasada, where Peacock (who had graced us by her absence for much of the album's centre) comes back under a Hackettian guitar to bore us past death just after the mega-boringly slow Springtime In Siberia.

Haven't heard the bonus track of the latest reissue of this album. Hard to give such an album any less than 4 stars, but in all honesty I can only give it a not essential rating.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars Althoug I can not consider miyself a big Jazz rock/fusion specialist or even great fan I could not help but to write an on line review about my fav drummer in the world, specially his solo debut. To me no one has ever came close to Brufordīs creativeness and technique. The man is absolutely awsome! And for the record itself, with sideman with the caliber of an Allan Holdsworth and Dave Stewart, amog others, how he could do wrong? His use of tuned percussion like the sylophone and the marimba is amazing!

Feels Good To Me will please less damanding progheads. Not really symphonic but this is prog music indeed. Annete Peacockīs vocals get some used to before you enjoy it (it seesm it was recorded too much up front). She sounds a lot like Curved Airīs Sonja Kristina, making thsi album even more attactive to me and other fans of that band.

Unlike many jazz rock bands Feels Good To Me never goes too far out in dissonance or pointless jams, solos and themes. I found it very interesting and a nice surprise. Lots of tasteful jazzy, but melodic, stuff. Varied and classy. Feels good to me too. Recommended! Solid 4 stars.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The debut solo album from drummer Bill Bruford ( Yes, King Crimson, UK and more) is actually a pretty good fusion album. I was a bit surprised that I liked it so much but a bit reluctantly I found myself enjoying Feels Good to Me very much.

The diversity was the first thing that struck me after listening to Feels Good to Me a couple of times. Itīs not a very jazzy album and parallels can be drawn especially to UK which Bill Bruford would play with the year after the release of this album. Itīs just hints though because this album is not symphonic. Most of the songs are prog/ fusion instrumentals with good performances from the various musicians involved.

You canīt really hear that this is a solo album from a drummer as the drums are not especially dominant. Bill Bruford plays wonderfully of course but he is not very dominant. Personally I like the songs where Annette Peacock sings her beautiful jazzy lines. Back to the beginning and Seems Like a Lifetime Ago are really special in my ears. Iīm glad the whole album doesnīt sound like this though, but it really helps the albums diversity that there are songs like that on here.

The musicians Bill Bruford has chosen are all outstanding and it shows in the tight interplay between the musicians. As a Holdsworth fan Iīm happy that he plays a couple of solos here because it really hightens my enjoyment.

The sound quality is outstanding. This has got to be one of the best productions from that time. Really great.

Feels Good to Me is an excellent album and I wouldnīt be without it in my collection. If youīre like me and donīt fancy jazz too much donīt worry this oneīs not that jazzy and if you like other projects Bill Bruford has been involved in you should really give this album a chance as you might be surprised about the mans diversity and talent. Iīll rate the album 4 stars. This is not quite a masterpiece in my ears as some of the themes tend to be a bit too easy listening for me but it is still and excellent album and highly recommendable.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars This, Bill Bruford's first solo album, is still my favorite of all of his. The playing by all of the musicians is spectacular. And I know many of you don't like Annette Peacock's vocals on this recording, but I find her phrasing quite compelling, and her breathy tone very sexy. The style of the recordings bring to mind Brand X, and it should, as the album was co-produced by Robin Lumley, Brand X's keyboard player, and has a guest appearance by John Goodsall, Brand X's guitarist.

A highlight on this record are the opening track, "Beelzebub" with a percussive feel that makes it seem like it was written in the same manner as "Five Percent For Nothing" from Yes' Fragile album. But here, the song is played out with a much better idea of how to make it a full song.

Another standout track is "Back To The Beginning", with a heavy intro, that leads into Peacock's hot vocals, and an odd, electronic filled break.

This is the Bruford album I still listen to the most, even after more than 30 years.

Review by Kazuhiro
4 stars The fact that Bill deeply contributed to the world of Prog rock/Art Rock and Jazz/Fusion has infiltrated Fan and the listener. The fact that always took an active part Bill in the front, maintained the career for 40 years, and had reformed it was surprising still event. The concept of his music had already had another directionality at time when Yes announced "Fragile" and "Close To The Edge" though Bill always tried reforming after it was on the register in "Yes".

Bill that felt the doubt in the music of "Yes" that pursued a perfect music character moved the place of the reformation to King Crimson. And, it is true that he caught the age with the collapse of Crimson in the middle of the 70's. And, the fact that he requested perfection from the music character again in no small way can be discovered in his of this band. I always feel the fact that he pursued for perfection besides Yes appearance of the expression to his music. He is not a translation in this band at all from which the same perfection as Yes is requested. It is guessed that his pursuit was sent from another angle. It is guessed that it had the sensibility since time when the story of the formation of "Wakeman,Wetton&Bruford" has already lifted. It became one answer by ..flow.. "U.K." after all.

And, to pursue my music character further, Bill that had expanded networks since Crimson formed my of this band. His sensibility has been installed on a natural phenomenon with the member of the band. It is helped by the musician who trusts by him and respects it and Bill also answers the zeal. It is music with high quality from which it is unfolded here. I memorize saying Bill that it was not confident of the ability of the composition till then. However, the support of Dave and Allan is guessed that the width of the music of Bill is surely expanded and Bill was influenced from it, too.

"Back To The Beginning" where "Beelzebub" where it begins to spin a complex rhythm by a perfect arrangement and the rhythm and the extent tension that has succeeded it exist Bass of tune "If You Can't Stand The Heat..." Jeff where each individuality shines by the tune that cannot be likely to be done except this member shines really.

After a temporary collapse of Crimson, we were able to see the music at this time according to another angle. It accompanied the unpredictable quality and the necessity. And, it is possible to listen to a high performance of the quality by a special musician who derives from Prog Rock in this album. This level whose fact that appoints the song of the trumpet and Annette Peacock of famous Kenny Wheeler is an album in the world of Jazz, too might succeeded. Anyway, Bill believed my sensibility at this time and worked on music obediently.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars First Bruford solo album consists of traditional fusion,kind of RTF style. Very professional, melodic, with horn section and some vocal.

This music is really far away from his work in Yes or KC. But for fusion lovers it is nice album, even if some of them wouldn't be very happy with Peacock voice. For me she sounds sometimes as early Gong singing, but it is a question of taste.

Most impressive thing on this CD for me is perfect Holdsworth guitar work. It realy makes the music much more different and attractive. Bruford's drumming is very competent, but as for me isn't individual or attractive enough just to catch your ears.

All in all, very competent fusion CD of it's time. Even it's a little bit too light and sounds a bit polished for me, I think bigger part of fusion fans will like it.

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Bill Bruford must be the luckiest person in the history of progressive rock! I just don't believe that skill and talent can account for all the collaborations that he had the opportunity to participate in over the years. First it was Yes, then King Crimson, followed by a tour with Genesis in 1976. After working with three of the progressive rock giants one might consider oneself worthy of a retirement. But not Bill Bruford, instead he pushed on making history as we all know it!

One would assume that the sound of a Bill Bruford solo album would settle somewhere within the familiar realm of prog, but Bruford had yet another ace up his sleeve. He began by recruiting some of the finest talent of the Canterbury Scene. Having both Dave Stewart (Egg, Hatfield and the North, National Health) and Allan Holdsworth (Soft Machine, Gong) in the band did higher the ante on the final result. So did Feels Good To Me match up to the individual talents of the members involved? A straight answer would be both yes and no. Sorry, but I assure you that this is the shortest version of the answers that I can offer.

First of all it's important to note that the music here is pure Jazz Rock/Fusion which I've personally never been a huge fan of. Although the individual performances are top notch I never could put them all together into a team effort. Bruford and Stewart put a solid foundation for each of these performances but everything else that is added doesn't always hit a home run with me. The most prominent example of this is Annette Peacock and her very eccentric vocal style. Her performance should definitely be labeled as acquired taste since I personally don't fancy it. I'm also not a fan of Allan Holdsworth's work which is quite weird since I do enjoy most of the people whom he had inspired over the years.

With all the criticism in mind Feels Good To Me still somehow managed to withstand the test of time in my collection. The album gets a revisit from time to time which implies that this release is after all an important addition to prog rock music collection. Or as I usually say:

"Dude, it has Beelzebub on it!"

***** star songs: Beelzebub (3:22) Either End Of August (5:24)

**** star songs: Back To The Beginning (7:25) Seems Like A Lifetime Ago (Pt. 2) (4:29) Sample And Hold (5:12) Feels Good To Me (3:53) If You Can't Stand The Heat... (3:26) Springtine In Siberia (2:44) Adios A La Pasada (Goodbye To The Past) (8:41)

*** star songs: Seems Like A Lifetime Ago (Pt. 1) (2:31)

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The first of the three Bruford albums from the late 1970s, Feels Good to Me is so tightly wound, so concisely constructed and precisely performed, that it almost scared me off upon first listen. (I bought it when it came out). The angular and often dissonant lead guitar work of Allan Holdsworth took me some getting used to--as did the vocal stylings of Annette Peacock (though I was much more quickly won over by her than I was by Holdsworth). The funky "non-keyboard" keyboard work of Dave Stewart--especially on that (in retrospect, amazing) opening song took me by surprise (I had not at this point been exposed to any Canterbury-style jazz fusion). I knew BRAND X and, of course, drummer extraordinaire Bill Bruford. I also had quite a challenge in having to process and accommodate bass player Jeff Berlin's amazing speed, dexterity, and melodic choice-making. All in all, this was a form and style of music that pushed all of my musical buttons; I was just not ready for it! And yet I persisted and continued to play and accumulate Bruford albums and anything and everything he touched over the next three decades. Every song here is jaw-dropping for the virtuosity of its musicians as well as for the innovation of its compositional twists and turns. Great work from a collective of very strong-willed virtuosi. No wonder it only lasted a couple of years. As for the album's Canterbury-ness, it's a bit of a stretch when compared to the music of Caravan and Khan, but it is quite comparable, in my opinion, to that of the more "serious," jazz-oriented Canterbury artists such as Gilgamesh, National Health and later Soft Machine.

Four stars; an excellent example of the jazz fusion side of progressive rock music.

Review by Isa
3 stars |C+| Feels pretty good to me too, Mr. Bruford.

What can be found in his debut is a pretty experimental take on the late 70s fusion style (hard rock guitar, heavy use of keyboard technology that would typify the 80s sound, and what sounds like a lot of Return to Forever influence). This album is by no means a landmark or essential, but is very interesting in its (for the time) pretty cutting edge qualities and sounds, and for the creativity Bruford had in the layering of parts.

Back to the Beginning starts off the album with a soft mock-clarinet keyboard solo, then becomes heavy and features a female vocal jazz vocalist singing quite chromatic melody (!?). She's pretty good, but can be a bit pitchy at times, typical for jazz vocalists really. This is layered with hard rock guitar and rhythmic fusiony keyboard sounds. Quite an interesting piece.

Beezlebub is your typically fun late seventies jazz-fusion fast-jam, sounding a lot like Return to Forever and Santana, especially with the organ and style of the guitar soloist. Bill Bruford has really fast and clean work with the cymbals, which reoccurs throughout the album... I wouldn't be surprised with Neal Peart's work in La Villa Strangiato was influenced in part by this album (Rush was in fact very in tune with Bill Bruford's solo work in the late seventies, no doubt including his debut). Some pretty fun, albeit jagged noodling on instruments... a bit "noodly" and non-expressive for my taste. Fun though.

Seems Like a Lifetime sounds a lot like a late sixties jazz ballad made with late seventies jazz fusion. Very nice, nothing more romantic than a jazz ballad. This romantic mood is instantly shifted in the song's Part 2 into heavy guitar kind of latin-jazz fusion, kind of pulling the rug out from under the listener, really cool. Very prog-rock sounding time-signature changes, heavy guitar riffing, with brass horn settings adding to the "umph" of the song, sort of like Chicago. The track gradually shifts into very cerebral fusiony use of bells, keyboard pads and moves into some very self-indulgent (in a good way) fusion jamming. Reminds me a lot of Hymn to the Seventh Galaxy... I think that album probably had much influence on his work here.

Sample and Hold is yet another creative heavy-guitar fusion piece. Really great and creative, a lot of variation in the way the instruments are layered. All of the instruments are used to their full potential. Later in the track it gets quite far into the land of "noodling and self- indulgent playing," too far for my tastes, especially when the fury of notes in the bass and guitar come in.

Feels Good to Me really caught me off-guard: I swear it sounds just like a 90s video game song from Sonic the Hedgehog, though with less repetition obviously. I really wouldn't be surprised if this influenced the video game composers later on, it's seriously that similar in sound. I love the honky-tonk chorused piano section with the fiery guitar solo!

Either End of August is a nice track, good moving bass lines and trumpet solo... the general composition seems a little lack-luster and half-hearted though, even with the nice 5/8 and 6/8 time signature alterations. Man I love that guitar-trumpet unison line though, those timbres are so beautiful together. This track has a really good build.

If You Can't Stand the Heat... is pretty much returns the album to your typical seventies overly-self-indulgent-noodling-around-on-you-instrument-for-fun track, which is fun at first and quickly gives me turgid and pretentious vibe, though it's nice to hear a good solo on bells for once in a rock song.

And then there's the opposite: the lush and expressive Springtime in Siberia, as beautiful as any jazz ballad out there, such a warm and inviting trumpet solo, such beautiful work on the piano. I love this piece. It isn't prog rock, but it's worth buying this album if only for this piece. I wonder if it's a reiteration of a previously made jazz ballad... its nice regardless.

The album gradually transitions to a pretty deep and cerebral keyboard and bells, the beginning of the final track Adios A La Pasada. This section moves into a really fun and great Return to Forever sounding section, with some interludes of dialogue about "forgiving yourself" by our breathy but nice female jazz vocalist, who comes in again for the finale of the album, with a great melodic guitar solo.

In general I really like this album, as I like a lot of late-seventies prog (particularly fusion styled work), though there are too often long-winded jam sections of turgid and technical soloing, and even a lot of the good tracks are pretty jagged in their organization. Overall I like what I hear, but the work has too little cohesiveness for me to consider it a major work of art. Worth buying though; bravo to a pleasant debut, Mr. Bruford.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Bill Bruford's first solo album - which inadvertently became the first album by the "Bruford" band - exists right at the borderline between the jazzier end of the Canterbury scene (as represented by National Health and Hatfield and the North) and the percussion-heavy side of fusion, as represented by Billy Cobham's first album and by the Mothers of Inventions' various percussionists over the years.

Canterbury fans will, of course, remember that Bill himself was a member of National Health for a time, and by way of returning the favour Dave Stewart sits in on keyboard (and Neil Murray pops in from time to time to bring some back-up bass). Allan Holdsworth, of course, has a track record of playing in Canterbury bands that have crossed the line into full-on fusion (Soft Machine and Gong), whilst the unusual vocals of Annette Peacock adds a mildly avant-garde twist to proceedings.

On balance, the album represents an intriguing new musical direction, combining the jazziest parts of the Canterbury scene with the best of other traditions of jazz fusion. Along with National Health's debut, it's probably the most important Canterbury recording of 1977, but it's also got a lot to offer fans of other jazz fusion traditions.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars This was Bill Bruford's first solo album released in 1977. The core of the band features Jeff Berlin on bass, Allan Holdsworth on guitar, Dave Stewart on keyboards, Annette Peacock on vocals and Kenny Wheeler on flugelhorn. Neil Murray adds some extra bass and John Goodsall adds guitar to one track. I like the liner notes which were written in 1977. Here's a sample. ""Someone suggested I should get Dave Holland to play on the record", said Bill Bruford referring to the expatriate British bassist who, plucked from obscurity by Miles Davis a decade ago, is now one of the most respected forces in contemporary improvised music.The look on Bruford's face bespoke the very natural awe in which he holds Holland's musicianship and creativity". Well as most will know, Jeff Berlin ain't bad either (haha). In fact this is simply a killer lineup. After KING CRIMSON broke up Bruford played in many bands, mostly live appearances including GONG, Roy Harper, NATIONAL HEALTH and GENESIS. It's interesting that late in 1976 he got together with Rick Wakeman and John Wetton to record an album but it was canned due to the politics of the music business. In rehearsal though this trio came up with two of the songs that are featured on this debut in "Beelzebub" and "Back To The Beginning". I have to mention Annette Peacock. The lady can sing and I like the description of her voice in the liner notes. "Her voice is unsettling : it whispers, croons, cajoles, and threatens...".

"Beelzebub" is a top three for me. The drums are intricate as the sound builds just before a minute. The guitar comes in a minute later as it settles some.Excellent track. "Back To The Beginning" is another top three and it makes me wonder how good that Bruford / Wakeman / Wetton band would have been. It's mellow with flugelhorn to open then it kicks in hard before a minute with guitar. Female vocals join in.This is great ! It settles with male spoken words then the guitar solos as the bass and drums continue. It's building before 5 minutes. Nice. She's back singing a minute later. "Seems Like A Lifetime Ago (Pt. 1)" is a relaxed tune with vocals and flugelhorn.

"Seems Like A Lifetime Ago (Pt.2)" has more bite to it than part one and some good guitar too. Great sound before 3 minutes then it settles late. "Sample And Hold" is my other top three. A good beat to start as other sounds join in. An amazing instrumental. "Feels Good To Be Me" is a bright uptempo instrumental. It's more intense after 2 minutes with the guitar standing but it's too brief. "Either End Of August" is fairly laid back with flugelhorn arriving around 1 1/2 minutes. "If You Can't Stand The Heat..." is an intricate instrumental with the guitar coming in just before a minute. "Springtime In Siberia" is mellow with flugelhorn and piano. "Adios A La Pasada (Goodbye To The Past)" is a good closing number. It gets better as it plays out too. Female vocals in this one as well.

Feels like 4 stars to me.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars One of the most talented and technically skilled drummers in the world of prog, 1949-born English drummer Bill Bruford had a long and prolific career during the 70's with Yes and King Crimson, before joining Genesis to replace Phil Collins behind the drum kit, when he was the lead vocalist of the band in the 76' tour.In 1977 he found his own project Bruford, when he joined forces with famous keyboardist Dave Stewart, guitar virtuoso Alan Holdsworth and jazz bassist Jeff Berlin.The first Bruford album ''Feels Good to Me'', originally released in 1977 on EG Records, featured also Annette Peacock on vocals, Kenny Wheeler on flugelhorn and John Goodsall on rhythm guitar.

With ''Feels Good to Me'' Bruford prooved to be not only a great drummer but an excellent composer as well, as he wrote or co-wrote all of the album's tracks.The style is a mix of fiery NATIONAL HEALTH-like Canterbury Prog and complex Jazz/Fusion with Holdsworth shining on the guitars and Stewart performing another excellent show with his work Minimoog and Polymoog synths.There is a certain charm hidden in the compositions, which turn from rhythmic Fusion to complicated Progressive Rock in a blink of an eye, highlighted by the incredible solos of Holdsworth, a man who set up an entire guitar school around his style.Stewart's keyboards are fantastic, often having this NATIONAL HEALTH lovely and andventurous vibes or simply bursting a breezy jazzy atmosphere.Little to be said about Bruford's playing, his performance is just so confident and infallible.All tracks contain well- measured material of more atmospheric moments blended with powerful interplays and solos, while Peacock's ethereal female vocals are another reason why the album is so nicely balanced.

Fantastic first release by Bruford and co., this is a great example of complex still fairly enjoyable jazzy Progressive Rock with strong Canterbury leanings.Not to be missed by all fans of trully well-crafted proggy adventures.

Review by VianaProghead
4 stars Review Nš 385

As all we know, Bill Bruford is one of the best and most recognizable drummers ever, with his drumming sound inimitable, known for his ringing metal snare drum, crisp cymbal work, and knack for complex time signatures. He really had truly an amazing and brilliant career. He first gained prominence as the original drummer of prog rock band Yes, from 1968 to 1972. After his departure from Yes, Bruford spent the rest of the 70's playing in King Crimson. He was the touring drummer for Genesis during their 1976 "Trick of The Tail" tour. He was one of the founder members of UK. In 1981 he was part of a newly formed King Crimson. In 1989, with some of his ex-band mates of Yes, he formed Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe. From 1991 to 1992 he returned to Yes. In 1994 King Crimson re-emerged and he was present.

But, besides all of that, after he left UK due to some overall musical divergences, Bruford formed his own band named, Bruford. So, with his ex-collegue of UK, the guitarist Allan Holdsworth that had been fired from UK by John Wetton and Eddie Jobson, and with two other musicians, Dave Stewart a very well known keyboardist that had played with several bands of the Canterbury scene and Jeff Berlin an American jazz fusion bassist, he released "Feels Good To Me".

"Feels Good To Me" is the debut solo studio album of Bill Bruford and was released in 1978. The line up on the album is Allan Holdsworth (electric guitar), Dave Stewart (keyboards and synthesizers), Jeff Berlin (bass) and Bill Bruford (drums and percussion). The album had also the participation of Annette Peacock (vocals), John Clark (electric guitar), John Goodsall (rhythm guitar), Kenny Wheeler (flugelhorn) and Neil Murray (bass).

"Feels Good To Me" goes far beyond the usual prog rock conceits of its time, and enters fully into the compositional structures and improvisational dynamics of jazz. With "Feels Good To Me" Bruford proved to be not only a great drummer but an excellent composer as well, as he wrote or co-wrote all of the album's tracks. While Bruford's signature style, a mathematically precise approach that never failed to find the innate groove in even the most complex of time signatures, it was in clear evidence that the album didn't sound like a drummer's solo album. The emphasis was put mostly on composition. It's also clearly evident that the other members of the band had ample room to demonstrate their formidable talents, and above all, there wasn't any drum solo that can be found on this album. Bruford made it clear from the get-go that his role as bandleader was to be that of an equal contributor rather than a dominant voice.

So, "Feels Good To Me" consists of compositions of Bruford, with some support from Stewart. This is quite surprising, as Bruford has not been noticed in any of his previous bands as a composer. The ten songs oscillate between slender jazz rock with intricate lines and a prog with a very bright basic sound. There's no particularly rocking here. This is due to the fact that the guitar is almost only used as a melodic instrument, nor outstandingly bombastic, neither very weird passages. Still, one or other melody line can't necessarily be described as particularly catchy and some exciting chord progressions are built, which usually lead to a guitar solo. Of course, there are many crooked and intricate rhythms, but also straighter spots, and usually more vigorous songs are contrasted with subsequent calmer, more ballade pieces.

Bruford's play is always lean and compositional and lives above all on the differentiated cymbal work and its already legendary bright snare sound. Above all, the moving pieces with often hectic, tattered melody lines of Bruford's work on vibraphone and xylophone, which doubles the lines together with keyboards or guitar, also live here. Stewart mainly uses electric piano and polymoog synths, plus a little piano and organ, but not nearly as much as in his earlier projects. Holdsworth is practically responsible only for melody lines and fast paced, tricky jazzy solos. In the long run they sound a bit alike, but it's great how fluent and clean his sound is. The chord work is essentially in Stewart's hands. In the few places where a bit of rhythm guitar occurs, this takes over John Goodsall, known from Phil Collins' jazz rock project, Brand X. Jeff Berlin's bass work is consistently outstanding and a source of joy. Somehow, the elastic sound, quick fingers, but still enough foundation memories of Jaco Pastorius are awake, and that is saying something, isn't it?

Conclusion: Overall, "Feels Good To Me" is a thoroughly enjoyable, unexpectedly jazzy debut album that is highly recommended to any friend of fluent, prog jazz rock/fusion. The musicianship along with the production is superb. Bruford's cymbal action is quite nice and the excellence of Dave Stewart's keyboards is always a good thing. About the arrangements on this album, we have the predictable late 70's fusion. Annette Peacock's atmospheric vocals make the album especially pleasing. On balance, the album represents an intriguing new musical direction, combining the jazziest parts of the Canterbury scene with the best of other traditions of jazz fusion. If you are in prog rock jazz/fusion, this is certainly an album you should look into. Catch a buzz, sit back, chill out and enjoy some very real cool music.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Latest members reviews

5 stars This recording was released 40 years ago! It will soon have a new remastered release later this year as a 6CD, 2DVD box set. So, it seems only fitting that another review be added to honor this rather phenomenal piece of jazz-rock art. If anything, to alert other Bruford fans that new mixes and r ... (read more)

Report this review (#1772207) | Posted by macpurity | Thursday, August 17, 2017 | Review Permanlink

2 stars The 'problem' with Bill Bruford is that his playing is too rock for jazz purists, whilst at the same time too jazzy for (progressive) rock fans. This dichotomy is very apparent on Feels Good to Me. Whilst some tracks are very much in the jazz rock/fusion vein, similar to the later Soft Machine ... (read more)

Report this review (#801726) | Posted by Exposure | Wednesday, August 8, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars When I heard about Bruford via a few video's on Youtube I was very excited to check out a great Jazz Fusion supergroup with 3 of my favourite stars of Prog and Jazz Rock, Goodsall, Stewart and Bruford. With the album opener 'Beelzebub' I was immediately hooked. It's energetic Jazz Fusion with f ... (read more)

Report this review (#434384) | Posted by topographicbroadways | Saturday, April 16, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars My favorite Bill Bruford Solo release, and one of my favorite Jazz/Rock recordings at all. Not to mention def. my favorite Jazz/Rock records with a female vocal. This Bruford first solo, shows a compleete change in style, compared to the work he had done with King Crimson & Yes. He has now mov ... (read more)

Report this review (#241541) | Posted by tamijo | Saturday, September 26, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars this is good stuff. i love how bruford is not dominant, it shows that his ego is not overbearing like alot of drummers. the music is extremely interesting. One thing I will say though, for those reading this and like this music, try to get a copy of rock goes to college....featuring jeff b ... (read more)

Report this review (#209305) | Posted by smuggledmutation | Monday, March 30, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars It's hard to make a bad album if you have Allan Holdsworth playing on it. Bill Bruford's compositions here are quite good from the technical point of view, but they are slightly immature, sometimes naively simple ("Seems Like a Lifetime Ago Part 1") other times extremely complicated ("Beelzebub"). ... (read more)

Report this review (#128173) | Posted by Salviaal | Thursday, July 12, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Firstly can I say I don't really consider this a "prog" album; it's essentially Bill Bruford trying to do jazz - his first love, I think - his subsequent albums are more "prog". However I do think this is a genuine 5-star album. Whereas so many other musicians from major bands have, when left ... (read more)

Report this review (#41991) | Posted by Phil | Monday, August 8, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I owned this album when it first came out, and looking back now nearly 30 years, it stands in the top ten best albums for me. Plus the Annette Peacock song at the end is just the greatest most magnificent performances on album I ever heard. I still can't believe Ms Peacock didn't became a ... (read more)

Report this review (#27891) | Posted by | Saturday, February 19, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I heard this when it first came out. This album is one of the all around very best progressive fusion recordings ever!!! Simply put, Bruford assembled one of the greatest cast of all-star, top-knotch players in the world, eg, Allan Holdsworth, Dale Stewart, and Jeff Berlin. He let them SHIN ... (read more)

Report this review (#27888) | Posted by | Tuesday, August 31, 2004 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I'm no expert on either prog rock or fusion, but I've heard quite a bit and there aren't many albums in the genre(s) which I can honestly say pains me that most people will never hear and be able to appreciate the beauty of. Feels Good To Me is one of those albums. I admit it's actually not t ... (read more)

Report this review (#27887) | Posted by | Friday, August 6, 2004 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Very good musicians, very beautiful, stay-with-you-a-lifetime melodies. Melodies, did I say melodies. Mere melodies? Forgive me Sir William. I am, more than 20years after first hearing those "melodies", still enthralled, bewitched by this wonderful album. Either end of August, Springtime in Siberia, ... (read more)

Report this review (#27885) | Posted by | Friday, April 23, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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