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801

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Apart from his role within ROXY MUSIC, Phil Manzanera's guitar graced some 20 albums over the years: John Cale's "Fear', Brian Eno's "Here Come the Warm Jets" and Nico's "The End" to name a few. In the mid/late 70's, he joined forces with buddy Eno and a string of guest musicians and friends for a couple of albums released under the name "801'.

"Live 801" is a 1976 recording of Manzanera's third and last appearance on stage with Brian Eno, Francis Monkman (keyboards) and Simon Phillips (drums) among others, as they played to a packed house at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall. At the crossroads of rock, pop and prog, the album is a smoking performance of rich and explosive cover songs plus some of Manzanera's own material from his "Diamond Head" album. Released a year later, the studio album "Listen Now" deals less with group fiber and more with subtler sonic alchemy. Under Manzanera's concise direction, texture is still of paramount importance and he achieves it by carefully manipulating a smorgasbord of sound effects, again with Eno helping out alongwith 16 musicians that include Mel Collins on sax, Eddie Jobson on electric piano and Rhett Davies on Hammond organ among others. The result is a dark, moody canvas of sleek and sophisticated tunes spanning from jazz pop to fusion, with plenty of groovy choruses.

Highly recommended for some of the best snapshots of Manzanera's graceful and intelligent guitar style.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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801 discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

801 top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.39 | 30 ratings
Listen Now
1977

801 Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.04 | 56 ratings
801 Live
1976
2.80 | 5 ratings
Live at Manchester University 2-11-1977
2000
2.05 | 2 ratings
Manchester
2001

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801 Reviews


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 801 Live by 801 album cover Live, 1976
4.04 | 56 ratings

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Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

2 stars 801 Live (1976)

This band with Phil Manzanera (Roxy Music, Quiet Sun, solo, later Divid Gilmour) and Brian Eno (the electro pioneer) recorded a live album with material from the different member their groups. It is often hailed as one of the better recorded live albums of the seventies, but I'm not that impressed to be honest. I was mainly interested in the Quit Sun tracks, which is one of my favorite progalbums. Furthermore I was thinking about investigating the Manzanera albums under his own name, of which the track Diamond Head is on the tracklist.

I've listened to the record a couple of times and I must admit it is a bit of a dissapointment. I like the Quiet Sun tracks and Rotwang improved quit a lot, but most of the other tracks are way to poppy for my tastes. Especially the tedious 'Baby's on Fire' and the poorly sung 'Miss Shapiro' are track that really want me to raise the needle. Having that said, the rhythmical section of the band sounds really tight and the good moments have a great amount of energy in it. The guitars of Manzanera sound great.

Conclusion. Perhaps best enjoyed when you are a fan of Roxy Music and Brian Eno. Properly recorded seventies crossover prog record with strong instrumental tracks and weak songs. Two and a halve stars.

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 Listen Now by 801 album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.39 | 30 ratings

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Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

2 stars 801 could pass for a weak ALAN PARSONS PROJECT album. While a few of the tracks have interesting motifs - "Listen Now" and "City of Lights" among them, they overstay their welcome particularly with respect to the monotonous funky rhythms. The cast is not at fault, but the compositions are weak, the mood is lackadaisical, and the arrangements stall on one or two simplistic ideas. The main exception is the jazzy "Initial Speed" instrumental, which flows in the manner of some of the better tracks on Camel's "Rain Dances", and playfully tosses in contributions from the renowned supporting artists. I admit to a weakness for "Law and Order", which is more poppy but with a dash of dystopian paranoia, Ultimately, "Listen Now" doesn't bring enough to the table to warrant consideration except for fans of Manzanera and/or one or more of the session artists, which, on second look, cover just about everyone here. 2.5 stars rounded down

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 801 Live by 801 album cover Live, 1976
4.04 | 56 ratings

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Review by tarkus1980
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Phil Manzanera and Brian Eno always brought out the best in each other, so it shouldn't be a tremendous surprise that they'd make a really good live album together around their primes. Roxy Music was on hiatus, and Brian hadn't done much lately except for helping Manzanera out on a solo album and on another side project (a band called Quiet Sun), so when they got the urge to form a temporary band and play a small handful of shows, there was nothing to stop them. 801 (named after the chorus to "The True Wheel," obviously) only played 3 shows, but they decided to record the last one, and an album made from the recordings was released a couple of months afterwards. It's often praised as one of the absolute greatest live albums of all time, and while I definitely wouldn't go that far, it's one that I enjoy and respect plenty.

If there's any significant issue with the album, it's that the band was a little short on material, and the album (about 48 minutes, and even the deluxe edition, which I don't have, is only about an hour) reflects this. Despite the fact that I file this under Brian Eno in my collection, three of the tracks are from Manzanera's solo album Diamond Head and two are based on material from Mainstream (the Quiet Sun album), and while the Manzanera- based tracks are good on the whole, they're not quite compelling enough for me to call them great. The best tracks from this group are "Diamond Head," an atmospheric and kinda jazzy instrumental (where the guitar is heavily treated to sound like a synth), and "Miss Shapiro," an up-tempo borderline glam-rock number with Eno's vocals going like it's 1974 and he's making Tiger Mountain again. The opening "Lagrima" is basically just an extended introduction (not a bad one, but it's clearly just walk-on music), "East of Asteroid" is a fairly interesting dose of astral-prog (not much like anything from solo Eno or from Roxy Music, that's for sure) that features some nice twists and turns, and "Rongwrong" has guitar and synth parts that make it sound like a leftover from Another Green World but doesn't have an especially compelling vocal part. Overall, this chunk isn't bad, but it doesn't really seem like the main feature.

The rest of the album consists of three solo Eno tracks and two covers. The big surprise from the Eno group is "Sombre Reptiles," which sounds essentially the same as in the original and yet much more fluid and lively, and it works much better in a live context than I'd have ever imagined. "Baby's On Fire" is great but not quite as great as the original (no matter how good Manzanera's solo is, it can't live up to The Greatest Guitar Solo Of All Time), but the closing "Third Uncle" is a blazing glam-rock monster, with Eno snapping out the lyrics in his inimitable way and Phil firing out his solos and riffs in a way that once more reminds me why he's one of my favorite guitarists. If you can listen to this version of "Third Uncle" while jogging and not feel compelled to run a mile-per-hour faster than usual, I don't understand you.

Meanwhile, the covers are fantastic. The first one is of "Tomorrow Never Knows," where only the basic vocal melody is preserved (with Eno singing) and the music is almost like a space-jazz deconstruction of the original, and while it doesn't have all of the goofy tape loops and sound effects stuffed into it, what's here is great. The other cover is of "You Really Got Me," coming out of "Miss Shapiro," with Eno's synth bloops working in perfect tandem with the growling guitar riffs, and the moment where the crowd is faded into the mix (the crowd is usually mixed completely out) and you can hear them going nuts is intoxicating.

All in all, the material isn't perfect, but it's really good overall, and the production of the album (for various technical reasons this is one of the best-sounding live albums made to this point) makes the good material sound really great. Any serious fan of Eno should own this, and it's a great reminder of how much material with Eno on vocals could rock out back in the day.

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 801 Live by 801 album cover Live, 1976
4.04 | 56 ratings

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Review by Vinyl Connection

5 stars Short lived and fascinating, 801 burned briefly but brightly in the (northern) summer of 1976 then disappeared. The band brought together Brian Eno, late of Roxy Music, pal Phil Manzanera, Roxy guitarissimo, Simon Phillips (whose diverse list of drum credits deserves a dedicated article), Francis Monkman (Curved Air), well-respected jobbing guitarist Lloyd Watson and bassist Bill MacCormick (Quiet Sun, Matching Mole). The recording was of their last concert and used the recent technical innovation of sending the instrument signals straight into the mixing desk (rather than mic-ing up the stage amps). Result? Possibly the best sounding 'live' album to date. Musically it is wonderfully varied, rocking with complex interplay and mischievous energy; their interpretation of The Beatles 'Tomorrow Never Knows' (here called TNK) is justly famous. But there is much more than creative covers here. Eno's songs are delivered with power and punch, Manzanera's guitar pieces are melodic and inviting while for fans of the often overlooked Quiet Sun album the inclusion of 'Rongwrong' is a delight. An album ultimately impossible to categorise ? rock-fusion-progressive-alternative anyone? ? it remains an enduring delight. The recent 'Collector's Edition' adds a disc of rehearsal recordings: an interesting though inessential addition. www.vinylconnection.com.au

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 801 Live by 801 album cover Live, 1976
4.04 | 56 ratings

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Review by tboyd1802

5 stars The year was 1978. My first year of college. Ah, the memories. One of those was being introduced to progressive rock, I'm sure like many, with my first introduction to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. But that's a different review.

At some point, I don't remember when, where or why, I picked up this album as a cut out at our local record shop. Hopefully, there are others out there that remember cut outs. Any way, I was totally blown away by this album. In fact, the guy in the dorm room next to us decided to quit school and become a professional drummer based on the drumming in this album. I don't know how he fared, but I do know that Simon Phillips is absolutely phenomenal on this effort.

The songs on this album are either from Quiet Sun, Brian Eno, Phil Manzanera or cover versions of other artists. Unlike some, I find the live versions of the Quiet Sun songs better than the studio versions. They seem to me to have more energy and life. Ditto the Phil Manzanera songs. The Eno songs, as expected, are quirky and wonderful. But for me the real gems are the cover songs. TNK (Beatles) and You Really Got Me Now (Kinks) are worth the price of admission themselves. Both are memorable and extend the originals into weird and wonderful new territory.

To this day, this remains my favorite all-time live progressive rock album. I believe, maybe with a great deal of sentiment, that this album is an absolute must in any progressive rock fan's collection. Definitely a 5 out of 5.

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 801 Live by 801 album cover Live, 1976
4.04 | 56 ratings

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Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This was a Phil Manzanera side project that did three live gigs in August / September of 1976. This album captures one of those nights where the band was firing on all cylinders. And what a lneup ! The core of this band was in the QUIET SUN band that released their one record the year before (1975) and included Manzanera, Eno and MacCormick. That same core lineup was also in Manzanera's first solo album called "Diamond Head". Of course Eno and Manzanera were in ROXY MUSIC together as well earlier. Add Simon Phillips on drums, Francis Monkman (CURVED AIR) on Fender Rhodes and Lloyd Watson an slide guitar. All of these songs were previously known to me which was cool. Three and a half from "Diamond Head", one and a half from QUIET SUN's "Mainstream", three from three different Eno solo albums and then two covers. One from THE BEATLES and one from THE KINKS. I have to say the Fender Rhodes and bass work are fantastic, and i've always liked Manzanera's guitar work. Eno is on vocals (and other things) and does a really good job.

I should mention that most of these songs blend into one another. "La Grima" from "Diamond Head" features Manzanera doing his thing on guitar and it's impressive. "T.N.K. (Tomorrow Never Knows) is THE BEATLES cover and they make it sound different enough from the original to make it interesting. The rhythm is catchy and how about the bass playing. Killer sound before 5 1/2 minutes as it gets more intense. "East Of Asteroid" combines two songs. One from "Mainstream" called "Mummy Was An Asteroid..." and from "Diamond Head" "East Of Echo". The drumming is prominant early on then it settles but not for long as the guitar comes in lighting it up as the drums stampede. It settles again as we get some raw guitar and electric piano. So freaking good. "Rongwrong" is from QUIET SUN's "Mainstream". Atmosphere and a beat to start and it will close the same way. Vocals and a fuller sound inbetween. "Sombre Reptiles" from Eno's Another Green World" is next and it sounds amazing when it picks up and gets fuller.

"Baby's On Fire" is also from ENO but from "Here Comes The Warm Jets". Lots of energy and the guitar rips it up 2 minutes in. "Diamond Head" has some tasteful guitar early on then it all gets heavier. Love the electric piano 5 minutes in. "Miss Shapiro" is from "Diamond Head" as well. Just a killer instrumental intro. Vocals before 2 minutes. Love the guitar in this one. "You Really Got Me" is a cover of THE KINKS popular song and well done. "Third Uncle" ends it from Eno's Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)". It sounds like PINK FLOYD until it kicks in to an uptempo groove. The guitar is killer. Vocals after a minute. Lots of energy and the bass is incredible.

For me this is a high 4 star album. Highly recommended to Eno, Manzanera and ROXY MUSIC fans.

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 801 Live by 801 album cover Live, 1976
4.04 | 56 ratings

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Review by Sagichim
Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

4 stars Let's just play!!

It seems like phil manzanera and brian eno had a good time playing together in roxy music , so why not putting a new band together?? collecting some friends and musicians led to the rise of 801. before cutting their sole album this live show was released , and what a show it is!! it's a slight problem having a concert when you haven't really wrote any songs , so what can you do? if you are a talent bunch you can just play!! what ever you feel like.

So what's presented here is a mix of some cover songs ( tomorrow never knows , you really got me ), some of phil's songs ( diamond head ) and some quiet sun songs ( lagrima , rongwrong ). i'm not familiar with every song's origin but i know about half of them there are some great energies spent in this show and you can find a well organized band playing together . actually not all the songs are in the same high quality , but i'll have to mention T.N.K is good , turning the original song from psychedelic to a groovy energetic rock song, i really like the start , you can never recognize the song before the vocals join in. "east of asteroid" is a different jamy kind of version for "mummy was an asteroid..." out of the quiet sun album and is totally awsome!! "baby's on fire" , " diamond head" and "third uncle" is also to good mention with fiery guitar from manzanera great rhythm and great solos. i like the upbeat moments more than the slow parts which sometimes get me feeling not bored but waiting for something to happen , although "diamond head" is my favourite. "third uncle" ends this album with a great bang ,amazing stuff.

How much prog is it? i would say not prog at all but deffintely not straight forward rock . they are a highly skilled band with great driving enrgies , songs are with a slight jamy feel with good keys , amazing guitar and that's what makes it a prog related offer.

4 star is a proper rating.

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 801 Live by 801 album cover Live, 1976
4.04 | 56 ratings

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Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

3 stars Roxy Music guitarist Phil Manzanera had this short-lived side project with Brian Eno (ex-Roxy at the time). Others involved in the concert in the Queen Elizabeth Hall, September 1976, were keyboardist Francis Monkman (Curved Air, Sky), bassist Bill MacCormick (Matching Mole, Quiet Sun) and dummer Simon Phillips. These names make one expect a lot, but I can't help I don't share the enthusiasm with previous reviewers here. [There was one thing I felt totally unnecessary in the package I borrowed: it was an extended edition with an extra disc featuring the rehearsal (of the same set) in Shepperton Studios. Jesus, who cares. That of course shouldn't have affected to my reception of the live album itself, but it may have, in terms of frustration, having expected more of various material.]

Agreeably the repertoire is very many-sided, from Manzanera's biting guitar pieces and instrumental jazz-rock (mainly from his solo album which I haven't heard) to three ENO songs - already familiar to me, and IMHO not among his best - and two 60's rock covers ('Tomorrow Never Knows' and 'You Really Got Me'). On the other hand this diversity means some sort of directionlessness. Maybe I felt too strongly that this band lacks its OWN profile in material instead of taking stuff from here and there. Maybe they could have been called Phil Manzanera & Friends or something, if they were just a live project. It's inevitable that the other musicians - except Eno for his own songs - are in much lesser role than Manzanera in musical direction. For example I wished to hear more of Monkman's excellence.

Surely this is a noteworthy set if you dig Manzanera and live albums in general, but to me this was rather unnecessary; I'm not that much into live albums. Actually I would have preferred to hear the Manzanera solo album in question, or Quiet Sun, to find out what kind of music he makes outside Roxy Music. By all means don't let my attitude affect yours. By the way, also in allmusic.com this release is praised (4,5 stars).

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 801 Live by 801 album cover Live, 1976
4.04 | 56 ratings

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Review by Slartibartfast
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I will not ever forget my first encounter with this album. It was on 8-track. Putting the medium aside it made a huge impression on me. I was just getting into Roxy Music and this one has Phil Manzanera and Brian Eno on it as the primary artists. If you don't care for Bryan Ferry's earlier vocal stylings, not to worry, he's not here. This is pretty much an Eno/ Manzanera affair. Eno is also very prominent and for the remastered version, there are extra tunes are from Brian Eno's solo albums.

You get a couple of covers. The Beatles Tomorrow Never Knows and the Kinks You Really Got Me done quite well. Brian Eno may have had enough of Roxy, but he kept working with Phil and they did make some really good music. This album was one of their best collaborations. When it comes to live albums where the tracks distance themselves from their originals, this one can't be beat.

"When things get bad, I can always turn into a cloud, if the wind will blow me there."

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 Listen Now by 801 album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.39 | 30 ratings

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Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Smooth and elegant

801 is a project formed by ex Roxy Music guitarist Phil Manzarena , he released a single album under this name in 1977 named Listen now. To tell the truth I 've realy enjoy this album a lot, great release, smooth and elegant compositions, even for some many listners are kinda pop in aproach. To me is art rock with progressive rock elements, that for sure, very fine pieces, not to mention that on this album are top notch musicians who needs no introtuction, Simon Phillips, Edie Jobson, Mel Collins (Caravan, Camel), Bill MacCormick (Quiet Sun), Kevin Godley (from later Godley & Creme), Brian Eno, etc. The music is very well arranged, great playing, intriguing lyrics, with a jazzy atmosphere sometimes, and other times more art pop, but always shining each musician. I like a lot the title track Listen now, solid playing, fine passages, another worthing and excellent track is the instrumental Islands, beautiful, great guitar by Manzarena over some fantastic contribution to the rest of the musicians, brilliant. The whole album is to me great, not a weak moment and I've enjoyed to the max this release. Warm compositions, mostley mid tempo, but with a good doze of great musicianship and inventive passges. Another thing worth mentioning is the cover art, made by Philip Castle based on an idea of I. Mac Cormick, one of my fav btw, and goes hand in hand with the music. I don't quite understand this low rating, realy, not a masterpice of prog rock, but for sure a very worthy album, and is quite unknown to many. 4 stars easy, one of the most pleasent albums I've heared from late '70's.

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