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UK

Eclectic Prog • United Kingdom


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UK biography
Active between 1977-1980 - Reformed in 2012 with new line-up - Disbanded in 2015

In some ways UK represented both the last hurrah of progressive music's golden age, and the standard by which all other supergroups that followed would be judged. The impeccable technical precision, complex yet modern arrangements, and dynamic live performances made them an overnight legend whose reputation has far outlasted their brief existence. No other supergroup, progressive or otherwise, has had such an immediate and lasting impact.

The band was formed in 1978 by bassist John Wetton and drummer Bill Bruford , both fresh from the USA tour (and accompanying live album) of KING CRIMSON. Keyboardist & violinist Eddie Jobson had also played on the KC tour and album, but was better known for his brilliant work on a string of ROXY MUSIC albums, as well as their seventies live album, "Viva!". Wetton briefly secured guitar wiz-kid Eric Johnson for the band as well, but Johnson's own project (the "Seven Wonders" solo album) and the legal wranglings that were accompanying it would cause Johnson to quickly withdraw and be replaced by another guitar virtuoso, Allan Holdsworth , who had worked with SOFT MACHINE and GONG, in addition to his solo work before joining UK. This was the first in what would become a series of lineup changes before the band would disband for good less than two years later.

The star-studded lineup had no trouble securing a record deal, and Polydor released their self-titled debut on the E.G. label that same year, which is often credited as the first successful rock supergroup studio release ever. The music is characterized by layered synthesizers, jazz-inspired guitars and bass, and in general by exceptionally high-quality musicianship. The band followed the release with a lengthy promotional tour.

Bruford would release a couple of albums under the BRUFORD BAND name following this tour, and would eventually return to the KING CRIMSON lineup for their "Discipline" release in 1981. Holdsworth also appeared on the BRUFORD BAND releases, and would later issue a series of solo albums in addition to a wide range of session appearances. Terry Bozzio (FRANK ZAPPA, GROUP 87) would replace Bruford, and the trio would release the band's second and final studio album a year later ("Danger Money")...
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UK discography


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

4.11 | 604 ratings
UK
1978
3.77 | 352 ratings
Danger Money
1979

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

4.03 | 13 ratings
Shadows From The Sun
1978
3.44 | 132 ratings
Night After Night
1979
3.81 | 40 ratings
Concert Classics Vol. 4
1999
3.99 | 20 ratings
Live In Boston
2007
3.06 | 17 ratings
Live in America
2007
4.05 | 19 ratings
Reunion - Live In Tokyo
2013
4.36 | 5 ratings
Night After Night Extended
2019

UK Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.93 | 15 ratings
Reunion - Live In Tokyo
2013

UK Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

UK Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 4 ratings
In The Dead Of Night
1978
3.09 | 4 ratings
Nothing To Lose
1979
3.17 | 5 ratings
Rendezvous 6:02
1979
2.38 | 7 ratings
Night After Night
1979

UK Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Danger Money by UK album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.77 | 352 ratings

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Danger Money
UK Eclectic Prog

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic Team

5 stars The story of UK is unfortunately a short one as the band came to a demise way too quickly. It is the band that released only 2 full length studio albums, even though several live recordings have been released over the years as both of UK's albums became classic progressive rock staples. Between the first and second albums, half of the band (Alan Holdsworth and Bill Bruford) went their own ways to create another group with Bruford eventually rejoining King Crimson, while the other half (John Wetton and Eddie Jobson) returned along with Terry Bozzio to create a second album, "Danger Money". At the times of release, both albums were not huge sellers, but have since become treasures re-discovered by progressive aficionados and the albums were recognized for their innovative and heavy prog. The main thing UK had going against it was the fact that their 2nd album was largely ignored because of the public's disdain for progressive music, and the move of many progressive bands toward more accessible music.

In "Danger Money", we see the band get nudged a bit toward that same accessible trap, but they only moved that direction very slightly. They prepared a somewhat radio ready song called "Nothing to Lose", and hid it on the album amongst other, more complex, and non-radio-ready tracks. But, for the proggers and fans, that was okay because the other tracks packed a lot of the dazzling punch that the debut album had. Bozzio, who was a fellow band member with Frank Zappa's group with Eddie Jobson, quickly proved his ability to meld with the complex compositions of the band.

A compromise that stemmed from a disagreement between Jobson and Wetton about the length of the tracks was reached by having 3 tracks at 5 minutes or less and 3 tracks over 5 minutes. After the release of this album, that compromise couldn't be found, so Jobson and Wetton would go their own ways, of course with Wetton later forming "Asia" and it's more radio friendly sound. However, for this album, there was still something to prove, and, even though the tracks are more melodic than they were in the debut album, there is still plenty of space for complexities in the instrumental sections.

The album starts off with a death-march kind of introduction that has a plethora of crazy synth riffs, somewhat similar to "Alaska" on the debut album. This sound bookends the track with the longer middle section being more upbeat, and even though it is a tricky rhythm and there are changing meters in the vocal sections, the structure of the lyrical piece of this track is a bit more catchy than before. The track grabs your attention however as it works as a showcase for all three musicians. "Rendezvous 6:02" is a bit more laid back and airy and also seems to move a little bit further into an accessible verse and chorus structure, but the instrumental section is filled with flourishes from Jobson and has a more jazzy feel. When it's finished, it comes across as a beautiful almost ballad-like track that still has a lot of substance. "The Only Thing She Needs" brings Bozzio out in the spotlight with some amazing and tricky drum riffs that start the whole thing off and then still has plenty of gaps that he fills perfectly. The ending of this track brings in Jobson's crazy electric violin playing that was also huge on the debut album and creates a jam that rings in your head long after the track ends.

More virtuoso violin playing happens in the shorter "Caeser's Palace Blues" that shows Jobson shredding the violin almost like a Steve Vai would on his guitar. "Nothing to Lose" is the one notably weak track here as it was made for the radio, but it still sounded better (and still does) than most of the fodder heard on the radio. The real kicker on this side of the album is the 12+ minute "Carrying No Cross" which features an almost "Starless"-style, emotional vocal from Wetton after which Jobson pulls out all of the stops with a wild and extended instrumental section, where he plays his synths, organ, piano and other secret weapons in a state of frenzy. This track still stands as one of the best progressive epics out there, and if you are looking for a track that gives you the same pleasure and amazment that you get when you hear King Crimson's "Starless", then this is the track. And the other plus, of course, is that John Wetton participates in both of these epic tracks.

After this 2nd amazing attempt from UK, the band disbanded with Wetton forming radio-friendly prog-pop band "Asia", Bozzio teaming with his wife Dale for the synth-pop band "Missing Persons" , and Jobson doing solo albums and playing as a temporary keyboardist for Jethro Tull. Later, the band would reunite for short one-off concerts and such, but this amazing lineup will never see the light of day since both Wetton, and his usual stand in, Greg Lake, have both passed on. But those who saw them live or listened full of amazement to the two UK studio albums and their live albums know that it would be difficult to match the virtuosity and talent of UK. Even though many don't consider the 2nd album to be as awesome as the first, I have always thought both albums were some of the most essential prog albums of the era. The debut did set a high bar, no doubt about that, and to me, it is one of my rare six star albums, but I still consider "Danger Money" to be essential, and any other band would have been proud to release this album, so, five stars it gets.

 UK by UK album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.11 | 604 ratings

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UK
UK Eclectic Prog

Review by patrickq
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Prior to the band's founding, the members of U.K. mark 1 had already played with some pretty big names in prog rock. Keyboardist/violinist Eddie Jobson had been in Curved Air and Frank Zappa's band, and in Roxy Music with bassist/vocalist John Wetton. Wetton and drummer Bill Bruford had been in King Crimson together; Bruford had toured with Genesis and was a founding member of Yes. Guitarist Allan Holdsworth was featured in Bruford's late-1970s band. But as much as U.K. reflects those bands on occasion, it's fair to say they have their own sound. In fact, in places on their debut I'm reminded of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer more than of any group of which Jobson, Wetton, Bruford, or Holdsworth had actually been a member.

Given the lineup, it would be a true shock if the musicianship weren't top-notch. These guys don't disappoint. Wetton, a serviceable bassist, is solid, and the other three players are excellent, demonstrating their proficiency via their arrangements as much by shredding. Check out "Nevermore" for examples of Holdsworth on both electric and acoustic guitars and Jobson on piano and synthesizer. Jobson also turns in some excellent violin performances, such as on "Time to Kill," which also includes excellent guitar and synthesizer improvisation. Bill Bruford fancies himself a jazz drummer, but he is in full rock mode here, avoiding some rock-drumming clichés, but playing a 4/4 beat (even a straight 4/4 beat) when appropriate.

The vocals are OK. Wetton over-emotes, as is his wont, and has to strain to hit some notes - - another of his tendencies. By the way, did Wetton originate this singing style, was he imitating Greg Lake, consciously or not? It really seems as if the songs were arranged for Wetton's vocal range, and then tuned up several steps to ensure that he'd have to overtax his voice. Wetton is listed as only vocalist on the album, so I guess that must be him singing the harmonies, although in places it sounds like there's another singer as well. As far as I know, U.K. predated the wall-of-sound vocal harmonies featured on Wetton's 1980 solo debut Caught in the Crossfire (e.g., on "Turn on the Radio") and perfected two years later on Asia's self-titled debut. Interestingly, in addition to traditional methods, on U.K. Wetton experiments with a harmonizer effect, for example, starting at around 1:36 on "Nevermore."

What separates this album from a four-star LP like Bruford's relatively similar Gradually Going Tornado (1980) is the compositions. The songs on U.K. are merely good. In particular, the melodies are pedestrian, especially given that the group was evidently aiming for a radio-friendly sound. Wetton would finally find that sound on the first two Asia albums. While U.K. is more musically ambitious than Asia (1982) or Alpha (1983), I prefer those two - - maybe because the finished products were more consistent with the objectives of the group.

 Night After Night Extended by UK album cover Live, 2019
4.36 | 5 ratings

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Night After Night Extended
UK Eclectic Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

5 stars "Finally justice done to the exciting UK 1979 live sound"

As a symphomaniac I had a tough time in the late Seventies, after a serie of very disappointing releases by the symphonic rock dinosaurs: Genesis and its progpop since ATTWT, the very unbalanced Tormato by Yes and the lacklustre Love Beach by ELP. The world of symphonic rock seemed to be hit by a devastating meteor, gradually it became more dark and lifeless.

And then there was UK, first an one shot legendary four-piece symphonic jazzrock ensemble, and after the departure of Allan Holdsworth an exciting trio, scouting the borders between 24-carat symphonic rock and chart flirting melodic rock. How lucky I was to witness this UK trio in 1979 in my hometown The Hague, especially watching Eddie Jobson with his mighty Yamaha CS-80 synthesizer, and the magical electric violin, unsurpassed symphonic rock history on stage! But how disappointed I was after buying the CD live registration entitled Night After Night. Because this release was an abridged version of the concert, without the mindblowing compositions The Only Thing She Needs and Carrying No Cross, UK at its artistic pinnacle. On this CD I notice too much focus on the chart flirting songs like Night After Night, Nothing To Lose and Time To Kill, in comparison with the longer and more compelling and exciting tracks. And without the complete solo pieces from the three members. Later you could buy bootlegs with most of the concert, like Parisian Rendezvous, as I did, but the sound quality is mediocre.

In 2016 Eddie Jobson released on its Globe Music label the lavish 14-CD and 4-Blue Ray box set The Ultimate Collectors Edition, with cascades of additional live recordingss from that 1979 UK trio era. Very interesting, but also pretty wallet plundering, I didn't buy it. And in 2019 Globe Music released an abridged 2-CD and 1 audio Blue Ray version of that box set, entitled Night After Night Extended. In comparison to the previous Night After Night release this one does justice to UK as an exciting live band, what a jawdropping skills, interplay and soli! And now we can enjoy the mindblowing compositions The Only Thing She Needs and Carrying No Cross, and more soli by the band members (and with a very good sound quality). I remember John Wetton playing that powerful bass solo on his Fender, R.I.P, I consider this release as a tribute to him.

Also highly recommended: the UK Reunion DVD!

 Night After Night Extended by UK album cover Live, 2019
4.36 | 5 ratings

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Night After Night Extended
UK Eclectic Prog

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Heavy / RPI / Symphonic Prog Team

4 stars UK is one of the most important supergroups in prog rock history. When they released their first album in the late seventies, they took the community by storm. Sadly, the band was short-lived. They made only one more album and this live release with some line-up change. Terry Bozzio is on drums instead of Bill Bruford and Allan Holdsworth is not there anymore. It brings good memories on me on how much I loved the production, the sound and of course the imaginative music. I bought this release to have the complete show in surround mixed by Bob Clearmountain who did a nice job using all channels placing violin and keys on the left rear and drums on the right rear. The violin and drums solo is a real treat to listen in that mode. The vocals of Wetton seems to be forced at the beginning like he was trying to catch his breath with fast tempo music. But it didn't really bother me after because I was putting my focus on the music. The package has 2 CD, a simple booklet, the menu presentation could have been better because we only have a static photo of the album cover when you watch the Blu-Ray, and there's no track selection. But the music of this is brilliant most of the times and very average on that couple more straight forward songs, like "Nothing To Lose". This is an excellent addition to your prog collection because of the surround treatment and the complete show.
 UK by UK album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.11 | 604 ratings

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UK
UK Eclectic Prog

Review by sgtpepper

4 stars The last highly rated progressive rock album of the 70's. There are other good ones too, but mainly present deterioration from the previous output. This debut album puts musicians with very interesting backgrounds together, some of them more classical, some jazzier, some rockier. Bill Bruford makes the drums lively and fluid but not too complicated - the rhythms are damn complex, though. Allan Holdsworth is a large enrichment towards a fusion sound. Wetton's vocal is OK but not necessary needed even for some nice melodies here. Jobson does a good job on the violin, on the keys he isn't as shining as Holdsworth on the guitar - but keyboards are going to win on the next album. "Presto Vivace and Reprise" is a fantastic fusion number and a duel between drums and keyboards in the first half. "Alaska" became a progressive trademark of the band also at concerts. "Time to kill" features wild electric violin soloing by Jobson.

Overall, a very decent effort albeit too poppy at times.

 UK by UK album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.11 | 604 ratings

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UK
UK Eclectic Prog

Review by Cylli Kat (0fficial)

5 stars Reaching for the light at the slightest noise from the floor Now your hands perspire, heart goes leaping at a knock from the door

In the Dead of Night...

U.K. 1978 Eponymous

This just may be my all-time favorite, & perhaps the most influential to my musicianship album ever.

My words are never going to do this album justice...

After being raised on a steady diet of The Beatles, Yes, Zep, King Crimson, Rush, KISS (etc.) and oddly enough, Amplitude Modulation radio (pop music), along comes this extremely streamlined, balanced progressive record that ever continues to amaze me.

From the first note, you get the impression that this is serious business: Holdsworth & Wetton opening with staccato, Jobson playing descending & ascending diads over that, Bruford mumbling in with kick, cymbals, and then THE SNARE and the Roto-Toms!!!

Oh wow, an adventure has begun... From the opening of the streamlined In the Dead of Night (Suite) to the closer Mental Medication with Mr. Holdsworth's overwhelming, landscape altering guitar solos and clever chord constructions and modulations, Bruford's absolute command of the kit drums (and accoutrements), the violin and keyboard virtuosity of Jobson (including his newly acquired Yamaha CS80 polyphonic synthesizer), and the underrated bass playing and impassioned vocals of Wetton, this was indeed a super-group. That this record even happened is amazing to me.

I thoroughly stink at giving song by song reviews. I'm forced to try to use words to describe sounds and their combinations in pitch, volume, structure, timbre, timing, etc.(although oddly, I apparently did it when teaching guitar. Hmmmm...), and that is very difficult for me. I can farble on about the music theory, the execution of the performances, production, etc., but that somehow only tells you how it's made, not what the ingredients added up to. The reference points that are relevant to me might not be the things you hear and/or are meaningful to you. For example; I adore the interplay of Jobson and Holdsworth in the song Nevermore, you might not get the same charge from it that I do...

Besides, so many other reviewers with incredible erudition have done some exceptionally well-detailed song by song reviews. I can only point you in the direction if you want a thumbnail sketch and/or if you're at all interested in why this record means something to me... And in that respect, this album was truly a life altering experience!

Without doubt, wholeheartedly, most highly recommended, an absolute masterpiece and a 5+ Star rating.

As always, your actual mileage may vary...

Grace and peace to you all, Cylli Kat (Jim Calistro)

Postscript: If you're at all interested in some of the reasons why this record means something to me read on. If not, there's another review directly below this one (which I guarantee will be far more edifying and interesting than this one) that you can move on to!

After countless hours (adding up to years) of hammering out Rush (Alex Lifeson), Al DiMeola, Edward Van Halen, Be Bop Deluxe (Bill Nelson), Jimi Hendrix, Yes (Steve Howe), Roxy Music/801 (Phil Manzanera) Led Zeppelin (Jimmy Page) and countless other influential album guitar parts, along comes this monster from another world that re-defined (to me) the role of a guitarist in a quality band. And as a guitarist, period.

Years of learning to alternate and economy pick impossibly speedy licks ("If it ain't picked, it ain't been played properly") began immediately to give way to incorporating this lovely legato phrasing. And more than this, trying to imitate Allan Holdsworth's perfect use of the vibrato bar. (Yes folks, that wacky wiggle-stick on your guitar is a vibrato, NOT a tremelo. - Vibrato controls pitch, tremelo controls volume).

The Maestro schooled this snot-nosed punk, and then some... I will miss the genius of Allan Holdsworth, and truly count myself blessed to have even heard of him much less heard him. Without doubt, my greatest guitar influence. ...So says the has-been guitar hero...

 Danger Money by UK album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.77 | 352 ratings

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Danger Money
UK Eclectic Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars REview Nº 185

"Danger Money" is the second studio album of U.K. and was released in 1979. U.K. was one of the most prominent prog rock groups of the late 70's and one of the first of a concept that would be called "a super-group". The album was released in the following year of the release of their debut album. It features John Wetton, Eddie Jobson and Terry Bozzio. Of the original line up only Wetton and Jobson remained, having Allan Holdsworth and Bill Bruford, departed.

Following two lengthy American live tours, Wetton and Jobson decided to fire Holdsworth due to over musical differences. Bruford chose to depart as well. Bruford soon formed the jazz rock fusion group, Bruford, and invited Holdsworth to join him. After the departure of Bruford and Holdsworth, the remaining band's members decided don't bring another guitarist for the group. Instead, they became a trio with the presence of the new drummer Terry Bozzio. Bozzio was another one time band's member of Frank Zappa. So, U.K. became a trio with an ELP's classic line up.

So, the line on the album is Eddie Jobson (keyboards and electric violin), John Wetton (lead vocals and bass guitar) and Terry Bozzio (drums and percussion).

"Danger Money" has six tracks. All songs were written by Eddie Jobson and John Wetton. The first track is the title track "Danger Money". It's a song that begins with a very apocalyptic, massive and bombastic sound. Jobson's keyboards are the main musical instruments on this bombastic piece of music that construct the main body of the song. This song shows tthat this new album from the band has more straightforward melodies, many instrumental passages and quirky structure changes. This is a great opener for the album with pure powerful progressive rock. The second track "Rendezvous 6:02", points further more into a pop direction, resting gently on Jobson's acoustic sounding electric piano, playing in a jazzy musical vein during the instrumental section and competing against increasingly and beautiful musical cascades of the synthesizers. This is a lovely and sweet song very well performed that reminds to my mind the good old days of King Crimson's ballads. It was released as a single to promote the album. The third track "The Only Thing She Needs" represents Bozzio's showcase with a solo near the beginning of the song. Despite he is a great drummer he wasn't yet, in my humble opinion, in the Bruford's league. However, he was good enough to handle the chores. The song is also dominated by Jobson, and he is really a truly versatile and virtuoso musician. The piano sounds simply great and the song culminates into a great violin solo with a great bass line and a dynamic drumming. The fourth track "Caesar's Palace Blues" is a song that opens with a Jobson's demoniac electric violin alternately sounding like a heavy metal guitarist. This is another strong rock song, this time dominated by a Jobson's violin work. It's probably the jazziest song on the album with a Wetton's great vocal work too. It's also a great progressive track where, once more, Jobson shines. The fifth track "Nothing To Lose" was the track that I heard first on the radio. This was also a track released as a single to promote the album. In retrospect, now we can say this song pointed the way to a more digestible form of progressive rock that Wetton preferred, and provided probably the formula for his next progressive band, Asia. This is without any doubt the weakest, and the only weak track on the album. The sixth and last track "Carrying No Cross" is that obligatory epic track that you must find on any good progressive rock album. This is the kind of the tracks that a truly hard core progressive fan, prefers. With a temperament that flows meticulously like a truly symphonic piece of music, great vocals and frenzy of almost everything on Jobson's musical instruments. It was clearly constructed as a stage crowd pleaser with over twelve minutes length. This is a song that reminds me strongly Keith Emerson and the good old times of Emerson, Lake & Palmer. If you want to know why Eddie Jobson is considered a wizard keyboardist, this is the song you must hear. The guy is really an amazing keyboardist.

Conclusion: "Danger Money" represents a landmark in the progressive rock music. It marked definitely the end of the classic prog rock era. After that point, it seemed that the major participants in the decade of progressive rock golden era, or disbanded or moved on to a more commercial realms. Yes reformed with Trevor Rabin with simpler, shorter and radio friendly songs, Genesis continued their transformation to a pop rock band and Asia was formed with John Wetton and Yes' guitarist Steve Howe around the same time and with the same musical style. So, "Danger Money" is a great album and became a very special album in the progressive rock music of the 70's. This is almost a perfect album where "Only Thing To Lose" disappoints, and is the only obstacle that prevents me from giving 5 stars to this album. Unfortunately, this was the last studio album from this great prog rock band. But fortunately this virtuoso handful of musicians, left beyond two scintillating and genuine prog studio releases. It was a shame that U.K. has over, really.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 UK by UK album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.11 | 604 ratings

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UK
UK Eclectic Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Review Nº 184

"U.K." is the eponymous debut studio album of U.K. and was released in 1978. The group was formed by four well known prog rock musicians who had already played into other bands. It features John Wetton who formerly have performed with Family, King Crimson, Uriah Heep and Roxy Music, Eddie Jobson who formerly have performed with Curved Air, Roxy Music and Frank Zappa, Bill Bruford who formerly have performed with Yes, Genesis and King Crimson and Allan Holdsworth who formerly have performed with Tempest, Soft Machine and Gong. There had been an attempt to form a band in 1977 with Wetton, Bruford and Rick Wakeman. Still, that never happened because Wakeman didn't want it to happen. The premise was Wetton bring a musician of his choice, and Bruford would do the same.

So, the line on the album is Allan Holdsworth (guitar), Eddie Jobson (electric violin, keyboards and electronics), John Wetton (vocals and bass) and Bill Bruford (drums and percussion).

"U.K." has six tracks. All lyrics on the album were written by John Wetton, except "Mental Medication" which was written by Bill Bruford. The first track "In The Dead Of Night" with music written by Eddie Jobson and John Wetton is a suite which is divided into three parts: "In The Dead Of Night", "By The Light Of Day" and "Presto Vivace And Reprise". "In The Dead Of Night" opens the album with keyboards and bass. The bass has an unusual rhythm on top with Jobson on keyboards and Bruford on drums seem to play in counter rhythm. Wetton sings very nice and powerful as usual and Holdsworth plays a great guitar solo. This is a song that was also released as a single to promote the album. "By The Light Of Day" is a soft and slower part of the suite full of synthesizer sounds. This is a very beautiful ballad with the same melody line but with a completely different rhythm. Jobson adds something very beautiful with his electric violin very well supported by Holdsworth's guitar. Nice and beautiful synthesizer waves end this second part. "Presto Vivace And Reprise" is announced by several drum riffs and a psychedelic keyboard part. Since this part has finished, returns the reprise of the main theme. This is a suite absolutely amazing. The second track "Thirty Years" with music written by Eddie Jobson, John Wetton and Bill Bruford begins with keyboards and an acoustic guitar with Wetton singing at the top of his voice. After over three minutes the musical atmosphere changes radically, with guitar and keyboard solos followed by an inventive drumming by Bruford. Towards the end, the initial melody returns, totally supported by the entire band with special mention by a great guitar solo by Holdsworth. The third track "Alaska" with music written by Eddie Jobson is a very dark and mystical track. It's an instrumental piece of music dominated by the keyboards of Jobson. However, it has room enough for the rest of the band shine on the track especially Holdsworth. The fourth track "Time To Kill" with music written by Eddie Jobson, John Wetton and Bill Bruford is directly lead to the previous track. This is a very interesting track with several musical changes all over the song. In the middle of the song there's a break with another great violin performance by Jobson. The fifth track "Nevermore" with music written by Eddie Jobson, John Wetton and Allan Holdsworth opens with an acoustic guitar and keyboard performances. A nice and beautiful duet between Jobson and Holdsworth forms the highlight of the song. The last part of the song consists of an atmospheric of several soundscapes. The sixth and last track "Mental Medication" with music written by Eddie Jobson, Bill Bruford and Allan Holdsworth begins with an unusual vocal line accompanied by a jazzy guitar's sound. In the middle of the song there's a beautiful part with bass and drums on top of which a guitar solo is performed. After a small break is the violin that turns again. This is the other song of the album which was chosen to be released as a single.

Conclusion: U.K. is one of the few big progressive super groups formed in the 70's. It's with Emerson, Lake & Palmer one of the two best progressive super groups formed in those times. It became the last great progressive rock band formed in the classic rock years. The musical skill of these four gentlemen is a joy and a blessing for our ears and is rare and truly amazing to see a band producing such a special crossover between so diverse musical styles with such a unique and quality sound. U.K.'s debut stands as a very strong and unique progressive album released in a time where most progressive rock bands were losing their steam. It's really a pity that U.K. had such a short existence and these four musicians only have released this studio album and a couple of live albums. This is a truly great album, one of the most underrated, blending genres together into a rich and complex amalgam of sounds. There's not a bad moment on this album. It's excellent from beginning to end. Since "U.K." was made in the end of the golden era of the prog rock music, it's hard to believe and a shame, that a music lover doesn't have this album in their collection. This is really an awesome line up and the musicianship is absolutely great. So, do yourself a favour, buy or simply check it, as you wish.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Reunion - Live In Tokyo by UK album cover DVD/Video, 2013
4.93 | 15 ratings

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Reunion - Live In Tokyo
UK Eclectic Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

5 stars My review # 50 : Jobson mania!

My fascination for the unique progrock musician Eddie Jobson started early 1977 when I listened to Viva! from Roxy Music. The compelling electric violin solo in the end of Out Of The Blue blew me away, it sounded like the Balkan gypsies on fire, how exciting! I got even more fascinated during the concerts from UK in 1979 and Jethro Tull in 1980: watching Eddie Jobson playing on the transparent violin, with the lights shining from behind on his his violin and angel-like face, magical! From the late Eighties Jobson touring seemed part of progrock history, but in 2009 Eddie Jobson decided to tour again, after almost 25 years: with the Eddie Jobson Band (2011), with the late John Wetton in UK (2011-2012 and 2015) and in 2017 with Marc Bonilla during the Fallen Angels tour (Keith Emerson tribute). To my delight the first UK tour (named the Reunion tour) with John Wetton has been put on DVD. So now every proghead can experience the unique Eddie Jobson, with his jawdroping work on keyboards, and especially the soli on the magical transparent electric violin.

This DVD contains a gig during the Japan tour in April 2011, unfortunately the Japanese crowd doesn't show much excitement, no orgastic roars or spontaneous applauding. The lightshow is also not very spectacular, it looks very functional. Except during Alaska with layers of wonderful blue light and in some tracks white lights behind Eddie Jobson. John Wetton plays inspired (still a strong and distinctive voice), backed by the excellent drummer Marco Minnemann (he does a great job doing the Bill Bruford and Terry Bozzio beats) and guitarist Alex Machacek, he easily switches from Fripperish to the typical Holdsworth sound. And he adds a nice flavour to the track Time To Kill. But my focus is on Eddie Jobson, dressed in black (like the other 'men in black'), with small dark glasses and still that long and thin, angel-like hair. In Presto Vivace we can witness one of the most dazzling synthesizer soli in progrock, with shots from several angles and from above, an excellent idea.

My absolute highlight is the rendition of the epic King Crimson track Starless, Eddie Jobson adds a breathtaking extra dimension with his electric violin. The interplay with the electric guitar is captivating, building to that exciting heavy and bombastic part. And Jobson replacing the saxophone with his distorted electric violin is mindblowing!

In Carrying No Cross the varied keyboard work (swirling Hammond, sparkling piano and flashy synthesizers flights) is awesome and the band rises very high to the occasion. The long solo on the transparent electric violin solo can be seen on multi-screen, here Eddie Jobson turns into the 'Jimi-Hendrix-of-the-electric-violin', how spectacular, innovative and adventurous. The subtle green light on Jobson and his transparent violin looks magical, this is the unsurpassed Eddie Jobson! In the King Crimson cover One More Red Nightmare, the catchy Caesar's Palace Blues and the compelling The Only Thing She Needs more spectacular and virtuosic work on keyboards and the electric violin from Eddie Jobson. He clearly enjoys being on stage, with his good friend John Wetton. In the final track Rendezvous 6:02 these two progrock veterans deliver a wonderful rendition, Wetton his melancholical voice is surrounded by sparkling piano runs, a great conclusion with tasteful camera work.

This DVD is 'An Evening Of Classic Prog Music Plus', due to the outstanding performance from the musicians, and especially Eddie Jobson his sensational work on the magical electric violin, a masterpiece, legendary prog!

 Danger Money by UK album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.77 | 352 ratings

BUY
Danger Money
UK Eclectic Prog

Review by Walkscore

2 stars Yup - for the (Danger) Money.

While the first album contained some original sounds, this album is full of late-70s arena-rock cliches. The band is now a trio. Jobson and Wetton didn't want improvisation and didn't think Holdsworth's playing fit their idea of the band, and so wanted to fire him (explaining the lack of extended Holdsworth solos on the first album). Bruford said 'if he goes, I go', and so they both left. Terry Bozzio was brought in on the drums, and does a fine job (he is also a great player). But the band was clearly about impressing particular audiences, rather than making quality original music for music's-sake. Danger Money is thus an apt title, as this strategy was (musically) dangerous, and indeed, the band folded after this album when Wetton formed ASIA with Geoff Downs, Carl Palmer and Steve Howe, an even-'better' supergroup meant for super-earnings. The music here is not too bad - pretty decent prog-ish AOR rock radio - but it just doesn't ring true. The title track sounds like it was written as the new opener for their arena-rock shows, while "Ceasar's Palace Blues" and "Nothing to Lose" seem written specifically for radio airplay, and "The Only Thing she Needs" and "Carrying No Cross" written to bolster their prog-rock cred with former fans. The only song that seems written solely for the love of music is "Rendezvous 6:02". For me, the latter, and the closer ("Carrying No Cross") are the two songs I can still listen to after all these years. But fans of the band, and fans of Wetton's music/voice more generally, particularly those who don't mind the crass money-chasing, will like it. I give it 5.1 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to high 2 PA stars.

Thanks to Ivan_Melgar_M for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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