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UK

Eclectic Prog • United Kingdom


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UK picture
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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Night After Night: ExtendedNight After Night: Extended
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UK discography


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

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

4.12 | 580 ratings
UK
1978
3.73 | 337 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
3.43 | 130 ratings
Night After Night
1979
3.81 | 39 ratings
Concert Classics Vol. 4
1999
3.99 | 20 ratings
Live In Boston
2007
3.06 | 17 ratings
Live in America
2007
4.03 | 18 ratings
Reunion - Live In Tokyo
2013

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

4.93 | 13 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)

3.50 | 2 ratings
In The Dead Of Night
1978
3.05 | 3 ratings
Nothing To Lose
1979
3.09 | 4 ratings
Rendezvous 6:02
1979
2.32 | 6 ratings
Night After Night
1979

UK Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 UK by UK album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.12 | 580 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
4.12 | 580 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
3.73 | 337 ratings

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Danger Money
UK Eclectic Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars REview Nš 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
4.12 | 580 ratings

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UK
UK Eclectic Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Review Nš 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 | 13 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
3.73 | 337 ratings

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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.

 UK by UK album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.12 | 580 ratings

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UK
UK Eclectic Prog

Review by Walkscore

3 stars For the Money or Music?

One of the first supergroups, and a precursor to Asia, UK should have been spectacular. One of the best drummers (Bruford), guitarists (Holdsworth), ex-Crim on bass (Wetton), and still-uncommon virtuoso electric violinist (Jobson). However, it seems the band was held back by the egos and ambitions of some of the members. While Brufod and Holdsworth wanted to expand their talents through improvisation, Wetton and Jobson were more interested in becoming famous rock stars. You can hear it in these songs too. This is not to say there is no good music here - in fact there is some great music, particularly on side 1. The suite "In the Dead of Night" is actually quite good, even if a bit long, while "Thirty Years" (closing side 1) is excellent. However, even here you can tell that these were written explicitly so as to be both appealing to fans of Crimson and other progressive rock as well as to the more commercial fan-base of arena-rock tours. But I would give the first side low four stars, although this material is even better played live. Side 2 of the album, however, is weaker. "Alaska/Time to Kill" is OK, although clearly meant to open their arena-rock shows, and Wetton's vocals are not up the singing. The last two tunes, "Nevermore" and "Mental Medication" are fairly poor. This second side is not that much better than the weak follow-up album Danger Money. I give this second side low 3 stars. Taken together, this album can't get to 4 stars. While containing some good music, the writing (and singing) seems forced, even on the better tracks, and some of the music comes across as both pretentious and at the same not indulgent enough, as there are few opportunities for either Bruford or Holdsworth to shine. The style in places makes one think this band was trying to fill the space vacated by ELP, who were no longer touring or releasing decent records, and I can't help think when I listen to this that the band's motivations for making it were not primarily musical (a suspicion verified once I heard Bruford's account!). But still, side 1 is worth multiple listenings. I give this 7.4 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to 3 PA stars.

 Danger Money by UK album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.73 | 337 ratings

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Danger Money
UK Eclectic Prog

Review by Tapfret
Special Collaborator Eclectic & C/JRF Prog Team

2 stars With the departure of Allan Holdworth and Bill Bruford, UK was left with bass/frontman John Wetton and Keyboard/Violinist Eddie Jobson. The two remaining players had some very huge shoes to fill. Apparently they were so big that they only filled one set with drummer Terry Bozzio. No huge loss in quality there as Bozzio was already making absurdly difficult music with Zappa. But would it be enough for UK's second release, Danger Money, to maintain the bar that was set so high with the debut release? Considering the only thing that prevented the debut album from being a 5 star masterpiece was the unapologetically pop texture of Jobson's keyboard sounds, it appeared the battle would be up hill in both directions.

The outset of the album was promising, with Jobson bringing a huge cathedral organ sound to the legato intro of the title track. It appeared possible he was leaving bubble gummy sounds behind. Indeed, much of the A-side of the album included a high B3 content. But it wouldn't last. Eventually he would bring an overly effected electric piano sound to the table. Not the cool gain driven semi-distorted Rhodes sound of the early to mid 70's. It was the sound of thin ties and hair gel. The sound of the '80's. Being an early adopter isn't always a good thing.

But the albums failings weren't all Jobson's fault. This was an album that was thematically challenged, with songs like "Ceasers Palace Blues" and the hitman themed title track, that lyrically seemed obtuse and superficial compared to the likes of "Thirty Years" and "Mental Medication". Even the song highlight of the album, "Carrying no Cross" contained a passage toward the end, "...bad boys can come clean". Maybe so, but bad lyrics stick in your ear like the Ceti Eel Khan put in Chekov's ear. Additionally, except for "Carrying no Cross", the album was rhythmically pretty boring. The worst offender was "Nothing to Lose". It served to even further the poppy texture of the album.

When all is said and done, Danger Money is an album with one great song, 2 okay songs, 2 bad songs, and 1 hideous stinker. I honestly made a conscious decision to not listen to this album many years ago. But with the death of John Wetton I was revisiting all of the albums he performed on in my collection with a renewed focus. Sadly, even had Wetton's parts been perfection, which they were not, this album was not enjoyable enough to warrant more than 2 stars. And the vast majority of that second star is due to "Carrying no Cross."

 UK by UK album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.12 | 580 ratings

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UK
UK Eclectic Prog

Review by Tapfret
Special Collaborator Eclectic & C/JRF Prog Team

4 stars Context and perspective changes with the passing of time, and indeed the passing of lives. John Wetton was an artist who I had admittedly taken for granted over the years. Despite being a key element of one of the most important phases of one of the most important progressive rock discographies in King Crimson, the focus always seemed to be on them being "Fripp's Band". The same could be said, perhaps even more so for UK. With the virtuoso playing of Holdsworth, Jobson, and Bruford, it was not until his death in early 2017 that I really focused on his part on UK's self- titled debut. And as I also discovered with the 1973-1975 era of KC, so too was it obvious with UK what in integral part of the music I was giving little or no appreciation too.

The project itself could easily be described as being far more groove oriented than a large portion of King Crimson's work. That is not to say the compositions consist of uniformly pedestrian beats, the verses are largely in non- standard time, even a purported 21/16 (I have not counted it myself). There is also a smattering of bizarro syncopated, staccato "what?!?!" breaks that season the grooves with a nice spice. The overall groove is decidedly jazz- fusion, though containing a spatially wide phonic. The instrumentation and recording is considerably modernized (when considering the context of the time period) in respect to the artist's previous projects, particularly in regard to keyboard sounds. Unfortunately, at times the chosen keyboard sounds appear poppy in a manner that does not completely fit. Attention to clarity seems to be the rule in the recording. This was a requirement for the quiet, mellow parts that provided a contrast that was begining to be phased out of the rock sub-genre scene in the late 70's.

For Wetton's part, his bass playing held the aforementioned groove with incredible precision. Of particular note are the underlying bass on Jobson's violin solo of Time to Kill and the alternating solos of the closing number, Mental Medication. Vocally he is a mixed bag that is an acquired taste for most, but a recognized, if underappreciated staple for seasoned prog fans. There always seems to be what can be best described as a character of purposeful uncertainty. Not uncertain of notes or timing, but a texturally haunting overtone that occasionally manifested directly into lyric on King Crimson songs like Fallen Angel. But the lines of Thirty Years, "Feelings of missed opportunity....sand castles washed away", with the seemingly dysphoric melody underscore that purposeful uncertainty sensation in a literal sense, imparting a new poignancy to that character. Not to overuse the word, but the passages are haunting. This sensation is imparted again in the quiet opening sequences of Nevermore, with wide low-to-high note intervals detailing his accuracy; and Mental Medication with its more legato, resolute melody. The verses are filled with his unique alternating gravelly tenor with falsetto swells. A contrasting style that would become a more familiar to the rest of the rock world with his Asia work, but added an unexpected dynamic to the diffuse styles of his UK bandmates.

UK was at the precipice of being a masterpiece. Unfortunately, there were moments of Jobson's keyboard sound, although musically amazing, just stuck out way too much as "Pop". Otherwise this is one of the finest examples of cohesive complexity and technicality in progressive rock. And having listened to this with particular focus on Mr. John Wetton, it is obvious that he was the mortar that held the brickwork together. It is a prime example of being able to find something new in something very familiar. For John Wetton, a masterful example of his quality. For the album, and excellent addition to any collection and one that I listen to with a renewed appreciation. 4 stars

 Nothing To Lose by UK album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1979
3.05 | 3 ratings

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Nothing To Lose
UK Eclectic Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

3 stars U.K. split in 1980 mainly because the main songwriters of the band (Eddie Jobson and John Wetton) had some conflicts about the musical direction of the band, with Jobson still wanting to compose long Prog Rock songs "more in Seventies terms" (like Wetton later said in some interviews) while Wetton wanted to compose shorter Pop Rock songs.

"Nothing to Lose", which was released in the Side 1 of this single, reflects more the then new Pop Rock musical influences from Wetton, but still having some Prog rock inlfuences from Jobson with the very good use of electric piano, organ and synthesisers, and also having a very good electric violin solo. The lyrics are simple and very influenced by Pop Rock music. It is a good song with very good arrangements, very good lead backing vocals, and very good drums playing. I don't know if this song was played in the Radio then, but it sounds very well like it could have been a Hit Single. In fact, the version which was released in this single is not the same version from the "Danger Money" album, but an edit of the song which lacks a few bars in some instrumental sections. I prefer the original studio version, but this single edit still sounds well. There is a video of this song in youtube on which the band appears doing a playback of this edited single version.

In the Side 2 of this single there is a then new studio recording (for 1979) of "In the Dead of Night", a song which was previously recorded for their self-titled album from 1978 (with Bill Bruford and Allan Holdsworth). This 1979 version, which was also released in the Side 2 of the "Rendezvous 6:02" single, was recorded with Terry Bozzio, and it is shorter than the 1978 version, and it sounds very similar to the live version which was later released in their "Night After Night" album from 1979. The main difference is that this 1979 studio recording sounds more like an edit of the song, lacking some parts of the song.

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

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