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UK

Eclectic Prog • United Kingdom


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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"). Without a replacement for Holdsworth, this album suffered due to overcompensation on violin and keyboards, and the band disbanded following after the Japanese leg of the promotional tour. A live album of that tour would be released shor...
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Ultimate Collector's EditionUltimate Collector's Edition
Box set · Import
Globe Music Media 2016
Audio CD$155.72
$250.00 (used)
U.K.U.K.
Import
Imports 1999
Audio CD$25.04
$12.73 (used)
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Super Hits Of N T R Vol 1 - telugu Films Hits [Telugu cd] Uk Made USD $19.95 Buy It Now
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Reilly Ace Of Themes ?(18 Original Themes) [Vinyl LP,1983] UK BUSLP 1004 *EXC USD $6.22 Buy It Now
Thin Lizzy Vagabonds Of The Western World ORIGINAL UK LP DECCA SKL 5170 USD $55.00 [0 bids]
Live "All Over You" CD Single (UK Import) NEW 1995 USD $7.77 Buy It Now
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Songs From An Italian Restaurant (UK Import) CD USD $7.48 Buy It Now
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Everybody In Love [Single] JLS (2009 UK) Brand New The X Factor Aston Merrygold USD $3.84 [0 bids]
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Ferret-Hudson Bay/Henry's Song-UK Deram DEMO Vinyl 7" single 70s Pop 1974 USD $10.67 Buy It Now
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Japan - Sometimes I Feel So Low BLUE VINYL 7" single UK 1978 original issue 45 USD $17.79 Buy It Now
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Luciano Pavarotti O Holy Night Christmas LP Vinyl Record UK IMPORT NM Shrink USD $3.00 [0 bids]
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CRAMPS Can Your Pussy Do The Dog 12" Single Big Beat 1985 UK Pressing USD $8.95 [0 bids]
MADONNA The Best & The Rest Of Madonna w/ Otto Von Wernherr Vol. 2 (1993 UK CD) USD $0.99 [0 bids]
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Monochrome Set Eine Symphonie Des Grauens / Lester Leaps In 1979 UK Rough Trade USD $25.99 [0 bids]
PAUL MCCARTNEY Hope Of Deliverance (1992 UK 4-Track CD) USD $0.99 [0 bids]
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Dick Powell ~ All's Fair In Love and War ~ 2003 CD Blitz records UK USD $14.95 Buy It Now
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Wild America [Maxi Single] by Iggy Pop (CD, Oct-1993, Virgin) UK USD $3.99 Buy It Now
JOHN LENNON & YOKO ONO - Heart Play [Vinyl LP,1983] UK 817 238-1 Spoken Word EXC USD $12.47 Buy It Now
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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)

4.11 | 518 ratings
UK
1978
3.77 | 302 ratings
Danger Money
1979

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

4.00 | 12 ratings
Shadows From The Sun
1978
3.42 | 118 ratings
Night After Night
1979
3.79 | 36 ratings
Concert Classics Vol. 4
1999
3.97 | 18 ratings
Live In Boston
2007
3.00 | 16 ratings
Live in America
2007
3.94 | 13 ratings
Reunion - Live In Tokyo
2013

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

4.96 | 5 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)

2.00 | 1 ratings
In The Dead Of Night
1978
2.95 | 2 ratings
Nothing To Lose
1979
3.00 | 3 ratings
Rendezvous 6:02
1979
2.21 | 5 ratings
Night After Night
1979

UK Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 UK by UK album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.11 | 518 ratings

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UK
UK Eclectic Prog

Review by Tapfret
Prog Reviewer

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
2.95 | 2 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.

 Rendezvous 6:02 by UK album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1979
3.00 | 3 ratings

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Rendezvous 6:02
UK Eclectic Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

3 stars U.K.'s "Danger Money" (1979) was the first album of the band that I bought and listened to in June 1980. It was released in my country in 1980. At that time I knew very little about this band apart from reading earlier in the same year a review in a Rock magazine from 1978 about their self-titled album from 1978 which was recorded with Bill Bruford and Allan Holdsworth in the line-up. But also later in 1980 in a Rock magazine I read about the split of U.K. which was mentioned in a review about YES's "Drama" album. That review also commented on how some Prog Rock bands were changing then their line-ups and musical styles (Genesis, YES, PFM, etc,) or were in fact ending their existence then, like U.K. In fact, the end of U.K. was originally announced to the international press in mid 1980 (a thing that I didn't know until some months later). Some years later (1983-84) a cousin said to me that he was very lucky because he had the chance to see and to listen to the band playing in concert in San Diego (USA) in 1979 , supporting JETHRO TULL, the band which Jobson later joined in 1980-81 as a "special guest" for their "A" album and tour.

"Rendezvous 6.02", released on the Side 1 of this single, was taken from the "Danger Money" album. It is a very good Prog Rock song, played with Electric Piano and Synthesisers (by Eddie Jobson), Bass guitar and vocals (by John Wetton), and drums and triangle (by Terry Bozzio, who replaced Bill Bruford in late 1978; guitarist Allan Holdsworth was not replaced). It has a very interesting electric piano part with a very characteristic riff and very good synthesiser solos in the instrumental section of the song. The "mysterious" lyrics (I think) maybe are about "the spirit or ghost of an old soldier which was seen in Waterloo Station" one evening by the writer and singer of the lyrics (Wetton; lyrics with a very British theme, I think). The song has very good musical atmospheres which reflect very well the content of the lyrics. A "dark" song in content. Some years ago in youtube I watched to a video of the band doing a playback of this song. Also very "dark" in content, but with the band very clearly doing a playback to the original album version. Maybe it is still available to be watched to in youtube.

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 Bruford and Holdsworth). This 1979 version, recorded with Terry Bozzio, 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.

 UK by UK album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.11 | 518 ratings

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UK
UK Eclectic Prog

Review by A_Flower

5 stars UK has two albums. One is a masterpiece and one is garbage. This one is the masterpiece. I find this as an amazing and influential album for it's influence on eclectic and jazz/fusion. We of course have Wetton leading it on vocals, and who can forget Bruford on drums? UK was a great album for 1978.

The album starts with a 13 minute epic separated into three different songs. "In the Dead of Night." The first part is the same name, it starts with a progressing beat and starts adding on. This has some wonderful synths throughout and doesn't have too bad lyrics either. The melodies flow well together. There is also a jazzing gutair solo which is very nice.

The first part fades down and you hear the second one, which is probably my favorite of the first suite. The title is opposite of the first, being "By the Light Of Day" The most relaxed part. After Wetton songs for a little, we get some "Awws" with violin and drums. Then the drums and synths take over more. Around three minutes and 20 seconds really touches me.

After By the Light of Day, you get a short drum build up and a crazy synth solo. This is "Presto Vivance and Reprise" After a minute of insane keyboards, the beginning of the suite is reprised, but also having the lyrics bring us back to the second part. The reprise is quite simple and short, bringing the In the Dead of Night suite to a close.

The next song is called "Thirty Years." This starts with an ambient feel, however, I never really liked the intro of this song. It sort of drags on. The main problem is that John Wetton does a terrible job singing on the beginning and you can't really understand what he is saying. I guess the first part isn't too bad, but it's not the best. After a little bit past three minutes, the song kicks in. This has some nice synths and guitar. The lyrics from the beginning part are reprised but song with different melodies. Once again, you can't really understand much of what Wetton is saying, but I still like this one.

The B-Side opens slowly with a more ambient sound, but better than in thirty years. This instermental is called "Alaska." It has a sort of frightening melody that you might hear in a horror movie. Around the 2 and a half minute mark, it kicks in with synths. It remains dark and scary but more intense now. Towards the end, they have piano and sound a bit like ELP.

Alaska segues into the next song, "Time to Kill". It opens with an "Aww" and singing. Piano is played through this song. It has a good chorus which I always quite liked. However, I was never a fan of the jazzier part of this with the violin solo. It's long and sort of boring and takes away from the rest of the song.

The next song is a masterpiece. "Nevermore." You know it's good because it starts with an accoustic gutair solo. Drums than build up and you get some lyrics. Like Time to Kill, piano is played a lot in this song. But it's more noticeable in a good way. The jazzy section that starts around three minutes is amazing. It has both synths and guitar kind of switching off. Then the melodies come in and you hear the title of the song sung. The end of the song is also very interesting. It sounds a little ambient and sort of like By the Light of Day. Wetton then songs the final vocals of the song and it ends with guitar.

The last song is called "Mental Medication." The lyrics are interesting and the guitar sounds different. It gets good when the drums come in and I love the melodies. Some of the meldies change the whole mode of the song for a few seconds and then go right back to how they were before. We then get a synth solo along with some piano and guitar. This lasts a little while, but then, we get one more violin solo to end the album. It's a really good one. The conclusion of the song reprises some lyrics and sort fades out on the same meldies.

This album is essential. It deserves 5 stars. There isn't much more to be said about that.

SONG RANKING

1. In the Dead of Night/By the Light of Day/Presto Vivance and Reprise 2. Nevermore 3. Mental Medication 4. Thirty Years 5. Alaska/Time to Kill

Favorite quote from album: "Can I stand, a dark life here, for one day more?" -From "Time to Kill"

 Reunion - Live In Tokyo by UK album cover DVD/Video, 2013
4.96 | 5 ratings

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Reunion - Live In Tokyo
UK Eclectic Prog

Review by Gerinski
Prog Reviewer

5 stars In 2009 John Wetton and Eddie Jobson joined to tour under the name U-Z Project (Ultimate Zero), with guests musicians including the likes of Tony Levin, Trey Gunn, Marco Minnemann or Greg Howe, playing music from U.K., King Crimson and other compositions by their members. The experience encouraged Wetton and Jobson to go for what could be called a proper U.K. Reunion and tour as from 2011.

U.K. are one of the few of the 'classic dinosaurs' which I could never see live, their video material is rather scarce, and unfortunately I also missed seeing them live in their recent reunion, so seeing them in this DVD was like an old pending item in my wishing list finally being ticked.

We don't have Bruford or Bozzio at the drum kit but the great Marco Minnemann does an outstanding job, and few guitarists could be a better choice for filling in for Allan Holdsworth than the Austrian Alex Machacek.

The filming and sound quality are clearly sub-par for such a recent release, but for me, the quality of the music and performance more than compensate for that. This is superb Prog played masterfully.

The set list could not be much better, the tandem "In The Dead Of Night ? By The Light Of Day ? Presto Vivace ? Reprise" opens the show leaving no doubt that these guys are in for serious business. Wetton's voice is in great shape and Machaceck replicates Holdsworth faithfully even if a bit too clinical, not daring to go further than what is supposed for a guest musician. "Danger Money" follows with a great performance by Jobson and Minnemann. "Thirty Years" is such a beautiful composition with those original progressions and harmonies. Eddie Jobson displays his Emersonian influences in "Alaska" followed by "Time To Kill" where he squeezes his electric violin full of effects. Then we have the beautiful King Crimson's "Starless" with a great crescendo where Jobson does another amazing display with his violin.

"Carrying No Cross", the epic in their Danger Money album, is another display for Jobson, making it clear that he should be more considered among the top Prog keyboardists and not just as a violin player. Alex Machacek stays absent for this one. Then we have a very good drum solo by Minnemann and a violin solo by Jobson, very effects-driven. "Nevermore" is another highly beautiful piece with great soloing by Jobson and Machacek, followed by King Crimson's "One More Red Nightmare" were Jobson delivers new violin solos.

"Caesar's Palace Blues" and "The Only Thing She Needs" continue the fantastic track choice.

As an encore, Wetton and Jobson stay in the stage and perform an intimate version of "Rendezvous 6:02" just on e-piano and voice.

Wetton does not look too enthusiastic but he sings very well, Jobson confirms how good a keyboardist he is besides his violin playing, Minnemann is a delight to watch and Machacek successfully does the difficult job of covering for Holdsworth. Overall a wonderful release for fans of this supergroup.

 Reunion - Live In Tokyo by UK album cover Live, 2013
3.94 | 13 ratings

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Reunion - Live In Tokyo
UK Eclectic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars Well, only half a reunion really. But a very good one!

I was surprised when I stumbled upon this live album some months ago (on Spotify I think it was that I first saw it) as I didn't even know that UK had reformed and were touring again (since 2009 apparently, I had no idea!). My initial thought was that it must be fake, because if it was real then surely I would have heard about it on Prog Archives, the most comprehensive progressive Rock resource on the web. But no, apparently Reunion - Live In Tokyo is one that slipped through the cracks, and I wasn't the only who missed it since it wasn't even added to UK's discography here (I just added it now).

Released last year, this live album features a line-up consisting of two of the original members of UK in John Wetton (bass and vocals) and Eddie Jobson (keyboards and violin) plus two new guys in Alex Machacek (guitars) and Marco Minnemann (drums). (At least this is the line-up according to my information.) They are performing a set of songs that originally appeared on UK's two studio albums from 1978 and 1979 respectively as well as a couple of King Crimson songs in Starless and One More Red Nightmare.

The show opens with the complete In The Dead Of Night/By The Light Of Day/Presto Vivace And Reprise suite that also opened UK's self-titled debut. I think it sounds as great here as it does on the studio disc, but I'm sure that many fans will complain about the absence of Bill Bruford and Allan Holdsworth. Machacek and Minnemann are doing a good job recreating the original sound of the band. Other songs from the debut album that are also present here are Thirty Years, Alaska, Time To Kill, and Nevermore, which means that only one song from that album is not here (Mental Medication). From Danger Money comes the title track, Rendez-Vous 6:02, The Only Thing She Needs, Caesar's Palace Blues, and Carrying No Cross, which again means that only one song is left out (Nothing To Lose).

All these songs are very good and everything is very well performed. The King Crimson songs, both from Red, fit in very well. If you are a fan of UK you shouldn't miss this strong live disc.

 Night After Night  by UK album cover Live, 1979
3.42 | 118 ratings

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Night After Night
UK Eclectic Prog

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

2 stars This posthumous live album from the fallen supergroup was recorded in Japan, which in retrospect makes perfect sense, as the music showed John Wetton well on his way toward the chart-topping entropy of ASIA.

On stage, in front of an adoring crowd, the trio was admirably tight and professional, but I hear no passion whatsoever for the music being played. A moot point, since there isn't any, even in the two new songs: the lively but mechanical title track (by default one of the better selections here), and the entirely too banal "As Long As You Want Me Here", a transparent bid for a slice of the singles market. The latter actually fades out over the final chorus (in a live concert?), anticipating a radio edit that never materialized.

Fans might be curious to hear how the trio sounded playing material from the original quartet...not very different, as it turns out. And Eddie Jobson's lightning synth runs are no substitute for Allan Holdsworth's guitar. Also: what's up with all the obviously pre-recorded background harmonies? Was John Wetton cloned in a secret Honshu lab before the tour? And are there other unfair overdubs hidden in the mix?

In the end the album succeeds in showing how much Wetton had forgotten from his years in KING CRIMSON, a band that rarely failed to honor the integrity of a live performance (except, ironically, when Jobson himself was drafted to 'fix' some violin parts on the "USA" tapes). If this was where the bass player saw his career heading at the end of the 1970s, Fripp was wise to kill the Crimson King when he did.

 Danger Money by UK album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.77 | 302 ratings

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Danger Money
UK Eclectic Prog

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

4 stars UK's self-titled debut album hasn't aged very well, but the harder-rocking follow-up recorded by the newly stripped-down trio a year afterward actually sounds better in retrospect. New drummer Terry Bozzio (not a familiar name at the time) was more in tune than Bill Bruford with the grandiose commercial ambitions of John Wetton and Eddie Jobson. And because he no longer had to share the stage with an ace guitarist, Jobson responded with some of his most assertive playing on record.

Musically the album traces the muscular template of "In the Dead of Night", the obvious high point of the previous album. The reconfigured band may have been more song- than music-oriented, perhaps revealing the direction Wetton had hoped to steer KING CRIMSON (and why Robert Fripp quit in response). But the new songs left generous space for instrumental exploration. And Jobson in particular rose to the challenge, stealing the spotlight with his trademark Perspex violin, in "The Only Thing She Needs" and the punchy "Caesar's Palace Blues", and showing all the brio of a less-classical Keith Emerson (the sophomore UK album appeared only four months after ELP crashed onto "Love Beach", leaving a vacancy in the keyboard virtuoso pantheon).

The only stumble on an otherwise strong effort is "Nothing to Lose", an obvious bid for radio airplay foreshadowing the trite Arena Pop of ASIA. But that misstep is quickly overshadowed by the mini-epic album closer "Carrying No Cross", a poor second-cousin of sorts to the celebrated King Crimson finale "Starless", with a similar structure of escalating tension and release over twelve invigorating minutes.

Splitting up a band can sometimes benefit everyone involved. Bruford and Allan Holdsworth both moved on to impeccable Fusion careers, while the remaining UK players rediscovered the focus that had eluded them on the first LP. It didn't last very long (see the obligatory, by-the-numbers live album "Night After Night"), but even a brief flash-in-the-pan was better than the empty kettle of Wetton's next supergroup.

 UK by UK album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.11 | 518 ratings

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UK
UK Eclectic Prog

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

3 stars In retrospect the first album by the short-lived Progressive supergroup resembled an attempt by John Wetton and Bill Bruford to resuscitate the recently deceased KING CRIMSON, with another violinist in lieu of David Cross and a more sympathetic guitarist replacing the often intractable Robert Fripp. On paper it looked good, and the debut album sounded thrilling when first heard in 1978. But the passage of time has been less than kind to it, revealing not only the fatal stresses within the quartet but the larger cracks in the ideology of Progressive Rock at the end of the 1970s.

Blame the lopsided pool of all-star talent: an attempt to balance a pair of dedicated Jazz-Rockers (Bruford and guitarist Allan Holdsworth) against two aspiring pop stars (Wetton and Eddie Jobson), without any blueprint for a workable fusion. It all came together brilliantly in the opening "In the Dead of Night" suite: one of the more exciting highlights of late-Golden Age Prog. If only the rest of the album had as many memorable hooks (incredibly catchy, despite the odd time signatures), or the same lush symphonic climax, in years to come providing a sonic blueprint for embryonic Neo- Proggers.

But I don't know many fans who ventured far beyond it, into the often empty virtuosity of Side Two. The balance of the album leaned more toward the polite Bruford/Holdsworth style of English Jazz Rock, implausibly grafted onto Jobson's clinical synth patches and Wetton's typically beefy bass guitar lines. And the singer's smoky baritone sounds distinctly uneasy when forced into the jazzier cadences of "Time to Kill", "Nevermore", and "Mental Medication".

At the start of the 1970s bands were encouraged to cross-pollinate opposing forms of music, just to hear what might happen. But as the decade advanced and the adolescent music business matured into an industry, the final goal became more commercial than creative, spelling an end to Prog Rock's original idealism. Seven years earlier the same friction that split UK in two might have produced something really special. You can still hear the occasional spark, but the expected detonation never happens.

Give the effort three stars at best, in recognition of the talent, not the results.

 Night After Night by UK album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1979
2.21 | 5 ratings

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Night After Night
UK Eclectic Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

2 stars This now rare single was released in 1979 to promote their live album titled 'Night After Night'. The Side One of this single has an edited version of the same live version of the song titled 'Night After Night' (composed by Eddie Jobson and John Wetton) which was released in that live album and that was recorded in Japan in June 1979. Among the differences with the album version are that this single version lacks one reprise of the chorus, the organ solo, and some bars in the instrumental sections were cut, and it also lacks the 'U.K. ! U.K.! U.K.!' shouts from the audience before the song begins, so the song starts immediately without the shouts from the audience. This single edit maybe sounded well for radio promotion, but after years of listening to the album version I really prefer it with the organ solo and with all the parts of the song intact.

The Side Two of this single, a track recorded in a studio, is a song titled 'When Will You Realize', and was composed by John Wetton alone. It is considered by Eddie Jobson in the Forum of his official website as 'the track that split up the band' without explaining the whole reasons. But in some interviews he said that the band split because he and Wetton had by then different musical ideas for the band: while Jobson still wanted to compose long Progressive Rock songs, Wetton wanted to compose shorter Rock Pop songs. So, this song is an example of a shorter Rock Pop song more related to the musical style that Wetton was going to use more with the band Asia than to the Prog Rock style that U.K. still was using in the 'Danger Money' album, which it really was a mixture of both styles (also including in this mixed style the 'Night After Night' song which still has some Prog Rock arrangements more related to the musical style of most of the songs of that that album but still sounding increasingly more oriented for the Rock Pop Market). The arrangements of 'When Will You Realize' are simpler, with the band using an organ, a brief appearance of an electric violin in a chorus, bass guitar, drums, and lead and backing vocals. It really sounds like it was recorded very quickly, only to be released as the Side Two of this single, with not very much care. This song was recorded again by Wetton for his first solo album called 'Caught in the Crossfire' in 1980, but I still have not yet listened to that version of this song.

These two tracks were not released in the remastered CD version of the "Night After Night" live album, and both still are not yet released on CD, so both are now considered as "rarities".

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

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