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COBRA

RIO/Avant-Prog • United States


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Cobra biography
Like many of John Zorn's works, ''Cobra'' (first performed in 1984) is a semi-improvisatory piece that draws its structure and substance from an elaborate set of rules rather than from a score. To direct the work, Mr. Zorn held up cards bearing symbols. Cobra is probably the most celebrated of John Zorn's 'game' pieces. Zorn guides a large and diverse improvising ensemble via cards indicating style, speed of delivery and so on, thereby getting a credit as 'prompter?. This kind of directed improvisation has its roots in the work of John Cage and Stockhausen, but Zorn's aesthetic is different. Where Cage distrusted improvisation and Stockhausen shrouded it in mysticism, Zorn seeks to have fun with it and to draw out the individuality of the players involved.

One of the most often performed compositions in new music, the Cobra phenomenon lives on into the 21st Century with continuous monthly performances in Japan, Europe, Australia and the United States. Some Cobra performances are recorded on albums.


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COBRA Videos (YouTube and more)


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Buy COBRA Music


First StrikeFirst Strike
Import · Remastered
Rock Candy 2008
Audio CD$12.88
$10.99 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Vanilla Fudge Mystery vinyl LP - Carmine Appice, Cactus, King Cobra, heavy metal US $4.99 Buy It Now 1h 36m
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PILEDRIVER "STAY UGLY" LP,RARE US OOP 1986 COBRA METAL THRASH SPEED US $54.49 Buy It Now 1h 43m
The Lion and the Cobra by Sin‚ad O'Connor, Sinead O'Connor (CD, Jul-1989, C US $0.99 [0 bids]
2h 13m
COCKNEY COCKS Single AA RECORDS AA-018 JAPAN 7" p032 oi! skins cobra US $20.99 Buy It Now 2h 22m
COBRA 1984 AA RECORDS AA-008 JAPAN 7" o982 oi! skins cockny rejects laughin'nose US $49.99 Buy It Now 2h 22m
COBRA Bad Night Merry X'mas JAPAN 7" FLEXI n631 laughin' nose cockney cocks baws US $40.99 Buy It Now 2h 22m
COCKNEY COCKS Cross Counter JAPAN 8" o348 oi! skins cobra US $35.99 Buy It Now 2h 22m
COBRA Stand The Pressure AA RECORDS AA-013 JAPAN LP+FLEXI p13826 Oi! skins US $59.99 Buy It Now 2h 22m
COBRA Wrong Way JAPAN 7" n636 laughin' nose cockney cocks baws US $14.99 Buy It Now 2h 22m
FREEDOM Last Revolution AA RECORDS-005 JAPAN 7" p113 laughin' nose cobra US $49.99 Buy It Now 2h 24m
Steve Douglas - King Cobra LP - Fantasy - Jazz US $6.49 [0 bids]
4h 22m
Woody Herman - King Cobra LP - Fantasy - Jazz US $7.20 [0 bids]
4h 35m
MAD COBRA Hard to Wet, Easy to Dry Album Raggae UNOPENED !Audio Cassette Tape'92 US $99.00 Buy It Now 4h 53m
Cobra - First Strike CD US $21.50 Buy It Now 5h 11m
COBRA STARSHIP - HOT MESS US $9.37 Buy It Now 6h 37m
Cobra Starship, ¡Viva la Cobra! Audio CD US $5.99 Buy It Now 7h 14m
Stereolab - Cobra & Phases Group Play [Vinyl New] US $28.04 Buy It Now 7h 21m
ANIME COBRA/DAYDREAM ROMANCE FROM SOUNDTRACK JPN KV3022 US $17.00 Buy It Now 7h 24m
Cobra Starship - While the City Sleeps, We Rule the Streets - Japan CD+1BONUS US $12.34 Buy It Now 8h 26m
Mad Cobra - Hard To Wet, Easy To Dry - Japan CD+2BONUS - 17Tracks US $15.99 Buy It Now 8h 30m
First Strike by Cobra (CD, Nov-2008, Rock Candy) US $18.16 Buy It Now 8h 38m
Limp Bizkit Gold Cobra Korn Lil Wayne Kid Rock Nirvana Rob Zombie Marilyn Manson US $3.50 [2 bids]
9h 11m
BLACK MOTH SUPER RAINBOW - Cobra Juicy - CD US $18.77 Buy It Now 9h 44m
Sinéad O'Connor The Lion and the Cobra CD F2_21612 Chrysalis ? & © 1987 Made USA US $6.50 [0 bids]
US $8.99 Buy It Now
10h 18m
COBRA STARSHIP Viva La Cobra! CD BRAND NEW US $10.24 Buy It Now 10h 34m
Jiff-Cobra-Promo cd single US $8.52 Buy It Now 11h 6m
Southern Lord Resurrection v/a CD Sunn O))) Accused Pelican Black Cobra Orcustus US $1.00 [0 bids]
11h 32m
MAD COBRA MILKMAN PROMO 2 X LP US $5.00 [0 bids]
12h 4m
El Baile de la Cobra by Cigar Store Indians (CD, Jul-1998, Deep South) US $4.99 Buy It Now 12h 11m
Mad Cobra - Sexperience (1996) - Used - Compact Disc - 13 Tracks US $3.99 [0 bids]
US $5.19 Buy It Now
12h 58m
MAD COBRA (HARD TO WET, EASY TO DRY) 1992 Reggae, Ska & Dub CD - 15 Trax US $4.99 Buy It Now 13h 7m
RARE BOB CHRISTIAN & SANDOZ GROUP "LE COBRA" FREAKBEAT MOD JERK FRENCH 60'S EP US $33.99 Buy It Now 13h 17m
SINEAD O'CONNOR The Lion & The Cobra LP made in Brazil 1990 US $9.56 Buy It Now 13h 19m
While the City Sleeps, We Rule the Streets by Cobra DVD US $5.49 Buy It Now 13h 26m
Ricky Dickens Daisy Petal Picking / Roamers Hey Little Cobra Vinyl 45 US $8.75 Buy It Now 14h 35m
KING COBRA: King Cobra Iii LP (cut corner) Rock & Pop US $15.00 Buy It Now 15h 12m
MAXIMIANNO COBRA - MOZART: REQUIEM IN D MINOR NEW CD US $45.47 Buy It Now 15h 14m
EXC 12"~MAD~MADD COBRA~POWERMAN~Body Call~Love How You~[SALAAM REMI MIX]~Reggae US $6.97 Buy It Now 15h 21m
Cobra,Maximianno - Mozart-Requiem Kv 626 [CD New] US $31.98 Buy It Now 15h 34m
The 13th Scroll by Cobra Strike (CD, Jun-2007, Ion Records) US $10.00 [0 bids]
16h 2m
While the City Sleeps, We Rule the Streets by Cobra Starship CD 2006 Decaydence US $4.99 Buy It Now 17h 6m
THE ENERGETTICS - YOU MAKE ME NOTHING (COBRA ) LISTEN US $17.05 [0 bids]
17h 25m
CULTURE CENTER PART 2 LP JAHMALI JOHN HOLT COBRA US $18.75 Buy It Now 17h 45m
MACHU CATUPECU - EL MEZCAL Y LA COBRA (BONUS) (DVD) NEW CD US $35.47 Buy It Now 17h 57m
¡Viva La Cobra! by Cobra Starship (CD, Oct-2007, Fueled by Ramen Records) US $5.00 [0 bids]
18h 3m
RIP CHORDS, THE---HEY LITTLE COBRA(Doo-Wop) US $26.00 Buy It Now 18h 12m
STEREOLAB Cobra & Phases Group CD, 1999, VG US $2.99 Buy It Now 18h 13m
EXC 12"~BEENIE MAN~MADD COBRA~On Top Of The World~Body Ready~HEAR~[MAIN STREET] US $7.97 Buy It Now 18h 21m
NM 12"~MADD~MAD COBRA~RICHIE STEVENS~Legacy~{x6 Mixes/REmixes]~ US $9.90 Buy It Now 18h 26m
Chet McDowell - Talkin Woman/Somebody Loves You 45 rpm Cobra label US $19.99 Buy It Now 18h 36m
EXC 12"~MADD~MAD COBRA~CAPTAIN BARKEY~Dun Wife~Anti Christ~Dub Version~[1995]~ US $9.90 Buy It Now 18h 37m
COBRA KILLER - UPPERS & DOWNERS NEW CD US $22.42 Buy It Now 19h 14m
RARE FACTORY "END OF NIGHT / ON THE ROAD" FRENCH 1977 7' COBRA 47001 US $16.99 Buy It Now 19h 31m
THE RIP CHORDS ... HEY LITTLE COBRA .. 409 .. 1960'S .. OLDIES .. SURF US $5.88 Buy It Now 19h 44m
Cobra Starship - While the City Sleeps JAPAN CD+1Bonus Sealed NEW #19-1 US $8.44 Buy It Now 20h 7m
RIP CHORDS Three Window Coupe / Hey Little Cobra 45 rpm Columbia Hall Of Fame US $5.95 Buy It Now 20h 24m
COBRA STARSHIP - HOT MESS CD ALBUM ~ ( LIKE NEW CONDITION ! ) US $7.46 Buy It Now 20h 42m
COBRA STARSHIP - IVIVA LA COBRA ! CD ALBUM ~ ( LIKE NEW CONDITION ! ) US $7.46 Buy It Now 20h 43m
Lot of 2 SINEAD O'CONNOR Cassette Tapes The Lion & Cobra/I Do Not Want What I... US $6.95 Buy It Now 20h 56m
Sinéad O'Connor - The Lion And The Cobra (LP, Album) 1987 NEAR MINT US $14.99 Buy It Now 20h 57m
HEAR IT Hot Rod 45 rpm The Rip Chords "Hey Little Cobra" from 1963 US $11.00 Buy It Now 21h 13m
MAD COBRA big long john 12" Single RECORD - Sealed US $9.95 Buy It Now 21h 31m
Various Artists - Monika Label Compilation CD masha qrella cobra killer US $6.99 Buy It Now 21h 51m
Beenie Man Meets Mad Cobra 1995 VP Records Full Length Reggae LP with 10 Songs US $3.33 [0 bids]
22h 27m
East Coast Vol. 1 with Frankie Paul, Major Lee, Luke D, Cobra, Spragga Benz US $3.33 [0 bids]
22h 41m
COBRA VERDE Easy Listening PROMO ACETATE CD Unmastered DEMOS Garage PUNK Hard Rk US $3.99 Buy It Now 23h
COBRA NOIR - Abode Of The Dead - CD CYCLOP MEDIA NEW SEALED - 2005 METAL US $4.90 Buy It Now 23h 12m
Carroll Shelby1 Collectibles SR Cobra hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 23h 15m
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Carroll Shelby1 Collectibles SR Cobra hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 23h 15m
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Carroll Shelby2 Collectibles SR Cobra hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 23h 15m
Carroll Shelby2 Collectibles SR Cobra hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 23h 15m
Carroll Shelby2 Collectibles SR Cobra hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 23h 15m
Carroll Shelby2 Collectibles SR Cobra hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 23h 15m
Carroll Shelby2 Collectibles SR Cobra hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 23h 15m

More places to buy COBRA music online Buy COBRA & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
  • AmazonMP3: Search for COBRA DRM-Free MP3 Downloads @ AmazonMP3 (USA Only) | AmazonMP3 (UK Only)

COBRA shows & tickets


  • Resurrection Fest 2014 on 31 Jul 2014
  • Motocultor Festival 2014 on 15 Aug 2014
  • Keep It True XVIII on 24 Apr 2015

COBRA discography


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

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

2.25 | 3 ratings
Cobra
1987
2.67 | 3 ratings
Cobra (John Zorn's Game Pieces Volume 2)
2002

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

2.00 | 1 ratings
John Zorn's Cobra Live At The Knitting Factory
1995
2.50 | 2 ratings
John Zorn's Cobra: Tokyo Operations '94
1995

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

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

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

COBRA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Cobra by COBRA album cover Studio Album, 1987
2.25 | 3 ratings

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Cobra
Cobra RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Apsalar

2 stars This is the last of John Zorn's 'games pieces', and just like his earlier attempts using this method, the results are less than successful. On Cobra Zorn steps back from a performing role and slips into the "prompter" persona. He has neither notated nor indicated a score, instead guiding an improvising ensemble via cards indicating style, speed of delivery, et cetera. Cobra's aleatory element leaves the results wide open for success or failure.

Released on HatHut's Hatology Cobra contains two discs, one studio, one live. Utilizing the aforementioned techniques the results of each disc is varied, with neither piece sounding alike. The freedom of interpretation leaves room for a wide variety of genres to be explored, not dissimilar to the mashing found in albums like 'Naked City', but with less coherency. Each piece spontaneously unfolds beneath a veil of dissonance, at times hint towards interesting music, but general these are just fleeting glimpses quickly petering out. The live disc is the more successful of the two interpretations. In the studio the ensemble feels weighed down by an awkward restraint, while the live disc the tension abates resulting in a semblance of harmony.

If your a fan of Zorn and wish to hear one of the games pieces I'd drop this one and pick up Archery, not fantastic but a little more successful than Cobra. For me, I sold the disc some time ago, and have not regretted it.

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