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GENTLEMEN WITHOUT WEAPONS

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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Gentlemen Without Weapons biography
Gentlemen Without Weapons formed in 1987 a trio of Kenny Young, Nick Glennie-Smith and Vic Coppersmith-Heaven who released the album Transmissions in 1988 which was made using digitally sampled natural sounds and no musical instruments. The art work was prepared by the legendary Storm Thorgerson, who needs little introduction.
Glennie-Smith is part of Zimmer's film score company Remote Control Productions, to which he has conducted soundtracks such as The Simpsons Movie, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, X-Men: First Class and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Glennie-Smith is also known as the master composer of the music in the French theme park le Puy du Fou. He also accompanied Zimmer on the score for Man of Steel. He had a brief collaboration with Roger Waters - first on the 1986 film When the Wind Blows, then some keyboard overdubbing for Waters' 1987 Radio K.A.O.S. album (namely the song "The Powers that Be"), and finally - performing at the 1990 concert "The Wall Live in Berlin" as a keyboardist alongside Peter Wood.

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TRANSMISSIONS - Gentlemen without weapons - AMA 1988 LP USD $14.85 Buy It Now 2 days
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Gentlemen Without Weapons ?- Transmissions Vinyl LP A&M Records ?- 395204-1 1988 USD $3.95 [0 bids]
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2.95 | 2 ratings
Transmissions
1988

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GENTLEMEN WITHOUT WEAPONS Reviews


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 Transmissions  by GENTLEMEN WITHOUT WEAPONS album cover Studio Album, 1988
2.95 | 2 ratings

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Transmissions
Gentlemen Without Weapons Crossover Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

3 stars Gentlemen Without Weapons was a controversial decision to include in the prog umbrella, as it was a controversial release back in 1988 when it first appeared, an odd-fitting, one-off project that was based on nature protection, environmental concerns that have since become mainstream as well as using no conventional musical instruments! This is not your usual progressive rock record, no epic suites, no bombastic synths with complex time signatures and thunderous playing. This is an altogether different kettle of fish, a sonic tapestry that certainly has many new age tendencies, much like the Beautiful World project led by Phil Sawyer, a couple of releases featuring similar computer generated bliss but coming much later, in 1994. This 1988 release was simply innovative, ground-breaking and revolutionary, in so many ways, politically, socially and musically. That is why it deserves a place in our community.

There are prog connections, via Nick Glennie-Smith's participation in Roger Waters' Radio KAOS as well as Storm Thorgerson being the artist used by Floyd as well as many other progressive and non-progressive album covers via his celebrated company Hipgnosis. Some may feel that this is not enough to satiate the arduous fan out there but "Transmissions" gets its credentials (as well as its PA passport) all due to the fact of its inherent originality and uniqueness. Yeah, there are pop songs that verge on the corny (Yes, ELP, Tull, Genesis and even King Crimson have a few of those!), such as the cheesy anthem "Unconditional Love", the boingo-zoingo weirdness of "Eons Roll By", the dense jungle of "Earth Love" and the brilliantly evocative (and my fave) "Islands of the Future", with its enticing synthesized calypso feel.

All the sounds are generated by computerized samples of natural noises, a bit like Yello's legendary Boris Blank (owner of a massive library of sounds that is unparalleled in the world), all moulded, sculpted and transformed into accessible music. Some tracks are bizarre, jungle-infested noises and effects, such as the bouncy "Buddha's Monkey", a spectrum of dense sonic foliage that assaults the senses and giving Kenny Young the microphone to extoll the virtues of saving our doomed planet, a more than worthwhile cause today, much-maligned as 'hippie-ism' at the time. The title track is another tropical adventure, using colossal amounts of effects, child choir and rain forest chirping that is totally gripping and yet also fragile. "Rains of Terror" is a companion segue that also seeks out more creative expanses, infusing female massed voices and male counterpoint choir. Yes, the synthetic percussives are also very 'boom-boom tchak', a Kraftwerk-like sensibility blended with sheer special effect chemistry. "Uchu O Mamoro" is another lush audio exercise, hooting bird sounds, exotic fruits and chirping wildlife. The album finishes off with a couple of quirky tunes that are perhaps closer to the pop style that would fuel the accessibility of their cause, "Time-the Clock Song" has all kinds of mechanical tones, humble melody and spirited delivery. "Earthlings" possesses a universal earth message that meets important criteria in uniting the world in finding solutions to problems that are only now being addressed (global warming, resources squandering, pollution and poaching).

Gentlemen Without Weapons were way before their time, a beacon of light in a somber time, at least musically. They deserve presence and appreciation but not necessarily any status as a prog masterpiece!

3 Guys with no Guns

Thanks to tszirmay for the artist addition.

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