Forum Home Forum Home > Progressive Music Lounges > Prog Polls
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - 2nd Round Classics: Western Culture v. Drama
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

Topic Closed2nd Round Classics: Western Culture v. Drama

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  123>
Poll Question: Pick One!!!
Poll Choice Votes Poll Statistics
30 [51.72%]
28 [48.28%]
This topic is closed, no new votes accepted

Author
Message
micky View Drop Down
Special Collaborator
Special Collaborator
Avatar
Honorary Collaborator

Joined: October 02 2005
Location: .
Status: Offline
Points: 46704
Direct Link To This Post Topic: 2nd Round Classics: Western Culture v. Drama
    Posted: July 25 2015 at 07:45
next up.. a battle of English heavyweights from the complete opposite ends of the musical universe

Henry Cow!!!

Henry Cow - Western Culture  CD (album) cover

WESTERN CULTURE

Henry Cow

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

4.24 | 166 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Syzygy
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Western Culture was Henry Cow's farewell album, recorded after a protracted break during which they had become independent from Virgin Records, Chris Cutler had laid the foundations for what were to become Rock In Opposition and Recommended Records and they'd already decided to split. Much of the material which was to become the first Art Bears album had already been recorded before the band decided that the material wasn't 'Henry Cow', although the closing track 'Half The Sky' came from these sessions. With all this turmoil it's surprising that an album was made at all, and in a way it's ironic that this least showbizzy of bands should have followed the old showbiz maxim 'save the best till last'.

Western Culture is Henry Cow's most coherent album - the only one to feature only composed pieces, the only purely instumental album and the album on which Lindsay Cooper emerged as a talented composer in her own right, as well as a great musician. In creative terms, the album is a 50/50 split between Tim Hodgkinson, who wrote tracks 1 - 3 (side 1 of the vinyl original) and Lindsay Cooper (who wrote or co-wrote the remainder).

Hodgkinson's pieces on side 1 really blend into a seamless whole - brass and reeds play a prominent part here, with relatively little electric guitar but with acoustic guitar featuring prominently for the first time on a Henry Cow album. Special mention should be made of guest musician Anne Marie Roelofs, a Dutch musician who had played with them on stage, and who added some warm, blurry trombone lines to complement Cooper's bassoon - her playing is particularly effective on 'Industry' and 'The Decay Of Cities'. These compositions are a continuation of the compositional style first heard on 'Living In The Heart Of The Beast', with more of a jazz element (perhaps as a result of HC's work with the Mike Westbrook Orchestra and the Art Ensemble Of Chicago). They evoke a decaying urban landscape, with the closing piece 'On The Raft' giving a more optimistic tone with huge brass/reed chords played over a lazy tempo, the whole never quite settling into the comfortable orthodoxy that seems to be promised.

Lindsay Cooper's compositions are a more diverse selection, drawing on contemporary classical and avant garde influences. 'Falling Away' is probably the track that is closest to the avant rock style normally associated with Henry Cow. 'Gretel's Tale' features an astonishing piano contribution by Irene Schweizer, almost like John Cage plying free jazz. 'Half The Sky' takes its title from a famous quotation from Chairman Mao, also cited by John Lennon on 'Woman' a couple of years later - appropriate for a musician who would go on to be a key player in the Feminis Improvising Group.

The key players in Henry Cow continued to work together in various configurations over the years, and released a lot of fine music and exerted a massive influence on the more left field aspects of progressive rock. Odd tracks have since emerged on compilations, but there have been no reunion tours and no 'greatest hits'. Their final press release said that they would not be trapped into reproducing their past in order to secure their future, and they have been as good as thir word. Western Culture is a fitting end to a remarkable career, and is an essential album of its genre.

and against them.. some group called YES!!!  and yes.. a VASTLY underrated albumLOL

Yes - Drama CD (album) cover

DRAMA

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

3.76 | 1279 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

progaardvark
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Not only did Rick Wakeman leave Yes in 1979, but so did their lead singer Jon Anderson. Chris Squire recruited vocalist Trevor Horn and keyboardist Geoff Downes from the new wave band The Buggles to replace them. The Buggles? Yep, that's right. And what is so surprising about it, is that this new lineup's 1980 release of Drama was the most progressive output the band had made since Relayer. But it's not as surprising as one might think. True, the Buggles were into making that synthesized new wave music that became popular in the early 1980s, but both Downes and Horn were long-standing fans of Yes.

Drama is vastly underrated. I repeat, VASTLY underrated. Going for the One saw Yes move away from their three-songs-an-album days, and Tormato saw their transformation into mediocrity. Yes, there was some good material on those two albums, but much of it was uninspired. Drama is more or less a mix of the best of those two albums and their classic period. Clearly Downes and Horn breathed some fresh new air into a group that was deep in the doldrums.

Squire's bass playing on this album is phenomenal, on par with his work on Relayer. Steve Howe's guitar work on this is also fantastic and complements Geoff Downes on the keys. The production on this album is also significantly better than the previous two and that may have been a result of bringing Eddie Offord back as a co-producer.

Trevor Horn's voice takes a little getting used to, especially after hearing Jon Anderson's voice since the band's first album in 1969. Horn can't compare to Anderson. But if you let his voice sink in after awhile, you'll find he's quite competent at singing this style of music. His voice is actually quite similar in tone to Chris Squire's voice.

Unfortunately, this was the last incarnation of this new lineup and Yes would split up in 1981 with Downes and Howe joining Asia, Horn pursuing music production, and Squire and White pursuing other projects (like the XYZ project with Jimmy Page). As I said before, this one is often overlooked and is a vastly underrated gem. A masterpiece to my ears and the last real prog rock we would hear from Yes for quite some time. Five stars.


The Pedro and Micky Experience - When one no longer requires psychotropics to trip
Back to Top
zravkapt View Drop Down
Special Collaborator
Special Collaborator
Avatar
Honorary Collaborator

Joined: October 12 2010
Location: Canada
Status: Offline
Points: 6446
Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 25 2015 at 09:02
Moo
Magma America Great Make Again
Back to Top
Mellotron Storm View Drop Down
Prog Reviewer
Prog Reviewer
Avatar

Joined: August 27 2006
Location: The Beach
Status: Offline
Points: 10691
Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 25 2015 at 09:45
I am a fan of that Yes album but I gotta go with the Cow.
"The wind is slowly tearing her apart"

"Sad Rain" ANEKDOTEN
Back to Top
The Bearded Bard View Drop Down
Special Collaborator
Special Collaborator
Avatar
Post/Math Rock Team

Joined: January 24 2012
Location: Behind the Sun
Status: Offline
Points: 12858
Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 25 2015 at 10:24
Easily Western Culture.
Back to Top
GKR View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: January 22 2013
Location: Brazil
Status: Offline
Points: 1376
Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 25 2015 at 10:32
Well... look at my profile photo... LOL

Henry Cow changed the way I see music, I still cant put it in words.
- From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.
Back to Top
sleeper View Drop Down
Prog Reviewer
Prog Reviewer
Avatar

Joined: October 09 2005
Location: Entropia
Status: Offline
Points: 16449
Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 25 2015 at 10:32
Western Culture
Spending more than I should on Prog since 2005

Back to Top
LearsFool View Drop Down
Prog Reviewer
Prog Reviewer
Avatar

Joined: November 09 2014
Location: New York
Status: Offline
Points: 7848
Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 25 2015 at 10:39
The Cow
Back to Top
micky View Drop Down
Special Collaborator
Special Collaborator
Avatar
Honorary Collaborator

Joined: October 02 2005
Location: .
Status: Offline
Points: 46704
Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 25 2015 at 11:12
huge fan of Drama.. but in a few years I have from distaining the Cow (the whole RIO scene actually). to being curious.. to appreciating.. to really liking.

in a few more.. I might really come to love them.

sitting on the vote..  going to give this album a few more spins this week.
The Pedro and Micky Experience - When one no longer requires psychotropics to trip
Back to Top
akaBona View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: September 15 2010
Location: Finland
Status: Offline
Points: 2082
Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 25 2015 at 15:07
Henry Cow
Back to Top
Andrea Cortese View Drop Down
Special Collaborator
Special Collaborator
Avatar
Honorary Collaborator

Joined: September 05 2005
Status: Offline
Points: 4411
Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 25 2015 at 16:19
Drama
Back to Top
Wanorak View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: December 09 2006
Location: Canada
Status: Offline
Points: 4574
Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 25 2015 at 18:55
Drama by far. The most under-rated Yes album. Brilliant IMO.
A GREAT YEAR FOR PROG!!!
Back to Top
TornadoTongue View Drop Down
Forum Newbie
Forum Newbie
Avatar

Joined: June 20 2015
Location: UK
Status: Offline
Points: 34
Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 25 2015 at 19:04
Drama.
Back to Top
Tom Ozric View Drop Down
Prog Reviewer
Prog Reviewer
Avatar

Joined: September 03 2005
Location: Olympus Mons
Status: Offline
Points: 15866
Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 25 2015 at 20:04
Now this poll is pushin' it.
I love both equally, listen to both equally. I just can't choose one over the other.
Back to Top
PrognosticMind View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: August 02 2014
Location: New Hampshire
Status: Offline
Points: 1195
Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 26 2015 at 04:32
Originally posted by Wanorak Wanorak wrote:

Drama by far. The most under-rated Yes album. Brilliant IMO.

Precisely, and my vote, as well!

"I asked my love to give me sheh-eh-eh-eh-el-ter..." Tongue
"A squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast and bulbous. Got me?"
Back to Top
Svetonio View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: September 20 2010
Location: Serbia
Status: Offline
Points: 10213
Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 26 2015 at 10:03
Western Culture
Back to Top
Guldbamsen View Drop Down
Special Collaborator
Special Collaborator
Avatar
Retired Admin

Joined: January 22 2009
Location: Magic Theatre
Status: Offline
Points: 22827
Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 26 2015 at 10:05
Originally posted by zravkapt zravkapt wrote:

Moo


Moo two

“The Guide says there is an art to flying or rather a knack. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.”

- Douglas Adams
Back to Top
micky View Drop Down
Special Collaborator
Special Collaborator
Avatar
Honorary Collaborator

Joined: October 02 2005
Location: .
Status: Offline
Points: 46704
Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 26 2015 at 10:35
alrighty... the first of a good number of weekly spins of Western Culture underway... love Drama. Rate it with the best (though different obviously) that Yes ever did...  but the vote is there to be taken.


Edited by micky - July 26 2015 at 10:35
The Pedro and Micky Experience - When one no longer requires psychotropics to trip
Back to Top
Wicket View Drop Down
Prog Reviewer
Prog Reviewer
Avatar

Joined: June 27 2011
Location: New Jersey
Status: Offline
Points: 28
Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 26 2015 at 10:51
My contemporary percussionist ear says Cow. My feeble, catchy song driving playlist ear votes Yes.

Lets just give a half a vote to each and call it a day. Deal?
"My music is not modern, it is merely badly played" - Arnold Schoenberg
Back to Top
Pastmaster View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: January 23 2015
Location: Spiderwood Farm
Status: Offline
Points: 1769
Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 26 2015 at 10:53
Yes easily
Back to Top
micky View Drop Down
Special Collaborator
Special Collaborator
Avatar
Honorary Collaborator

Joined: October 02 2005
Location: .
Status: Offline
Points: 46704
Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 26 2015 at 11:11
hmmm...  no need to wait. More listens aren't changing this. Perhaps it was inevitable but open hearts.. open minds. I'm trying really hard Ringo.. trying really hard to be the rightious avant fan.

Perhaps these albums will meet again in 10 years and perhaps by then Auntie Raff and Uncle Ian will have fully converted me. I'm only on the path to RIO-Avant enlightenment... for now.. give me my ear candy. I still need it.

Howe's furious guitar runs, Squires kickin' bass lines, and the reminder it wasn't Anderson that was the voice of Yes.. it was the vocal harmonies.

Drama it is.
The Pedro and Micky Experience - When one no longer requires psychotropics to trip
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  123>

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 11.01
Copyright ©2001-2014 Web Wiz Ltd.

This page was generated in 0.148 seconds.

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.