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Fred Frith

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Category: Other music related lounges
Forum Name: General Music Discussions
Forum Description: Discuss and create polls about all types of music
Printed Date: April 24 2018 at 03:39
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Topic: Fred Frith
Posted By: eugene
Subject: Fred Frith
Date Posted: June 16 2005 at 18:04

I just finished monitoring 5 pages of exchanges on "why isn't prog more popular?" or something, and even posted my own comments on it, then suddenly realised how useless all these discussions are. The only thing which amused me there is that arguments are really hot and aggressive and funny. But anyway, may I suggest a different topic, which might well be more useful for progarchives.

I recently came across two albums by Fred Frith. I discovered them unexpectedly in my friends bucket of "unlistenable music". After second or third listen I am falling in love with these ouevres, and wonder if anybody knows anything about Fred Frith's these and maybe other works ? The albums I have now are in mp3 formats with no cover sleeves and no information available, I only know that they are called "Gravity" and "Speechless" and released sometime in 80's. I also heard that Fred Frith used to work with Henry Cow, but I am not familiar with this band either.

It's a pity that we have 5 (five!) pages of arguments on absolutely irrelevant matters, and, in the same time, Fred Frith is not even presented in Progarchives

His music reminds me of Samla Mannas Manna, Muffins, and other RIO-related musicians. Could anyone please provide more information about Fred Frith, and probably someone could be kind enough to include him in these archives ???   

Posted By: seabre
Date Posted: June 16 2005 at 18:07
Henry Cow = good

Posted By: The Hemulen
Date Posted: June 16 2005 at 18:14
Frith isn't in the archives?! Blimey! We ought to do something about that.

His music is near the top of my "to be looked into" list (which doesn't actually exist, I'm nowhere near that organised, but yes I'm deviating). And if what you're saying about those albums is anywhere near the mark, they may be amongst those I begin my investigations with!

And yes indeebly seabre - Henry Cow = Bloody good.

Posted By: CaincelaOreinim
Date Posted: June 16 2005 at 19:00

Can't offer too much in light of additions to your Frith search and I agree whole-heartedly about the endless moot fracases that people decide to have here since they don't have lives (people should use this site to gather news on shows or expand their palates are far as I'm concerned).  But I'm pretty sure Frith was the guitarist/keyboardist on a few of the Art Bears albums as well.

Getting into a lot of "RIO" bands far I'm liking Thinking Plague and 5uus the best...of what I've heard at least...I have the other heavy hitting names as well but I haven't gotten a chance to listen yet.

Posted By: goose
Date Posted: June 17 2005 at 05:13
Someone mentioned a band called "The Science Group" a few months ago, some modern RIOish stuff & pretty nice.

Posted By: oliverstoned
Date Posted: June 17 2005 at 05:20
Henry cow/Legend

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Posted By: The Hemulen
Date Posted: June 17 2005 at 07:32
Why the hell has this been moved to non-prog music?!

Posted By: Syzygy
Date Posted: June 17 2005 at 10:13

Fred Frith first came to prominence (in a very low key kind of way) with Henry Cow, where he was one of the main composers. He's best known as a guitarist, but is also an accomplished performer on piano, violin, viola and xylophone, and seems to have turned his hand to everything else at one point or another. After Henry Cow split he formed Art Bears with Dagmar Krause and Chris Cutler - Frith wrote the music and played most of the instruments, Cutler wrote the words and played the drums and Dagamar was the singer.

He's also been a guest musician on countless albums - on this site he's played on albums by Eno, Robert Wyatt, Aqsak Maboul and Jade Warrior to name but several. 

Then there's his solo career...

He started out with Guitar Solos on the Caroline label, an album of very strange solo improvs. Later came Guitar solos 2 and 3, which also featured solos from other avant-jazz-rock improv merchants. 'Gravity' and 'Speechless' were recorded around 1980 with backing from The Muffins and Sammla Mammas Manna among others. Those albums are probably his most accessible. He spent some time in New York where he recorded with Bill Laswell's Material and worked on many other projects. He has composed for film and theatre, become an internationally renowned improviser, sometimes in the company of Chris Cutler on drums (there's a recording of a gig in Prague which is as intense as rock improv gets). He's still experimenting and innovating to this day - a lot of his music is closer to contemporary avant garde than to prog, but Gravity and Speechless should be included on this site, as should the (John) French, Frith, (Henry) Kaiser and (Richard) Thompson albums.

To find out more, go to -

A good source for this kind of music is -  which was started up and is still run by his old bandmate Chris Cutler.


'Like so many of you
I've got my doubts about how much to contribute
to the already rich among us...'

Robert Wyatt, Gloria Gloom

Posted By: oliverstoned
Date Posted: June 17 2005 at 10:26
Originally posted by Trouserpress Trouserpress wrote:

Why the hell has this been moved to non-prog music?!

wheras DT and other craps ARE in the prog discussions!

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Posted By: eugene
Date Posted: June 17 2005 at 17:01
Syzygy, thank you very much for your informative feed back, and for the links, which i am going to check right now

Posted By: eugene
Date Posted: June 17 2005 at 18:15

Originally posted by Trouserpress Trouserpress wrote:

Why the hell has this been moved to non-prog music?!

I would join in this question.  - Who is making a decision to move a topic about progressive musician to non-prog section of forum, and why???

I, personally, do not mind in this particular case, as I received some info which helps me to investigate Fred Frith works further by myself, but there might be many other prog-listeners who are or might be interested in same, but would never open Non-Prog Music section, - I would definitely not in other circumstances....

Strange and pityful.....



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