Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Bill Bruford - Bruford: Rock Goes to College CD (album) cover


Bill Bruford


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.43 | 31 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Honorary Reviewer
4 stars As a 16-year-old back in 1979, I used to try and see as many episodes of 'Rock Goes To College' as possible, as seeing live gigs on TV was so rare back then. Of course, this was in the days before video recorders so I could only see them when they were aired, but some of the shows made a huge impact on me (I vividly remember both April Wine and AC/DC). What we have here is the first gig by the band of Bill Bruford (drums, percussion), Allan Holdsworth (guitar), Dave Stewart (keyboards), Jeff Berlin (bass) and Annette Peacock (voice), capturing them at the very beginning of their journey. It is also the only time this line-up was ever filmed, and the album has now been reissued as a DVD/CD set.

I only have the audio, but with this line-up I am more than happy enough to sit back and revel in what is taking place in my ears. Holdsworth will rightly always be thought of as one of the most important and innovative guitarists of his generation, many will argue the same for Dave Stewart (Egg, Khan, Hatfield and the North, National Health), Berlin was a well-known session bassist (Patrick Moraz, David Liebman, Patti Austin) and then driving them all was Bill Bruford. (I know it seems like I overlooked Annette Peacock, another incredibly well-known performer, but she only appears on a few songs). Any fan of progressive rock music will already own multiple albums featuring Bill Bruford, such is his importance to the genre, and this recording is an important slice of time, as not long afterwards Holdsworth had departed, and the band itself disbanded after only a few years, with Bruford working again with King Crimson and then moving more into jazz. Each of this quartet can take the lead at any given time yet are also prepared to sit back and support the others. The result is something which sounds very 70's due to the fusion style being used but is also fresh and still exciting all these years later.

Bruford has a real skill in writing parts for others which allows them to shine, and anyone who has yet to read his autobiography really does need to do so as it provides incredible insight into him as musician, composer, and person. This album has been made available a few times previously, and there have been complaints from some that the sound is not as good as it might be, but if that has been an issue in the past then that has now been resolved as this is wonderfully clear for a live recording of this age (it does help that it was recorded by the BBC). It is a great example of Seventies fusion from guys who were bouncing off each other, and that they had been together for such a short period of time is nothing short of incredible.

kev rowland | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this BILL BRUFORD review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

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