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Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) Miniatures (edited by Morgan Fisher) album cover
3.53 | 5 ratings | 2 reviews | 20% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1980

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. (5:00)
1) Bum Love : Ollie Halsall and John Halsey
2) We're a Happy Family / Bali Ha'l : The Residents
3) The Wreck of Hesperus : Roger McGough
4) Green and Pleasant : Morgan Fisher
5) Mine Tonight : John Otway
2. (6:00)
1) My Way : Pete Challis and Phil Diplock
2) Rangers in the Nightst : Robert Wyatt
3) Opus 5 : Stinky Winkles
4) Body Language : Mary Longford
5) Andy the Dentist : Andy Thunderclap Newman
6) Wagner's Ring in One Minute : David Bedford
3. (5:00)
1) The Entire Works of Henry Cow : Fred Frith
2) Look Beneath the Surface : Maggie Nicols
3) Week-End : Joseph Racaille
4) With Wings Pressed Back : The Work
5) Cum on Feel the Noize : Neil Innes and Son
4. (5:00)
1) Toscany in Blue (Last Minute) : Herbert Distel
2) An End to the Matter : Lol Coxhill
3) One Minute in the Life of Ivan Denisovich : Ken Ellis
4) Alice : Steve Miller
5. (6:00)
1) John Peel Sings the Blues Badly : Norman Lovett
2) Serrons Nous Les Coudes : Patrick Portella
3) Sounds that Saved My Life (Homage to K.S.) : George Melly
4) Miniature : Robert Fripp
5) The History of Rock 'n' Roll : Andy Partridge (XTC)
6) Breather : Phantom Captain
6. (6:00)
1) Enterbrain Exit : Ron Geesin
2) An Imaginary Orchestra : Alejandro Viñao
3) Stop the Music for a Minute : Quentin Crisp
4) Tetrad : Simon Desorgher
5) Sweetest Love (Lament After a Broken Sashcord on a Theme of John Donne) : Ralph Steadman
6) Tipperary : R.D. Laing and Son
7. (5:00)
1) Beach Double : Trevor Wishart
2) Scène De Ballet : John White
3) Brooch Boat : Ivor Cutler
4) Do Tell Us : Hector Zazon
5) A Miniaturisation of Bartok's Sonata for 2 Pianos & Percussion (3rd Movement) : Michael Bass and Ellen Tenenbaum
8. (4:00)
1) A Swift One : Martin Chambers (The Pretenders)
2) Refreshment Break : Bob Cobbing and Henri Chopin
3) Night Torch : Dave Vanian (The Damned)
4) Racing Poodles : Metabolist
9. (5:00)
1) After Mendelssohn : Gavin Bryars
2) Paint it Black : 1/2 Japanese
3) Arthurs Treat : Simon Jeffes (Penguin Cafe Orchestra)
4) Talking World War III Blues : Mark Perry
5) 89 - 90 - 91 - 92 : Michael Nyman
10. (5:00)
1) Index of Ends : David Cunningham (Flying Lizards)
2) James, Mark and Me (In the Manner of Tom Waits) : Kevin Coyne
3) Hep! : Etron Fou Leloublan
4) The Minute Warp : Neil Oram and Ken Cambell and the Science Fiction Theatre of Liverpool
5) Chorale from Beethoven's 9th Symphony : Pete Seeger
11. (1:00)
1) One Minutes Silence : No Artists
12. (1:00)
1) The Miniatures Miniature : All Artists

Line-up / Musicians

See above...

Releases information

CD Blueprint BP159CD, 1980/1994
The brain-child of renowned keyboard player Morgan Fisher, "Miniatures" is probably the most interesting and original compilation album ever made. Forty-seven of the most inventive and innovative musicians were intrigued enough to contribute to the project.

A great album of 53 tracks of music, poetry and thoughts, each lasting no longer than one minute, by an eclectic selection of artists from mainstream pop to the avant garde and edited by Morgan Fisher. Originally released in 1980 on Fisher's own Pipe records, amongst the contributors are Robert Wyatt, Robert Fripp, Quentin Crisp, Michael Nyman, Pete Seeger, Ivor Cutler, The Residents, Roger McGough, Andy Partridge (XTC), Neil Innes, Dave Vanian (Damned), George Melly and John Otway. Includes detailed notes on each track and recent sleeve notes by Morgan Fisher about the concept and execution of the project.
Times given above are approximate.

Thanks to dick heath for the addition
and to dick heath for the last updates
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VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) Miniatures (edited by Morgan Fisher) ratings distribution

(5 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (40%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) Miniatures (edited by Morgan Fisher) reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Dick Heath
4 stars A unique gem of a record, that does not allow itself to be categorised easily. Morgan Fisher takes his inspiration from a short banjo solo by the legendary Pete Seeger based on Beethoven's 9th (aka Ode To Joy), and recorded almost 30 years earlier; (it's here). In the early 80's Fisher asked musicians (and others) each, to produce a piece of music or spoken word, 60 seconds or less long. The musicians ranged from Robert Wyatt to Ollie Hassell via Robert Fripp, but also included those better known for their punk output, such as members of the Damned or XTC, or avant musicians such as Lol Coxhill and Fred Frith. Fisher too, contributes his sub-minute piece and had the unenviable task of merging these disperate shorts together into an album of 4 to 6 minute tracks.

When this record was originally put together, Fisher literally had to use cut and paste methods to produce his tape masters - no digital short cuts here. However, after several plays of this album you should get a feeling of balance in each of the tracks, consisting of these shorts joined together. As a joke or perhaps as a relief from the relative complexity of the first approx 50 minutes, you are provided with a minute of silence (but isn't this copyrighted already by John Cage?). And finally every one of those 50 ODD miniatures is sampled to give yet another one minute track.

An most original idea for a record - and it is time for somebody to have another go.......... but with this suggestion: why not separately index each sub-minute piece so that the listener, by hitting the random play switch on a CD player, then can have a large number variations as they desire?

So expect almost anything musically here, but don't expect it to last for very long, while expecting to be really entertained!

Review by Dobermensch
3 stars Each track on 'Miniatures' lasts exactly one minute. This is actually a really good, sharp and straight to the point experimental album with a huge number of participants, each of whom add a certain individuality to proceedings,

If I tried to review this album track by track I'd be here all night. There are 40 tracks after all and that would bore most folk senseless. Most tracks are with vocals and outside the realm of normality. Of particular note is the hilarious rendition of 'Cum on Feel The Noiz' by Slade. It's rendered by the son of Neil Innes of Monty Python "Brave Sir Robin Ran Away" fame. Just a wee boy and a set of kid drums singing said song.

Each contributor has a painstakingly short entry where you can almost feel the frustration at the effort of fitting everything in within one minute. Intentionally, there's literally no drums or conventional instruments present in order to maintain continuity between tracks.

Interestingly the Residents also had an album of forty 'one minute tracks' released in the same year - one of which appears on this compilation.

'Miniatures' has a scatter gun approach with bullets flying at all angles replete with memorable quotations and rapid fire non sequiturs which will leave you none the wiser after listening. A truly bizarre and one off recording that says and means nothing.

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