801- 801 Live
CD, Album, US, Original release 1976
EG - EGCD 26
A side project by Roxy Music's great guitarist Phil Manzanera, with an all-star cast of musicians that were making a big noise in the year of punk 1976. Here we have a combination of three albums or artists promoting their work in one swoop. Manzanera's side band Quiet Sun, his first proper solo album, and Eno's early solo albums. The great thing about Manzanera is that he's half prog and half Ventures/Shadows. His range of styles go from world music to Joe Meek. 801, named after an Eno lyric, uses the skills of prog/jazz into the pure rush of something like “Baby's on Fire.” The beauty of “Diamond Head” is almost Shadows like in that the guitar plays a hypnotic melody and it just builds and builds. Two interesting covers on this live set; The Kinks “You Really Got Me” and The Beatles “Tomorrow Never Knows” which perfectly conveys the interest in dream-like pop with the grittiness of British invasion rock via The Kinks.
The arrangements on 801 are beautifully put together. “Rongwrong” truly an exquisite piece of dreamy music starts off like an Eno out-take from Another Green World and then goes into this wishful melody. One of the great things about 801 is that you can clearly hear every instrument, so everyone stands out, yet the whole sound or picture is extremely sophisticated – and the cuts blend into each other effortlessly.
To give band full credit: Phil Manzanera guitar, Bill MacCormick on bass, Francis Monkman electric piano, Simon Phillips drums, Lloyd Watson guitar, and Brian Eno on everything else. All splendid here.
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