FRED FRITH — Gravity

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FRED FRITH - Gravity cover
3.98 | 6 ratings | 1 review
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Album · 1980

Tracklist

1.The Boy Beats The Rams (Kluk Tluce Berany) (5:00)
2.Spring Any Day Now (3:09)
3.Don't Cry For Me (3:32)
4.The Hands Of The Juggler (5:38)
5.Norrgarden Nyvla (2:58)
6.Year Of The Monkey (4:18)
7.What A Dilemma (3:15)
8.Crack In The Concrete (1:26)
9.Come Across (2:50)
10.Dancing In The Street / My Enemy Is A Bad Man (4:47)
11.Slap Dance (2:35)
12.A Career In Real Estate (4:47)
13.Dancing In Rockville, Maryland (2:56)

Total Time 44:31

Line-up/Musicians

Fred Frith: bass, guitar, violin, keyboards, drums, extra percussion
Hans Bruniusson (1-6,10): drums
Eino Haapala (1-6): guitar, mandolin
Lars Hollmer (1-6): piano, organ, accordion
Marc Hollander (1-13): alto, clarinet, bass clarinet, soprano
Dave Newhouse (7-13): alto, organ
Tom Scott (11): soprano
Paul Sears (7,8,10,11,13): drums
Billy Swann (8,10,11,13): bass

Plus: Olivia Bruynhooge : tap dancing,
clapping; Chris Cutler snare drum, maraccas, clapping, drums;
Tina Curran whirling, clapping, subliminal bass; Frank Wuyts whirling, clapping, recorders, drums, piano, synthesiser; Michel
Berckmans : clapping, oboe, bassoon; Etienne Conod clapping;
Denis Van Hecke: clapping, cello; Veronique Vincent clap-
ping; Asha Swanson final comments

About this release

1980 - Ralph Records (USA), FF-8057-L (LP)
1990 - T.E.C. Tones (USA), FF-8057 (LP)
1991 - RecRec Music (Switzerland), ReCDec 901 (CD) (version 1)
1991 - RecRec Music (Switzerland), ReCDec 901 (CD) (version 2)
1991 - RecRec Music (Switzerland), RecRec 901 (CT)
1991 - East Side Digital (USA), ESD 80452 (CD)
2002 - Fred Records/ReR Megacorp (UK), ReR/FRO 01 (CD)
1991 CD reissues contain extra material

Thanks to kazuhiro for the addition and js, snobb for the updates

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Specialists/collaborators reviews

js
This is one of Frith's more accessible records, but it is hardly commercial. These are mostly fairly short songs that mix traditional Persian and East European instrumental dance music with progressive rock, lounge exotica and Frith's unique brand of avant-garde improvisation. The progressive rock sections bear some resemblance to artists like Zappa, Fripp and Snakefinger. Frith and his band mates play a wide variety of acoustic stringed instruments such as violin, mandolin and acoustic guitar, but Frith also adds a lot of heavily sustained electric guitar melodies in the classic progressive rock tradition of Hackett, Manzanera and once again, Fripp. Some songs on this album are worth special mention. 'Norrgarden Nyvla' starts with a short quirky intro and then lays into a nice Frith violin solo over a Indo-Persian groove. After that lengthy section the whole song breaks down into an odd but catchy triple-tracked guitar melody that wouldn't sound too out of place on an early 70's Zappa record.

The track 'What a Dilemma' is a driving avant-garde hard rock song that is similar to Frith's noisy Massacre band, or some of King Crimson's more harsh tunes. 'A Career in Real Estate' is a trip around the world musically that doesn't sound contrived or pretentious. Despite numerous style and meter changes the whole song hangs together thanks to Frith's ability to create coherent melodies that tie the different sections together. The only song that doesn't meet the standards of the rest of the album is his cover of 'Dancing in the Streets'. The version by Martha Reeves will never be topped, the cover by Black Oak Arkansas isn't bad either, but this version is boring and tedious and contains none of the original's magic.

Fred Frith is one of the best composers to come out of the world of rock music. His ability to write interesting melodies with constantly shifting time signatures is unparalleled in this genre. If you want to check out his music, this album is a good place to start.

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