Tuesday, December 31, 2013

UK – Danger Money

   The band U.K. became the progressive rock legend when punk was already on the run for high positions on charts and popular music was active probably more than ever. I could be the strong evidence the real greatness doesn’t need too many reasons to be recognized. Only two studio albums of the band, recorded with two lineups in 1978 and 1979, were enough reason to be remembered. The band has achieved great fame in the group of progressive rock listeners which was at those times already fast diminishing subculture. Reflections of society exhausted with depraved politics and economic recession were explicitly pronounced in many artistic and popular media. Danger Money in 1979 was the statement many considered their own. And it was not an isolated voice. In the same 1979 Pink Floyd published their anti-system manifesto The Wall and The Clash recorded London Calling.
   U.K. was absolute super group in terms of historic progrock ideas and in experience. Musicians created their own sound and new generation of musical improvements in post-disco era. The band was formed by John Wetton playing bass and singing and Eddie Jobson playing keyboards and electric violin. Wetton was known for his work with King Crimson and Uriah Heep, Jobson was remembered from Curved Air and Frank Zappa’s band. Both were playing in Roxy Music. First lineup was formed by Wetton with Bill Bruford, drummer of Yes, King Crimson and Genesis who recruited Allan Holdsworth, guitarist of Soft Machine and Gong. 

UK – Danger Money (1979)

   After self titled debut U.K. album, the quartet had split as the consequence of artistic disagreements. Allan Holdsworth parted the band and Bill Bruford shortly goes after him. John Wetton and Eddie Jobson hired Terry Bozzio, phenomenal young drummer already known for great appearances in Frank Zappa’s bands. As the trio U.K. became one most famous progrock bands, it is worth to remember the whole fame came with the one studio album Danger Money. Recording sessions took place in London AIR Studios between November 1978 and January 1979. After European tour in December 1979 trio was disbanded as a consequence of differences between Wetton and Jobson. In 2011 the band was reformed with the same trio lineup for reunion world tour.
   Between many progressive bands of late 70’s, the U.K., especially in its second embodiment, was quite exceptional project. Unlike other bands of these times, this trio was playing with some radical ideas of early progrock. With steady rock riffs and appealing melodies, close harmony vocals, harmonic coloristics and complex, changing and often odd time signatures, music of U.K. was well established in progressive style, perfectly done and enriched with expressive solos. Special place took art of Terry Bozzio who was probably most influential drummer of late seventies generation. What made this trio and it’s record so famous was the style which those times was quite unique, but even the style wouldn’t be enough if not the personalities of artists. Four stars for this album means featured position in the history of rock.

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