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Leg End Limited Edition

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Vinyl, Limited Edition, September 14, 2010
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Product Details

  • Vinyl (September 14, 2010)
  • Original Release Date: 1973
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Limited Edition
  • Label: Rer
  • ASIN: B003TTBA7G
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #584,376 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

The first, 1973, release by Britain's most enigmatic and unclassifiable band. Formed in 1968 by two Cambridge students, Fred Frith and Tim Hodgkinson, Henry Cow's original influences included the likes of Soft Machine and Frank Zappa. However, in their undying quest to push the boundaries of conventional music, members soon took out their machetes and began hacking a new trail into an unmapped wilderness of sound. The band was thereby also staunchly anti-commercial, never compromising their sound to please anyone but themselves, and it is precisely because of this that they have gone on to influence so many musicians on the outer fringes of rock & roll on both sides of the Atlantic, particularly the NY experimental music scene. Now returned to its original audio mix. Limited audiophile edition of 2000 copies on 180 gram virgin vinyl. Tracks - Side A: 1. Nirvana for Mice 2. Amygdala 3. Teenbeat Introduction 4. Teenbeat Side B: 1. Extract from "With the Yellow Half-Moon and Blue Star" 2. Teenbeat Reprise 3. The Tenth Chaffinch 4. Nine Funerals of the Citizen King

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 19 customer reviews
An excellent dose of 70s avant-prog, obviously influenced by King Crimson.
Strobe Lights And Blown Speakers
As in all of their work, it pushes the envelope - there are elements here of rock & roll, modern composed music, along with a healthy dose of free improvisation.
Larry L. Looney
If you wanna know what this album is like, well, just keep this in mind- you won't be able to predict how any of these songs go.
B. E Jackson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Chet Fakir on December 1, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Henry Cow's music on this their first album is a rethinking of both progressive rock, its symphonic pretentions, rock and improvised music. It's radical and revolutionary. The Cow mix both incredibly complex composed pieces with stretches of improvised rock and jazz-like interplay that continually challenge the listener. You're taken on quite a wild ride with Geoff Leighs woodwinds, Fred Friths guitar, viola, the unconventional drumming of Chris Cutler, John Greaves nimble bass playing and the keyboards of Tim Hogkinson. The music is difficult and sometimes perhaps overly ambitious, but never boring. The album is almost entirely instrumental. The one piece with vocals is the Nine Funerals of the Citizen King and after hearing that one you'll know why they didn't sing on any of the other tracks. Henry Cow were trying to throw off convention and forge their own path and for the most part are successful with Leg End, their first album. They may have gotten better with subsequent albums such as the superb "Concerts" but this is a wonderful beginning and only gets 4 stars because of what was to come.

This CD, the original mix, is the one to buy. DO NOT BUY THE REMIX. It sucks because the remixers radically changed the dynamics between the instruments and added reverb over everything ruining what is an essential album of early '70s art rock.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "lexo-2" on December 1, 1999
Format: Audio CD
One of the nicer things about the Nineties has been the way so many long-deleted records by bands you were dying to listen to have come back into stock. This is the original mix of Henry Cow's first album Leg End (it's a joke - look at the sock - leg end - geddit?) because the earlier CD version was apparently remixed in a way that fans objected to. The sound here, anyway, is crisp and clean and acoustic, as the delightfully earnest young men of Henry Cow power their way through their deeply unlikely tunes. Apart from some embarrassing lyrics by Tom Hodgkinson (referring to Gertrude Stein as the "mama of Dada" is glib but inaccurate), the playing is great and there's some evil improvising. Highlight is the rousing Teenbeat, perhaps the closest the Cow ever got to having an anthem. Great stuff. Plus a booklet, with some funny photos of this least glamorous of bands onstage.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Gustavson on April 25, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This debut album by HC is in my opinion the most demanding than the rest of their works. It is also the one HC album that I discover a new thing with every time I listen to it, even I listened to it unnumerable times over the years. I am happy then for this ReR release which gives the most adequate and splendid representation of the old original.

As for the ground and pillars of HC I do not fall into the line of other reviewers here. Being aware of that HC attracted most of its listerners from the prog secene at the time, its roots is not to be found only in progmusic. According to Cutler the average prog bands were not an inspiration to them, including Crimson and Giant. Soft Machine is named though, and at times you will hear small echoes of that, they also used to play some Soft and Mole covers at live performances. Roots is to be found as well as much in contemporary avant garde compositional music such as for instance Schoenberg, Cowell and Stockhausen and in modern jazz etc. In fact HC had a very wide range of inspiration and were not as narrow in their approach as the typical prog bands, including the canterbury scene. In HC both new classical music, jazz, blues, and rock meets, but without fusing in a predictable way and still remaining their very own signature. In this way HC is unique and have made music that will be such, "new" and original, as well as musically progressive, in the true sense of the word, for many many more years to come. A classical band!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R. Flamini on March 29, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Henry Cow taps into a realm of music often over-looked by the masses. In the tradition of more widely accepted artists such as King Crimson and Frank Zappa, Henry Cow blends a wide variety of instruments into a syncopated, wild, wacky experience for the senses. "Teenbeat" provides the main theme for the disc. The interplay between the woodwinds and the drums is fascinating. Overall, if you appreciate progressive/avante-garde music that is a little "off-kilter", this disc is a must-have.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Paul Ess. on May 15, 2008
Format: Audio CD
This reminds me of those 70's detective tv movies, where the weird and wacky soundtrack jived and jostled all over the place; then Peter Falk would solve the most unlikely of murders, besieged it seemed, by belligerent superiors and zany camera angles.

The celluloid connection is important in my little world. If music is 'cinematic' then it goes up a notch in my estimation. If it's vast and complex (like Thomas Leer) or dynamic and sexy (like Dollar) the stars on this antiquated review points system are dripping atop each other like so many clicking poker chips.

Music should be about surprises, about little sound-deceits that play quick tricks with the ear. Startle the brain, stimulate, give pleasure (so much music is designed to do the opposite), be fun!
I love surprises. Count those stars and you'll see just how much 'Leg End' is the desired artifact. I spend a lot of time seeking out this type of stuff. Challenging-in-a-good-sense. Talented people who don't think banging things constitutes 'art', and scoff derisorily at the simpletons who do. (And there's load's of 'them')

I can't work out whether Henry Cow are snobs looking down their noses, or lads having a laugh.
Either's fine.
The music at the end of whatever process they're employing is outstanding in every sense - not the only validation they achieve. A deserved vindication.

I'm not as converse with some of this stuff as I'd like to think. It's a misnomer of sorts, this reviewing thing. There's only so much to say, only so much emotion energized by the surging brass and blistering percussion.

I'm staggered as to how good this is. From a sympathetic position anyway, I got myself further and further embroiled in it with each delirious spin.
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