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The First Day

Trey Gunn, David Sylvian, Robert FrippAudio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Virgin Records
  • ASIN: B00004VFTN
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #176,054 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A pleasant surprise February 5, 2001
David Sylvian - Japan frontman, master of soft melancholy. Robert Fripp, responsible for some of the most evil, demonic guitar playing on record. At first glance this would seem like a match made in hell.
On listening to The First Day, however - and I mean repeated listening, giving it the chance to sink in - we see that everything makes sense. Their musical personalities perfectly balance each other out. Fripp's predilection towards aimless white noise is offset by Sylvian's masterful sense of melody, and Sylvian's occasional lapse into cliches is saved by an unexpected guitar riff. They play off, between and around each other to product a heady stew of sounds and tones, full of surprises. The solo on "Firepower" and psychedelic phase of "20th Century Dreaming" alone would be worth the price, but there's so much more. In "God's Monkey," "Brightness Falls" and "Jean the Birdman" we get a taste of Sylvian's short, structured work given flavor by Fripp's ether and the masterful Stick work of Trey Gunn. Through the entire album Trey is all over the place, and yet always seems just where he should be without any overreaching. The best comparison I can make is to Jaco Pastorius's bass work on Joni Mitchell's Shadows & Light. But I digress.
In addition to masterully blending previous styles and letting loose with some of their most inspired playing in years, Robert and David take on house-techno music and ambient psychedelia - and do it better than musicians half their age. "Darshan," despite being a 17-minute take on the same dance rhythm, doesn't get repetitive; there's some dreamy synth or ear-twisting guitar around every corner.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars outstanding June 6, 2001
If you're thinking about getting this album because you're a Fripp/ Crimson fan, great ... you'll love it. BUT, you are in for a BIG surprise!
I sampled this album on a lark, simply to get another sample of Robert Fripp's abundant non-Crimson work. I was not let down in the slightest. Fripp never fails to delight. But even moreso, I was totally blown away by the smooth, mellow voice of David Sylvian, and the quality of the songwriting and arrangement.
Fripp's guitar work is diverse, ranging from a crunchy projeKct sound, to to full-length instrumental soundscapes. And somehow, all of it fits perfectly with Sylvian's lyrics and singing. I would attempt a description or comparison of David Sylvian with someone else, but I don't think it's possible. He's in a class and a style by himself. Smooth, mellow, restrained. Soulful.
I promptly purchased Sylvian & Fripp's other collaborations, as well as several other Sylvian albums. I haven't hit a bad one yet.
If you're planning on getting this album, just go ahead and order "Gone to Earth" right now as well. When you hear "The First Day" you'll immediately be back for it anyway. <g>
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
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The First Day is widely thought of as a King Crimson CD in all but name; I see no reason to disagree, since three members on this disc went on to the newest incarnation of KC. David Sylvian has a distinctive songwriting style which is shown to great advantage here; what lifts this disc above the recent Crim CDs is its rhythmic and melodic accessibility. (Sorry, Crim fans, but I find most recent Crim stuff unlistenable.)
The styles on this disc range widely, from the funk of "God's Monkey" to the pseudo-blues of "Brightness Falls," to the thrilling deployment of Frippertronics in "Firepower." The centerpiece is the 17-minute "Darshan," which is a tour-de-force of rhythmic power and is certainly the best groove ever done by any of the Crimsonites on record. A great cruising tune. Fripp gets plenty of solo room here and uses it to great effect. As a guitarist, he has the best right hand in the business - never a missed upbeat or downbeat in his picking hand. Incredible. This is an underrated guitar skill that pretty much lets him do whatever he wants on the instrument. Probably his best work since "Satori in Tangier" from many moons ago. Overall, The First Day is the best recorded example of Frippertronics use in a band context, and one of Fripp's most listenable CDs in the last decade.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Splatology December 5, 2004
An outstanding collaboration between two giants of "art-rock". Sylvian is the frontman and songwriter that Fripp has always been in need of. Fripp rips throughout....I am not aware of any other album where he lets it all out in such a fierce manner. Silent partner Trey Gunn on chapman stick and drummer Jerry Marotta lay down some sinewy and funky grooves. It is a shame that Sylvian and Marotta declined the invitations to make this King Crimson...perhaps this perfect union could have lasted for just "The First Day".
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This one stands the test of time February 11, 2007
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I bought this one brand new -- being a Fripp fan from his early Crimson days -- and have hung on to it all these years. This is one of the weirdest, most seductive, albums I've ever heard. I'd probably learn a thing or two by learning more about the intricies involved in creating this album. But, just putting it on and going with it, it's real mindblower!

Karl Kunkel

High Point, NC
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Sylvian - Fripp collaboration works for me.
As a die hard Crimson fan it took me a while to finally get this CD in my collection. I've only listened to it a few times but I can already feel that it will be a grower. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Salvador Rigel
5.0 out of 5 stars A collaboration as good as its name.
One of the records that completely rattled my world, "The First Day" by David Sylvian and Robert Fripp exposed me to the music of David Sylvian and by extension, the various acts... Read more
Published on August 9, 2007 by Michael Stack
4.0 out of 5 stars The First Day...
I must admit, I bought this CD 13 years ago and never got around to playing it (you know, 'impulse' buying!). Just gave it a whirl at my desk and was pleasantly surprised. Read more
Published on November 22, 2006 by D. S. HARDEN
5.0 out of 5 stars Best rock album of the modern era
I arrived at this CD by chance, a person who has collected heavily in the jazz and classical world and one who has consistently been disappointed in rock music. Read more
Published on June 30, 2005 by Russell Novak
5.0 out of 5 stars deep soul
DAVID SYLVIAN & ROBERT FRIPP-this cd is absolutely one of my favorites. it mixes humorous lyrics with soul-searching ones... Read more
Published on December 29, 2001 by Stephanie H.
2.0 out of 5 stars Bad rockin dudes
David Sylvian doesn't rock, and this record proves it. He sounds unconvincing trying to wrap melodies over powerchords, and most of the songs are therefore melodically weak. Read more
Published on August 18, 2000 by August Sanders
5.0 out of 5 stars Addictive!
I first heard this a few years ago as a big Crimson fan I was instantly addicted. I had never heard of Sylvian at the time, and honestly his vocal style annoyed me a little at... Read more
Published on August 12, 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars Vital for any Fripp listener
In the interest of full disclosure, I'm a Fripp/Crimson fan who hadn't heard anything by David Sylvian before this came out. Read more
Published on August 8, 2000
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