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Diamond Head is Phil Manzanera's first solo album from 1975. For this release, the Roxy Music guitarist enlisted vocalists like John Wetton (Asia), Robert Wyatt and his Roxy band mate, Brian Eno. This reissue is packaged in a digi pack with new photos and a bonus track.
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Top Customer Reviews
Love and Peace,
Pop music is formulated to appeal to the lowest common denominator of musical appreciation. If you want to savor the sweetest fruits of any decade's music, you need to search beyond the popular, radio play music of the time.
Phil Manzanera is one of those artists who worked (and yes, continues to work) at a creative level, and with other artists that place his music beyond the scope and possibilities the pop circuit could have ever provided. Diamond Head is just one of his many gems. Give it a listen, you'll be very happy you did. Once you have, start to explore the music of the people with whom he worked on this album. You'll discover exactly how right I am that the 1970's produced the most incredible range of artistic music ever.
This is how an album should sound: varied, dynamic, a creative mix of personalities, songs and instrumentals. Recorded in January '75, (the same month that saw him also record Mainstream with Quiet Sun - a mostly instrumental recording with a mostly different band!), this first solo recording has always been my favorite Manzanera album. All the songs were written by Manzanera, either alone or in collaboration (with Wyatt, Eno, Wetton, and MacCormick).
For this album Manzanera gathered some of the finest British Prog-Rock musicians; Eddie Jobson, Brian Eno, Paul Thompson, Andy Mackay (basically his Roxy Music mates without Bryan Ferry) plus Robert Wyatt, John Wetton, Charles Hayward, Bill MaCormick and others. And although the 5 songs range from great ("Frontera"), to playful ("Big Day"), to inscrutable ("Miss Shapiro"), to anthem-ic ("Alma"), to mediocre ("Same Day Next Week" - a kind of boring song of a kind of boring sounding affair), it's the instrumentals that make this a classic; "Diamond Head", "East Of Echo" and "Lagrima", are all not to be missed, and "The Flex", while not in the same class, is still pretty interesting.
And a great album cover as well....
As for this 2011 "Collectors Edition" release; it includes 2 additional songs (to the original 1975 recording), better packaging and a thick little packet of liner notes (my old CD had a rather simple fold out with only the lyrics and credits of musicians given). This booklet has 18 pages of photos, a couple of essays (a new one by Manzanera, and the original '75 press release by Ian MacCormick - aka MacDonald), plus lyrics, musician credits, old reviews, and hand written song notes.
The additional songs were from that time (approximately). The instrumental "Carhumba" was inspired by Manzanera hearing a performance of Nigerian musicians. It's really quite a nice early example of World Music (British/Latin/African), with the late South African Mongezi Feza on trumpet, and holds it's own with anything Manzanera has written since. Corazon Y Alma was recorded by the original Quiet Sun in 1971! It's a prototype for the version of Alma recorded for the album (with completely different vocals), and while low-fi it's also quite nice, musically and historically.