Monday, July 30, 2012

Robert Fripp, God Save The Queen/Under Heavy Manners, 1980

This is an electronic/ambient production by English guitarist, composer and record producer, Robert Fripp. Among rock guitarists, Fripp is a master of crosspicking, a technique often associated with the banjo. His compositions often feature unusual time signatures, which have been influenced by classical and folk traditions. His innovations have included Frippertronics, following collaboration with  Brian Eno.

In the same way that Fripp's 1979 Exposure LP relates explicitly to his work with Peter Gabriel (on his 2nd eponymous, vastly underrated, solo album) & Daryll Hall, so God Save The Queen / Under Heavy Manners engages with his subsequent, heady period of career defining experimentation with Bowie (Heroes / Scary Monsters & Super Creeps) & Talking Heads (Fear Of Music).

Released by EG in 1980, God Save The Queen is, as it's complete title implies, an album of 2 distinct halves. Instrumental throughout, excepting David Byrne's pseudonymous cameo (as Absalm El Habib) on "Under Heavy Manners", side 1 solely employs the Frippertonics process as it's template, adapting it somewhat on side 2 for what Fripp craftily labelled "discotronics", i.e. posthumously combining his treated guitar loops with a studio-based rhythm section. The bedrock material for the entire album was recorded live in concert in 1979, with Buster Jones & Paul Duskin (bass & drums respectively) adding their contributions later. Though he'd already established The League Of Gentlemen as a touring unit by this point, Fripp clearly intended the LP to be recognised as a solo project &, not wanting to suggest a thematic connection with Eno's collateral ambient work, the album's original title, Music For Sports, was amended at the last minute.

Rather alarmingly for an artist of Fripp's stature, God Save The Queen / Under Heavy Manners has never been reissued (on CD or otherwise) so you'll need to scour eBay for an original copy.
A lovely album you will enjoy.

Robert Fripp - (1980) God Save The Queen/Under Heavy Manners

Studio Album, released in 1980.

Track Listings

"God Save the Queen":
1. Red Two Scorer (6:54)
2. God Save The Queen (9:50)
3. 1983 (13:20)

"Under Heavy Manners":
4. Under Heavy Manners (5:14)
5. The Zero Of The Signifed (12:38)