13.1.13

ROBERT FRIPP : God Save The Queen (Under Heavy Manners) LP (EG, 1980) / Silent Night flexi (Praxis, 1979)

GSTQ 2
GSTQ 1
GSTQ 3
I originally posted these 2 hard-to-find Robert Fripp releases way back in June/July 2010. Both proved to be particularly popular selections, but were deleted when Megaupload unexpectedly bought the farm. I've had a few requests to re-up both records so, with all due respect to the distinguished Mr. Fripp, here they are again.

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

Released by EG in January 1980 - remarkably, just 6 months after Exposure - 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 exclusively employs the spellbinding Frippertonics system as it's template, adapting it somewhat on side 2 for a process 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 substituted at the last minute.

Astonishingly, for an artist of Fripp's eminent stature, God Save The Queen / Under Heavy Manners has never been reissued (on CD or otherwise), so if you want to own it you'll need to scour eBay for an original copy.
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Fripp's elegant version of "Silent Night" - "Silent Night รก la Frippertronics" to give it it's full title - was given away, as a red 6" Eva-Tone Soundsheet (i.e. flexidisc), with issue #3 of Chicago-based arts journal Praxis in December 1979. Fripp's label, EG Records, also used it as an aural Christmas card that year - a savvy bit of self-promotion perhaps, but also a beautiful gratis demonstration of the Frippertronics system's haunting melodic qualities. Subsequently, it was included on King Crimson's Sex Sleep Eat Drink E.P., a 1995 odds & sods collection that has been out of print for several years. That's the source I've used here, so it's free of the invasive polyvinyl surface noise that might otherwise have tarnished it's fragile, shimmering ambience.

(By rights, I probably ought to have re-posted this one last month, oh well...)

n.b. Those readers requiring further, in-depth elaboration upon Fripps's methodologies, may wish to spend 10 minutes perusing this ever-so-slightly mind-boggling contemporaneous interview.

● A Small Mobile Independent Intelligent Unit

UPDATE: These files have been deleted by Hotfile - presumably at Mr. Fripp's request - for a second time, so I suggest you head directly to Discogs & pick up an original copy of GSTQ on vinyl (the likelihood of it ever being officially reissued is looking increasingly slim).

15 comments:

  1. One of my most played records of the last few years, completely bypassed it when it came out based no doubt on spurious NME-think of "prog is bad, punk is good".

    Strangely, I was hunting down the points of connection between prog and disco from the late 70s and early 80s and then I stumbled upon Fripp's "discotronics" concept I was elated.

    The Exposure album, Let The Power Fall LP, the first The League Of Gentlemen release and the two albums he did with Andy Summers are also pretty damned fine.

    Despite the rabid Frippbots that regularly take down any Fripp related releases posted on blogs and sites (the same ones Mediafire seem to have personally adopted as their deranged fascist scourbots) you can, thanks to the kindness of blogs like ILTD, pretty much find all these albums on the net in one form or another.

    A belated happy 2013!

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  2. Cheers TSP, I suspect those Frippbots are already homing in...

    I'm sure I'm not alone in wondering why enormously talented artists of Mr. Fripp's persuasion are not just (apparently) reluctant to keep their back catalogue in print & readily available, but also seem to not want it to be heard FULL STOP.

    Fripp, for instance, released a sequence of outstanding LPs in the 1980s, all of which remain out of print or, worse still, are only available in abridged, bowdlerised (i.e. "improved") versions. It's HIS music, I guess, & he's entitled to do what he likes with it, but... it just seems like a terrible waste, doesn't it?

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  3. Loved this post first time around & I'll never forget seeing a mesmerising League of Gentlemen show way back when at The Factory.

    It's weird that Fripp's stuff is out of print and has never been given the deluxe, expanded treatment that so many of his lessers are getting these days...

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  4. Fripp at The Factory? What year was that? And who was supporting, any idea? Sounds amazing, would love to see a flyer or something...

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  5. A quick google tells me it was May 1980 and reminded me that the support was The Modernaires, a kind funk outfit who released a few things on Illuminated at the time. No flyer for this one sadly...

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  6. Found one! You'll have to zoom in to read it though...

    http://www.mdmarchive.co.uk/archive/showartefact.php?aid=3977&bid=630&fbid=11

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  7. Yeah, meant I didn't have one but looking at that, what a great May they had...

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  8. "Thurs 29th - Gary Glitter + Victim" - subtle or what? :)

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  9. These are excellent, thanks! I used to have God Save the Queen on a cassette and its great to hear it again. Never heard the Silent Night before and love it. Can anyone help me with a link to Let the Power Fall since I can't find a it anywhere still live and haven't heard this in years... Thanks in advance

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  10. GSTQ is a marvellous record, not quite as good as Exposure but certainly within spitting distance...

    I don't own Let the Power Fall on vinyl sadly, but I do have mp3s of it - I'm a little reluctant to upload it so soon after GSTQ in case Herr Fripp's lackeys have me under observation, & steam in with some "cease & desist" action, but I could send you a link if you like?

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  11. Thanks for sharing, this is a fantastic post.Thanks Again. Fantastic.

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  12. Yes I agree with you that you should understand the requirements first. For this you should consult with your manager to know its requirements.

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  13. Design Ideas - aye, Fripp's stuff from this period is, without exception, absolutely marvellous! God save the Fripp!

    Jacky - I concur (I think).

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  14. Just found a link for GSTQ and the League of Gentlemen. Whoo hoo! Hurry before it's gone.
    http://rotfaster.blogspot.it/2013/07/robert-fripp-god-save-queenunder-heavy.html

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    Replies
    1. YES OH YES!! ken is right!

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