Heavy Vanguard Episode 12: Henry Cow // Leg End

Today’s episode is interesting, in that it represents the first time a fan has requested a certain band. We received an email a few weeks ago from Eric T., who recommended we cover Henry Cow (or Fred Frith‘s Massacre) at some point, and we aren’t one to say no to that.

Anyway, about the music: Henry Cow was an avant-prog band/collective hailing from Cambridge, England. One of the original Rock In Opposition (RIO) bands, their music blended elements of jazz, free improvisation, avant-garde composition, and progressive rock into something completely their own. Fred Frith, the guitarist and one of the co-founders of Henry Cow went on to later become an important avant-garde figure in his own right, being part of a number of huge projects including Art Bears and Naked City, and also developing a large catalog of solo material and compositions.

The album we’re covering is Leg End (also spelled Legend on some releases), their 1973 debut. While some of their later work (in particular their second collaboration with Slapp HappyIn Praise of Learning) is a bit more well-regarded, this is an interesting start for a band, and a great gateway album for prog fans who want something a little different. Scott and I have our own criticisms about some parts of Leg End, but it’s nonetheless an album that we highly recommend.

So, enjoy! And if anyone has suggestions for what we cover next, feel free to comment and let us know!

This Week’s Episode:

 

This Week’s Album:

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