Get this crazy baby off my head!




U.K - U.K - 1978 - Polydor

The debut album from amalgamated progsters John Wetton, Bill Bruford, Eddie Jobson, and Allan Holdsworth has the edge over both Danger Money and Night After Night because of the synthesis of melody and rhythm that is inflicted through nearly every one of the eight tracks. While not as commercial sounding as Wetton's 1980s supergroup Asia, U.K. mustered up a progressive air by the use of intelligent keyboard and percussion interplay without sounding mainstream. Jobson's work with the electric violin and assorted synthesizers adds to an already profound astuteness carried by Wetton. Former Yes and Genesis drummer Bill Bruford is just as important behind the kit, making his presence felt on numbers like "Thirty Years" and "Nevermore." Without carrying the same rhythms or cadences through each song, U.K. implements some differentiation into their music, straying from the sometimes over-the-top musicianship that occurs with the gathering of such an elite bunch. The melodious finish of such tracks as "By the Light of Day" and "Alaska" showcases the overall fluency of each member, and shows no signs of any progressive tediousness that could have easily evolved. All three of U.K.'s albums are enjoyable, but the debut sports the most interest, since it spotlights their remarkable fit as a band for the first time. © Mike DeGagne © 2011 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/uk-r51764/review

Considered as one (if not the) last classic prog rock albums of the '70s, UK's debut in 1978 includes all the ingredients of prog in that time with an '80s sound. John Wetton's distinctive voice and bass lines, Bill Bruford's drumming and Eddie Jobson's keyboard playing are in really good display here. I have to admit though, that my favourite thing in "U.K." is the pesence of Allan Holdsworth, who was brought in the band by Brufford, after playing on Bruford's 1977 debut solo album, "Feels Good to Me". Holdswoth is one of the most adventurous guitarists and his style of playing gave a special approach on UK's music. One very good thing about this album is that classic prog rock (mainly due to Wetton and Jobson) meets jazz-rock fusion (Holdsworth/Bruford). The result is quite original and doesn't really sound like most of the legendary bands these guys had played for. The only thing that comes to my mind is King Crimson, especially due to Wetton's singing. I have to admit that I always liked side A more, even though I am a fan of Holdsworth from Igginbottom till today and he only collaborated on the compoosistion of "Nevermore" and "Mental Medication", the two last songs of the album. "In the Dead of Night" and "By the Light of Day" are my favourite songs, that raelly sound classic to my ears. "Presto Vivace and Reprise" is a highly technical piece, a major influence of the Dream Theater sound even in 2010. The two longest songs ("Thirty Years", "Nevermore") and "Time To Kill" are probably the weakest moments of "U.K.". This is what keeps this album from being a masterpiece: inspiration is evident in half of the songs (which are magnificent). Recommended to all late '70s prog rock (fusion) fans. © DeKay 3/5 2010-9-29 © Prog Archives, All rights reserved http://www.progarchives.com/Review.asp?id=300847

If U.K. had released nothing but its debut—in fact, if it had released nothing more than U.K.'s 13-minute "In the Dead of Night" suite—it would have been assured a place in progressive rock history. Wetton's bass playing, a massive juggernaut of 1972-1974 King Crimson, is a little less so, but just as driving in the suite's powerful opening 7/4 riff. Bruford's kit always sounded like no other, and while the music here is more firmly structured than where his personal pursuits were leading, he imbues U.K. with ideas that can still surprise, even 30 years later and after many, many listens. Holdsworth's tone, while moving towards the smooth, almost attack-less sound that he would favor in later years, still has a bit of edge, and his solo on the first part, "In The Dead of Night," remains a highlight of the genre, his wammy bar creating near-vocal expression as he works inside and outside the song's melodic framework. Jobson's role is more an accompanist in the first part, but when the final movement, "Presto Vivace and Reprise," takes off, his eminent virtuosity is in sharp focus, a knotty, high velocity piece of writing and playing that's one of the album's most viscerally exciting, especially when it resolves climactically back to the main theme. While Bruford and Holdsworth differentiate U.K. from the trio records that followed, Jobson and Wetton were always the group's primary writers, making clear just how much performances can alter a group sound, even when it's writing this structured and complex. "Thirty Years" begins in a symphonic wash of string synths and Holdsworth on acoustic guitar, with Wetton's voice riding over Bruford's textural work. But when the group enters in time it's with inventive counterpoint, as Jobson's synth rides over a lithely strong bass/guitar foundation. Jobson's solo demonstrates the same kind of harmonic invention as Holdsworth—they may be living in the rock world, but their language speaks of other interests—with a similar vocal tendency made all the clearer when Holdsworth's solo follows; differentiable, but coming from a very similar space.Jobson's live show starter "Alaska" follows; a dramatic synth intro that's in the same memorable league as Genesis keyboardist Tony Banks' enduring mellotron intro to "Watcher of the Skies" from Foxtrot (Atlantic, 1972). But, unlike Genesis, when the group enters there's a near-fusion attack that differentiates this version from its later incarnation. Still, jazz tendencies aside, Jobson's organ hints more at Keith Emerson, as the group navigates many changes but is still instantly memorable—singable, even. Segueing into the up-tempo "Time to Kill," Jobson takes his first lengthy violin solo of the disc; flexibly roaming over another time-challenged bass/guitar riff, he builds inexorably, inevitably, to another climactic conclusion as Wetton's layered voices return to the chorus. Compositionally, Holdsworth's contributions don't surface until the last two songs, both collaborative efforts with Jobson and either Wetton or Bruford. Overdubbing an undeniably jazz-centric solo over acoustic guitar voicings that, even at this relatively early stage in his career, displayed the distinctive and unmistakable harmonic vernacular that would influence more than one generation of guitarists, the episodic "Nevermore" ultimately finds its way to a more electric direction. Holdsworth solos beautifully in a call-and-response with Jobson that not only shows how well-matched they were, but how inventive a synth texturalist Jobson was (and continues to be). "Mental Medication" closes the disc, another example of how jazz harmonies and progressive rock attitude can peacefully coexist. Shifting bar lines and oddly placed voicings aside, what's also remarkable is how lyrical its various themes are. With a solo from Holdsworth that's a remarkable testimony to his ability to play at lightening speed yet nevertheless create profoundly memorable ideas, it's a skill again matched by Jobson, who gets the final solo of the disc. If a group can be assessed by its ability to create music that remains in the mind long after it's over, U.K. remains a resounding success; an album with nary a weak spot to be found. Jobson, Holdsworth, Wetton and Bruford came out of the gate with a strength and maturity that most groups take multiple albums to find. True, all of them were seasoned players by this point, but it's still rare to debut with an album that, 30 years later, remains this fresh and completely relevant. By & © John Kelman Published August 25th, 2009 All material copyright © 2011 All About Jazz and/or contributing writer/visual artist. All rights reserved http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=33851
Try and listen to U.K's "Danger Money" album


A1 In The Dead Of The Night : In the Dead of Night - Jobson, Wetton
A2 In the Dead of Night: By the Light of Day - Jobson, Wetton
A3 In the Dead of Night: Presto Vivace and Reprise - Jobson, Wetton
A4 Thirty Years - Bruford, Jobson, Wetton

B1 Alaska - Jobson
B2 Time to Kill - Bruford, Jobson, Wetton
B3 Nevermore - Holdsworth, Jobson, Wetton
B4 Mental Medication - Bruford, Holdsworth, Jobson, Wetton


Guitar - Allan Holdsworth
Vocals, Bass, Guitar - John Wetton
Violin [Electric], Keyboards, Electronics - Eddie Jobson
Drums, Percussion - Bill Bruford


Featuring members of Yes, King Crimson, Roxy Music, and Soft Machine, U.K. was one of the most prominent progressive rock supergroups of the late '70s. Various members of U.K. -- guitarist Allan Holdsworth, keyboardist/violinist Eddie Jobson, bassist/vocalist John Wetton, and drummer Bill Bruford -- had all played together in their previous bands, but when the group formed in 1977, it was the first time all of the musicians had played together. Although the lineup was unstable -- Holdsworth and Bruford left after one album, with former Frank Zappa drummer Terry Bozzio replacing Bruford -- and the group was short-lived, the band maintained a dedicated cult following years after their early-'80s breakup. Prior to the formation of U.K., Bruford and Wetton had recently played together in King Crimson, and Holdsworth had played guitar on Bruford's debut album, 1978's Feels Good to Me. Shortly after the recording of Feels Good to Me, Bruford, Holdsworth, and Wetton formed U.K., adding former Roxy Music member Eddie Jobson to the lineup. U.K. released their eponymous debut in 1978 and the album captured the attention of progressive rock and jazz fusion fans, as did the record's supporting tour. At the conclusion of the tour, Holdsworth and Bruford left the group to form Bruford, leaving keyboardist Jobson as the band's leader. U.K. didn't hire another guitarist, but they did have Terry Bozzio replace Bruford. The new lineup of U.K. released Danger Money in 1979 and followed the album with a tour. Once the tour was completed, the group broke up. The posthumous live album Night After Night was released shortly afterward. Following the disbandment of U.K., Eddie Jobson became a member of Jethro Tull, Terry Bozzio formed Missing Persons, and John Wetton formed Asia with fellow progressive rock stars Steve Howe, Carl Palmer, and Geoffrey Downes. Stephen Thomas Erlewine © 2011 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/uk-p133450/biography


A.O.O.F.C said...


p/w aoofc

guinea pig said...

Sorry, that "Danger Money" is no in this album.
It was their first song which I heard. It is very good.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,GP. Danger Money is also very good. I may post that soon. Cheers for now....P