Exposé Online banner

Henry Cow — Unrest
(ReR Megacorp HC 2, 1974/1999, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1999-11-01

Unrest Cover art

While the late 80s reissue of Henry Cow’s second album was not accompanied by a large dose of irregular remixing (as had been the case for the first and third), it still suffered from some more general sound problems, which I’m happy to report have been cleaned up in this latest remastered release. While Unrest wasn’t the major milestone that their debut, Legend, was, it’s still an important and enjoyable piece of the Cow puzzle. Since the band went into the studio — probably a little too soon after Legend — with only half an album’s worth of new material composed, nearly half of this second album is improvised studio experimentation, with varying degrees of success (most of these pieces are excellent but some tend to wander around a bit). The composed tracks (“Bittern Storm over Ulm,” “Half Asleep, Half Awake,” and “Solemn Music”) compare very favorably with the composed material on the first album. The album’s gem, though, is the twelve minute “Ruins,” a brilliant ‘chamber’ piece that will have the listener constantly guessing — “is it composed or improvised?” — and points to directions Henry Cow would follow on their later releases. Definitely this track is worth the price of the album by itself. This remaster was also released by RéR in the UK, so it should be easy to find at a reasonable price on both sides of the pond.


Filed under: Reissues, Issue 18, 1999 releases, 1974 recordings

Related artist(s): Chris Cutler, Fred Frith, Tim Hodgkinson, John Greaves, Lindsay Cooper, Henry Cow

Latest news

2021-01-18
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Saturnalia - Magical Love – This particular obscurity in Akarma’s campaign to rescue lost or legendary albums is an odd beast. The overall impression is much like the first incarnation of Renaissance with less appealing vocals...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues