Fripp, Robert - God save the queen/Under heavy manners LP
A 2021 remaster - by David Singleton - of Robert Fripp's seminal 1980 release God Save The Queen / Under Heavy Manners.
Unavailable on vinyl since the mid-1980s, this edition was mastered by Jason Mitchell at Loud Mastering and pressed on 200g Super-Heavyweight vinyl at Vinyl Factory UK.
Containing one side of Frippertronics and another - featuring David Byrne plus a rhythm section of Busta Jones and Paul Duskin - of what came to be referred to Discotronics, the album provides a fascinating snapshot of Fripp's creative endeavours during the Post-Punk era.
God Save the Queen: By the time Exposure had been released in June 1979 Robert Fripp had already embarked on one of the most unconventional tours to support a new record that had ever been undertaken; record shops, offices, public spaces, canteens, planetariums and, later, some conventional venues and theatres. Accompanied by a tour manager, a Les Paul guitar, a pedalboard, and two Revox tape recorders were packed into a car and they crisscrossed their way across Europe and America. This was, in part, a response to record label Polydor/EG management’s allocation of a mere $10k as a marketing budget. Using the money as a form of tour support, Fripp took “Frippertronics” directly to the offices of local record companies, record shops and, most importantly, audiences of fans and casual listeners alike. That tour in turn provided the material for many further recordings.
Under Heavy Manners: The original side two of the album was given over to the next phase of Fripp’s Drive To 1981. Sometimes referred to as Discotronics, Fripp intended to create a bespoke meeting place between Frippertronics’ repetitious loops and a pulsating four-to-the-floor beat. With bassist Busta Cherry Jones and drummer Paul Duskin, the trio laid down a taut minimalist groove against Frippertronics loops lifted from the solo tour earlier in the year. The trio line-up was augmented by David Byrne as guest vocalist on the title track.
Reviewing God Save The Queen/Under Heavy Manners, Melody Maker’s Allan Jones lauded the Frippertronics pieces but prophetically concluded: “It’s to Under Heavy Manners that one eventually looks for a key to Fripp’s musical future. He, as much as anyone, needs someone to force an entry into areas he’s not fully able to unlock himself. Under Heavy Manners suggests he’s looking in the right directions.”
Two additional tracks feature the 1985 issued ‘God Save the King’ – originally released as part of a compilation CD that also featured League of Gentlemen material and the ‘Music on Hold’ jam / track that was discovered as part of the archive work for the Exposures multi-disc boxed set
Unavailable on vinyl for decades, the album makes an appropriate return to the record shop racks –one of the points of origin for the guitar loops that underpin the recording.
God Save The Queen
1. Red Two Scorer
2. God Save The Queen
Under Heavy Manners
1. Under Heavy Manners
2. The Zero Of The Signified