Robert Fripp and The League of Gentlemen - God Save the King
This is a compilation of the Under Heavy Manners side from the 1980 album "God Save the Queen/Under Heavy Manners" (the LP with frippertronics on side A and discotronics on side one) and The League of Gentlemen album. "God Save the King" is a remix of "The Zero of the Signified" with a new overdubbed guitar solo - it has nothing to do with "God Save the Queen" which was a genuine frippertronic piece.
- 13'13 God Save the King
- 4'56 Under Heavy Manners
- 2'07 Heptaparaparshinokh
- 4'37 Inductive Resonance
- 2'56 Cognitive Dissonance
- 4'35 Dislocated
- 3'27 H.G. Wells
- 3'14 Eye Needles
- 4'42 Trap
Reviews are listed in chronological order within each section. Please retain a chronological order when adding new reviews.
Date Submitted: 29-Mar-00
By: Michael Paulus (mp22 at is2 dot nyu dot edu)
"I am still wondering that and why there is no entry to the original "League of Gentlemen" album from 1981 and only one entry to the League of Gentlemen live album from that group on tour in 1980 (released as "Thrang Thrang Gozinbulx" in 1996). This seems strange to me since the League of Gentlemen were for the 80s King Crimson what "Lizard", "Island" and even "Earthbound" were for the 72-74 and "Thrak", "ThrakAttack" and the ProjecKts are for the current King Crimson. In other words, without the League of Gentlemen (and its predecessor "Under Heavy Manners/God Save the King") the 80s King Crimson would not have been possible.
"This album puts together the "disco" side of "Under Heavy Manners/God Save The Queen"---and most of the tracks of the League of Gentlemen album---for a good reason. Fripp realized that the "God Save The Queen" side (pure frippertronics) was the same as the later relased "Let The Power Fall" album (1981) whereas the original "League of Gentlemen" album attempted to recapture the spirit of the Exposure album with some spoken words and instrumental intros which had nothing to do with the original live band (and the League were mostly a live band). Not that the result was bad but it undermined Fripp's intention at the time.
"When "Exposure" came around in 1979 I was expecting, as many others, some "Red" related work. Instead of that I got a punk influenced album which took the punk spirit much further, brought in some of Fripp's spiritual conversion and still was able to give something we all loved in the 72-74 King Crimson, this heavy, dark, at times fast and always precise guitar work. And after all, "Breathless" gave us a 1979 version of "Red" (as "Vroom" did it for 1994). However, what most people loved in "Exposure" was its closeness to the last KC version up to that date. Fripp, however, tried to get away from that as far as possible. The "Zero of the Signified" of and "Under Heavy Manners" tried to pick up the, at that time ('79), current disco music as the album "Thrak" picks up on Grunge/Alternative and ProjecKts III and IV pick up on jungle/drum and bass. Those two tracks take out any familiar "rock" element (as does ProjecKt II's "Space Groove" which, rightly so, you often find under "Trance" rather than "Rock" in record shops nowadays). As a matter of fact, for that time there is no such thing as a typical Fripp guitar on "Under Heavy Manners". The "Zero," for the first time, showcases the guitar style that would become the now so famous "gamelan" style in the 80s KC. The "League" went even one step further and tracks such as "Inductive Resonance," "Cognitive Resonance" or "Dislocated" are still one of the most astonishing guitar works Fripp has ever done, even though the rythm group acts out in a very simplistic but nevertheless effective manner---due to the then current punk/new wave rules. While the League in their live work still featured some more "regular rock pieces" in their set , the studio album drastically reduces the tracks to a set which showcases something that, at the time, was not typical rock music at all. "Frame by Frame", "Discipline," etc., they all pick up where the League left.
"This reissue came after the end of the "Discipline" band and releases all versions basically unchanged but slightly remixed (particularly "Dislocated" which features an almost undistorted guitar, closer to the live version rather than the original album version which features a very distorted guitar) and an overdub of a solo guitar over "Zero" which turns it into a completley different piece which is probably the reason why Fripp renamed it into "God Save the King" which is now the power alter ego to "God Save the Queen", the Frippertronics piece of the the b-side of the "Under Heavy Manners" album. After the excursions with KC 81-84 Fripp probably realized that this track could be much more interesting with a powerful lead guitar which drives the picking guitar even more.
"If you are interested in the overall development of KC from its beginnings to now you have to know this album. If you don't not care for such things, it's still a very good album."
Date Submitted: 31-Jan-02
By: (turnsmein at ifrance dot com)
"God save the king is one of the more beautiful Robert Fripp's works. I felt the harmony of the rock melting pure art. In one words, it is an "oeuvre d'art". Cognitive Dissonance and Trap are really representative of that. I meant harmony cause is created within the rythmical and harmonical composition a sens of the research in the avant guarde fripp's talent. Far from the "abstract" truth of sound, or the non-mechanical musics, the precision and the beauty (as a cathedral, i should say...) of life. This work stand before the art of painting in my heart according to the research of the pure composition."
Date Submitted: 05-Sep-03
By: (garthkobal at comcast dot net)
"I've loved listening to the original League of Gentlemen LP since I was a kid and still revisit it often. My copy is old, but the pops, by now, are part of the music in an organic way. I was dumbfounded when the CD was issued stripped of vocal tapes and many tracks and paired with God Save the Queen which I also adore in it's original vintage. I'm still confused about that and would happily buy reissue CD's of both albums.
"Main thing I'd like to point out is something that startled me yesterday. TRAP was playing and I suddenly realized that the music of this track was partly absorbed into THE SHELTERING SKY on KC's Discipline. I'm thick-headed sometimes and take so much of my favorite music for granted that it all flows into eachother and then "voila!" I make the connections some 20 years after fact. This is one of the ongoing pleasures I get from being a long-time appreciator of all of Fripp's work."