Album: God Save the Queen / Under Heavy Manners

God Save the Queen/ Under Heavy Manners is the 2nd solo album by British guitarist and composer Robert Fripp, released in 1980. The album includes two unique sides, representing various aspects of Fripp's musical output at the time; the very first side titled "God Save the Queen" includes important structures, while the 2nd side, entitled "Under Heavy Manners", checks out a more speculative side, featuring spoken word pieces by David Byrne and electronic treatments of guitar noises.

Background and Recording
After a duration of relative silence following the dissolution of King Crimson in 1974, Fripp reappeared in the late '70s with a desire to check out brand-new musical area. He took an interest in the emerging punk and new wave scenes, which led to cooperations with artists such as Brian Eno, David Bowie, and Peter Gabriel.

God Save the Queen/ Under Heavy Manners was taped in various sessions spanning 1979 and 1980, with contributions made from a series of musicians, including Tony Levin on bass, Andy Newmark on drums, and David Bowie collaborators Brian Eno and collaborator David Byrne. The album was produced by Fripp himself, along with Eno and Rhett Davies.

God Save the Queen
The very first side of the album, "God Save the Queen," is mainly made up of instrumental guitar-based tracks, developed around Fripp's patented 'Frippertronics' method - a tape loop system that allowed him to develop layers of overdubbed guitar passages with a delay impact. This side showcases Fripp's virtuosity as a player with tracks like "The Zero of the Signified" and "Red Two Scorer" acting as prime examples of his capability to craft elaborate, hypnotic soundscapes.

"Elegy" stands apart as a melancholic, climatic piece that functions wordless vocals by Joanna Walton. The side concludes with an ambient interpretation of the British nationwide anthem, "God Save the Queen", which is a nod to the punk movement and the Sex Pistols' notorious single of the very same title.

Under Heavy Manners
The second side of the album, "Under Heavy Manners", features a more experimental technique, incorporating elements of dance music, electronic treatments, and spoken word. Fripp worked together with Talking Heads' frontman David Byrne, who offered puzzling spoken word vocals on "You Burn Me Up I'm A Cigarette" and "Disengage". The tracks display Byrne's capability for surreal, biting lyricism, complemented by Fripp's ingenious guitar work and electronic adjustments.

"North Star", featuring Daryl Hall of Hall & Oates popularity on vocals, is a serene, ambient track that counterbalances the more experimental and abrasive tracks on the side. The album concludes with the instrumental "Chicago", which encapsulates the heavenly feel of the album with its slow-building guitar layers and electronic treatments.

Important Reception and Legacy
Upon its release, the album received blended evaluations from critics who were often polarized by its speculative nature and unconventional structure. However, it has because gained a cult following and is thought about a pioneering work in the realms of ambient and experimental music.

In retrospect, God Save the Queen/ Under Heavy Manners showcased Robert Fripp's vast musical skills and ingenious spirit in a distinct and innovative manner. The album not only highlighted Fripp's capability to straddle both the progressive and music worlds however likewise successfully demonstrated that his music could transcend traditional genre boundaries and defy expectations, making it an essential listening for fans of progressive, ambient, and experimental music alike.

Artist: Robert Fripp

Robert Fripp Robert Fripp, born in 1946, England. Delve into his journey from King Crimson to electronic music pioneer.
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