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Art Bears


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United Kingdom (1978 – 1981)

Art Bears were an group from the United Kingdom formed during the disassembly of Henry Cow in 1978 by three of its members, Fred Frith on guitar, bass, violin, and keyboards, Chris Cutler on percussion, electronics, and lyrics, and Dagmar Krause on vocals. The group released three studio albums between 1978 and 1981, and toured Europe in 1979. After their third album in 1981, they disbanded, although Cutler and Frith continue to play concerts together as a duo.

The Art Bears’ music was often deeply in content, reflecting the bands’ socialist leanings, and frequently . Art Bears were more “song oriented” than Henry Cow, although much of the material that comprised their debut album release was actually written with the intention of being performed by Henry Cow.

Art Bears were formed during the recording of Henry Cow’s last album after disagreements arose over the album’s content. Frith and Cutler favoured song-oriented material, while others in the band wanted instrumental compositions. As a compromise, Frith, Cutler and Krause agreed, early in 1978, to release the songs already created on their own album, Hopes and Fears, under the name Art Bears, with the rest of Henry Cow credited as guests. The instrumental material appeared later on the final Henry Cow album, Western Culture (1979).


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  • DissecteDnigger

    Fantastic stuff! I love it more than Henry Cow

    10 Mar 6:39pm Reply
  • nicholasdaniel

    Just discovered this lot by fluke the other day and they have really blown my mind wide open. Exactly the musical shot in the arm I needed!

    23 Nov 2014 Reply
  • JamesHippieKid


    8 Sep 2014 Reply
  • qpskeifjtygh

    Sick, but I love it.

    18 Mar 2013 Reply
  • crimsonking93


    31 Aug 2012 Reply
  • lailamb

    How to clear a room: Put on Winter Songs. Watch as people frown, shrug and walk out.

    10 Aug 2012 Reply
  • M3Event

    M3 asked Art Bears drummer Chris Cutler about the devaluation of music, the differences between SOPA & ACTA, and why print-centric copyright laws are struggling to cope with recording technology -

    25 May 2012 Reply
  • stupidstuff

    My favorite is The World as It is Today.

    26 Apr 2012 Reply
  • dr_bun

    best album?

    24 Apr 2012 Reply
  • cdax2307


    7 Mar 2012 Reply
  • _KevMusic_


    22 Feb 2012 Reply
  • invertedfennel

    Hopes and Fears is seriously jarring, like a medieval housewife giving bloody birth in a wooden basin. I keep going back though in the hopes that they will tell me their secrets.

    28 Jan 2012 Reply
  • Banoony


    19 Dec 2011 Reply
  • Banoony

    what a fucking negative shoutbox. the world as it is today is growing on me at an alarming rate and i look forward to eventually hearing the other two albums

    17 Dec 2011 Reply
  • toztizokzndz

    30 years and still no new album...

    16 Nov 2011 Reply
  • MirrorsrorriM

    30 years later and i find them. Lovely.

    11 Nov 2011 Reply
  • iamholgerczukay

    This band is seriously difficult for me to listen to. I tough it out every now and then, but a lot of their stuff is too difficult for my pansy ass ears.

    4 Oct 2011 Reply
  • outrenoir

    I used to think they were the furry sort of bears but then I thought, maybe they're the sort of bear like tolerate, put up with; bugbears, which makes more sense... their art is more of an ordeal. But then I thought, hang on Henry Cow WTF is that all about then. Now I just busk Freedom on a kazoo

    8 Sep 2011 Reply
  • Sosen

    it's all good, I decided I like them.

    30 Aug 2011 Reply
  • sunheadbowed

    Art Bears is not an gay bear band.

    18 Aug 2011 Reply
  • All 74 shouts

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