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Fred Frith


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Sussex, England (1949 – present)

Fred Frith (born February 17, 1949) is an English , and improvisor.

Probably best-known for his guitar work, Frith first came to attention as one of the founding members of the English group Henry Cow. Frith was also a member of Art Bears, Massacre and Skeleton Crew. He has collaborated with a number of prominent musicians, including Robert Wyatt, Brian Eno, Lars Hollmer, The Residents, Lol Coxhill, John Zorn, Bill Laswell, Derek Bailey, Iva Bittová and Bob Ostertag. He has also composed several long works, including Traffic Continues (1996, performed 1998 by Frith and Ensemble Modern) and Freedom in Fragments (1993, performed 1999 by Rova Saxophone Quartet).

Frith was born in Heathfield in Sussex, England into a family where music was considered an essential part of life. He started violin lessons at the age of five and became a member of his school orchestra. But at 13 he switched to guitar after watching a group imitating a popular instrumental band at the time, The Shadows. He decided to learn how to play guitar and get into a band. Frith taught himself guitar from a book of guitar chords and soon found himself in a school group called The Chaperones, playing Shadows and Beatles covers. But when Frith started hearing music from the likes of Snooks Eaglin and Alexis Korner it changed his whole approach to the guitar, and by the time he was 15, The Chaperones had become a blues band. Frith’s first public performances were in 1967 in folk clubs in the North of England, where he sang and played traditional and blues songs.


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  • iamholgerczukay

    V : Not that I'm aware of, but I'd love to see that. I'm not that really well versed, there is a bit of a discussion below, but the albums he did for Ralph Records are probably his most tonal/accessible. I want someone to put together a flow chart now, that would be awesome.

    13 Aug 5:43pm Reply
  • noamiz

    is there any a flowchart about his albums? (where to start etc.)

    29 Jun 8:37pm Reply
  • pollepet

    Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah,

    3 Apr 4:54pm Reply
  • JamesHippieKid

    Yeah, True.. I like all of his work but Cheap At Half The Price, Gravity and Speechless are his best because of the mix of pop and experimental influences. Step Across The Border and The Technology of Tears are also great albums that are all over the place.

    15 Jan 11:45pm Reply
  • iamholgerczukay

    I don't know if he has a consistently 'tuneful' album in any standard sense, even his "poppier" stuff tends to get pretty weird and atonal. I'd recommend checking out some of the Skeleton Crew material, a lot of their tunes are really poppy in a bizarre sort of way.

    11 Jan 2:36am Reply
  • JamesHippieKid

    Gravity is also more 'tuneful' as well.

    16 Dec 2013 Reply
  • fergalmc

    V That would be Cheap At Half The Price, I suppose.

    17 Nov 2013 Reply
  • trashcity_

    I'm actually pretty curious to hear his more 'tuneful' stuff. Anyone have any suggestions?

    17 Nov 2013 Reply
  • JamesHippieKid

    Love him soooo much..

    25 Jun 2013 Reply
  • iznenadic

    Фред Фрит најбољи!

    12 May 2013 Reply
  • iamholgerczukay

    Speak Russian Or Die!

    27 Jan 2013 Reply
  • furs_of1

    irongardener - i wrote it for russian speaking people MY DEAR LOVELY FRIEND

    16 Jan 2013 Reply
  • TeenageRiot-

    Does anyone have tabs for No Birds???

    8 Jan 2013 Reply
  • JamesHippieKid

    I don't know how anyone could not like this amazing man's beautiful music.. It's some of the best I've EVER herd!

    1 Jan 2013 Reply
  • irongardener

    speak english WHORE

    28 Dec 2012 Reply
  • furs_of1

    такой ахуенный музыкант. очень интересный

    22 Dec 2012 Reply
  • IAmDillin

    These fucking tags are awful, don't tag if you don't know what you're talking about

    17 Dec 2012 Reply
  • JamesHippieKid


    27 Nov 2012 Reply
  • TeenageRiot-

    this is awful [2]

    9 Nov 2012 Reply
  • qpskeifjtygh

    Step Across the border - documentary film on Fred Frith: This guy is a god of free improvisation and experimental music.

    31 Aug 2012 Reply
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