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Henry Cow


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(1968 – 1978)

Henry Cow was an English avant-garde rock group, founded at Cambridge University in 1968 by multi-instrumentalists Fred Frith and Tim Hodgkinson. An inherent anti-commercial bias kept them at arm’s length from the mainstream music business, enabling them to experiment at will. They remained in existence for 10 years, breaking up in 1978, and produced a body of music that was challenging, provocative and influential for years to come. Collaborations with the similarly-minded band Slapp Happy led to an eventual merging of the two bands. Many of the members continued on as Art Bears. Henry Cow was among the founding members of the movement dubbed Rock in Opposition (RIO).

A number of people passed through Henry Cow over the years:

* Georgie Born - Cello, Bass
* Lindsay Cooper - Bassoon, Reeds
* Chris Cutler - Drums, Percussion
* Fred Frith - Guitar, Violin, Bass, Piano, Xylophone
* John Greaves - Bass, Piano
* Tim Hodgkinson - Keyboards, Reeds
* Dagmar Krause - Vocals
* Geoff Leigh - Flute, Reeds
* Anthony Moore - Keyboards

Henry Cow’s repertoire included elaborately scored pieces (often with complex time signatures), tape manipulations, free improvisation and songs. It incorporated elements of jazz, rock, classical music and the avant-garde. Dagmar Krause’s vocals added another dimension to their sound, giving it a dramatic, almost Brechtian flair.

Their music was often experimental, making classification all but impossible. However, the following styles (amongst others) are often associated with Henry Cow:


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  • Flight123

    Henry Cow to reform! I thought it would never happen! I am still in shock but got my tickets. I saw them twice in 77 and never expected to see them again... Need to identify pre-gig pubs for Cow fans to meet in before the shows...

    24 Jun 9:17am Reply
  • AniRockAniMetal

    Dlaczego skrajni lewacy mogli grać tak genialną, wielką muzykę, a skrajni prawacy nie? :(

    29 May 5:32pm Reply
  • Kjetsaa

    Dagmar Krause is no bitch, kid. [3] New pic :

    7 May 4:48am Reply
  • WTWH

    @PlzDontBan: It's called Avant-rock/Rock in Opposition. What do you want? Pop and half ass'd melodic vocal lines? Dagmar is doing a great job! Stick listening to Radiohead, kid.

    28 Mar 1:32pm Reply
  • trillwave

    dirty sockcore

    2 Mar 12:09am Reply
  • HaHaHaYoureDead

    для меня - слишком интеллектуально усложненная группа, при всей любви к подобной музыке хотя "in praise of learning" - это ооочень сильно

    10 Feb 10:36am Reply
  • JamesHippieKid

    This band is so amazing. I don't know why it tuck me so long to listen more. Everything Frith is involved with is so good.

    2 Jan 5:58pm Reply
  • JamesHippieKid

    Dagmar Krause is no bitch, kid.[2]

    31 Dec 2013 Reply
  • elitist_jerk

    whats the deal w the socks yo

    14 Dec 2013 Reply
  • sunheadbowed

    Dagmar Krause is no bitch, kid.

    5 Nov 2013 Reply
  • TeenageRiot-

    Sad news about Lindsay Cooper :( Unrest would not be the same without all the Bassoon.

    5 Nov 2013 Reply
  • PlzDontBan

    cut out the singing bitch please good lord

    24 Jul 2013 Reply
  • jalzabet

    the CRAZY glove

    7 Jul 2013 Reply
  • stupidstuff

    It's only music. Don't let it kick your ass like that!

    2 Jul 2013 Reply
  • Wi-al

    С описания посмеялся=)

    6 Apr 2013 Reply
  • stupidstuff

    Henry Cow meant it as a critique of the western world - sockless.

    1 Apr 2013 Reply
  • Antikrun

    box-set is fantastic!

    13 Feb 2013 Reply
  • fergalmc

    Fred Frith's sexy sideburns. [2]

    30 Jan 2013 Reply
  • Oates_Moustache

    Are we talking about Henry Cow-inspired bands here? No? Well, I'm going to mention Cardiacs anyway.

    26 Jan 2013 Reply
  • Redeyexpress

    What's all the fussin about around here?

    24 Jan 2013 Reply
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