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Posts Tagged ‘Roxy Music’

RIP, John Wetton (January 31, 2017) King Crimson; Asia

Posted by themusicsover on January 31, 2017

John Wetton
June 12, 1949 – January 31, 2017

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John Wetton was an English bassist and singer who is best remembered for his time with King Crimson and for fronting his own popular prog-rock band, Asia.  After several years of playing and singing in local bands, Wetton was invited by Robert Fripp to join King Crimson as bassist and lead singer.  The year was 1972, and over the next two-plus years, he performed on the band’s critically acclaimed Larks’ Tongues in AspicStarless and Bible Black, and Red.  Following the release of Red, King Crimson went on hiatus, s0 Wetton worked with several other groups, including Roxy MusicWishbone Ash, and Uriah Heap.  In 1980, he formed Asia, a super group with Geoff Downes, Steve Howe, and Carl Palmer.  The band’s self-titled debut of 1982 reached #1 on the US and UK charts and went on to sell over 8 million copies worldwide.  In later years, Wetton released several solo albums while collaborating with the likes of Steve Hackett and Renaissance. In 2006, he reunited with the original members of Asia to release Phoenix, their first since 1983.  They went on to release a handful of new studio albums over the next several years.   John Wetton died of colon cancer on January 31, 2017.  He was 67.

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Died On This Date (December 1, 2013) Richard Coughlan / Drummer For Caravan

Posted by themusicsover on December 1, 2013

Richard Coughlan
September 2, 1947 – December 1, 2013

richard-coughlanRichard Coughlan was an English drummer who spent almost his entire career as the drummer for influential Canterbury scene prog rock band, Caravan.  With a career that more or less started when he was 10 years old, Coughlan has been called one of rock’s longest tenured musicians.  After playing in different bands during his teens, Coughlan found himself playing for the Wilde Flowers, a Canterbury progressive rock band whose members eventually went on to form either Soft Machine, or in Coughlan’s case, Caravan, the genres two most influential bands.  Formed in 1968, Caravan became the first British act to sign to prestigious American label, Verve.  Over the next decade or so, the band built a loyal legion of fans thanks in part to their ability to blend jazz and psychedelic rock.  Also called art rock, Caravan’s sound can be credited for paving the way for the likes of Genesis, Roxy Music, David Bowie, and later, Muse and Radiohead.   Caravan remained active – with different members coming and going – with Coughlan remaining in the fold until he died following a fight with pneumonia on December 1, 2013.  He was 66.

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Died On This Date (February 18, 2013) Kevin Ayers / Influential English Singer-Songwriter; Soft Machine

Posted by themusicsover on February 18, 2013

Kevin Ayers
August 16, 1944 – February 18, 2013

kevin-ayersKevin Ayers was an English musician who was largely responsible for the birth of the British psychedelic movement of the ’60s.  Born in Kent, Ayers was in college when he immersed himself in the storied Canterbury scene where a collective of progressive rock, avant-garde and free jazz commingled to create something new and exciting.  He soon found himself playing alongside Robert Wyatt in the Wilde Flowers.  In 1966, the band morphed into Soft Machine with Ayers starting out on bass and shared vocals but later switching to guitar.  Soft Machine quickly grew a strong local following, often performing with Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd.  In early 1967, they released their first single, “Love Makes Sweet Music” b/w “Feelin’ Reelin’ Squeelin’,” making it one of the first British psychedelic singles ever released.  It pre-dated Pink Floyd’s debut single by a month.  Soft Machine followed with their self-titled debut in December of 1968, and although the Chas Chandler/Tom Wislon produced effort is widely considered a classic, it failed to excite more than die-hard fans of the movement until many years later.  After an extensive U.S. tour supporting Jimi Hendrix, Ayers sold his guitar to Noel Redding and planned to retire to the beaches of Ibiza forever.  Before leaving however, Hendrix gave him an acoustic guitar and made him promise to not give up songwriting.  Whether it was the beautiful locale or the guitar, Ayers found fast inspiration for songs that would make up his solo debut, Joy of a Toy.  The album was released in 1969 on Harvest Records, also home to Pink Floyd at the time.  His follow-up album, Shooting at the Moon, included future star in his own right, Mike Oldfield, on bass.  Ayers continued to perform and record until once again retreating to seclusion during the late ’70s.  He briefly resurfaced to record and release 1988’s Falling Up which trumpeted his “comeback” with mostly glowing reviews only to see him go underground again soon thereafter.  By the late ’90s, he was living a reclusive life in southern France, but in 2005, he began to create music again, and with the encouragement upon learning that young bands like the Go-Betweens and Teenage Fanclub were enthusiastically citing him as an influence, he completed and released The Unfairground in 2007.  Members of Roxy Music, Teenage Fanclub, and Neutral Milk Hotel, among others, appear on the album.  It was another critical triumph.  Kevin Ayers was 68 when he passed away on February 18, 2013.  Cause of death was not immediately released.

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Died On This Date (April 24, 2008) Tristram Cary / Electronic Music Pioneer

Posted by themusicsover on April 24, 2010

Tristram Cary
May 14, 1925 – April 24, 2008

Tristram Cary was a British composer and pioneering electronic musician.  But his greatest contribution to popular music was probably the EMS VCS3 portable synthesizer which he co-designed.  The instrument became very popular with such English electronic and prog acts as Pink Floyd, Brian Eno and Roxy Music.   He also wrote music for British television show, Dr. Who, as well as some British films.

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Soundings : Electroacoustic Works 1955-1996 - Tristram Cary

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