Thursday, January 1, 2015

Peter Blegvad - Kew. Rhone. (Book)

Most of you have heard the album "Kew. Rhone." from 1977 I guess, with music by John Greaves and lyrics by Peter Blegvad?

"Kew. Rhone." is a strange, witty and beautiful album that will leave no listener untouched and everybody bewildered, with song lyrics about a painting of an excavation of a mastodon and one song being 22 proverbs.

In the song "Catalogue of fifteen objects" the words of the first half are descriptions of the objects, like "Coin stacks, several columns - voltaic piles of gold plated bamboo" and later the title "Ladder of kings". No "Baby, baby I´m gonna leave you"- lyrics here!

Have no fear! Uniformbooks have just published Peter Blegvad´s book "Kew. Rhone.", where Blegvad uncover themes and sources of every song, and you get contributions from other people involved or taken by the album, like Lisa Herman, John Greaves, Jonathan Coe and Robert Wyatt and lots of others - all entertaining and interesting, and some way over my head. I will certainly go back and read parts of this book several times, while listening to the record.

Some of the musicians on the album: Peter Blegvad, John Greaves, Lisa Herman, Andrew Cyrille, Michael Mantler and Carla Bley.

Robert Wyatt was not on the album, but has sung two tracks (the title track and "Gegenstand") on John Greaves "Songs" (1994) and Orchestre National De Jazz: "Around Robert Wyatt" (2009).

"Kew Rhone seems to me to be an extremely and unusually successful shot at Not Being Boring for Well Over Half an Hour". - Robert Wyatt, 1997.


Phonemes said...

I only became aware of "Kew. Rhone" when I read about it here and in "Different Every Time". I was 20 or 21 at the time of its release and would probably not have missed it if '77 had not been the year of the first releases of bands like the Talking Heads.
I heard the album on Spotity and I think it is great. I ordered book and CD form RER, who offer both for just 25 pounds.

So thanks for informing me and happy new year to you.

Svenn said...

Great! Thanks for your comment!