(Henry Cow Definitive Reissue series No. 4)In '74, Henry Cow took a sabbatical while it considered what to do next. SlappHappy meanwhile was planning its second record for Virgin. One night the trio showed up at the quartet's door and proposed that the two groups make the second Slapphappy LP together. So incompatible - Slapphappy was making eccentric pop songs and Henry Cow was composing complex epic instrumentals - so how could a merger fail? Henry Cow jumped at the chance and Desperate Straights -was the result. It's still a gem to my ears, and now at last it's possible to release it, properly re-mastered (by Bob Drake), its sound closer to the original tapes even than our earlier Nimbus vinyl pressing. Great songs, great arrangements, great performances and Dagmar on top of her form... real people in a room together, playing straight to tape. Those were the days..
01 Some questions about hats 02 The owl 03 A worm is at work 04 Bad alchemy 05 Europa 06 Desperate straights 07 Riding tigers 08 Apes in capes 09 Strayed 10 Giants 11 Excerpt from the messiah 12 In the sickbay