Henry Cow ‎– Western Culture

ReR Megacorp ‎– ReR HC4
CD, Album, Reissue

Tracklist Hide Credits

History & Prospects
1 Industry
Guitar [Hawaiian Guitar], Composed By – Tim HodgkinsonPiano – Chris Cutler
2 The Decay Of Cities
Guitar [Hawaiian Guitar], Composed By – Tim Hodgkinson
3 On The Raft
Composed By – Tim HodgkinsonSoprano Saxophone [Soprano Sax] – Fred FrithTrumpet – Chris Cutler
Day By Day
4 Falling Away
Composed By – Lindsay CooperPiano – Chris Cutler
5 Gretel's Tale
Composed By – Lindsay CooperGuest [With], Piano – Irene Schweizer
6 Look Back
Composed By – Lindsay Cooper
7 Half The Sky
Composed By – Lindsay Cooper, Tim HodgkinsonGuest [With], Bass – Georgie Born
Additional Tracks
8 (Silence) 1:30
9 Viva Pa Ubu
Composed By – Tim HodgkinsonGuest [With], Bass – Georgie Born
10 Look Back (Alt)
Composed By – Lindsay Cooper
11 Slice
Composed By – Lindsay CooperGuest [With], Bass – Georgie Born

Companies, etc.


  • Bassoon, Oboe, Saxophone [Soprano Sax], Recorder [Soprano Recorders]Lindsay Cooper
  • Design, LayoutGregg Skerman
  • Drums, Electronic Drums [Electrified Drums], Noises [Noise], Painting [Cover Paintings], Liner Notes [Booklet Text]Chris Cutler
  • Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Bass, BanjoFred Frith
  • Guest [With], Trombone, ViolinAnne-Marie Roelofs* (tracks: 1 to 6, 10)
  • Organ [Organs], Alto Saxophone [Alto Sax], ClarinetTim Hodgkinson
  • Recorded By, Mixed ByEtienne Conod, Henry Cow
  • Remastered ByBob Drake (tracks: 9 to 11)


Tracks 1 - 6 and 9 and 11 recorded and mixed at Sunrise Studio, Kirchberg, Switzerland, between 26th July and 8th August 1978.
Track 7 & 10 the same, but January 1978.
Tracks 9, 10 & 11 remastered at Studio Midi Pyrenees, France.
All titles c Arcades Music 1978.

c Arcades Music 1978
p ReR Megacorp 2001
Made in USA

Released and Distributed by ReR Megacorp.
Distributed in Japan by Locus Solus.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Barcode (Text): 7 52725 01332 1
  • Barcode (String): 752725013321
  • Mastering SID Code (Mirrored): IFPI LL27
  • Mould SID Code: IFPI F700
  • Matrix / Runout: ***1/1DCA10354* MORPHIUSDISC MFG WWW.MORPHIUS.COM MORPH-1751 01
  • Label Code: LC-02677

Other Versions (5 of 14) View All

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
BC1 Henry Cow Western Culture(LP, Album) Broadcast Records (3) BC1 UK 1978 Sell This Version
ESD 80852 Henry Cow Western Culture(CD, Album, RP) East Side Digital ESD 80852 US 1988 Sell This Version
OLPS 55004 Henry Cow Western Culture(LP, Album) L'Orchestra OLPS 55004 Italy 1980 Sell This Version
ReR HC4 Henry Cow Western Culture(CD, Album, RE) ReR Megacorp ReR HC4 UK Unknown Sell This Version
LIMECD 013 Henry Cow Western Culture(CD, Album, RE, Unofficial, Ltd) ООО "Канкард" LIMECD 013 Russia 1999 Sell This Version



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February 12, 2014
This was always a really fine come-back album, after the dissolution of the Henry Cow & Slapp Happy project (and the, in parallel Art Bears) that is. But, strangely, it's often overlooked.
WESTERN CULTURE saw Henry Cow return to their original instrumental formula, extensively featuring Lindsay Cooper's winds, and in turn - having influenced a number of other RIO acts - the Henry Cow sound saw a great deal of influence from Univers Zero, and some of the more esoteric elements of the Zamla Mammaz Manna sound. Recorded at Sunrise Studios, Kirchberg, Switzerland (January-August 1978) by Etienne Conod, the production was so precise and really making use of his talent at multi-tracking. Such is the case that Henry Cow: Tim Hodgkinson (organs, alto sax, clarinet, guitar, piano), Lindsay Cooper (bassoon, oboe, soprano sax, recorders), Fred Frith (guitars, bass, soprano sax), Chris Cutler (drums, noise, piano, trumpet) plus Anne-Marie Roelofs (trombone, violin); all sound more like a mini-orchestra than the small band they were.
The album's two suites: History & Prospects (Tim Hodgkinson) and Day By Day (Lindsay Cooper) each encompassed every aspect of the instrumental Henry Cow sound to date, all riddled with the usual weird twists, complex arrangements, unusual rhythms and pure deluges of solos, duets, and such-like all inside or against the framework of the music. I've reviewed the album before, back in my RIO Henry Cow feature (Audion #31) so won't attempt to repeat myself here!
Bizarrely, although the other RéR reissues of Henry Cow albums don't include the bonus material found on the ESD releases, this does feature bonus material! Interestingly, the bonus follows a 1½ minute silent track, and consists of Viva Pa Ubu (originally on the RECOMMENDED RECORDS SAMPLER) and two short pieces Look Back (alt) and Slice, which seem to be remnants from the original sessions.