The 'proper' Art Bears emerged during the recording of what was supposed to be Henry Cow's fifth studio album: it was apparent early on that the direction many of the songs were taking was toward song territory. After the first sessions, it was decided that additional material was to be recorded, and released under the Art Bears moniker.
Responsible for the drive in this direction was two thirds of the trio: drummer and lyricist Chris Cutler and guitarist/ bassist/ keyboardist/ violinist Fred Frith. These completing pieces were Terrain, The Tube The Dance and Piers.
Singing with Cow since its first collaborative record with Slapp Happy was german vocalist Dagmar Krause. In great part responsible for the distinctiveness of latter Henry Cow and Art Bears, Dagmar has a near-operatic singing style, ranging from utterly expressive to restrained and repressed: a perfect match for the texts and their accompanying music.