"Craft is what enables you to be successful
when you're not inspired." - Brian Eno
Record Collector NOVEMBER 2009 - by Ian Shirley
Post-Roxy Eno plays and sings... live!
801 was a side project for Roxy Music guitarist Phil Manzanera which initially came together to play a few gigs in 1976. That one of them was the Reading Festival shows how high the stock of the participating musicians was at the time.
Deliciously, Manzanera's former Roxy Music colleague Brian Eno signed up on synths, effects and vocals, which delighted the audience at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, as recorded on the Island mobile studio and released as this album in 1976. technically, this was the first live album recorded by direct input into the mixing board, while, musically, it was a triumph.
The first disc here is the original concert, sparkling with a sublime take on The Beatles' Tomorrow Never Knows. Better still, you get to hear Eno sing on live versions of his own Golden Hours, Baby's On Fire and Third Uncle. Of course, this is Manzanera's band, and his playing is top-notch. The second disc here is a rehearsal run-through recorded at Shepperton Studios, seeing the band skip musical rope in anticipation of the main event. Housed in a booklet with fascinating recollections (Eno states that they played The Kinks' You Really Got Me, as it was easy for him to play), this is a primetime bout.