INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
Record Mirror OCTOBER 22, 1977 - by Tim Lott
801: LISTEN NOW
An interesting bastard. Not Manzanera, 801. At the head, Manzanera with his borderline rock-jazz guitar. Avant-garde supremo, Eno... The kitsch bizarre Tim Finn of Split Enz and the hyperpop, Lol Creme and Kevin Godley. Drummer from the folk wave Dave Mattacks. The list goes on... on Eddie Jobson, Mel Collins, Francis Monkman; the result is, in a sense, inevitable, an unavoidable fusion of elemental, far-removed styles.
So you expect it to be fragmented, directionless, ego-tripping. You're wrong. It's a smart merger, the commercial formula of pop-jazz, highly technical but melodic instrumentals over perfect Crosby, Stills and Nash-brand harmonies. Unlike the 801 Live album there are no long, difficult improvisations, no heavyweight techno wizard indigestibles. Only pop crafting and simple economy. There's a lot more accent on the lyrics than you might expect and though they ain't exactly sheer poetry, they're not embarrassing, which is unusual coming from a band who are primarily musicians. The main pitfall avoided, it's not too clever-clever, it's 'accessible'.
Listen now and you're going to like it without thinking.