There are lots of good pages about Henry Cow and related bands, some of which are no longer online, so here's my gathering up of stray links and info...
OMG! Stop the press! They have reformed to perform the music of the late Lindsay Cooper in November 2014. See yew there...
Henry Cow were one of the major groups in the movement known as Rock In Opposition. They featured a stellar cast of musicians:
Their use of unconventional instrumentation and studio techniques allowed them to explore new territories between rock music, jazz, and the avant garde. In 1974 they merged with the band Slapp Happy (friends of those other German experimenters Faust) to record one of their most important albums In Praise Of Learning, adding the talents of:
If you're confused, you may want to check out this Henry Cow family tree. The group was active from 1968 until 1978 (more detailed history), when they split to form other projects such as Art Bears. This informative article by Kenneth Ansell in Impetus No.9 in 1979 includes an interview where they explain reasons behind the break-up of the group. Chris Cutler now runs Recommended Records.
See this discography at an archived old site that now lies in Ruins. Completists can check Fred Frith's and Chris Cutler's complete discographies.
© copyright Malcolm Smith 2006-05-01 - last updated 2014-06-22 - links verified 2006-05-07