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On September 8th 1972, Robert Fripp brought his guitar and pedal board to Brian Eno's home studio. Using Eno's twin tape recorder/loop method setup Fripp provided two takes - one for the background guitar loop and one for the foreground solos with Eno selectively manipulating which signals were committed to the final tape. The 21 minutes piece of music that resulted, The Heavenly Music Corporation became one of the most significant and influential pieces of electronic music ever recorded. The other track on the album Swastika Girls was not recorded until over a year later in August 1973 - the track title inspired by a picture of girls wearing a swastika and little else that was pinned to the console. Also pinned to the console was a piece of paper with the words No Pussyfooting - Fripp's reminder to both musicians that they should not compromise what they felt to be right or be deterred by the hostility to the project shown by management and record label alike. (There was talk of Fripp leading Eno into un-commercial territory). The album was released in November 1973 and went on to sell over 100,000 copies. It was a unique achievement at the time was to place an album of experimental electronic music into the hands, homes and ears of 100,000 rock music fans.
The album is now seen as a seminal recording. Unavailable for the past few years, it has been re-mastered and expanded using the original master tapes by Simon Heyworth, overseen by Robert Fripp.
When first played on Radio One on John Peel's show, the album was taken from a reel to reel tape that had been stored 'tail out' (standard record company practice), but played as if it had been stored 'front out' (standard BBC practice) - the resulting broadcast was of the entire album played in reverse. Both Fripp and Eno (in separate locations) heard some of the broadcast. When Eno phoned the BBC to inform them that the music was being played in reverse, he was met with a "that's what they all say.." response. As this was how many people in the UK initially heard the album, the reverse version has been recreated for this release.
It was commonplace for young guitarists used the 16 and 2/3 setting on record players to play 33 and 1/3 rpm vinyl albums to slow down, practice and learn favoured guitar parts. King Crimson biographer Sid Smith mentioned that he and his friends applied the same principle to No Pussyfooting simply to hear how different it would sound and how impressed they were with the result. The half speed version of The Heavenly Music Corporation is featured as the other main expansion on the new edition.
The Heavenly Music Corporation
The Heavenly Music Corporation (reversed)
The Heavenly Music Corporation (half speed)
Swastika Girls (reversed)