801 series released on 13th July

On 13TH July, Phil Manzanera’s Expression Records, will release The 801 series, comprising 801 Live Collector’s edition, 801 Manchester, 801 @ Hull and 801 Latino. All four albums have been digitally remastered and repackaged with extras. The original classic album, 801 Live, is presented in a book form with an extra CD containing previously unheard rehearsal footage from Shepperton Studios as well as new photographs and text.

Phil Manzanera:
“Over the years I’ve been sent photos from these gigs, which led me to go back to the original concert tapes, and then Bill MacCormick came across yet more photos and struck gold with the audio of the 801 Shepperton Studios rehearsals. So that was the impetus for this 801 Live Collectors edition and series .”

The 801 band was formed in 1976 as a side project to Manzanera’s Roxy Music duties and designed to play a few festivals that Summer. Its name came from the Eno song, ‘The True Wheel’ which appears on his 1974 solo album ‘Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy.’ The sextet included Manzanera, Brian Eno, Bill MacCormick, Francis Monkman, Simon Phillips and Lloyd Watson. After a warm up show in Cromer in Norfolk, the band played just two gigs, at the Reading festival with John Peel acclaiming them ‘The musical high point of the weekend’ and a final gig – with this line-up, at London’s Queen Elizabeth hall. The album, 801 Live was recorded at this London show and released on 29 October 1976.

801 Live became a cult success around the world. It set a new standard for live recordings for its groundbreaking sound quality. It was one of the first live albums in which all outputs from the microphones, except the drums, were fed directly to the Island mobile studio mixing desk rather than being recorded via microphones and/or signals fed out of the front of house PA mix. It was one of the first live albums to use ‘Direct injection’ (DI)

The critics raved about 801 Live with many hailing it as one of the greatest live albums ever released:

“Most live albums are of no more than token value. ‘801 Live’ is, like Bowie’s ‘David Live’ or Dylan’s ‘Before The Flood’, one of the exceptions that prove the rule… Who needs Roxy Music, now anyway?” (NME)

“With his own floating 801 entourage, Manzanera has created one of the last - and best - psychedelic bands in the world. The band emerges not only tight but spontaneous, and the ensemble texture is rich and explosive, like the finest from the Sixties groups.” (Rolling Stone)

The following year 801 embarked on a 10 date UK tour, with a slightly changed line-up as Eno was recording with Bowie and Roxy’s drummer, Paul Thompson, replaced Simon Phillips, who was not available. From this tour emerged two further live albums, ‘801 Live at Manchester’ and ‘801 Live at Hull.’

‘801 Live at Manchester’ was recorded in 1977 and joining the band on stage at Manchester University, was Roxy Music’s Andy MacKay and 10CC’s Kevin Godley and Lol Crème. For the Hull date, also at the University, Eddie Jobson made a guest appearance: Jobson was in Roxy Music at this time but later left the band to join Frank Zappa. Jobson’s performance of ‘Out of the Blue’ is one of the many highlights on this album.

‘801 Latino’. Manzanera has had a lifelong love and empathy for Cuban music and the country of his childhood. Over the years he has played several concerts in Cuba with some of the country’s leading musicians, and in 1999 there was an opportunity for an 801 Latino project in the UK. The concept was the same as the original 801, assemble a band from a wide musical spectrum for a limited period and record a live show. The result is 801 Latino, a fireball of Latin energy intertwined with Manzanera’s distinctive fluid guitar lines.


Catalogue Numbers
801 Live (Collector’s Edition) - EXPCD3R
801 Manchester - ECPCD25R
801 @ Hull - EXPCD23R
801 Latino - EXPCD24R

4 Responses to “801 series released on 13th July”

  1. Jason says:

    I can’t wait to get this!

  2. NickH says:

    801 Live IS one of ‘the best live LPs’ ever. Heck, I first got it back in ‘76 as a free vinyl promo LP from my savvy local USsmall record store proprietor (who thought I might like it). I’d heard Phil’s work with Roxy Music & Eno’s Warm Jets solo LP, but THIS - just knocked me on my butt and led me eagerly on to Diamond Head, K-Scope, and even Quiet Sun. I’ve been a Manzanera nut ever since (hello, anyone else remember “Clues” from Lol & Kev, Impossible/Primitive Guitars, or the Explorers?). I hope the 801 reissues will be available from local Boston chains such as Newbury Comics/CDs, or CD Universe online. At any rate, reserve me a copy - PLEASE. (Geez, and the expanded version only took 33 years, l.o.l.).

  3. Zyto says:

    Finally - Cant believe. Think, it’s almost 30 years ago I heard the LP many many times. I remember, I was fascinated, though had no idea who these musicians were. In those days, I wanted to buy it but no record shop knew it in Berlin - really strange. This “LP” is still a must have - and I will. Very, very good idea to re-launch it!

  4. Recording Studio Toronto says:

    I got it and I LOVE it.

    One of the best studio recordings ever.

Leave a Reply