Andy Summers/Robert Fripp, Bewitched (1984)
I hadn’t thought about his album in a long time – much less listened to it. But it all came back in those first notes this morning and the delay and effects around those first notes. And then on from there. This was the first “guitar” album that I heard that wasn’t your typical guitar/guitarist album – it was probably Jimi Hendrix that lit the fire, so to speak. For me. But also Carlos Santana and B.B. King and Joe Satriani and Steve Vai – and a hundred other players quickly arrived into my collection on the back of those vital experiences. Guitar was my language – but only as a listener. Virtuoso playing was always interesting to hear even if some of the shredders didn’t get much of a second listen and never a third listen. And then there was Django Reinhardt and Charlie Christian and all those names that came up in the guitar magazines – I was obsessed with the guitar magazines even though I didn’t own a guitar (no point, if I had one I wouldn’t have known how to play it). Now I’m at the stage where I’d never play a guitar in public but can strum a chord or two (actually, at last count it was three). So, you know, not that far on from when I didn’t know how to play a guitar at all. You couldn’t legally call it playing – but hey, one day…Anyway, I still have a thing for guitar music – almost any, almost all. But this – this was the first time that I can remember hearing guitars and guitarists playing music that wasn’t quite “guitar music”. I knew of Robert Fripp more than I knew his work. I knew Andy Summers though his work with The Police – love that band, love all of the elements of that band. But it’s here that you can hear how much of a crucial part in the overall sound of The Police comes from what Andy Summers does, and the way he does it. Fallen in love with this album all over again this morning. It was such an important part in how I heard – and understood – guitar music and how it could extend out from just songs and just solos.
Sample Track: Parade
The Vinyl Countdown is a document of every LP I listen to, brand new discoveries and old-old favourites; extremely pre-loved, previously abandoned or with the shrink-wrap having just been removed it’s all here at The Vinyl Countdown