Saturday, July 26, 2014

Damage by David Sylvian and Robert Fripp & Everything and Nothing by David Sylvian

The damage is done.
Shadow Sun Earthbound Starblind
I'm tied to someone.

I started writing that I had no idea how I went so long without even knowing that Sylvian and Fripp's Damage existed. But then I realized that's a stupid thing to say. Of course there are innumerable albums that I'm not aware of.

Anyway, thanks to Trey Gunn for posting on Facebook something along the lines of "I can't believe it's been 20 years since this" with a link to a YouTube video a performance from the Damage tour. One click, one listen, and I knew I had to have this album.

It's no surprise that the individual performances on Damage are impeccable: David Sylvian on vocals & keyboards, Robert Fripp on guitar, Pat Mastelotto on drums, Michael Brook on guitar, and Trey Gunn on bass.What makes this album special is the contrast between Sylvian's smooth, reluctant, languid  tenor (think Brian Ferry from Roxy Music) and the band's sharp, bright, and expressive performance. And as a live concert recording there's a certain spontaneity and intimacy to the album. (I've read others say that Damage is superior to the studio recording of these works.)

The video below is Sylvian and the band performing Wave, my favorite track from the album. Simply beautiful.

After falling in love with Damage I had to educate myself more on Sylvian's work which is where his "best of" album Everything & Nothing comes in. All I can say is that Sylvian is darn good lyricist.

Then, of course, I had to learn more about guitarist Michael Brook so I got his Hybrid album. But that's for another day.

The story goes that Fripp asked Sylvian to front one of the former's incarnations of King Crimson but he declined. Damage is a great window on what might have been.

You can learn more about David Sylvian at his website You can find the other performers on the album here:

I received no compensation of any kind for this review.


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