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Rock - Released January 1, 1975 | EMI Catalogue

Phil Manzanera's first post-Roxy foray into solo albums is a terrific all-star affair that still holds up enormously well. Calling on favors from Roxy members present and past, and those from the Cambridge/British art rock scene, Manzanera assembled a supergroup for every song. Robert Wyatt sings Spanish gibberish on the opener "Frontera," a rewrite of his own "Team Spirit." Brian Eno teams up for the sunny "Big Day" and the nonsensical "Miss Shapiro," both of which would not have been out of place on his own early solo albums. John Wetton (of several groups including Family and Asia) sings a duet with Doreen Chanter (of the Chanter Sisters and the Joe Cocker Band), and Bill MacCormick of Matching Mole and Quiet Sun sings his own "Alma," the album's closing ballad. Fans of any of the singers above, not to mention Manzanera, whose party this is, won't be disappointed. A majority of these tracks went on to form the set list for 801 Live. ~ Ted Mills
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Rock - Released January 1, 1976 | EG Records

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Rock - Released March 23, 2015 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

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Rock - Released December 1, 2015 | Blue Pie Records

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Rock - Released January 1, 2000 | EMI Catalogue

Recorded in the spring of 1978 at Yes bassist Chris Squire's home studio, K-Scope featured three founding members of the Split Enz/Crowded House: Eddie Rayner (keys), Tim Finn (lead vocal) and brother Neil Finn (backing vocal). Manzanera also enlists percussion heavyweight Simon Phillips, good buddies John Wetton and Bill MacCormick (both bassists and vocalists), and saxophonist Mel Collins, among several others. The band strong arms the solid pop/rock structures and approaches the instrumentals with the same verve. The literally "coolest" tune in the set is also Manzanera's personal favorite, the breezy "Gone Flying." The composition (and performance) is a fine example of how truly excellent a pop song can be. Manzanera's atmospheric "echo guitar" is at the core of the piece, with Phillips contributing refined, offbeat, fluid percussion, and MacCormick (arguably the most appealing vocalist on the album) providing equally exceptional bass work. The song is supplemented by the next cut, the quirky, instrumental "N-Shift," featuring MacCormick's pronounced, funky basslines. Other stand-out sounds include the opener, "K-Scope," a charged instrumental featuring Mel Collins on sax; the reggae rhythm of "Cuban Crisis"; Wetton's lead vocal on "Numbers," and Manzanera's closing instrumental, "You Are Here." The bonus cuts include two energetic performances from 801's 1977 tour ("Remote Control" and "Out of the Blue") and a demo version of "Slow Motion TV" (titled "It Don't Matter to Me"). The frantic, anxious "Remote Control" features a hot Andy Mackay tenor sax solo, and Roxy Music's "Out of the Blue," while failing in the vocal department, showcases Bill MacCormick's thoughtful, occasionally fast bass playing. Though probably not Manzanera's most accomplished work, K-Scope remains one of his most interesting and enjoyable projects. [In the label's ongoing effort to give Manzanera his due, Expression Records later released K-Scope with three bonus cuts.] ~ David Ross Smith
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Rock - Released January 1, 2000 | EMI Catalogue

Marking Manzanera's tenth year of as a professional musician, Primitive Guitars means to be a looking back at his stylistic growth through a series of solo pieces that take in the various stages of his life: childhood in South America, adolescence in London, stints in Roxy Music, 801, and other projects. These are hinted at in the titles ("Caracas," "Bogota," "Ritmo de Los Angeles") and often in the Latin influences of the melodies and playing styles. On all these pulsing, groove-centered instrumental tracks, Manzanera is backed only by a drum machine and, on one tune, John Wetton on bass. Otherwise all the diverse sounds, noises, melodies, and rhythms have been created on guitar, linking Manzanera to another progressive virtuoso, Adrian Belew. In between tracks, Manzanera inserts snatches of dialogue recorded at various rehearsals, making this a successful, very personal album. ~ Ted Mills
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Rock - Released January 1, 2000 | EMI Catalogue

Phil Manzanera had no problem filling his mid-'70s downtime away from Roxy Music. His guitar graced some 20 albums, like John Cale's Fear, Eno's Here Come the Warm Jets, and Nico's The End. This outing from his all-star side group is slicker than his 1976 live debut album, but no less worthwhile; some 16 musicians are credited. The sound is sleek and sophisticated; even lyrics aren't exempt from creative twists, as shown on "Listen Now"'s glistening jazz-pop -- which cleverly juxtaposes its title against a bouncy "now, now, listen" chorus. The song also questions how people are living life in a repressive society, even as "Law and Order" and "City of Lights" ponder its breakdown. Other songs visit more personal turf. "Flight 19" details a young man's angst-filled reaction to his lover's injuries, "Postcard Love" dismisses the perils of on-road romances, and "That Falling Feeling" takes a more wistful look at how people grow apart -- over a gliding Manzanera guitar part. (Yet another sly twist shifts the chorus from "Can't you feel it moving in?" to "You can feel it moving in.") Three totally different instrumentals round out matters. The best one is the lilting "Island," anchored by a climbing Bill McCormick bassline, as Manzanera unleashes his full array of guitar-altering devices. "Initial Speed" and "Que?" take more of a jazz/fusion tack; they're different snapshots of Manzanera's graceful, intelligent guitar style. This album's one of the most absorbing entries of Manzanera's lengthy career. ~ Ralph Heibutzki
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6PM

Rock - Released December 15, 2015 | Blue Pie Records

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Pop - Released January 1, 1986 | One Up

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Rock - Released December 3, 2015 | Blue Pie Records

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Rock - Released June 1, 2015 | Expression Records

4 stars out of 5 - "Layered vocal and instrumental sounds as the Roxy guitarist recalls his Columbian roots."
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Rock - Released January 1, 1975 | EMI Catalogue

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Rock - Released June 1, 2015 | Expression Records

3 stars out of 5 - "[V]aried, melodic and lyrical....Manzanera's songwriting on this evidence seems in fine fettle."
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Rock - Released December 15, 2015 | Blue Pie Records

Marking Manzanera's tenth year of as a professional musician, Primitive Guitars means to be a looking back at his stylistic growth through a series of solo pieces that take in the various stages of his life: childhood in South America, adolescence in London, stints in Roxy Music, 801, and other projects. These are hinted at in the titles ("Caracas," "Bogota," "Ritmo de Los Angeles") and often in the Latin influences of the melodies and playing styles. On all these pulsing, groove-centered instrumental tracks, Manzanera is backed only by a drum machine and, on one tune, John Wetton on bass. Otherwise all the diverse sounds, noises, melodies, and rhythms have been created on guitar, linking Manzanera to another progressive virtuoso, Adrian Belew. In between tracks, Manzanera inserts snatches of dialogue recorded at various rehearsals, making this a successful, very personal album. ~ Ted Mills
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Pop - Released December 15, 2015 | Blue Pie Records

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Rock - Released September 14, 2018 | Phil Manzanera Records

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Rock - Released June 1, 2015 | Expression Records

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Miscellaneous - Released December 13, 2015 | Blue Pie Records