Originally broadcast in 1979 Rock Goes To College was a BBC production that featured rock musicians playing at various colleges and universities. This particular CD features drummer Bill Bruford who is perhaps best well known as the drummer for the superstar group Yes. He is joined by Annette Peacock (Vocals), Allan Holdsworth (Guitar), Dave Stewart (Keyboards), and Jeff Berlin (Bass) for this concert taped at Oxford Polytechnic.

This is what I would call ‘experimental’ music, although rock based, it has many elements of the Jazz world infused into it. My only criticism is that a good deal of time is given over to these gifted musicians trying to out-chord each other, which to my ear creates a less than melodic outcome. But, that is the nature of this kind of music.

Bill Bruford himself sums it up nicely in the liner notes:

I’m sometimes asked if I ever listen back to my past musical efforts. The usual answer is “Not if I can help it”; the outcome is too painful. It’s a bit like looking back at old photo albums. It’s not only that the old crushed velvet flares you wore back then looked ridiculous, but you didn’t know they looked ridiculous.

Bruford – Rock Goes To College is available through MVD.

Simon Barrett


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