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best of 2015

Included in:

best of 2015


Miniatures (A Sequence Of Fifty-One Tiny Masterpieces)

Label: Megaphone

Format: LP

Out of stock

 Pressed on 180-gram vinyl; includes 23" x 23" foldout poster. Originally issued in 1981, Miniatures is a concept compilation album that is certain to delight the listener on a multitude of fronts simultaneously. Conceived in 1980 by Morgan Fisher (erstwhile keyboardist for Mott the Hoople) as a means of addressing the scope of music and musicians that he loved but lacked time enough to release, Miniatures draws from an array of artists whose submissions exist within the strict framework of a 60-second maximum track length. The pieces wriggle excitedly in their rapid and unrelenting succession, sequenced with insight sufficient to create an infinitely curious netherworld. Contributors provide their chosen 60 seconds of indulgence -- be it Andy Partridge offering "The History of Rock'n'Roll," noted author/psychoanalyst R. D. Laing giving us a father/son duet of "Tipperary," or Roger McGough reciting "The Wreck of the Hesperus" in its entirety -- and, while each track offers a distinct and separate thrill, the whole of Miniatures is both a monument to the creativity of its time and a living reminder of humanity in its preposterous glory. With no room for filler of any kind, Miniatures is a consistently refreshing revelation. Filled with abrupt, often beautiful, utterances from a bewildering diversity of artists (what other album contains both Pete Seeger and The Residents?), Miniatures is imbued throughout with self-awareness that, beneath an umbrella of shared and voluntary absurdity, scuppers any veneer of remoteness. In its place lies the intersection of naked curiosity with love of music. Includes tracks by Ollie Halsall & John Halsey, The Residents, Roger McGough, Morgan Fisher, John Otway, Pete Challis & Phil Diplock, Robert Wyatt, Stinky Winkles, Mary Longford, Andy 'Thunderclap' Newman, David Bedford, Fred Frith, Maggie Nicols, Joseph Racaille, The Work, Neil Innes & Son, Herbert Distel, Lol Coxhill, Ken Ellis, Steve Miller, Norman Lovett, Patrick Portella, George Melly, Robert Fripp, Andy Partridge (XTC), Phantom Captain, Ron Geesin, Alejandro Viñao, Quentin Crisp, Simon Desorgher, Ralph Steadman, R.D.Laing & Son, Trevor Wishart, John White, Ivor Cutler, Hector Zazou, Michael Bass & Ellen Tenenbaum, Martin Chambers (The Pretenders), Bob Cobbing & Henri Chopin, Dave Vanian (The Damned), Metabolist, Gavin Bryars, 1/2 Japanese, Simon Jeffes, Mark Perry, Michael Nyman, David Cunningham (The Flying Lizards), Kevin Coyne, Etron Fou Leloublan, Neil Oram & Ken Campbell & The Science Fiction Theatre of Liverpool, and Pete Seeger.


“Re-issue of the year... monumentally deranged... essential listening...” - THE WIRE

“One of the most unusual albums I have ever heard” - FEEDBACK

“Hurrah!..a conceptual masterpiece” - MOJO

“Irreverent and charming, this unique collection of 51 one-minute-or-less pieces (almost all exclusive) was concocted by Mott the Hoople keysman Morgan Fisher in 1980. Miniatures works surprising well considering all of the jarring juxtapositions and actually helps to make the set exhilarating many times. Fascinating covers come from Pete Seeger (whistling Beethoven), Half Japanese (demolishing the Rolling Stones), the Residents (squeaking the Ramones), Neil Innes (Bonzo Dog Band) having his son shouting Slade, and Robert Wyatt (looping Frank Sinatra).
Also featured are an inspired cast of English loonies like John Otway, Kevin Coyne and Ivor Cutler as well as 'non-musicians' such as psychologist R.D. Laing, writer/actor Quentin Crisp, and artist Ralph Steadman. Most impressive are the artists who do poignant encapsulations in their time limit: Fred Frith's Entire History of Henry Cow, and Andy Partridge (XTC) lecturing on the history of rock and roll.
Most compilations suffer from predictable, unimaginative frameworks, but Miniatures presents a wonderfully diverse and fun perspective that's been sadly lacking in a lock of rock and pop since the time it was released.” - ALL MUSIC GUIDE


“This recording walks the line between being a compilation and a concept album by one artist. The curator of the compilation is Morgan Fisher, ex-Morgan and Mott the Hoople keyboardist and all-around avant-pop genius of the '70s and '80s, who worked with everyone from Queen to Lol Coxhill to the Dead Kennedys. The concept for Miniatures involved getting artists from all across the board to contribute tiny vignettes saying as much as possible in the shortest space of time. Featuring contributions from the Residents, Andy Partridge, the Damned, Robert Wyatt, and Michael Nyman, among others, this may give an indication as to the diversity of this project. In many ways, Miniatures reflects the career of Fisher, who excelled in many genres. The original LP of Miniatures is a highly sought-after collector's item, as it was released to limited distribution on Fisher's Pipe label. With 51 one-minute stabs that summarize the diversity of a changing post-punk era, this collection is an excellent artifact of the early-'80s independent scene.” - ALL MUSIC GUIDE

Cat. number: mega027lp
Year: 2014
Genre: Electronic

Originally released in 1980 as Pipe 2. Includes 22"x22" double-sided poster with artwork, letter, photos and discographies of the contributors. Red vinyl