On vinyl, this is a reissue of the final Henry Cow record, originally released in 1979 after the group had officially disbanded. The LP features guest appearances by Irene Schweitzer and Anne-Marie Roeloffs. Following their split with Virgin, the group's history became complicated; bass player John Greaves left, and after a dispute in the recording studio, what was intended as the next Henry Cow album mutated into the Art Bears' much respected Hopes and Fears. In 1978 the members of the Cow agreed to stay together under the Cow banner for a final six months of touring.
They decided to record a final album of entirely new music, written by Tim Hodgkinson and Lindsay Cooper -- and that album was Western Culture. It's one of their very best. Titles like 'Industry', 'The Decay of Cities', and 'Falling Away' hurl the listener into a dark world of additive time signatures, spooky organ interludes, and complex instrumental textures. The invigorating blast of energy suggests a new vision of part classical, part Industrial, part Brechtian rock chamber music.
Like a minimal, concentrated re-vision of the old Henry Cow, it prefigures the terrifying structures of 80's iconic rock group This Heat. For the first time the group was happy with their recorded sound.