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Six disc Bill Bruford career-retrospective out in April

Bill Bruford
(Image credit: Michael Putland/Getty Images)

Former Yes and King Crimson drummer Bill Bruford's epic career in music, stretching out over 50 years, is to celebrated in a new six-disc box set. Making A Song and Dance: A Complete Career Collection includes music from Bruford's time with Yes, Crimson, UK, ABWH, his own Bruford and Earthworks projects and more is released through BMG on April 29.

“My interest was with the broader discourse on drums and drumming, rather than any notions of success or fame,” says Bruford. “The latter I could do little about but, in the 1960s, the former was wide open and meaningful contribution seemed everywhere possible. The context in which the first track in the set was conceived bears almost no relationship to the context in which the last was, four decades later.” 

“There was a big premium put on the notion of difference. I wanted to sound different to contemporaries like Carl Palmer (ELP), Brian ‘Blinky’ Davison (Nice) or John Bonham (Led Zeppelin). I figured if I hadn’t heard it before, the other guys in the band probably hadn’t either. Thinking up interesting things to do on a drum kit was my reason to exist. I also thought that was what they were paying me to do. I didn’t care much what the critic, commentator or musicologist thought, and that was to remain my lodestone, my modus operandi for many years.” 

Bruford has selected tracks from across his whole career for this anthology, comprising works from some 23 different artists and bands over a 40-year period.

“I’ve deliberately avoided forcing them into industry categories such as ‘progressive rock’, ‘fusion’ or ‘jazz’,” Bruford adds, “on the grounds that most of the music I’ve been associated with fits very poorly into such straight-jackets - round holes and square pegs come to mind.” 

The new set also includes a detailed biography, written by Bruford, featuring rare and unseen photos. The outer box artwork, gatefold CDs and booklet have been designed by Bruford’s long-time artist and graphic designer Dave McKean. You can see the artwork and full tracklisting below.

Pre-order Making A Song and Dance: A Complete Career Collection.

Bill Bruford

(Image credit: BMG)

Bill Bruford: Making A Song and Dance: A Complete Career Collection

THE COLLABORATOR
Disc One
1. Yes - I’ve Seen all Good People
2. Yes - Heart of the Sunrise  
3. Yes - And You & I  
4. King Crimson – The Great Deceiver 
5. King Crimson - Fracture 
6. King Crimson - One More Red Nightmare   
7. King Crimson - Starless 
8. U.K. – Nevermore 

Disc Two  
1.King Crimson - Frame by Frame   
2. King Crimson - Neal and Jack and Me  
3. King Crimson - Heartbeat 
4. King Crimson - Waiting Man 
5. Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, Howe - Brother of Mine (Radio Edit) 
6. King Crimson – Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream 
7. King Crimson – Larks’ Tongues in Aspic: Pt 2 
8. King Crimson – Three of a Perfect Pair 
9. King Crimson - Man with an Open Heart 
10. King Crimson - Elephant Talk 
11. King Crimson - Indiscipline 
12. King Crimson - Big Funk   
13. PianoCircus feat. Bill Bruford & Colin Riley – The Still Small Voice 

The Composing Leader
Disc Three
1. Bruford - Seems Like a Lifetime Ago: Pt 1 
2. Bruford - Seems Like a Lifetime Ago: Pt 2  
3. Bruford - One of a Kind: Pt 1 
4. Bruford - One of a Kind: Pt 2 
5. Bruford - Palewell Park  
6. Bruford - Joe Frazier  
7. Bill Bruford’s Earthworks - It Needn’t End in Tears 
8. Bill Bruford’s Earthworks - My Heart Declares a Holiday 
9. Bill Bruford’s Earthworks - Downtown 
10. Bill Bruford’s Earthworks - Pilgrims’ Way 
11. Bill Bruford’s Earthworks - Temple of the Winds 
12. Bill Bruford’s Earthworks - Candles Still Flicker in Romania’s Dark 
13. Bill Bruford’s Earthworks - Nerve  
14. Bruford, Towner, Gomez – Thistledown 

Disc Four 
1. Bill Bruford’s Earthworks - Beelzebub 
2. Bruford-Levin - Original Sin 
3. Bill Bruford’s Earthworks - Revel Without a Pause 
4. Bill Bruford’s Earthworks - Triplicity 
5. Bill Bruford’s Earthworks - The Sound of Surprise 
6. Earthworks Underground Orchestra - Speaking in Wooden Tongues 
7. Bill Bruford’s Earthworks - Modern Folk 
8. Bill Bruford’s Earthworks - White Knuckle Wedding 
9. Earthworks Underground Orchestra - Footloose and Fancy Free
10. Earthworks Underground Orchestra - Thud 

The Special Guest

Disc Five
1. Roy Harper - Grown Ups are Just Silly Children 
2. Roy Harper - Hallucinating Light 
3. Chris Squire - Lucky Seven (Single Edit) 
4. Chris Squire – Silently Falling 
5. Al Di Meola - Calliope 
6. David Torn – Voodoo Chile 
7. Kazumi Watanabe - Andre 
8. Kazumi Watanabe - Small Wonder 
9. Steve Howe - The Inner Battle 
10. Buddy Rich Big Band - Lingo 
11. Pete Lockett’s Network of Sparks feat. Bill Bruford - Prism 
12. PianoCircus feat. Bill Bruford & Colin Riley – Achilles Feel 

The Impoviser

Disc Six  
1. Moraz-Bruford - Galatea 
2. Moraz-Bruford – Symmetry 
3. PianoCircus feat. Bill Bruford & Colin Riley – Stalling Between Two Fools 
4. King Crimson - No Warning 
5. Moraz-Bruford - Flags 
6. Moraz-Bruford -Split Seconds 
7. David Torn – Previous Man 
8. David Torn - Three Minutes of Pure Entertainment 
9. Bruford-Borstlap - 16 Kingdoms of the 5 Barbarians 
10. Bruford-Borstlap - Stand on Zanzibar 
11. Earthworks - With Friends Like These… 
12. Bruford-Borstlap - Low Tide, Camber Sands 
13. Bruford-Borstlap – Kinship 

Writer and broadcaster Jerry Ewing is the Editor of Prog Magazine which he founded for Future Publishing in 2009. He grew up in Sydney and began his writing career in London for Metal Forces magazine in 1989. He has since written for Metal Hammer, Maxim, Vox, Stuff and Bizarre magazines, among others. He created and edited Classic Rock Magazine for Dennis Publishing in 1998 and is the author of a variety of books on both music and sport, including Wonderous Stories; A Journey Through The Landscape Of Progressive Rock, as well as sleevenotes for many major record labels. He lives in North London and happily indulges a passion for AC/DC, Chelsea Football Club and Sydney Roosters.