Editors’ Notes When these four characters came together for a collaborative 1987 album, they were hefting some heavy baggage. After all, besides their solo careers, their collective résumés included Fairport Convention (Thompson), Captain Beefheart's Magic Band (French), and Henry Cow (Frith). And as guitarists, Frith, Kaiser, and Thompson all sported some serious firepower. But this was no supergroup egofest; it was a true collective effort. Even as Thompson's folk-rock background and the other members' avant-garde tendencies complement each other, the members seem to egg one another on—Thompson's "Killerman Gold Posse," for instance, is among the more angular and intense compositions in his formidable catalog, and for all its post-punk-informed frenzy, Frith's "Where's the Money?" is about as close as the British art-rock vet comes to "catchy." But when the quartet truly blends its disparate powers into a seamless whole on the supple, spiritual "A Bird in God's Garden," that's when this supergroup achieves true transcendence.

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