Learn to Talk

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Learn to Talk
Studio album by Skeleton Crew
Released 1984 (1984)
Recorded December 1983 to January 1984
Kirchberg, Switzerland
Genre
Length 41:37
Label Rift (US)
Producer Robert Vogel, Skeleton Crew
Skeleton Crew chronology
Learn to Talk
(1984)
The Country of Blinds
(1986)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau B+[2]

Learn to Talk is a studio album by United States experimental rock band Skeleton Crew, recorded at Sunrise Studio, Kirchberg, Switzerland, between Christmas and New Year 1983/1984. It was their debut album and was released in 1984.

The album was recorded when Skeleton Crew was the duo of Fred Frith and Tom Cora. The band was best known for their improvised live performances, during which they played various instruments simultaneously. While the recordings are not live (except for two tracks), they do to a large extent convey the dynamics of the live act. The music is both sparse and raw, consisting of songs interspaced with cello, guitar and violin instrumental fragments. Tape cut-ups also feature throughout the album, including a Ronald Reagan speech, Sousa's "Washington Post" and TV ad clips.

The songs were composed or arranged by Frith and Cora, except for "The Way Things Fall (Back Apart)" which included lyrics by Rebby Sharp, who Frith had worked with in Orthotonics.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks composed by Tom Cora and Fred Frith, unless otherwise noted.

Side Free

  1. "Que Viva" – 3:40
  2. "Onwards and Upwards" – 3:39
  3. "The Way Things Fall (Back Apart)" (Tom Cora, Fred Frith, Rebby Sharpe) – 2:35
  4. "Not My Shoes" – 2:14
  5. "The Washington Post" (John Philip Sousa, arr. Skeleton Crew) – 1:28
  6. "We're Still Free" – 4:16
  7. "Victoryville" – 2:43

Side Dirt

  1. "Los Colitos" (trad. Ecuador, Tom Cora, Fred Frith) – 2.53
  2. "Life at the Top" (Fred Frith) – 1:44
  3. "Learn to Talk" – 3:40
  4. "Factory Song" – 5:13
  5. "It's Fine" – 4:22
  6. "Zach's Flag" (Tom Cora) – 3:10

Track notes[edit]

Personnel[edit]

  • Tom Cora – Cello, bass guitar, casio, drums, home-made drums and contraptions, singing
  • Fred Frith – Guitar, six-string bass, violin, casio, home-made bass, piano, drums, singing

Guests[edit]

Röbl, Lu and Katrin – voices on "Los Colitos"

Sound and art work[edit]

CD reissues[edit]

In 1990 RecRec Music re-issued Learn to Talk together with Skeleton Crew's next album The Country of Blinds on a single compilation CD, Learn to Talk / Country of Blinds, omitting "Los Colitos" and "Life At The Top" from Learn to Talk, and "Money Crack" from The Country of Blinds.

In 2005 Fred Records re-issued Learn to Talk / Country of Blinds on a double compilation CD, omitting only "Money Crack" from The Country of Blinds, and adding ten extra tracks.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mills, Ted. "Learn to Talk". AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-06-22. 
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Skeleton Crew". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2011-06-22. 
  3. ^ "1st Festival international de musique actuelle de Victoriaville". International Festival Musique Actuelle Victoriaville. Retrieved 2012-03-09. 

External links[edit]