The Roches (album)

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The Roches
The Roches - The Roches.jpg
Studio album by
RecordedSeptember–November 1978
StudioThe Hit Factory, New York City
LabelWarner Bros.
ProducerRobert Fripp
The Roches chronology
The Roches
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars [1]
Robert ChristgauA [2]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars [3]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide5/5 stars [4]

The Roches is the 1979 eponymous debut album by The Roches, produced by Robert Fripp, who also plays guitar and Fripperies (a variation of his Frippertronics). Also playing on the album are Tony Levin, Larry Fast and Jimmy Maelen of King Crimson and Peter Gabriel fame.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "We" (Suzzy Roche, Terre Roche, Margaret Roche) – 2:35
  2. "Hammond Song" (Margaret Roche) – 5:46
  3. "Mr. Sellack" (Terre Roche) – 4:03
  4. "Damned Old Dog" (Margaret Roche) – 4:07
  5. "The Troubles" (Suzzy Roche, Terre Roche, Margaret Roche) – 3:27
  6. "The Train" (Suzzy Roche) – 3:30
  7. "The Married Men" (Margaret Roche) – 4:32
  8. "Runs in the Family" (Terre Roche) – 3:29
  9. "Quitting Time" (Margaret Roche) – 4:19
  10. "Pretty and High" (Margaret Roche) – 4:05


The album was well received. Jay Cocks in Time magazine wrote that the Roches music "is startling, lacerating and amusing".[5] Robert Christgau's review stated "Robert Fripp's austere production of this witty, pretty music not only abjures alien instrumentation but also plays up the quirks of the Roches' less-than-commanding voices and acoustic guitars. Thus it underscores their vulnerability and occasional desperation and counteracts their flirtations with the coy and the fey. The result is not a perfect record, but rather one whose imperfections are lovingly mitigated."[2] It was voted #11 for the year in The Village Voice Pazz & Jop Critics Poll.[6]

It has continued to be highly rated. AllMusic characterized it as a "mischievous and highly original folk blend".[1] And The Rolling Stone Album Guide gave it its classic rating calling it an "unprecedented thrill" that was "spare, loose, pointed" and equating it to the Greenwich Village version of the New York punk explosion.[4]

Cover versions[edit]

The song "The Married Men" was covered by Phoebe Snow on her 1979 album Against the Grain.[7]

The song "Hammond Song" was covered by The Colourfield on their 1985 eponymous debut album Virgins and Philistines.




  • "Produced in Audio Verite by Robert Fripp"
  • Engineer: Ed Sprigg
  • Assistant Engineer: Jon Smith
  • Recorded at The Hit Factory in New York City during September, October and November 1978

Other credits:

  • Art direction: Peter Whorf
  • Design: Brad Kanawyer
  • Photography: Gary Heery


  1. ^ a b Cook, Stephen. The Roches at AllMusic. Retrieved 4 December 2005.
  2. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (April 30, 1979). "Christgau's Consumer Guide: The Roches Pick Hit". The Village Voice. Retrieved 30 November 2011. Relevant portion also posted at "The Roches: The Roches > Consumer Album Guide". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 11 June 2006.
  3. ^ "The Roches > Album Review". Rolling Stone (292). May 31, 1979.[dead link]
  4. ^ a b Soults, Franklin (2004). "The Roches". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. London: Fireside. pp. 694–695. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  5. ^ Cocks, Jay (May 7, 1979). "Valentines from the Danger Zone". Time. p. 64. Archived from the original on 21 January 2011. Retrieved 1 September 2011.
  6. ^ "The 1979 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll". The Village Voice. January 28, 1980. Retrieved 1 September 2011.
  7. ^ Pareles, Jon (21 January 2017). "Maggie Roche, Who Harmonized With Her Singing Sisters, Dies at 65". Retrieved 23 January 2017.

Further reading[edit]