Landscape

Landscape was an English electronic band that released the 1977–78 jazz-rock EPs U2XME1X2MUCH and Worker’s Playtime, followed by the 1979–82 RCA albums Landscape, From the Tea-rooms of Mars… to the Hell-holes of Uranus, and Manhattan Boogie Woogie. Between their first two albums, they evolved from instrumental fusion to comedic electro–pop. From the Tea-rooms of Mars… spawned three hits: “Einstein a Go-Go,” “European Man,” and “Norman Bates.”

Landscape drummer–keyboardist Richard James Burgess (ex-Easy Street) gained further renown as a producer (Spandau Ballet) and co-developer of the Simmons drum synthesizer.

Members: Richard James Burgess (lead vocals, drums, programming, keyboards), Andy Pask (vocals, bass, keyboards), Christopher Heaton (keyboards, vocals), John L. Walters (Lyricon, saxophone, keyboards, programming, flute, vocals), Peter Thoms (trombone, vocals)


Background

Landscape formed in the mid-1970s as a jazz-rock quintet, comprised of drummer Richard James Burgess, bassist Andy Pask, keyboardist Christopher Heaton, reedist John Walters, and trombonist Peter Thoms.

Burgess was fresh off a two-album stint with pop-rockers Easy Street, which issued the acclaimed 1976–77 albums Easy Street and Under the Glass, the first featuring contributions from Thoms (“Shadows On the Wall”) and Heaton (“Easy Street”). Burgess also guested on 1977 albums by Charlie (No Second Chance) and Tony Visconti (Visconti’s Inventory). Earlier in his career, he played with New Zealand jazz-rockers Quincy Conserve.

Thoms, a sessionist, played on 1976–77 albums by funksters the J.A.L.N. Band and folksters The Sandpipers.


U2XME1X2MUCH

In November 1977, Landscape established Event Horizon Enterprises (EHE) and issued their first maxi-single, the 33 RMP 7″ U2XME1X2MUCH. It features three songs: “U2XME1X2MUCH,” “Don’t Gimme No Rebop,” and “Sixteen.” All three tracks were recorded live in London, July 1977, with no overdubs.

A. “U2XME1X2MUCH” (6:40) features bleating electronic sax–trombone across a brisk four-down beat, which eventually loosens with hi-hat slides and syncopation. Heaten plays a sputtering analogue synth solo in the middle.

B1. “Don’t Gimme No Rebop” (3:40) has interweaving electronic brass over a jumpy beat, inter-cut with rapidfire tom rolls.

B2. “Sixteen” (5:30) is a quieter number with in languid basslines and sparkly electric piano runs.

Stylistically, U2XME1X2MUCH crosses the refined, smoky ambience of late-period Soft Machine with echoes of the Canterbury school (The Muffins in particular). At times, the first two numbers exude a punkish feel with their fast, pounding tempos and unbridled energy, mirroring London club contemporaries Burlesque, who also mixed elements of punk and jazz on two 1977 albums.


Worker’s Playtime

In July 1978, Landscape released Worker’s Playtime, their second jazz-rock EP on Event Horizon.

A1. “Workers’ Playtime” ()
A2. “Nearly Normal” ()
B1. “Too Many Questions (Don’t Ask Me Why)” ()

Landscape recorded “Workers’ Playtime” and “Nearly Normal” in single takes with the Event Horizon Mobile equipped with two coincident microphones “direct into a stereo machine.” They recorded “Too Many Questions” at Southern Studios.


Landscape

Landscape released their self-titled debut album in late 1979 on RCA.

1. “Japan” Richard James Burgess, John Walters, Christopher Heaton, Landscape (3:22)
2. “Lost in the Small Ads” John Walters, Landscape (4:16)
3. “The Mechanical Bride” John Walters, Landscape (3:24)
4. “Neddy Sindrum” Burgess, Heaton, Landscape (3:42)
5. “Kaptin Whorlix” Andy Pask, Landscape (3:50)

6. “Sonja Henie” Heaton, John Walters, Burgess, Landscape (3:31)
7. “Many’s the Time” Peter Thoms, Landscape (3:23)
8. “Highly Suspicious” Heaton, Burgess, Landscape (3:38)
9. “Gotham City” Landscape (3:38)
10. “Wandsworth Plain” John Walters, Landscape (2:59)

Recorded Mid 1979
Studio Utopia Studios, Primrose Hill; The Manor; Audio International Studios, London W1

Richard James Burgess – Pearl Drums, SDS 3 drums synthesizer, acoustic percussion, Moog drum
Christopher Heaton – Yamaha CS80 polyphonic synthesizer, Fender Rhodes Piano, grand piano, Roland Chorus Echo
Andy Pask – fretless and fretted Griffin basses
Peter Thoms – trombone, electric trombone
John Walters – soprano saxophone, Lyricon, flute

Producer: Greg Walsh
Engineer: Greg Walsh
Additional engineering: Peter Walsh, Richard Manwaring
Assistant engineers: Marlis Duncklau, Simon Hurrell
Graphics: John Warwicker

RCA Victor paired “Japan” and Gotham City” as Landscape’s first standard single. In July 1980, “Sonja Henie” and “Neddy Sindrum” reappeared on their third RCA single, released after a post-Landscape a-side.


“European Man”

On March 14, 1980, Landscape released “European Man,” an upbeat electro-pop track backed with “The Mechanical Bride,” a deep cut from their first album.

A. “European Man” ()


From the Tea-rooms of Mars… to the Hell-holes of Uranus

Landscape released their second album, From the Tea-rooms of Mars… to the Hell-holes of Uranus, in February 1981 on RCA.

From the Tea-rooms of Mars…

1. “European Man” Richard James Burgess, Landscape (4:22)
2. “Shake the West Awake” Landscape (3:24)
3. “Computer Person” Peter Thoms, Landscape (2:59)
4. “Alpine Tragedy”/”Sisters” Christopher Heaton, Landscape/John Walters, Burgess, Landscape (4:44)
5. “Face of the 80’s” Burgess, Walters, Landscape (3:26)
6. “New Religion” Heaton, Burgess, Landscape (3:13)

…. to the Hell-holes of Uranus

7. “Einstein a Go-Go” Walters, Burgess, Landscape (2:59)
8. “Norman Bates” Walters, Landscape (5:36)
9. “The Doll’s House” Heaton, Burgess, Landscape (5:23)
10. “From the Tea-rooms of Mars …. to the Hell-holes of Uranus” (7:34)
i. “Beguine” (Burgess, Walters, Landscape) (2:43
ii. “Mambo” (Thoms, Heaton, Landscape) (2:22
iii. “Tango” (Walters, Burgess, Landscape) (2:29)

Recorded Mid-1980
(“European Man” – late 1979/early 1980)

Landscape
Richard James Burgess – vocals, computer programming, electronic drums and percussion, synthesizers and drums. Roland MC8 microcomposer, System 100 modular synths, SDS-V electronic drums, Pearl drums, claptrap, Burgess amplified percussion
Christopher Heaton – keyboards and vocals. Yamaha CS80 polyphonic synthesizer, grand piano, Fender Rhodes piano with ring modulator and effects, Casiotone 201 digital keyboard, Minimoog, Roland vocoders, Roland Chorus Echo
Andy Pask – bass guitar, bass synthesizers and vocals. Giffin fretted and fretless basses, Yamaha CS80, Roland ProMars synthesizer
Peter Thoms – electronic trombone, trombone and vocals. King 3B Trombone, Barcus Berry tranducer and graphic pre-amp, Roland pitch/voltage synthesizer and Chorus Echo, MXR Blue Box
John Walters – computer programming, wind synthesizers and Vocals. Computone wind synthesizer driver and Lyricon 1, Roland MC8, ProMars and System 100 synthesizers and vocoder, Selmer MKVI soprano saxophone

Production
Producer: Landscape
“European Man” produced by Colin Thurston and Landscape
Engineered by: John Etchells at JAM
John Hudson and Brian Tench at Mayfair Sound
Hugh Padgham at the Town House
Andy Jackson, Peter Walsh, Rafe McKenna and Peter Smith at Utopia
Steve Rance and Graeme Jackson at Nova Suite
Rik Walton at Workhouse
Dave Hunt at Berry Street
David Baker at Odyssey
Colin Thurston at Red Bus
Landscape at Southern Studios

23 Jan 1981
A: Einstein A Go-Go
B: New Religion

22 May 1981
A: Norman Bates
B: From The Tea-Rooms Of Mars…To The Hell-Holes Of Uranus (Part 3, Tango)

9 Oct 1981 re-release
A: European Man
B: The Mechanical Bride


Manhattan Boogie-Woogie

Landscape released their third album, Manhattan Boogie-Woogie, in 1982 on RCA.

1. “One Rule for the Rich” (4:15)
2. “Manhattan Boogie-Woogie” Burgess, Walters, Landscape (4:32)
3. “Colour Code (Tell Me Something New)” (3:48)
4. “The Long Way Home” (4:48)

5. “It’s Not My Real Name” (5:21)
6. “Bad Times” (4:12)
7. “Eastern Girls” (3:16)
8. “When You Leave Your Lover” Burgess, Heaton, Thoms, Landscape (3:40)

Richard James Burgess – acoustic and electronic drums, vocals, computer programming
Christopher Heaton – synthesizers, piano, Minimoog, vocals
Andy Pask – bass guitar, fretless bass, vocals
Peter Thoms – electric trombone, trombone, vocals
John Walters – Lyricon, soprano saxophone, vocals, computer programming

Producer: Landscape
Engineers: Mike Gregovich, Andy Jackson, Neil Black, Pete Smith, Richard James Burgess
Design: Ian Wright
Art direction: Andrew Christian
Original photography: Brian Aris

12 Feb 1982
A: It’s Not My Real Name
B. “Mistaken Identity” ()

7 May 1982
A: Eastern Girls
B. “Back On Your Heads” ()


Landscape III

Feb 1983
A. “So Good, So Pure, So Kind” ()
B. “The Fabulous Neutrinos” ()

Apr 1983
A. “You Know How To Hurt Me” ()
B. “Feel So Right” ()


Discography:


Sources:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *