Exposé Online banner

John Wetton & Richard Palmer-James — Monkey Business 1972-1997
(Blueprint BP-295-CD, 1998, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 2000-05-01

Monkey Business 1972-1997 Cover art

When was the first time you heard “Exiles” or “The Great Deceiver” and were taken aback about the lyrics? It’s a pretty strange role to find yourself by trying to fill the shoes of Peter Sinfield with King Crimson. Richard Palmer-James took that job and has been a long time school friend of John Wetton as well as contributor to the wordier side of some of the best-loved Crimson songs. This disc is an odd collection of early demos, unfinished recordings and updated versions of songs from Wetton’s career including Crimson, recent solo work and a few aborted projects. The most enticing pieces are those with Bill Bruford: “Confessions” and “The Good Ship Enterprise” recorded during the interim between the 1974 King Crimson and UK. These could be the long demos for the Wakeman, Wetton and Bruford project which A&M derailed and ultimately led to UK. Both tracks show signature time keeping from Bruford and some tricky word play from Wetton in what could have been some promising pieces. A few pieces have undergone some lush arranging to wind up in current form on the album including “Starless” and “Doctor Diamond.” But it’s the rough versions of “Book of Saturday,” “Easy Money,” and “Magazines” which give you an account of Wetton’s songwriting process where he enlisted Palmer-James to flesh out ideas and come up with the compelling verse. Monkey Business is for Wetton collectors primarily and those who want to peer into the looking glass of his early writing process.


Filed under: Archives, Issue 19, 1998 releases

Related artist(s): Bill Bruford / Earthworks, John Wetton, Richard Palmer-James

Latest news

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more

2020-01-07
Joel Vandroogenbroeck RIP – Word has reached us of the death of Joel Vandroogenbroeck, best known as one of the founders of Brainticket, He also recorded electronic music under a variety of names. He was born August 25th, 1938 in Brussels, Belgium and died December 23, 2019 in Arlesheim, Switzerland, aged 81. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Mani Neumeier - Privat – Guru Guru drummer Mani is still going strong, to which two recent Japan visits will attest. Through the 80s and 90s he has kept busy with projects such as L.S. Bearforce, and Tiere de Nacht. This solo...  (1998) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues