HAPPY THE MAN
Mike Beck • Cliff Fortney • Rick Kennell • Dan Owen • Coco Roussel • Kit Watkins • Stanley Whitaker • Frank Wyatt


DEATH'S CROWN



CUNEIFORM 55015

Composed & performed in late 1974, Death's Crown was written as a collaborative work with dancers, actors, lighting & coordinated slide shows - a multi-media event staged at a local dinner theatre in their original hometown of Harrisonburg, VA. The piece was performed several times, but was not a regular part of their repertoire, although parts of the work were regularly performed by the band in concert. Rehearsal tapes of the band performing Death's Crown were recently found & this release marks the first time that any of this material has ever been heard on record.

Happy the Man's official website

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LIVE



CUNEIFORM 55014

Excellent performances & very good sound on recently discovered live tapes (7/78 & 10/78) from the final incarnation of the band [with drummer Coco Roussel] made Live possible. Spirited live versions of pieces from their two Arista LPs, some of which are significantly different than the studio versions.

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BEGINNINGS

CUNEIFORM 55003

Beginnings is all previously unreleased material from before their 1st LP.


3RD / "BETTER LATE..."



CUNEIFORM 55001

3rd / "Better Late..." is a reissue of their 3rd and last lp, adding two songs that were recorded at the sessions but have never before been released!

"3rd: Better Late... came out 11 years after these demo recordings were made, hence the second part of the album's title. As for the first part, these home sessions were conducted to put Happy the Man's third LP into pre-production.
In the meantime, punk and disco discouraged record labels to pursue their contracts with progressive rock bands and Arista Records dropped the group. If the tapes are crude at times (some hiss, some distortion), sound quality is maintained at a respectable level. This is not the band's best material, but then again, it might have evolved before reaching the final stage -- a piece or two might even have been dropped. Still, it makes a worthy follow-up to Crafty Hands.
The writing remains complex, polyphonic, counterpuntal. There is a bit more fusion than before. Tracks like "The Falcon," "Who's in Charge Here?," and "Shadow Shaping" (the latter very Gentle Giant-esque) are genuine Happy the Man. New drummer Coco Roussel (also featured on the Cuneiform release Live) brings more subtle percussion work, while Kit Watkins and Stanley Whitaker play better than ever....this is strong Happy the Man material, even though newcomers should begin with the band's two original albums." – Francois Couture / AllMusic Guide

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