• The first single from North East England folk group The Unthanks' fourth album, Last is a bit of the wild card as it's a cover of a 12 minute jazz-rock odyssey from King Crimson's 1974 LP Red. Stripped down to a piano ballad, the Unthanks' version features vocals by Becky Unthank.
  • The Unthanks' manager, pianist and producer Adrian McAlly, told Mojo magazine why the band decided to reach to Robert Fripp's prog rock group for material: "Chris (Price, Unthanks guitarist and I grew up with a fairly comprehensive prog rock education and we're all to aware of its pitfalls and pomposity. Some bands didn't care about the lyrics, or even having a decent singer, as long as they could play in 9/8 time, but others, like King Crimson, did care.

    I wanted to free a fairly well-written song about depression - well, we think it's about depression - and show it to be something beautiful when not inhibited by prog's trappings."
  • The band's co-vocalist Rachel Unthank, who is married to McAlly, said: "It's not music that me and Becky were grown up with. It was Adrian's idea. He got into his parent's record collection, wide and varied and included a lot of prog-rock. King Crimson's 'Starless' was such a beautiful song, and because the melody is so beautiful.

    When he played it to me and Becky, we fell in love with the melody. Becky loved the words and wanted to sing them. Adrian turned it into a string quartet song. It's something we've enjoyed singing onstage."

    "(King Crimson vocalist) John Wetton came to see us as well. He was very nice about it, very generous, though his singing is slightly different from Becky," she added with another laugh.


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

The Untold Story Of Fiona Apple's Extraordinary Machine

The Untold Story Of Fiona Apple's Extraordinary MachineSong Writing

Fiona's highly-anticipated third album almost didn't make it. Here's how it finally came together after two years and a leak.

Richard Marx

Richard MarxSongwriter Interviews

Richard explains how Joe Walsh kickstarted his career, and why he chose Hazard, Nebraska for a hit.

Chris Rea

Chris ReaSongwriter Interviews

It took him seven years to recover from his American hit "Fool (If You Think It's Over)," but Chris Rea became one of the top singer-songwriters in his native UK.


CommercialsFact or Fiction

Was "Ring Of Fire" really used to sell hemorrhoid cream?

Alice Cooper

Alice CooperFact or Fiction

How well do you know this shock-rock harbinger who's been publicly executed hundreds of times?

Joe Jackson

Joe JacksonSongwriter Interviews

Joe talks about the challenges of of making a Duke Ellington tribute album, and tells the stories behind some of his hits.