''Hopes and Fears'' is the debut album by the English avant-rock group Art Bears. It comprises tracks by Henry Cow, Art Bears's predecessor, recorded at Sunrise Studios, Kirchberg in Switzerland in January 1978, and tracks by Art Bears, recorded at Kaleidophon Studios in London in March 1978.


''Hopes and Fears'' began as a Henry Cow album, but after the first recording sessions in Switzerland, some of the members of the band were unhappy about the predominance of song-oriented material. As a compromise it was agreed that two albums would be made: the songs would be released by
Fred Frith Jeremy Webster "Fred" Frith (born 17 February 1949) is an English multi-instrumentalist, composer, and improvisor. Probably best known for his guitar work, Frith first came to attention as one of the founding members of the English avant-rock g ...
, Chris Cutler and Dagmar Krause as Art Bears, and the instrumental compositions would be released later by Henry Cow. The newly formed Art Bears recorded four more tracks in London to complete ''Hopes and Fears'', which was released in May 1978. Henry Cow returned to Switzerland in July that year to record additional instrumental pieces for what was to be their last album, ''Western Culture (album), Western Culture'' (1979).


Because of Henry Cow's presence on this album, ''Hopes and Fears'' is considered by some to be "the lost Henry Cow album". But the predominance of songs makes the album a bridge between Henry Cow and Art Bears, a move away from Henry Cow's usual intense compositions, and the beginnings of Art Bears's music, fully realised on their next two albums. It also shows Frith experimenting with eastern European folk music on "Moeris Dancing", which he explored further on some of his subsequent solo albums, particularly ''Gravity (Fred Frith album), Gravity'' (1980) and ''Speechless (Fred Frith album), Speechless'' (1981). "Joan" and "On Suicide" had been performed live by Henry Cow in 1977 and appear on ''Volume 7: Later and Post-Virgin'' of ''The 40th Anniversary Henry Cow Box Set'' (2009). This version of "Joan" differs from the earlier live recording in that it is shorter, and the lyrics are different. Cutler wrote the original lyrics for "Joan" and Tim Hodgkinson's "The Pirate Song", but Henry Cow were unhappy with them, and the songs were withdrawn from their repertoire. "Joan" was only performed a few times, and "The Pirate Song" not at all. Prior to the ''Hopes and Fears'' recording session, Cutler rewrote the lyrics for "Joan" as a homage to Joan of Arc, and those for "The Pirate Song", but once again there were objections from the feminist faction within Henry Cow. Krause, however, supported the new lyrics and both songs were recorded at Sunrise Studios with the revised texts. Stewart Mason wrote at AllMusic that the album's longest track, "In Two Minds" is the closest Art Bears came to playing "conventional rock music". When Cutler was asked in an interview in 2004 whether the song was a "homage" to the Who, he replied, "It would be hard to deny the connection. It is so obviously a reference. I was certainly directly influenced in my youth by The Who – and in particular by Keith Moon."

Album title

''Hopes and Fears'' derived its name from the following conversation between Charion and Hermes in ''Satirical Sketches: Charon Sees Life'' by Lucian, Lucian of Samosata (quoted in the booklet accompanying the CD release of the album): :

CD reissues

*''Hopes and Fears'' was reissued on CD in 1992 by Recommended Records with three extra tracks. *The album was also reissued in 2004 in ''The Art Box'', a 6xCD box set of all Art Bears releases with live and unreleased tracks, plus remixes by other musicians.

Track listing

Recorded by Henry Cow at Sunrise Studio, Kirchberg, Switzerland, 15–29 January 1978; and by Art Bears at Kaleidophon, London, 15–18 March 1978.

Bonus track notes

*Track 14 from the B-side of the Art Bears 7" single "Rats & Monkeys" (1979) – recorded at Kaleidophon Studios, London, Winter 1979. *Track 15 from ''Recommended Records Sampler'' (1982) – recorded at Kaleidophon Studios, London, Winter 1979. *Track 16 from a 7" single given free to subscribers of ''The World as It Is Today'' (1981) – a coda (music), coda to the Art Bears track "Man and Boy" from ''Winter Songs (Art Bears album), Winter Songs'' (1979), recorded live at Cantù, Italy, 30 May 1979. *"Collapse" and "All Hail!" are inverted in the CD liner notes.


Fred Frith Jeremy Webster "Fred" Frith (born 17 February 1949) is an English multi-instrumentalist, composer, and improvisor. Probably best known for his guitar work, Frith first came to attention as one of the founding members of the English avant-rock g ...
– guitars, violin, viola, harmonium, xylophone, piano, bass guitar on "Terrain" and "The Tube" * Chris Cutler – drums, percussion, noise * Dagmar Krause – voice

Guests (from Henry Cow)

*Tim Hodgkinson – organ, clarinet, piano on "The Pirate Song" *Lindsay Cooper – bassoon, oboe, soprano, recorder *Georgina Born, Georgie Born – bass guitar, cello, vocals on "Maze"

Additional personnel

*Peter Blegvad – bass guitar on "Coda to Man and Boy" *Marc Hollander – piano on "Coda to Man and Boy"

Sound and art work

*Produced by Art Bears and Etienne Conod *Cover art by E. M. Thomas, assisted by Graham Keatley, Charlotte Sainsbury, Doug Kierdorf and Jane Colling (figures on the original LP cover)


Works cited

* * {{DEFAULTSORT:Hopes And Fears (Art Bears Album) 1978 debut albums Art Bears albums Recommended Records albums