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Robert Fripp and Toyah release cover of Smashing Pumpkins

King Crimson bandleader Robert Fripp has issued a cover of ‘Bullet With Butterfly Wings’, featuring wife Toyah Wilcox on lead vocals. The song is a cover of a Smashing Pumpkins tune that was released in the 1990s. The song sits among a series of covers the duo have recorded in their spare time. 

This recording is notable for Fripp’s casual tone, as the guitarist says “bollocks” as he hits the wrong notes at one juncture in time. The pair have been releasing video renditions of rock numbers since 2021, performing numbers written by The Clash, The Prodigy and Alice Cooper.

Fripp is best known for his work with King Crimson, doubling as their lead guitarist and in-house arranger. The band is credited with starting progressive rock and has featured such prog luminaries as bassist Greg Lake, drummer Bill Bruford and guitarist Adrian Belew. Fripp finds the term “progressive rock” amusing, stating in 2014, “[I]t’s a prison. If you walk on stage and you’re playing music, fine. But if you’re walking on stage and you’re playing progressive rock: death.”

Fripp worked on David Bowie’s electro tinted Heroes, performing many of the more rock and roll oriented guitar parts. Fripp produced Peter Gabriel’s self-titled second album, which is commonly regarded as the work that saw the frontman abandon 1970s prog for more accessible compositions.  

His wife Toyah Wilcox is best known for her stint fronting Toyah during the 1980s. Their 1981 single ‘I Want to Be Feel’ was her expression of discontent at the secondary schooling she had endured during her teenage years. 10cc mainstays Kevin Godley and Lol Creme directed the music video, which saw the singer performing many of the acrobatics that have featured in her videos with guitarist and husband Robert Fripp

The duo are continuing to release videos featuring the pair of them, even as lockdown restrictions are beginning to lift across Europe. 

Stream their version of ‘Bullet With Butterfly Wings’ below.