sábado, 16 de mayo de 2009

Kevin Ayers - Joy Of A Toy (1969)


A gifted songwriter, guitarist, bassist and singer, Kevin Ayers has been flitting in and out of prog throughout his long, languid career. Present at the very beginning of the Canterbury Scene as a key member of the WILDE FLOWERS alongside such Canterbury veterans as Robert Wyatt, Richard Sinclair and Hugh Hopper in 1963, Kevin Ayers was already secured a place in Canterbury history. By 1966 SOFT MACHINE was born, and Kevin Ayers was recruited as a bassist and vocalist for the group. He lasted but one album before deciding he couldn't take the pace of touring, preferring to concentrate on solo efforts. In 1970 a somewhat formal band (The Whole World) was formed to help with Ayers’ solo efforts which featured the likes of saxophonist Lol Coxhill and a certain young Mike Oldfield on guitar. Alas, the band was no more by the end of 1971. Ayers continues to play informal gigs as and when and may even swagger into the studio once more, but maintains as much of a laid-back attitude to these activities as his music itself exudes.

For prog fans, the albums "Joy of a Toy", "Shooting at the Moon", "Whatevershebringswesing" and "The Confessions of Dr Dream" are of most interest as they contain reworkings of Ayers’ early SOFT MACHINE material as well as copious very proggy pieces ranging drastically in style from lazy ditties to avant-garde sound explorations. After these albums Ayers’ work became increasingly song-orientated and acoustic and may hold little fascination for the average progger.

Highly recommended to all Canterbury enthusiasts and lovers of creative and finely crafted songs.

Concerning his first album, after disbanding Soft Machine, Kevin Ayers proves to be a brilliant psychedelic singer-songwriter and vocalist on his debut solo album, with a sound much like a continuation of the Soft Machine's first two albums... Indeed, his fellow Softs provide lovely backing for him on this and his second album, "Shooting at the Moon." You'll even hear some songs that he used to play with the Soft Machine on this album. Kevin Ayers' left the Soft Machine after their first album, but his first few solo albums blend that wild Canterbury spirit of his former band with a mellower song-craft, tempering it to perfection. He calls not only on his former band-mates Robert Wyatt, Hugh Hopper, and Mike Ratledge; but also Mike Oldfield, David Bedford, Rob Tait, Jeff Clyne, Paul Minns, Paul Buckmaster, Cyrille Ayers, Sean Murphy, and two Welsh girls for backing vocals: Jean and Mary. Here is psychedelia, jazz, rock, pop, a singer-songwriter sensibility, and avant-garde all melding into an early Canterbury masterpiece. A sound that is decidedly British. And the cover art is oh so whimsically silly... fits the music to a tee! I simply can't recommend this album enough. I'm telling you,

Personnel:

Kevin Ayers - Guitars, Bass and Vocals
Robert Wyatt - Drums
David Bedford - Piano, Arranger
Mike Ratledge - Organ, Piano & Flute (1, 5 & 6)
Hugh Hopper - Bass (1 & 5)
Paul Buckmaster - Cello
Rob Tait - Drums (5,6)
Jeff Clyne - Bass
Paul Minns - Oboe
Sean Murphy - Vocals

Tracklist:

1. Joy of a Toy Continued (2:53)
2. Town Feeling (4:49)
3. The Clarietta Rag (3:19)
4. Girl on a Swing (2:49)
5. Song for Insane Times (3:59)
6. Stop This Train (Again Doing it) (6:04)
7. Eleanor's Cake (Which Ate Her) (2:53)
8. Lady Rachel (5:16)
9. Oleh Oleh Bandu Bandong (5:32)
10. All This Crazy Gift of Time (3:49)

Bonus Tracks
11. Religious Experience (Singing a Song in the Morning)
12. The Lady Rachel (Extended First Mix)
13. Soon Soon Soon
14. Religious Experience (Previously unreleased)
15. The Lady rachel (Single Version)
16. Singing a Song In The Morning (Single Version)

SPOTIFY: Joy Of A Toy (w/ bonus)

Buy it:

- Amazon
- CD Universe
- Rhapsody
- 7-Digital ES

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