Town Feeling "Today the town seems like a tomb. Everybody's locked up in his room. I love this song! The musical arrangement is just delightful. I love all of the different instruments that are played on this album. Some of it is even classical in certain parts. Clarietta Rag "Please give her a great big shiny new star to show her where you are. It's a very catchy sixties tune.
Should have been a hit. Girl On A Swing Nice tremelo guitar. And Kevin's vocals are so great. His voice is very deep, but very clear and he has the perfect voice for narrating his brilliant songs. This is my favorite song on the whole album. Lady Rachel "She unwraps the puzzle and discovers a puzzle inside. Leaves you wanting more. And you got more, the following year with Shooting at the Moon, another classic of Kevin Ayers'. I give this album five stars. Not that many you can do that with.
This is beautiful! See all reviews. Top reviews from other countries. Great backing by the Soft Machine especially by the organist Mike Ratledge on some strange but entertaining tracks. Report abuse.
Kevin Ayers. Encyclopedia of Popular Music 5th ed. Omnibus Press. Retrieved 2 February The Rough Guide to Pink Floyd 1st ed. London: Rough Guides. Retrieved 29 July At some time psychedelic tape effects and slightly detuned Hammond organ notes take the lead until the last half of this composition features David Bedford on grand piano.
He really gets caught up in a frenetic jazz piano solo which fans of Dave Stewart's work with Egg will appreciate as well; to me this solo is the highlight on the original album because it effortlessly wanders on the ridge between playfulness and mayhem. The piano solo finally trickles away in a free cacophony of piano, some treated violins and feedback noises. Then gradually All This Crazy Gift Of Time is faded in, a sluggish ode to wine, partying and life borrowing heavily from American country music and featuring two shrieking blues harps which are played even more gruffly than on Bob Dylan records.
Ayers' vocals are double-tracked, and nothing is synchronal or in tune, it seems as if Ayers doesn't care at all about all that. It's a tough song to stand through, but this lazy attitude is an integral part of Kevin Ayers' songwriting, and as a winking last dance on a very good record I really don't object to it a lot.
Lady Rachel , in its original studio version, is exhaustingly fast and gets extremely surreal with the monotonous electric guitar strumming, threatening clarinet flutters and tinkling organ effects. Maybe that's what Syd Barrett might have sounded like on his solo albums if he had been able to communicate his ideas better to his studio musicians. The lyrics send shivers down my spine as well, I'd never have thought that Kevin could pull off such psychological verses.
Although this version is interesting and extremely haunting, I do admit that I listen to the recording by far more frequently.
Instead of simply adding some brass chords in the background Bedford develops really catchy melodies from Ayers' rough basic track and works with these phrases in an extremely playful and polyphonic way. If you know the Cockney Rebel song Sebastian with its shimmering Hammond organ, the ghostly female backing vocals and the emotional orchestra backing - this is the Baroque hipster pendant to it!
Forget the single version - it's shortened to hardly 5 minutes, it's got a strange flanger effect on the guitar track and is inferior to the longer track. Girl on A Swing and Eleanor's Cake are similar to each other in their folk-inspired and a wee bit medieval atmosphere whilst the former, stuffed with fragile electric harpsichord sounds and an occasional Mellotron fanfare, glitters and shines a bit more than the darker Eleanor's Cake , highlighting Ayers' dark harmonies and a lilting flute accompanying his own lead voice.
I don't want to deconstruct the whole song, but you can guess how much is happening during the course of this album. Joy Of A Toy Continued and Clarietta Rag are the two fun numbers, and both of them aren't merely silly, but also an enjoyable listen. Joy Of A Toy Continued , featuring elaborate trombone and piccolo flute arrangements, sounds like the title melody to a circus show or a TV series for children. There's no similarity to the creepy and dark Soft Machine track of the same title, but rather to Manfred Mann's late s output Sweet Pea , Ha Ha Said the Clown , with the difference that Ayers sings something inintellegible about tigers, elephants and kangaroos in the very background.
I couldn't think of a better way to begin this album, and the subsequent oboe intro of song two Town Feeling You don't notice any stanza or chorus here because this song swings in a hectic pace, backed by Bedford's jazzy Mellotron MkII strings which wouldn't sound out of place on The Moody Blues' Another Morning. Lyrically most haunting, Stop This Train is the most psychedelic - in the truest sense of the word - recording on Joy Of A Toy , a song about a frightening journey on a train with equally frightening sound effects.
This would be quite boring had it not been for Mike Ratledge who is aboard again and duels with pianist David Bedford on his Lowrey Organ in the second half of the song, both using the harshly humming and the softly bubbling tones of this all-transistor home organ.
Emulating the sound of a train gaining momentum the speed of the tape player is gradually increased in the beginning and the ending of Stop This Train. Although Mike Ratledge has a stunning performance in this track and the ambience is pretty unique, too, the track is a bit too long. It's not a major flaw, but one aspect which gets in the way of a full rating for this album. The Ladybirds are part of the arrangement again, singing on top of a fierce fuzz guitar and jolly Mozart-like string arrangements.
Again, not only the music with its unexpected variety and the accomplished polyphonic combination of motives used stands out, but also the lyrics which are conflictive in their confrontation of sarcastic stanzas 'you sell yourself so you can buy more' and the soothing Ladybirds-sung chorus we know what you mean, we understand.
Singing A Song In The Morning , in a way, is a happy mantra on four ever-repeated verses which gets all of its diversion from strangely ominous 'ostrich'-style guitar lines and the Caravan rhythm section of Richard Coughlan and Richard Sinclair, the former providing his typical semiquaver-fills. The first one is that the early version of it named Religious Experience , rec. Because all the guitar tracks in Religious Experience are pretty much in time, and because credible sources q.
But, interestingly, the third version Take rec. And this is the session in which Syd actually participated - he is simply mislabelled on the album reissue.
If you trace this solo track back and forth through the song, you'll see that in fact it's one constant guitar sound stretching from the beginning to the end. To me it's impossible to imagine that Ayers recorded this electric 6-string track; he, for sure, was responsible for the Barrett-ish electric string raga licks in the left channel, but the savage shredding in the right channel is definitely Syd Barrett.
And the vocals? There are indeed certain places where you hear a voice sounding seemingly different to Ayers'. But due to a tape blackout at you hear one of these backing voices singing solo, and it sounds a lot like Richard Sinclair of Caravan - who definitely played on this session. The second myth is that Dave Sinclair of Caravan plays organ on the finished single version.
To put it short - there's no organ to be heard anywhere. OVERALL Taken together this album is highly recommendable to every listener of sophisticated pop music with lots of experimental twists.
There are only minor flaws which still make me just give a really good 4 star rating. It really comes close to a masterpiece, it includes utterly good bonus tracks and stands out as a pretty unique album of its own - a melancholic, thoroughly British and sometimes downright absurd blueprint for the kind of album which lots of today's bands try but fail to recreate.
Not really a prog classic, but a nice addition to the solo works of Canterbury. Ayers who sadly died earlier this year will be fondly remembered by the prog community. This is to me his best album. Decide for yourself. No album is perfect and Stop This Train is the album's most self-consciously "experimental" moment, while Oleh Oleh Bandu Bandong lives up to the gibberish of its title.
Blame it on the era. As does the phenomenal bonus track, Religious Experience Singing a Song in the Morning featuring none other than Pink Floyd's legendary front-man, Syd Barrett on some whacked out guitar. Ayers passed away in early and despite long periods of indifference and addiction, he cut some of the most charming and original albums of the 60's and early 70's.
What a wonderful album. I'm not qualified to write a review. Its a psychedelic love trip and I'm not from the sixties One person found this helpful. I adored this for years when it was originally released. It's good, but has a dated feel about it now. I still like it, however. See all reviews. Top reviews from other countries. Great backing by the Soft Machine especially by the organist Mike Ratledge on some strange but entertaining tracks. Report abuse.
A classic in every way. Indispensable to anyone wishing to understand underground music from to Same as my review of Shooting at the Moon. Lots of happy memories, singing and dancing along to the songs.
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Listen Now with Amazon Music. Amazon Music Unlimited. Amazon Music Stream millions of songs. Amazon Advertising Find, attract, and engage customers. Amazon Drive Cloud storage from Amazon. Alexa Actionable Analytics for the Web.Vinyl LPReissue, g vinyl Music On Vinyl – MOVLP A1 Joy Of A Toy Continued A2 Town Feeling A3 The Clarietta Rag A4 Girl On A Swing A5 Song For Insane Times B1 Stop This Train (Again Doing It) B2 Eleanor's Cake (Which Ate Her) B3 Lady Rachel B4 Oleh Oleh Bandu Bandong.