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America [VINYL] Limited Edition

3 customer reviews

Price: £28.72 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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£28.72 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched and sold by Amazon in certified Frustration-Free Packaging. Gift-wrap available.
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Amazon's John Fahey Store


Image of album by John Fahey


Image of John Fahey


John Fahey (February 28, 1939 – February 22, 2001) was an American fingerstyle guitarist and composer who pioneered the steel-string acoustic guitar as a solo instrument. His style has been greatly influential and has been described as the foundation of American Primitivism, a term borrowed from painting and referring mainly to the self-taught nature of the music and its minimalist ... Read more in Amazon's John Fahey Store

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Product Features

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Product details

  • Vinyl (19 Mar. 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Limited Edition
  • Label: 4 Men With Beards
  • ASIN: B002CA6870
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 288,509 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

Our product to treat is a regular product. There is not the imitation. From Japan by the surface mail because is sent out, take it until arrival as 7-14 day. Thank you for you seeing it.

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Paul of London on 20 May 2012
Format: Audio CD
This could have been a four-star or even a five-star review. One of John Fahey's better albums at last put on a CD, and with additional tracks that were omitted from the single LP. But the total time came to a shade over the 80-minute maximum. So what did the compilers do? Omit a short piece that has been recorded on another album, or leave off one of the two versions of 'Jesus is a Dying Bedmaker'? Or -- the best solution -- issue it as a double CD?

No, the compilers in their wisdom brutally chopped three minutes out of the middle of 'Mark I:15', completely destroying the dynamic of a brilliant piece of music. Would one hack a few inches out of the middle of a Rembrandt if the frame was a bit too narrow for the canvas? Of course not. So why treat Fahey with such disrespect?

America should be reissued again with 'Mark I:15' in full. Then I'll buy it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 8 Oct. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is his finest album and the tracks from the original release are superb: hauntingly beatiful and emotionally charged. Listening again after a lapse of some years these tracks seem to have gained resonance for me and even Knoxville Blues, which was perhaps my least favoured track, is up there with the others now. As to the previously unreleased material, it is all pretty accomplished stuff but none of it quite gets into the league of "The Waltz That Carried Us Away And Then A Mosquito Came And Ate Up My Sweetheart" or "Voice Of The Turtle". And did I miss the 2 minutes of "Mark 1:15" cut to squeeze it on a single CD? I can't say I did. It has been done very well and the nature of the tune is such that you really don't lose any of the emotional intensity: I wouldn't have known if I hadn't been told.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By P. Bryant VINE VOICE on 14 Feb. 2001
Format: Audio CD
Fahey never played better than here, on "America". He'd been doing it for over ten years, and this is his eleventh album. His control of every syncopated nuance, each intended silence, his melodic precision and emotional range are still quite startling. This is probably not the best place to start with Fahey - try "The Yellow Princess" or "Death Chants" - but fans cherish every note. It was originally recorded as a double album but released as a single album, so this cd re-release provided the opportunity to restore the missing half, which contains the magnificent "Dalhart Texas 1967". Such fingerpicking you never did hear! So yes, it's great, but I do have one problem. The long "Mark 1:15" introduced the concept of the recycled song, in which Fahey remakes one of his snappy old tunes into something a lot longer and looser - a "tone poem", you could call it. In ensuing years Fahey fans had to put up with more than a few of these remakes. Myself I would have preferred a new tune every time. But I'm just a slave driver. I shouldn't complain. If you like Fahey you'll be buying "America" whatever it says here.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 15 reviews
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Enigmatic masterpiece 15 Aug. 2000
By Howard Sauertieg - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Fahey's "America," in its expanded 79 minute form, bridges two phases of the man's musical evolution. The first half is generally in the early "Blind Joe Death" manner of 3-4 minute original compositions and arrangements of old popular tunes. We're treated to a skeletal "Amazing Grace," a skeletal Skip James lick called "Special Rider Blues," a lush reduction of a slow movement from Dvorak's 8th Symphony (trust Fahey to pass over interpolations from the "New World" symphony for his "America" program), and a couple of resonant versions of a Charlie Patton number called "Jesus is A Dying Bedmaker." Two longer tracks, "America" and "Dalhart, Texas 1967," approach the more meandering improvisational style that dominates the second half of the program - but both tracks are so tightly focused that they seem as if they'd be impossible to improvise. "Mark I:15" and "Voice of the Turtle" run 30 minutes between the two and are among the best examples of Fahey's mystical musical "voyaging."
If Fahey's other albums weren't so uniformly good, I'd assert that "America" is the only Fahey album you'd ever need to appreciate and enjoy all the artist's various facets. But it's hard to imagine anyone being satisfied with only one Fahey album, particularly one so impressive as "America." All of Fahey's albums aren't "essential," or even "classic," but they're all worth having on the shelf. Listeners who come to Fahey from rock music are fortunate if they investigate some of Fahey's blues influences - the celebrated Charlie Patton, Skip James, Bukka White, and John Hurt among them.
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Perfect title for a perfect album 10 Nov. 2000
By Rob Damm - Published on
Format: Audio CD
"America" just about sums it up. Fahey manages to cover much of the history of popular song in America with just a guitar and his mindblowing skill with the instrument. This is great, engaging listening. you'll hear snatches of old-as-the-hills folk and gospel relics woven into the notes. The impact of this record is deep beyond words, it seems to speak to a deep, collective memory within us all--- a memory of a world before superhighways, strip malls and the internet. That is what this album evokes. It almost impossible for me to discuss it in a modular sense. The overall impact is what I come away with: the evocation of a primitive, simple place. It is at once merry and deeply sad, tinged with tones of loss and regret. One of the most powerful and important records of the last century.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
The finest acoustic guitar album of all time 22 Jun. 1998
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Audio CD
You may have heard a lot of hyperbole about this record -- after all, how many re-issues of obscure solo acoustic guitar recordings earn an "A" in Entertainment Weekly?
But in this case, hyperbole is understatement. John Fahey, acknowledged as the inventor of a style some have dubbed "American Primitive Guitar," is without question a seminal musician and composer, the godfather of everyone from Leo Kottke to Bela Fleck to Alex DiGrassi. Yet for years, all most people knew were his few most well-worn and anthologized tunes, and perhaps his Chrisdtmas Album, still an all-time best seller. But until now, Fahey's massive back catalog (28 albums? 30 albums? No one is quite sure) was out of print, available only on dusty vinyl. Now, Fantasy Records, inheritor of the Fahey's long-dormant Takoma label, is finally re-issuing these discs, and in the case of "America" they have found a whole lost album's worth of material recorded but never issued for what was supposed to be a two-album set. The material that was already known could easily be said to be Fahey's best album ever; what is now restored is still more stunning for its having sat in a vault for twenty-seven years.
Fahey's best qualities -- his ethereal tone, his trademark clockwork-like alternating bass, his flourishes that sound like a mechanical guitar-playing machine gone haywire, are all here. But on this recording there is something more: a compositional brilliance, a meditative sweep, a tenacious waltz between predictability and the utterly new, in short a whole new guitar presence, never heard before and rarely since.
If you only have one solo acoustic guitar recording on your shelf, this should be it. Fantasy is also re-releasing much of the other long out-of-print Fahey oeuvre, with original liner notes and all (where else can you read about the nefarious plot to pipe Fahey's music into supermarkets across America?), and every one of them is worth the price of admission. But "America"! ; stands above the rest.
39 of 46 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful Album, Shoddy Reissue 24 Aug. 2004
By Mr. 33 - Published on
Format: Audio CD
From the liner notes: "This CD Contains 98.6 percent of the music recorded by John for America... Given the technical constraints of the Compact Disc medium... we were forced to edit two minutes from one track ("Mark 1:15")."

What isn't explicit in the comments above is that these two minutes were taken out of the most important cut on the original album. Of this cut, Fahey has said:

"Out of all the songs I ever wrote, I consider only two of them 'epic' or 'classic' or in the 'great' category and they are both on this record. It's taken me more than five years to complete these. Most of the melodic ideas existed a long time ago, i.e. the primary 'lyric' melody in 'Mark 1:15' is the same as 'When the Springtime Comes Again'..."

So, while this CD release may contain 98.6 percent of the music recorded by John for America, it only contains 95% of the original LP, with 13% (2 minutes from a 16 minute track) of the most important song omitted. I think this was a poor decision. This album should have been issued in a format similar to Rhino's expanded 2-CD version of Randy Newman's "Good Old Boys." The original LP should have been on one CD and the bonus material should have been on the other. This release reminds me of the original CD version of Bob Dylan's "Blonde on Blonde" where "Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands" was trimmed by 36 seconds.

The liner notes to "America" further state that "The only alternative [to this hatchet job] would have been to release a more expensive 2-CD set." Isn't it worth the extra 3 dollars to have this thing done properly? 2-CD sets simply do not cost that much more money, at least to the consumer.

John Fahey's "America" deserves a better treatment.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Fahey's Greatest Work - 10 Stars ********** 22 Dec. 1998
By rash67 - Published on
Format: Audio CD
John Fahey's music, for those who have never heard it, is an unlikely combination of early 20th century acoustic black blues, ragtime and Ravi Shankar Ragaesque drone sitar type music. Played on solo acoustic guitar, real time recording. No vocals. Unique. Impossible to pigeon-hole. The title track, Mark 1:15 and The Great San Bernardino Birthday Party are Faheys most complex most symphonic most involved pieces. It erquires the listener to sit and listen with full attention. For those who think they know Fahey, America, his greatest work, will come as a revelation. Instead of the 3-4 minute pieces you may be used to from his other work, on America one hears full blown 20 minute pieces which grab, transfix and hypnotize the listener.

Full of Jazz-like improvization in a blues idiom.

A symphony for solo guitar, full of invention!

Playful, tragic, bluesy, happy, profound. Illustrated with Fahey's vision of the future. Brilliant.

This record inspired much of the "new age music" on Wyndam Hill and countless other artists.

And even better, Fahey only released half of it in 1970, convinced that a double album wouldn't sell. Half of it sat in the can for over 25 years! Here you have the whole thing!

One of the ten best releases of the 90's. Cannot be too highly recommended. This is what the 60/70's were really about.

I only hope that Fantasy/Takoma will now release "The Great San Bernardino Birthday Party" and "Days Have Gone By". Buy it while you can still get it!
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