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Bill Fay [VINYL]

Bill Fay Vinyl
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: 28.07 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Bill Fay is one of English music's best kept secrets — a genuine national treasure. Back at the dawn of the 1970s, he was a one-man song factory, with a piano that spilled liquid gold and a voice every bit the equal of Ray Davies, John Lennon, early Bowie, or Procol Harum's Gary Brooker. He made two solo albums but his contract wasn't renewed, leaving his LPs and his ... Read more in Amazon's Bill Fay Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Bill Fay [VINYL] + Time of the Last Persecution ~ Remastered (2008) + Life Is People
Price For All Three: 50.81

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Product details

  • Vinyl (26 Nov 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: 4 Men With Beards
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 130,899 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A forgottren classic 1 Mar 2007
Format:Audio CD
In my attempt teo educate my musical work colleague I loaned him a copy of this and "Time of Last Persuasion" - he handed them back a few days later, shook his head and told me that they were not very good. You what?

Not very good? Bill Fay's first release on the legendary Deram label (actuily Nova) in 1970 is a stunner, a classic, a fantastic album. The first lines of "Garden Song" say it att: "I'm planting myself in the garden. Between the potatoes and parsley. And I wait for the rain to anoint me, and the frost to awaken my soul. I'm looking for lasting relations, with greenfly, spider or maggot". Take your time, listen then listen again and surely this album will "awaken your soul". Not a great seller at the time. Like Nick Drake this is an overlooked gem of an album.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful...... 14 Oct 2006
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I came across this and it's follow up (Time of the last persecution) while looking through MOJO's 1000 must have albums. Recently remastered, this his debut album, the songs are rich with great songwriting and the orchestrations range from striking intensity to glimmering melancholy. Yet again I am left in awe by an album from this era which albeit did not sell well in it's day, stands the test of time for it's all round quality. Well done that man!
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13 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
if like me you are a fan of nick drake, scott walker, elliott smith and others like them this just be the record you have been looking for the sticker on the cover say's the missing link between nick drake, ray davis and bob dylan and get's 5 stars from uncut. it's a great record to play back to back with bryter layter it's has similar arangements piano, acoustic guitar and ochestra with bill gentle english croon i first became aware of bill when watching wilco's i am trying to break your heart film
when jeff tweedey was just strumming be no so fearfull back stage before the end of the film, it's was jim o'rourke (gastr del sol, sonic youth) who introduced them to bill ben chasey from six organs of admittance is also a fan so he has gained cult status which is well deserved like syd barrett, nick drake praise after their time has passed but his influcence will continue on. just buy it you will like it if you like records by jim o'rourke, wilco, nick drake and later day elloitt smith this is the gem you are missing from your collection.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.4 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Well Kept Secret You've Been Looking For 6 Jun 2005
By K. H. Orton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I picked up FROM THE BOTTOM OF A GRANDFATHER CLOCK on a whim. I had never heard of Bill Fay but being a Nick Drake fan, I was hoping for another shadowy genius in a garrett. What I heard sounded amazingly more like SGT PEPPERS on downers, chockfull of "Day In The Life" sentiments. And these were just the demos & outtakes.

Needless to say, it didn't take much prodding to pick this up. For those who stubbled across GRANDFATHER, you'll be far from disappointed by this "lost" 1971 masterpiece. Though ambitiously orchestrated, Fay's jaded delivery keeps things from sounding overdressed.

"Garden Song" starts off spare & winterly before bursting into a vernal wash of strings & horns. A promising start. Almost perversely, "The Sun Is Bored" follows with a distinctly Eleanor Rigby chill.

Throughout the most of this album, Fay wears the mantle of perpetual outsider, dissatisfied with what life has to offer. Rather than play "the games we want you to play" Fay takes on the view of the kid who stands on the sidelines letting the ball pass him by. The one unable to fit in with society's expectations.

This view is backed the cryptic liner notes, reprinted from the original album. That said, the present day notes provided by Fay in the reissue demystify all that & are humbly down to earth.

Though songs like "The Room" with its depiction of heroin addiction, are decidedly overcast, Fay always manages to paint just the right glimmer of hope into the horizon. And therein lies his skill. No matter how bleak things get lyrically, there's always a catchy hook to hang on to.

Though I've heard demos of many of these songs, the likes of "Narrow Way", "We Have Laid Here" & "Methane River" are new to me & each showcase Fay at his enigmatic best. Other highlights include the anti-war ballads, "Sing Us One Of Your Songs May" & "Gentle Willie". "May" being particularly moving.

Without a doubt, Fay's signature song has to be the anthemic, "Be Not So Fearful". According to the liner notes, it was recently covered by Wilco. Based on what I hear here(& on "Grandfather"), I'm loathe to seek it out.

Also included are two rare bonus tracks, which verge more on Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd territory. "Some Good Advice" captures Fay in fine, sarcastic form while "Screams In The Ears" is far more in keeping with the search-for-inner meaning feel of the album.

Others have described Fay as the missing link between Nick Drake & Ray Davis. I would say he's more like a cross between The Beatles & a sort of English Leonard Cohen. In any case, this might just be the well kept secret you've been looking for.

Fay's last album for Decca has also been reissued. But be warned, TIME OF THE LAST PERSECUTION takes a decidely dark, paranoid turn. And I can't recommend GRANDFATHER enough.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect 1 Dec 2007
By J. Ammons - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This is a borderline perfect record. I have heard this record catch a lot of flack because of its "overproduction" and its "over orchestration", but I played it in a common room at a music community where i live, and a lot of people thought it was a new artist! It is just baroque-pop thirty years early.

With songs like "we have laid here" and "be not so fearful", this album certainly isnt a bob dylan record, nor is it a nick drake album, as much as its producers may have wanted it it be. but it is really brilliant in its own right. it is one man, playing his guitar and being blown away by the brilliance of his own simple songs by a massive orchestra. I love stuff like this. it hasnt left my cd player since i bought it several weeks ago!
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting songs, wish he'd lost the arranger. 27 Oct 2005
By jblyn - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I suspect that when Bill Fay recorded this album in 1968, he didn't have a lot of say in who would be producing and arranging his songs. Too bad, because a lot of very interesting and worthwhile songs on this album are undone by overblown, vacuous production, with string arrangements that mostly seem out of place half the time and "psychedelic" guitar which has no business being there at all. That said, Fay has an engaging voice and seems enough of his own man in the songwriting department that if the padding on his recordings were taken away, the songs would really shine. It's a shame, but you might like this album anyway.
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 3 Oct 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I gave this item three stars (it's O. K.) because although I enjoyed one track on the CD ("Be Not So Fearful"), otherwise it was a disappointing purchase. Lyrics and instrumentation on the other songs were nothing special, even trite. Since I bought the CD based on enthusiastic reviews on Amazon.com, I will be more careful in the future about by musicians I don't already know and favor. In this genre, Bruce Cockburn is a better and more original songwriter and performer.
1 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars i don't get it 7 Aug 2006
By Mat Bernhardt - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
i got the cd expecting something truly out of the ordinary. instead i got very bland music. i'm fairly open minded and have wide musical tastes, but this was pure garbage (no offense). as a matter of fact i tossed the cd in the garbage at work....
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