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Bryars: The Sinking of the Titanic: Jesus's Blood Never Failed Me Yet [CD]

Gavin Bryars Audio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
Price: £7.42 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Bryars: The Sinking of the Titanic: Jesus's Blood Never Failed Me Yet + Bryars: Jesus's Blood Never Failed Me Yet + The Sinking of the Titanic
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Product details

  • Performer: Eva Hart, John Nash, Sandra Hill, Angela Bryars
  • Composer: Gavin Bryars
  • Audio CD (15 Jun 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Virgin Records
  • ASIN: B0000269VM
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 23,928 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. The Sinking Of The Titanic24:40£2.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet25:57£2.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description Review

Bryars's The Sinking of the Titanic is one of the oddest and at the same time most mesmerising works to come out of this end of the century. It began in 1972 as an abstract art piece that kept on building and changing in the composer's mind. It's a ghostly tapestry of eerie echoes, distant sounds almost like whale songs, and interjected rifts representing the band that was playing even as the boat sank. This is a masterpiece that rewards repeated listening. --Paul Cook

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Only if you're in the mood 14 Jun 2007
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I heard 'Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet' played on the radio in another room late one night. Had to stop what I was doing. Ended up staring at the radio like a zombie. The music was captivating, mesmerizing; I didn't want it to stop. Well, I must have been feeling tired and emotional at the time, 'cos when I got my hands on the CD and played it in the bright, brisk morning the effect was gone. I played it to some friends, and they were very curious about it. The question most of them asked was; How long does this %*$!?£% go on for? Shame on them! Well, I've had the CD for a while now, so feel able to give a settled view of it, which is this. You really do have to be in the mood for this type of music, and unless you're a chronic melancholiac these moods won't come round too often. It really would be a waste of time putting this CD in that little black box in the car. But on those few occasions when you really are in such a mood, there can be little to come near it. So an average of three stars - five for when you're in the mood, and one for when you're not.

One thing that strikes me about the other reviews is that they seem to focus almost exclusively on 'Jesus' Blood'. To my mind 'The Sinking of the Titanic' is equally evocative. The repeated dirge-like tune is similar to the device used in 'Jesus' Blood', and the sampled sounds with which it is mingled just pile on the atmosphere. We hear distant indistinct, presumably long-dead voices, and what could be the throbbing of engines and the deep ringing metallic echo of a cavernous hull. Takes you back.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Take the time to treat yourself. 25 July 2005
Format:Audio CD
The piece Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet leaves you acutely reflective and deeply touched, not to mention desperate to know what has become of the man. The old man heard on the 25 minute track is apparently not a drunk, though he was homeless when Gavin Bryars recorded him singing. His voice is all at once innocent, sweet, tender, elderly and fragile. But the words he sings are full of optimism and strength. Though I am not in the slightest a religious person, there is something profoundly spiritual in this minimalist composition. The voice, which is looped throughout the whole work, is at first heard alone, determined and insistent. It is so very slowly joined by instruments of the orchestra, as if they are not altogether convinced, but touched by his sentiments. As they continue in the loop and others join they gain strength and their voices become as certain as the old man's.
On many levels you can find something allegorical about this work. In one sense the old man is like a shepherd, the orchestra his flock, being brought to safety by his continuous calling. In another, the orchestra are like his faith, closing round him, like the hand of his god, protecting him, giving him strength. As I have stated, I am not religious, so for me the most profound aspect of the work is the lack of awareness this voice has of the developing accompaniment around him, his ignorance of the beauty enveloping his simple honesty, and the questions the piece evokes about the whole idea of ignorance and faith.
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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The great conversation killer 19 Feb 2001
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
The version of Jesus's Blood on this CD is the one produced by Brian Eno in the early 70s. It is 25 minutes long compared to the later 75 minute version on which Tom Waites duets with the (long dead) tramp.
This is one of the oddest things I have ever heard and it is guaranteed to silence any collection of friends you choose to play it to. The tape loop of the tramp's thin voice is hypnotic and thought provoking - and also strangely disorientating, since the tune he sings seems to lose its beginning and its end as the piece progresses.
As an expression of simple faith by one who was undoubtedly excreted upon during his lifetime it is either uplifting and/or sad, depending I suppose upon your own stand on religion.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
By russell clarke TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD
After Brian Eno had finished recording his third solo album "Another Green World" he approached the then , independent record label "Island " with a view to forming a new record label catering exclusively for the nascent experimental music scene. He wanted to promote music that otherwise ,wouldn't find an audience, but that would appeal to a select band of esoteric connoisseurs. Island , realising that there was a loyal following who would buy anything involving Eno , and trusting to his fecundity of ideas agreed, the low recording costs also appealing to their business senses. Eno named the label "Obscure " , astutely giving the label elite cache, and the first release on "Obscure" was Gavin Bryars double header "The Sinking Of The Titanic"/Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet". Recorded at the low key Basing Street studios , Eno was ensconced as producer though in actuality his role amounted to little more than an advisor.
The Sinking Of The Titanic was a 1969 orchestral piece featuring fragmentary arrangements of the Episcopal hymn "Autumn" , which a survivor of the disaster has heard the string ensemble play as the ship went down. It's a wonderfully evocative noble piece of music that stills retains a churning pathos all too redolent for it's subject matter
Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet is based on a thirteen bar loop of a vagrant ,s impromptu hymn singing recorded by documentary film maker Alan Power in 1971 , and not Gavin Bryars himself as many believe. I find this piece of music phenomenally moving yet can understand those dissenting voices who hear only a tramp warbling over an orchestra tuning up ...actually that's too harsh but you get the point.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars 10 Minutes= Wonderful, but 25 Minutes= I almost lost the will to...
I bought this CD because I had heard Jesus' Blood several times over the years on the radio, and always loved it. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Linda Darnell
4.0 out of 5 stars Iconic, emotional, mesmerising
"Jesus' blood never failed me yet" and its companion "The sinking of the Titanic" have been favourites of mine for many years, and as my old cassette tape is now... Read more
Published 5 months ago by D. Clark
5.0 out of 5 stars Gavin Bryars
I heard "Jesus Never Failed Me Yet" on Radio 3's "Words and Music" and was very moved by it to the extent that I logged on to the BBC website to find out about it. Read more
Published 10 months ago by BRIANUS
5.0 out of 5 stars A mesmerising and emotional minimalist classic.
During a 1971 documentary film about homeless alcoholics in South London an elderly man(a non-alcoholic) was recorded singing part of a religious song. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Jazzrook
5.0 out of 5 stars truly spiritual
jesus never failed me yet got into my soul and those who I played it to all ages don't have to be classical music lover Im not it's a melody that will grow in your sub conscious. Read more
Published on 28 Jan 2010 by A. J. Punch
4.0 out of 5 stars Irritating to a pedant
I've always had a soft spot for JBNFMY, as I think it explores emotional territory not often trodden in music; so I agree with the positive reviews here. Read more
Published on 17 July 2007 by C. Metcalfe
5.0 out of 5 stars What other composers can't do
I don't think religiosity can possibly come into this. I can't agree with the one-star review. The piece is neither contrived nor grating and it shouldn't be shot down by people... Read more
Published on 2 Oct 2003 by Mr C Williams
1.0 out of 5 stars How to get rid of unwelcome visitors
It should be easy -- just play them this lot -- but I am dismayed at how people seem to be falling for such stuff. Read more
Published on 7 Mar 2003 by DAVID BRYSON
5.0 out of 5 stars weirdly affecting
Despite possible accusations of displaced maudlin sentimentality (a kind of musical Munchhausen's by proxy), this is an amazingly effective piece of music. Read more
Published on 24 Oct 2002 by Dobester
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