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Life Is People
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Life Is People

21 Aug 2012 | Format: MP3

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 21 Aug 2012
  • Label: Dead Oceans
  • Copyright: 2012 Dead Oceans
  • Total Length: 54:00
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B00HL0QN7Q
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 113,389 in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 in MP3 Albums)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Red on Black TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 20 Aug 2012
Format: Audio CD
Is it possible to be genuinely excited by the release of an album by an obscure English songwriter who will never trouble the charts and who recorded his last album 41 years ago? The answer is an emphatic yes, not least since Bill Fay remains one of the great lost artists of British music. He is one of those unexplainable great singer songwriters whose musical footprint never left any kind of substantial imprint. It is true that over recent years Fay's stock has risen not least as his first two albums have been re-issued and he has been championed by musical heavy weights like Nick Cave and Wilco's main man Jeff Tweedy. It is only right therefore that the latter has collaborated on this album with Bill Fay and if you do nothing else after skimming through this review please download the cover version of Tweedy's "Jesus, etc" which is one of "Life is people" many stellar highlights and easily matches the original. Better still get this album and listen to the sound of a composer who has been denied his proper deserts finally get his moment and grasp it with both hands. This is music for thinking, feeling and possibly "experienced" music lovers who know that the reaching of a certain age can shatter hope and ambition but also can lead to reconciliation and greater peace of mind. Bill Fay's "Life is people" is essentially a strategic overview of life's uneven journey, charting its desperate low points as a street sweeper in the evocative "City of dreams", an accommodation with faith in "Thank you lord" and in the seven minute "Cosmic Concerto "Life is people"" producing an anthem of quiet wonder.Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sentinel TOP 500 REVIEWER on 18 Dec 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Given the low-key songs of acceptance and redemption here, and the underpinning Christian message, it's small wonder this collection won't suit everybody. However, if you're interested in music which offers a truly genuine sense of blessing and redemption, using deceptively simple yet addictive melodies, you should listen to the Amazon sampler.

Bill Fay is that rare thing: a genuine singer/songwriter who is self-effacing about his work (donating the proceeds of this album to Medecines Sans Frontiers). I found the haunting melodies here consistently compelling from first to last, especially the forgiveness, acceptance and hope in 'The Healing Day', which reaches out its arms to you, soothes you, and convinces you that all will be well. By contrast, 'Big Painter' and 'Empires' share the feeling of 'last songs', with an apocalyptic undercurrent, made explicit in 'The Coast No Man Can Tell'.

Some reviewers have spoken of Dylan or Nick Drake by way of comparison, but although there are echoes of some other musicians/albums here,(I thought of Gavin Bryars 'Jesus Blood'), plus some wonderfully atmospheric Hammond organ from Mikey Rowe, and memories of Patti Smith's 'Easter' in 'Healing Day', Bill's voice is a true original, hushed/weakened by the years, but just exactly right for these songs of wise acceptance.

This collection is strengthened by a fascinating explanation from Bill on how the album came to be made, including lyrics, and full credits on personnel involved (some lovely, sensitive work from Ray Russell on guitar, Ian Burdge's haunting cello work, Jeff Tweedy's vocal, and a fine Gospel Choir and String Quartet).
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By belvoirman on 22 Aug 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is my first encounter with Bill Fay, an overlooked London based singer/songwriter who released a couple of albums in the early 70's that passed the world by. He dropped out of the professional music scene, doing a variety of dead end jobs, but then became something of a cult artist in recent years, championed by Nick Cave, and Jeff Tweedy from Wilco. He was approached by Joshua Henry, who was based in Nevada, and had listened to the first 2 Fay Decca LP's that his dad had, and fallen in love with them, with a proposition to record a 3rd album in a proper studio, just a mere 41 years after his 2nd album! Fay was understandably initially cautious, but after some cajoling, in collaboration with 3 original bandmates from his second album, and Matt Deighton (ex Mother Earth and sometimes Oasis band member with some classy solo albums to his name) in a strong supporting role, he was booked into a studio in north London .

His singing voice is deep and fairly flat, for me a dead ringer for Bob Dylan around the time of Blood on the Tracks. Religious imagery abounds from song titles like The Healing Day, Thank the Lord, and Be at Peace with Yourself, with references to God, Souls, and a cover of Wilco's Jesus etc . There are also references to nature, trees , and being at one with yourself and god. The arrangements are generally fairly downbeat and melancholy, but a spirituality with wisdom and humbleness shines through. A couple of tracks are stripped down, with Bill on piano quietly singing, on Jesus etc, on closer The Coast No Man Can Tell, and with just the addition of subtle cello on The Never Ending Happening. On other tracks there is a much more lavish production including the Vulcan String Quartet, and the 4 member London Community Gospel Choir,tastefully incorporated.
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