- Audio CD (11 Mar. 2008)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Import
- Label: Gigantic
- ASIN: B0013FSVFW
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 56,068 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
The Unfairground Import
|Price:||£9.58 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details|
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Format : LP, 180 gram / Sleeve : Gatefold
1960s singer-songwriter Kevin Ayers sings 'Funny how the situation changes', at the start of The Unfairground, his first album for fifteen years. How true that appears to be, given the biographical facts surrounding this formerly psychedelic, and almost mythic, ex-Soft Machine operator. Running to seed, as the story goes, in the south of France, he gets re-discovered, hauled back to the UK and a batch of new songs - recorded on the hoof in a range of locations - is conjured around Ayers' wry, addictive, but ever so slightly broken, vocals.
And what a result! Although no Joy Of A Toy - Ayers' 1969 crazed, poetic, tour de force - The Unfairground is a compelling return, with songs covering the usual suspect narratives of girl lost/girl found, wrists nearly slit, ageing and having a good time disgracefully. His lyrics are, as hoped, top notch, going down memory lane on 'Only Heaven Knows', beseeching a lover to return on the exquisitely beguiling 'Baby Come Home', and on the album's centrepiece, 'Brainstorm', a claustrophobic, almost paranoid, lyric cries for the dream to live on, or!'a storm could just blow me away'.
Beside Ayers' undemonstrative, even flat, but always beguiling, delivery, the music arrangements are top notch throughout. A Spanish feel predominates from what sounds like a Mexican bass band and flamenco guitar, laid over a range of styles from whimsical guitar-based picking to country music, and to the discordantly bitter sweet, rather faded charms, of the British fairground.
The return of Kevin Ayers might not trigger a riot, but on this form its reason to get very excited indeed. --Charles De Ledesma
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Top Customer Reviews
Hmmm. First time through, I must confess to mild disappointment, not the least of which was the whole shebang lasting just over half an hour! This wasn't an instant classic like Dr. Dream or Whatevershebrings. A few definitely catchy tunes in there though. Next listen, a day or so later, after work and I found myself foot-tapping and humming along, not to mention spotting some evocative hat-tips to Kevin's earlier work (that IS the craftily twisted riff, semi-reprised from irreversible Neural Damage, isn't it?). By the third listen, I was singing along with gusto (much to my lady's horror). This is definitely a grower! It's going in the car next, where my dulcet tones and enthusiastic steering-wheel tapping will annoy no-one.
Would have liked a bit more - especially one epic track, rather than lots of shorties. They are goodies though. Mr Ayers has matured like far finer wine than I can afford!
It was so haunting to hear Kevin Ayers sing in his deep low voice the song from Soft Machine's first album "Why Are We Sleeping"
When Kevin came up to the microphone for a sound check he shouted "TESTICLES". Like the Beatles Kevin,Robert Wyatt and Michael Ratledege tempered each other musically.Kevin had a low voice,Robert had a high voice and harmonised together divinely.Michael Ratledege gave their music a real edge.They were a profound life changing experience to see live with their psychedelic light show!
Individually they all made profound music... but like a child that never wants his parents to divorce, I always wanted the original Soft Machine to reform.
There were times when they played together on each others records.My best memory is from the "Joy Of A Toy" LP Kevin's first solo project the track entitled "Stop This train".
Michael Ratledege plays a solo that is a definite keyboard version of pure surrealism.
To be honest with you I stopped listening to his material after the 1970's.
This last material Ayers has written "The Unfairground" would have been a very successful album in the 1970's.
Ayers has remained through out his life a great song smith and singer.Listening to this album the song that stands out as to what Ayers was thinking and feeling is the song "Brainstorm". There is still an element of subdued surrealism in these lyrics although the music is more conventional and accessible to a wider audience. Robert Wyatt's voice is on this record as a sample and listed on the credits as "The WYATTRON". Hugh Hopper is also credited as performing on this record.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
More commercial than his early output, but what a great album. Includes the fabulous Bridget St John on 'Baby Come Home'. A favourite in the car.Published 20 days ago by Amazon Customer
I have listened to this CD at least 100 times since I bought it. I admit to being a Kevin Ayers addict and do buy it you are one. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Morwenna
A great offering from the sadly deceased Kevin, buy it you know you want to. You owe it to yourselfPublished 19 months ago by Elle et belle
Delightfully mature sound, Kevin Ayers aged with dignity. Reminiscent of his heyday, without trying to revisit old themes, this album is a reminder of what a talented artist he... Read morePublished on 1 Nov. 2013 by Chris Cornwell
This is a nice collection of songs more like Sweet Deceiver than the older works. Very rich and diverse arramgements, every hearing brings new surprises and treasures. Read morePublished on 13 Nov. 2011 by van doremalen
As so often happens, this disk comes in a cardboard sleeve that was so thin I first thought Amazon has posted an empty package. Read morePublished on 22 May 2011 by Martin Sladdin
I have always had a very soft spot for Kevin Ayers. I think that his work is neglected and occasionally sublime. Read morePublished on 9 Feb. 2011 by Hugh Crawford