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  • The Unfairground
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The Unfairground Import

Price: £10.81 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

The Unfairground + Yes We Have No Mananas (With Bonus Tracks) + Still Life with Guitar
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Product details

  • 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 (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 39,519 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

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. Only Heaven Knows 2:47£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Cold Shoulder 3:08£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Baby Come Home 3:14£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Wide Awake 3:35£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Walk On Water 3:47£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Friends & Strangers 2:53£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Shine A Light 2:35£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Brainstorm 4:31£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Unfairground 3:51£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Run Run Run 3:36£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

CD Description

Format : LP, 180 gram / Sleeve : Gatefold

BBC Review

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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--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By John H on 26 Sept. 2007
Format: Audio CD
This new album from Kevin Ayers is simply wonderful. This is the first time I have been motivated to write an Amazon review. Yes I love this cd that much! It really is the sort of album that makes one remember why song and music is so important. From beginning to end it has incredible edge. A very shear edge of honest expression. It is not the edge Ayers gave us with his early albums when he was the darling of the underground. How could it be? Times change. Though Kevin Ayers is as authentic and as very convincing as he has ever been with his best work. Long ago he shrugged away the world of glamour and pop bubble reputation to live his own life. But what he has so clearly not left behind, as can be heard on this album, is his very apparent and extraordinary craft as a song writer. And it is this he uses to take stock of life with heart wrenching honesty. What we have here with The Unfairground is a collection of 10 sublime tracks with music so honed that every note expresses something true to the song it accompanies. Superb arrangements with at times strings that remind one of Forever Changes as on Friends and Strangers or the entreating horns on Baby Come Home that hint at the dry barren landscape of longing, the latter featuring vocal accompaniment from Bridget St. John. Only Heaven Knows has got to be one of the best album opening tracks ever. It's style echoes light hearted vaudeville yet asks "what do you do when it all behind you / every day something else reminds you / when the times were sweet......." At 35 minutes long you get the highs and lows, the joie de vivre to comfort fear and the stand up and fight of a life time.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Cartimand TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 1 Nov. 2007
Format: Audio CD
After a long loooong wait for a new studio album from one of rock's coolest characters, I was delighted to find The Unfairground at my local HMV. Got home, sat back, glass of fine (well decent enough) Bordeaux at hand and started to listen.

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!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Fatboy on 11 Oct. 2007
Format: Audio CD
Another collection of beautiful songs with a slightly left-field twist. Just like he's been doing for the past forty years, and not a trace of cynicism after all those years. Wonderfully simple, and simply wonderful, don't miss out.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By W. C. Runyon on 28 Feb. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
My first memories of Kevin Ayers are as a support act to Jimi Hendrix on their first American tour with Ayer's group Soft Machine.
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 ›
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Sweaty Betty on 15 Sept. 2007
Format: Audio CD
I approached this release with trepidation. Could it really be 38 years since "Joy of a Toy"? On playing, no such reasons to be worried. Where did the last 38 years go? Sublime, superb and at 34 minutes. .. short! But who cares, 34 minutes of bliss is better than 70 minutes of dross. Buy, play and chill out. Just like a bottle of Mr Ayers' fine plonk, the years have been very kind and worth the wait. More please. . .
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