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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars diverse, mellow and challenging, it gorws on you in 3 plays
Those enamoured of the Canterbury scene will eventually come across Kevin Ayers. Nearly 30 years after seeing the ads in the music press for Banamour, I decided to try it out. It's not what I expected, seemingly far removed from Soft Machine and only the most passing and distant simiarity with Caravan. It's hardly progressive but, after 2-3 plays, it does become...
Published on 2 Nov. 2001 by Allen Mac

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars The eccentric Mr. Ayers.
I have re-discovered the work of this charming eccentric english musician.
I have some of his albums on vinyl , but will be replacing them on the cd, maybe cassette to!
Published on 15 Dec. 2012 by Lockhart '81


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars diverse, mellow and challenging, it gorws on you in 3 plays, 2 Nov. 2001
This review is from: Bananamour (Audio CD)
Those enamoured of the Canterbury scene will eventually come across Kevin Ayers. Nearly 30 years after seeing the ads in the music press for Banamour, I decided to try it out. It's not what I expected, seemingly far removed from Soft Machine and only the most passing and distant simiarity with Caravan. It's hardly progressive but, after 2-3 plays, it does become compulsive. A mixed, mellow compilation that gets under the skin - interesting vocal and guitar effects all in some type of challenging singer-songwriter frame. Never mainstream but masquerading as something accessible - which it is but also challenging on another level. I don't think they make stuff like this anymore. It's why the 70's was so distinctive and unique - music of character and a little eccentricity? Makes me want to explore the Ayers colection a bit further
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Banana'tastic, 29 Oct. 2007
By 
Derick Holcombe (Sussex, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Bananamour (Audio CD)
I have loved this album since it was first released and it just gets better and better as the years have passed. The first album is charming and lovely, the second a bit too patchy, the third is very good, but Bananamour is the one. It has everything I associate with Kevin Ayers. It is fun, stoned, happy, warm, silly, soulful, melodic, laid back, engaging, tasteful, drunken, intelligent, unpretentious, joyful music, well played (take a bow Steve Hillage) and well produced. The remastered cd sounds great and the booklet includes the inserts which came with the original album, plus an informative essay (although I would still like to know who played the synth on "Decadence"). The extra tracks enhance the original. Oh, and just like the other three remasters, the cd itself is a facsimile of that wonderful two tone green Harvest label! Don't think, just buy it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...So Many Problems...Yet None At All..." - Bananamour by KEVIN AYERS (2003 EMI Expanded CD Remaster), 12 Sept. 2014
By 
Mark Barry "Mark Barry" (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Bananamour (Audio CD)
Ex Soft Machine genius KEVIN AYERS had a run of stunningly diverse and eclectic albums on Harvest Records between 1969 and 1973. "Joy Of A Toy" opened proceedings in 1969, "Shooting At The Moon" followed in 1970, the much-loved "Whatevershebringswesing" in 1972 - and then this - the wonderful but hugely under-appreciated "Bananamour" in 1973. Always somehow in the shadow of its more popular predecessor - "Bananamour" - deserves a better rap. Time to do so...

Released June 2003 - "Bananamour" on EMI 07243-582780-2-6 (Barcode 724358278026) breaks down as follows (52:34 minutes):
1. Don't Let It Get You Down
2. Shouting In A Bucket Blues
3. When Your Parents Go To Sleep
4. Interview
5. International Anthem
6. Decadence [Side 2]
7. Oh! Wot A Dream
8. Hymn
9. Beware Of The Dog
Tracks 1 to 9 are the album "Bananamour" released May 1973 in the UK on Harvest SHVL 807
BONUS TRACKS:
10. Connie On A Rubber Band - non-album track, B-side of "Oh Wot A Dream" - a UK 7" single issued November 1972 on Harvest HAR 5064
11. Decadence - a Previously Unreleased 'Early Mix' - recorded 15 December 1972
12. Take Me To Tahiti - non-album track, B-side of a 7" single released April 1973in the UK on Harvest HAR 5071
13. Caribbean Moon - non-album track, A-side of "Take Me To Tahiti"

The remaster has been carried out with the Artist's approval by PETER MEW at Abbey Road - and what a sonic winner this is. Right from the get go - you're hit with clarity, warmth in the instruments, the dense backing vocals now so sweet and Ayer's voice sailing over it all. It's a properly fabulous job done.

Very rare original issues of the UK LP (£100+) came with an elaborate and beautifully laid out 16-page 'booklet' - which MARK POWELL (who wrote the liner notes) has been smart enough to reproduce in all its glory. There are Robert Crumb-like cartoon-paintings similar to the one of the front sleeve - pictures of SYD BARRETT, NICO and DORIS TROY - as well as Ayers' own explanations of each song. It gives the 24-page booklet a very substantial feel. Even the CD apes the design of the 'Harvest' label. And then there's the great music...

It opens with "Don't Let It Get You Down" (lyrics above) sounding not unlike The Beatles "Flying" instrumental on 1967's "Magical Mystery Tour". Steve Hillage of GONG gets Lead Electric Guitar on the Acoustic "Shouting In A Bucket Blues" while the organ of MIKE RATLEDGE on the utterly brilliant "Interview" would later become such a huge part of "The Confessions Of Dr. Dream...." sound. The remaster clarity on "Interview" alone is worth the price of admission - but there's better to come.

Album-track genius comes twice - first in the shape "When Your Parents Go To Sleep" - a stunning kind of Ray Charles Soul-Rock chugger with ARCHIE LEGGETT on Lead Vocals. Leggett was the Bass Player in Ayer's touring `Decadence' band and is ably supported here by three great backing vocalists - a giggling Doris Troy (Apple Records), Liza Strike (Soul singer who later joined Roger Glover's band) and Barry St. John (of Dandelion Records fame). But better still is the storming brass section that punctuates the song throughout - HOWARD CASEY on Tenor Sax with DAVE CASWEL on Trumpet. They make "When Your Parents Go To Sleep" something incredible. And number two stand out is the dreamy and ethereal "Decadence" which at 8 minutes is one of those fantastic plucked-guitar repeats that hooks in early and doesn't let up for the entire duration. When I used to play it at Reckless it always brought customers to the counter asking after it - and brought the quintessentially English magic of KEVIN AYERS into their lives. While it obviously feels very Velvet Underground - at times "Decadence" also feels like fellow label-mate ROY HARPER circa "Stormcock" - long, deep and unique. The silly "Oh! Wot A Dream" is typical Ayers flimsy - Harvest even tried it as a single - probably because of its 3-minute playing time and its Summer time punting on dreamy rivers lyrics. "Hymn" is lovely with a superb Harmony Vocal from Avant Garde hero ROBERT WYATT and the album ends with the short Hovis Advert brass band of "Beware Of The Dog" - sweet as.

Ayers would sign to Island Records and go on to the wonderfully druggy (and at times desperately dark) "The Confessions Of Dr. Dream And Other Stories" in May 1974. There's be other greats like ""Sweet Deceiver" (1975) and "Yes We Have No Mananas" (1976) but he would like Roy Harper remain cruelly outside commercial success.

You could argue that no proper rock collection is complete without the trio of "Whatevershebringswesing", "Bananamour" and "Confessions...". I would. An overlooked and stunning-sounding reissue - get this CD remaster into your stereo rack right away...
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Banana Follies, 17 July 2004
By 
Lozarithm (Wilts, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Bananamour (Audio CD)
Kevin Ayers and the band 747 toured the Bananamour album in 1973 as Banana Follies and I was fortunate to see them at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on May 26th. The sleeve notes to this release mention that the preceding night's QEH gig on the 25th was recorded for a possible live LP "but Ayers' performance proved lacklustre and the overall result proved too disappointing to release". Perhaps they recorded the wrong night as I remember no such shortcomings and it seemed as if Kevin Ayers was on the verge of major stardom.

Although both the band and the material lacked the eccentricity and inspiration of his former outfit, the Whole World, it seemed that these concessions had made him and the band into more of a commercial proposition.

This is also true of this album. The whole affair is very restrained in a rather deliberate and British fashion, and this works to good advantage on some of the numbers, such as the excellent Shouting In A Bucket Blues, which features Steve Hillage on guitar, though at times there are lyrical weaknesses, and whimsical tributes to Syd Barrett and Nico both fail to show real insight into their subjects. Overall, though, this is still a strong and idiosyncratic album. Archie Leggett is allowed a lead vocal on the soully mock-sinister When Your Parents Go To Sleep, with a horn section featuring Howie Casey, and Soft Machine buddy organist Mike Ratledge solos on Interview.

Stardom failed to follow and Kevin's next release was on the Island label.

Of the bonus tracks, the highlight is a reggae reworking of old favourite Clarence In Wonderland, recorded with the band Greyhound, under the title Connie On A Rubber Band.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Oooh, Such a Randy Cat..., 9 May 2009
This review is from: Bananamour (Audio CD)
Kevin Ayers' albums can be a bit variable. It seems unlikely that, say, Joy Of A Toy is by the same artist as this album. But one thing that tends to link them is Kevin Ayers' lovely, rather fruity, baritone voice and tongue-firmly-in-cheek sense of humour.

This album is special, and is probably the most consistent, too. Although there are tracks that hark back to Shooting At The Moon, there are also tracks that look forward to The Confessions Of Doctor Dream.

But there are a couple of really stand-out tracks. One is 'When Your Parents Go To Sleep'. This has got the most wonderful horn section on it, and the backing singers sound like they're having a party. I love the lyrics - all about a guy waiting outside the home of his girlfriend, 'waiting for the lights to fade, and your parents go to sleep. Then, just like a randy cat, into your bed I'll creep'. And the backing singers come in 'Oooh, such a randy cat'. And in the middle, with the full-on horn section, baritone sax parping away, we get one of the sexiest sax solos I've ever heard. I think it's an alto, but I could be wrong. It's just joyous.

Yes, there's a lot of irony and black humour ('Decadence' is a less than flattering portrait of Nico), but some of the humour is endearingly silly - listen to 'Beware of the Dog'. I won't spoil it for you; it is kind of 'Cheech and Chong' but in a rather English sort of way.

This CD release includes four extra tracks which, in some ways, spoils it a bit as 'Beware of the Dog' is clearly the end. But you can always re-arrange the track listing.

Still, a gloriously idiosyncratic and English rock album. Classic. :-)
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3.0 out of 5 stars The eccentric Mr. Ayers., 15 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: Bananamour (Audio CD)
I have re-discovered the work of this charming eccentric english musician.
I have some of his albums on vinyl , but will be replacing them on the cd, maybe cassette to!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!, 20 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: Bananamour (Audio CD)
I have this on original vinyl and love it. I bought this cd so that I could play it easily in my studio and office. Ayers is brilliant here!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great album, 14 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: Bananamour (Audio CD)
Good to have a CD as well as vinyl copy. A great album - sad that he is no longer with us.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars folk rock, 10 April 2013
This review is from: Bananamour (Audio CD)
This is british folk rock a bit tame for me why five stars well im not into folk rock but theres a couple of tracks that i liked and im not going to hit on a gernre im not into as this kevin ayers has talent and it is a good album. But i dont play it as much as america self title album.
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Bananamour
Bananamour by Kevin Ayers (Audio CD - 2003)
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