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on 16 May 2004
In an age where epithets such as "visionary", "genius" and "unique" are bandied about as cheap and undeserving labels to whatever media studies graduate laptop project makes Dazed and Confused's cover this month - it is always rewarding to accidentally chance upon something that, whilst clearly not going to be everyone's cup of tea, actually deserves such adjectives.
I saw this CD in a shop in Bath and I liked the simple cover. I liked the title and also I liked the fact that there were 49 songs in 45 minutes on it. And it was by a man called Ivor.
Ivor Cutler, accompanied with a creaky harmonium, proceeds to reel off random observations and harrowing sparrow tales in a voice that reminds me of the old Scottish soldier on Dads Army and also that guy who used to narrate Ivor The Engine.
Some of the "songs" are barely 10 seconds long - just a few words with no particular thread of logic to them and that is how it should be. Some of the epic (over a minute long!)tracks such as "Baby Sits" can make you weep or laugh depending on the mood you're in at the time.
You can stick this CD into your player, press Random and enjoy bizarre Scottish ruminations on subjects as diverse as walking to a farm ("Walking To A Farm"), barrels of nails ("Barrels of Nails") and the singer's sister's sexual adventures at home ("Three Sisters").
If you like Vivian Stanshall, Spike Milligan or even Chris Morris, get this CD - I just played it to a friend of mine who even as we speak is saying "she takes it in the vegetables" over and over again to himself.
There's very little else out there like this - put the nicely conditioned and shampooed blandness of your cd collection behind you, embrace "Dandruff" - it makes your head itch in a nice way!
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on 26 November 2012

The first of a trio of essential Ivor Cutler albums from the early seventies, 'Dandruff' marked his welcome return to the world of solo recording . Produced by George Martin, his last album, 'Ludo', had been released long ago in 1967. Although this lead to him being cast as Buster Bloodvessel in The Beatles 'Magical Mystery Tour' nothing much was heard from him until he appeared on Robert Wyatts 'Rock Bottom' album in 1974. He was then sighed to Virgin records and 'Dandruff' was the result.Stripped of the additional musicians featured on 'Ludo' and produced by himself, 'Dandruff' is quintessential Ivor Cutler. Although it is largely spoken word, it contains two of my favourite Cutler songs- "I Believe In Bugs" & "An Old Oak Tree". His voice works very well with his own harmonium accompliment and the poems,stories and songs are as humourous, absurd and deeply profound as ever.Recently I brought the CD, having owned the vinyl version for years, and have discovered the joys of random play. This works particularly well with Ivor Cutler, giving the album a whole new life. Also recommended from the same period are 'Velvet Donkey' [1975] and 'Jammy Smears' [1976] also on Virgin.
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on 18 February 2011
one only has to type the name to know that this will be well received. This collection is no better than expected, although the expectancy from so great a character is so very high. Ivor Cutler will live long in the annals of musical genius, he is, simply, without parallel.
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on 25 September 2009
The wit and not inconsiderable wisdom of Ivor Cutler; a performer from a faraway land, disrespectful of time and fashion; a heroic unbridled cult figure direct from the past/present/future
Cutler delivers a brick one-man show: provincial monologues, rakish poetry, mediaeval folk songs; each from a sullen, sweet, Caledonian perspective, and usually, brilliantly funny.
Comparisons are non-existent: no-one does what Cutler does.
You have trouble finding him in shops; sometimes he's in folk music, sometimes poetry, sometimes literature...

'Dandruff' is like listening to a droll child with a thickly beautiful brogue complaining about eggs, fur coats, railway sleepers, lemons, bugs and being made to sit up straight. Some of his poems have just one line: "When I entered Heaven, I slipped on the floor and had to apologise." or "If some-one empties their bowels at night, a shepherd will have a red face in the morning." He simplistically realises it is bad to overstay one's welcome.
A young logic, an innocent viewpoint, an uncorrupted mind. Miraculous when you consider he's worn his elbows down to the bone for you, and his father once had intercourse with a polar bear in Canada.

It is nauseatingly crass and predictable to list who's been influenced by this man, there are so many; yet he thankfully remains a refrained secret to the masses.
A triple bill of Cutler, Arnold Brown and Chic Murray would be my idea of a good night out.
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on 13 November 2013
Sent promptly, exceptable quaility, gets rid of ugly Staines, fun at parties, improves your sexxx appeal, promotes Anglo - Scottish relations, buffs up to a high gloss on Cars and Bikes
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on 31 May 2014
If you love Ivor Cutler you will love this - but if you don't, nothing will convince you of this man's genius. But give it a go anyway....he grows on you!
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on 10 July 2012
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