11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
A flawed gem,
This review is from: Joy Of A Toy (Audio CD)
If you like something a little different, then the original Joy Of A toy is as close to the perfect magical musical experience as you can get. After the opening oompah of Joy Of A Toy Continued, there is a unique blend of the avant-garde, café chansons and English psychedelic whimsy – all the way through to the gloriously Dylanesque All This Crazy Gift Of Time. All the songs are wonderfully refreshing and inventive, the arrangements superb, the musicianship just about as good as you can get. There’s the catchy weirdness of Oleh Oleh Bandu Bandong (with David Bedford’s groovy piano-playing), and the excitement of Stop This Train Again Doing It, a brilliantly whacky, fast-moving allegory of modern life, with its long instrumental fade out (and speed up), cut through by Mike Ratledge’s Lowry organ.
Now all that is still here, but this remastered version is a collectors item which detracts from the perfection of the original package by adding outtakes and material that was sensibly left out first time around. The bonus tracks and remixes are interesting from a historical point of view only. The alternative versions of The Lady Rachel lack the sense of unease of the original. Religious Experience is not one of Ayres’ better songs, and not even Syd Barrett was able to contribute anything memorable to it other than his name. Nevertheless, it remains a gem, but a flawed one at that. If you’re a Kevin Ayres fan, you’ll love it; if you’re not, buy the original and become one.