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The Unfairground Import

4.6 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Unfairground
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Audio CD, Import, 11 Mar 2008
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£189.51
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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 (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 183,210 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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.
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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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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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