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Joy Of A Toy Original recording remastered, Extra tracks

4.7 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, Extra tracks, 9 Jun 2003
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Product details

  • Audio CD (9 Jun. 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered, Extra tracks
  • Label: EMI Records
  • ASIN: B00008Y2IU
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 58,918 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By D. J. H. Thorn VINE VOICE on 26 Sept. 2006
Format: Audio CD
Kevin Ayers belongs to that list of late 1960s musicians such as Nick Drake and Syd Barrett who retain their English accent on record. Indeed, Ayers is also one of those who largely ploughs his own furrow while betraying occasional glimpses of outside influence. Routinely described as eccentric, his debut album is aptly named as joy is the feeling that predominates, despite several mood changes. 'Joy Of A Toy Continued' sets out his manifesto with its village green carnival attitude. Both 'Town Feeling' and 'The Clarietta Rag' partly resemble John Lennon's style, the latter having a similar melody to 'Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite'. Ayers is much farther out than The Beatles, however, this being an album you might expect Sergeant Pepper to make if he met Syd Barrett on his weekend off. It abounds with pop melodies, intriguing lyrics and a powerful cocktail of innocence and mischief.

'Girl On A Swing' features a light-headed piano pattern crossed with psychedelic guitar effects. This ability to experiment with unusual arrangements is even more effective on the mock-Romantic 'Lady Rachel' and 'Stop This Train'. 'Song For Insane Times' is more conventional but the thought-provoking lyric is the star, as is the case with 'Eleanor's Cake'. Undoubtedly, the weirdest, trippiest track is the mad 'Oleh Oleh Bandu Bandong' which, if you're not careful, goes round your head for hours afterwards. The straightest track, 'All This Crazy Gift Of Time' is, significantly, the least memorable.

The bonus song, 'Singing A Song In The Morning' is, with or without Syd Barrett, the most exhilarating experience on the CD and should have been a hit. Trying to describe Ayers's music is akin to pulling the sword from the stone. Suffice to say that if you like imaginative, melodic music with a good dose of experimentation, this album is a must.
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By Lozarithm VINE VOICE on 17 July 2004
Format: Audio CD
Despite his best efforts to avoid courting too much popularity, Kevin Ayers' emergence from the Canterbury scene first in the Wilde Flowers and then with Soft Machine is well known. Typically, he jumped ship from Soft Machine as they were taking off after a gruelling tour with the Jimi Hendrix Experience, selling his bass guitar to Mitch Mitchell and switching to guitar to write the songs that were to make up his first and finest solo album, a light, folksy, if occasionally sinister collection of songs that benefit from the arrangements and piano playing of classical composer David Bedford, who was later to join the Whole World and work on all Kevin Ayers' best albums.
Robert Wyatt drums throughout most of the album and the rest of the Softs turn up regularly, separately and together, notably on Song For Insane Times.
Kevin Ayers has been musically likened to Nick Drake and Syd Barrett but he lacks the melancholy and some of the poetic genius of Nick Drake and also the manic intensity of Syd Barrett. Happily, unlike either of them, he also could not be described as a casualty, but is distinguished by his English sensibility and winsome eccentricity, which is eloquently displayed on this atmospheric debut.
In its re-mastered form Joy Of A Toy has acquired half a dozen bonus tracks including two remixed versions of Lady Rachel, one of his strongest songs, and early versions of his first single, Singing A Song In The Morning, under the working title Religious Experience. One of these has Syd Barrett himself playing guitar, though his mental health proved counter to the task and on the final single mix we can hear that Kevin Ayers himself provided a more than passable pastiche, abetted on organ and bass by David and Richard Sinclair from Canterbury compatriots Caravan
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Format: Audio CD
Ex Wilde Flowers and Soft Machine Bassist and Songwriter KEVIN AYERS would pump eight eclectic and often utterly brilliant albums between 1969 and 1978 – six on EMI’s Harvest and the other two on Island Records. Time now for digital variants and you have to say that EMI/Harvest have done a totally sterling job reissuing the lot on CD. The first batch of four came in June 2003 and the remainder in September 2009 – all bolstered with great bonus tracks and quality Peter Mew Remasters. December 1969's "Joy Of A Toy" is the start of that journey and here are the childhood memories...

UK and Europe released June 2003 – "Joy Of A Toy" by KEVIN AYERS on EMI/Harvest 07243-582776-2-3 (Barcode 724358277623) is an 'Expanded Edition' CD Remaster and plays out as follows (67:15 minutes):

1. Joy Of A Toy Continued
2. Town Feeling
3. The Clarietta Rag
4. Girl On A Swing
5. Song For Insane Times
6. Stop This Train (Again Doing It) – Side 2
7. Eleanor's Cake (Which Ate Her)
8. The Lady Rachel (Lullaby For Children)
9. Oleh Oleh Bandu Bandong
10. All This Crazy Gift Of Time
Tracks 1 to 10 make up the album "Joy Of A Toy" issued November 1969 on Harvest SHVL 736 in the UK and Harvest SKAO 421 in the USA (all tracks are Ayers originals).

11. Religious Experience (Singing A Song In The Morning)
Take 9 recorded 28 Nov 1969 - featuring SYD BARRETT – Previously Unreleased
12. The Lady Rachel (Extended First Mix)
Recorded February 1972 – Previously Unreleased
13. Soon Soon Soon
Recorded September 1969 – first released as an album outtake on the "Odd Ditties" LP from February 1976 on Harvest SHSM 2005
Read more ›
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