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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars


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I've still no idea what the nonsensical title means and frankly who gives a rat's ass. Part genius - part hard work - Kevin Ayers has had a solo career to envy and his fourth album "Whatevershebringswesing" from 1971 was the beginning of an astonishing run of albums that ran into the later Seventies with Island Records. As brilliant and as prolific as his fellow Harvest Records label mate Roy Harper - he's also as eclectic and infuriating as say Robert Wyatt or even Ivor Cutler. But would we have our heroes any other way... Here are those funny smelling cigarettes...

Released June 2003 - "Whatevershebringswesing" by KEVIN AYERS on EMI 07243-582778-2-1 (Barcode 724358277821) is an 'Expanded CD Remaster' and plays out as follows (51:26 minutes):

1. There Is Loving/Among Us/There Is Loving
2. Margaret
3. Oh My
4. Song From The Bottom Of A Well
5. Whatevershebringswesing [Side 2]
6. Stranger In Blue Suede Shoes
7. Champagne Cowboy Blues
8. Lullaby
Tracks 1 to 8 are his 3rd album "Whatevershebringswesing" by KEVIN AYERS released January 1972 in the UK on Harvest Records SHVL 800 in a textured gatefold sleeve
BONUS TRACKS:
9. Stars - the non-album B-side to "Stranger In Blue Suede Shoes" - a UK 7" single released 27 August 1971 on Harvest HAR 5042
10. Don't Sing No More Sad Songs
11. Fake Mexican Tourist Blues - 9 and 10 recorded 1972 - finally released on the UK compilation LP "Odd Ditties" released February 1976 on Harvest Heritage SHSM 2005
12. Stranger In Blue Suede Shoes - an Early Mix/9 July 1971 - Previously Unreleased

The 16-page booklet has superb liner notes by fan and musicologist MARK POWELL - a name many will know well from his stellar work on the Esoteric Label and the Underground/Prog 3CD Box Sets covering the Polydor, Vertigo, Deram and Decca labels for Universal. But the big news is a fabulous remaster by the album's original engineer PETER MEW. It was done at Abbey Road in February 2003 from original tapes and the audio quality is amazing.

When the opening 3-part string-laden "There Is Loving/Among Us/There Is Loving" exits your speakers - your hit with a sonic clarity that is wonderful and the real beauty of David Bedford's wonderfully lush string arrangements. Ayers made special mention of it on the album's inner gatefold. Both "Margaret" and "Oh My" come on as dainty old English ditties after the complex opener - but are lovely in their melodies - evocative of a vaudeville England long since past. I've always hated the dark and suffocating noisescapes of the Side 1 closer "Song From The Bottom Of A Well" - a song that does exactly what it says on the tin. It can stay down there...

Side 2 opens with the title song - the curiously titled "Whatevershebringswesing" which after the drubbing of 'well' comes as a blessed relief - bolstered so subtly by girly 'oohs' and a fantastically complimentary twin vocal half way through from ROBERT WYATT. Everyone's favourite spliff song follows - the wonderful and funny "Stranger In Blue Suede Shoes" - a song with lyrics that make me laugh to this day. MIKE OLDFIELD and his distinctive guitar style add much to "Champagne Cowboy Blues" while babbling water gurgles throughout the melodious finisher "Lullaby" - a gorgeous little ditty and a great way to finish the album. The four extras are worthy of the moniker 'bonus' - especially the 'early mix' of "Stranger" which is fascinating to hear.

Like his first LP for Island Records in 1974 - the brilliant and druggy dark "The Confessions Of Dr. Dream And Other Stories" - "Whatevershebringswesing" is the very definition of a 'cult' album. You either love it or dismiss it as one of 'those' Seventies records. I've always thought it genius - a bit like the man himself - and this superb EMI remaster does that defiantly English oddity a solid.

As Kevin sings on "Stranger In Blue Suede Shoes" during the fade out of the song (pleased he smoked one of 'those' cigarettes) - "...thank you very much..."

PS: see also my reviews for "Bananamour" (1973), "The Confessions Of Dr. Dream And Other Stories" (1974), "Sweet Deceiver" (1975) and "Yes We Have No Mananas" (1976)
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on 26 April 2017
Only recently discovered Kevin Ayers, looked at reviews to decide which CD to start with, was not disappointed with this one. Love Kevin's voice and the humour which shines through on this , will hopefully be discovering more of his work in the future.
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VINE VOICEon 29 September 2006
Listening to this album for the first time is like walking blindfold: you don't know what you're going to bump into next. There isn't enough space on the average album to contain all of Kevin Ayers's ideas and this is no exception. The conventional, the weird, the dark and the beautiful all appear and it seems effortless.

'There Is Loving' makes great use of orchestral musicians, scaling the highest peaks and diving into the deepest troughs. 'Margaret' and 'Lullaby' are gentle and sublime, featuring strong melodies and honeyed textures. 'Oh My' and 'Champagne Cowboy Blues' are more music hall and vaudeville, not to everyone's taste but entirely valid and an essential representation of one side of Ayers's personality. You have to embrace his character in full to appreciate him. 'Song From A Bottom Of A Well' appeases the avant garde fans, a brilliantly-executed slice of the macabre. The title track is a lovingly-crafted gentle blues with a Mike Oldfield guitar solo of pure gold and 'Stranger In Blue Suede Shoes', the most commercial track, is a cool and unforgettable dose of mischief.

Even the bonus tracks shape up, all of them reflecting Ayers's droll side. 'Whatevershebringswesing' is, along with 'Joy Of A Toy', one of Ayers's classic contributions to music. It's a shame most people haven't even heard of him.
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VINE VOICEon 27 June 2003
Always a favourite amongst Kevin Ayres fans this is a consistent piece of work with a settled band. This album very much highlights the melodic side of Kevin Ayres material. High lights are ‘Song from the bottom of a well’, ‘Stranger in Blue suede shoes’ and ‘There is loving…’
This release comes with 4 bonus tracks including a second earlier mix of ’Stranger’. This album would sit well in anyone’s record collection
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From the very start, it is highly apparent that Whatevershebringswesing is a vastly different album to Kevin Ayers' previous album, Shooting At The Moon. The full orchestral sound that immediately hits you, courtesy of David Bedford, appears to be a million miles away from the experimental psychedelia of his 1970 record, but there is still the distinctive Ayers characteristic when his voice chimes in for the first time. In short, opening track There Is Loving/Among Us is ambitious, beauteous and arresting. Margaret is achingly gorgeous and one of my personal favourites in Ayers' catalogue, whereas Oh My has a gentle New Orleans style swing, complete with a sassy brass and woodwind section; it's immensely likeable. Less easy to digest is the ominous, sinister Song From The Bottom Of A Well which has a Leonard Cohen-like character, but title track Whatevershebringswesing winds the music back down with its laid back demeanour and a rather sensational guitar solo from Mike Oldfield.

Up-tempo rock shuffle Stranger In Blue Suede Shoes has a Lou Reed feel to it, but also features a nifty, intricate piano part to lighten the mood; it's probably one of the most commercial pieces Kevin ever released. Champagne Cowboy Blues is one of the more ordinary songs on the album, and the record finishes with Lullaby, an enchanting instrumental which has an exceptionally lovely flute part. In summary, Whatevershebringswesing is probably the most accessible Kevin Ayers release in his entire catalogue; certainly the most easy to listen to Ayers album I own, anyway. For me, it is the sheer beauty of some of the tracks (There Is Loving/Among Us, Margaret, Lullaby), together with the whimsy, playfulness and artistry throughout that makes listening to the album such a pleasing experience. Enjoying Kevin's third album is almost effortless (perhaps with the exception of Song From The Bottom Of A Well), compared with his rather challenging second album, which means that it challenges his delightful solo 1969 debut Joy Of A Toy for a place in my heart as my favourite Ayers release.
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on 3 March 2005
Kevin Ayers, in my humble opinion is one of the most overlooked of British performers who emerged as part of the Cambridge Circus from the 1960's. In many ways he is very reminiscent of that other English eccentric and borderline genius, the late, greatly missed, Vivian Stanshall.
This timely re-release with additional tracks is a very welcome one for those of us who have owned the original cd for years and who have had to suffer the poor sound mastering. Here with much greater clarity is an album that is not to be missed.
The publicity surrounding this re-release mentions the contributions of some others who perhaps have achieved greater success than Ayers but whose contributions here merely enhance the originality and vitality of this album.
Kevin Ayers' albums are idiosyncratic for two reasons, the quality of the songwriting and the diverse styles and types of music which he employs. His voice is so evocative of others in the Circus such as Caravan but has a way of bringing the lyrics slowly into one's conciousness where the true value of them can be misseed when the listener is not paying careful attention. The lyrics can be subtle and oblique surreal and yet real. Or, to paraphrase another song strangely strange but oddle normal.
The musicians that Ayers plays with also compliment the musical material with it's vast range that demonstartes the breadth of Ayers musical knowledge and genius.
The album begins with an Ayers song There is Loving and Among Us written by the composer David Bedford combined together and concluded with a reprise of There is Loving. Bedford's orchestral contribution is the perfect foil for Ayers' writing but does not come off as cheesy as some other orchestral additions tend to do (on early Elton John for instance). Margaret and Oh My typify Ayers at his best with short songs great lyrics and measured instrumental work but for me the heart of the album lies in the following three tracks. Song from the Bottom of a Well deserves an award for the name alone but considering the use of effects and some techniques which could have easily been borrowed from KarlHeinz Stockhausen himself coupled with the exquisite lyrics this song must be considered one of the best Kevin has written generating such imagery. Awesome. The next track, which I always believed was for Welsh listeners Whatevershebringswesing, is a complete contrast to Well. This certainly lightens and brightens the ambience created by the previous song and demonstrates the creative energies which flowed from Ayers in his collaboration with others. Robert Wyatt may not be too well known in the United States but in certain circles in Britain he is revered for his contribution to the Soft machine and also for his personal songwriting contributions. Here he adds his voice to the song in a somewhat ethereal way to develop an excellent track. The next crucial track is Stranger in Blue Suede Shoes which the sleeve notes acclaim to be an Ayers classic. i do not know about that but it certainly was a fan favourite. An amusing song which went on to be another single release, this has everything that one could wish for in a three minute song. Polished performance, great lyrics and music to match.
The rest of the alum is made up of two original album tracks plus four bonus songs which had not been available except on singles and a compiliation but which fit well with the general tone and outlook of the original album.
Like the fine wine that Ayers is reputed to enjoy, his albums are a little of an aquired taste which require a little concentration and which provide one with much cerebral enjoyment. This happens to be one of my personal favourites along with Joy of a Toy.
A wayward genius he may be, an eccentric troubador for sure. I really like Kevin Ayers as you probably can tell and I have no hesitation in recommending this wonderful work to all Amazon readers. Enjoy!
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on 4 September 2010
By the time January 1972 rolled around and this album was put out into the post-Christmas stupor the band that had served Ayers so well on `Shooting At The Moon' was no more. A cause for sadness though this might be, Ayers wasn't a man for getting sidetracked, as this album only goes to show.

He was a man for a song, though, as the elegiac `Margaret' proves. Just in case things are getting a little too lyrical by its close, however, he follows it up with the vaguely daft `Oh My' just to redress the balance.

But nothing needs to be set against the title track, which women with taste who have a penchant for spending hours in the bath should have as the musical accompaniment for their bathroom hogging, especially as in this reviewer's opinion Mike Oldfield's guitar solo far exceeds anything he put out under his own name, and the odd-but-right vocal harmonising between Ayers and Robert Wyatt is a joy (of a toy)

It's followed up by `Stranger In Blue Suede Shoes' which in terms of the Ayers canon is a hit, something which can also be said about this album.

So stick your hands in your pockets for this one, pop pickers. You know you want to.
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on 22 October 2000
I FIRST BOUGHT THIS ALBUM IN THE EARLY 1970'S. IT IS A RARE MIXTURE OF SONG AND INSTRUMENTAL PIECES FEATURING A BEAUTIFUL GUITAR SOLO BY A VERY YOUNG MIKE OLDFIELD ON 'WHATEVERSHEBRINGSWESING'TO 'STRANGER IN BLUE SUEDE SHOES' AND THE FINAL RESTFUL 'LULLABY' TRACK. KEVIN AYERS DEEP, RASPY VOICE AND VARIED CONTENT OF THIS ALBUM MAKE IT ONE THAT CANNOT BE LIKENED TO ANY OTHER. FOR ME,HIS BEST WORK.
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on 16 July 2012
Great old album. Quite eclectic. Great price. Cheap enough to buy for nostalgia's sake as old favourite Prompt delivery. All good. Have a listen!?
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on 16 January 2014
Not an album I owned on vinyl unlike Joy Of A Toy and Shooting At The Moon
This is a beautiful album from Kevin.There are some wonderful arrangements from the great David Bedford;a lovely duet with Robert Wyatt(the title track)and some lunatic songs like Voice From The Bottom Of A Well ("I didn't move here,I just fell")

Kevin was a true original,a bon viveur par excellence and really made some great music with a lot of humor

Can you ask for more ???
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