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This obscure musician has made some unforgettable albums, like Case History and this sprawling masterpiece. His themes are often very dark (fellow Brit Nick Drake’s “Black Eyed Dog” comes to mind when I listen to Coyne) and deals with stuff like insanity, despair, abuse and all manner of deviancies. He’s also a sharp satirist, as demonstrated by Dog Latin, This Is Spain and Good Boy, in which he respectively sends up organised religion, holidays in Spain and the public school system. Eastbourne Ladies also falls into this category. Everybody Says is a beautiul acoustic ballad and Mummy is a sweeping wall-of-sound rocker. His voice is not unlike Van Morrison’s in its scope and expressive range, but while Van’s is likely to be affected by spiritual ecstacy, Coyne’s can be twisted with rage or anguish, as on the title track. Marlene is a catchy number with gorgeous organ and guitar, a galoping beat and a sinister undertone. Talking To No One and House On The Hill are anguished but moving ballads about alienation and insanity. Lonesome Valley is more of the same, but over an uptempo beat and complex vocal arrangement where his voice really shines. Other great tracks include I Want My Crown, Nasty and Chairman’s Ball. With his chosen subject matter, it’s no surprise that Coyne has remained obscure. Still, I think that fans of Leonard Cohen, Richard Thompson, Marianne Faithfull, Nick Drake, Nico, Lydia Lunch and especially Swans, will find much here to appreciate.
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Coyne's masterpiece has been enhanced by live recordings, songs from the Peel sessions and various other rarities. This obscure musician made some unforgettable albums, like Case History and this harrowing work. His themes are often very dark (fellow Brit Nick Drake's "Black Eyed Dog" comes to mind when I listen to Coyne), dealing with stuff like insanity, despair, alienation, abuse and all sorts of deviancies.

He was also a sharp satirist, as demonstrated by Dog Latin, This Is Spain and Good Boy, in which he respectively mocks organized religion, holidays in Spain and the public school system. Eastbourne Ladies also falls into this category. Everybody Says is a beautiful acoustic ballad and Mummy a sweeping wall-of-sound rocker. His voice is not unlike that of Van Morrison in its timbre and expressive range, but while Van's is affected by spiritual ecstasy, Coyne's tend to be twisted with rage, disdain or anguish as on the title track.

Marlene is a melodious number with gorgeous organ and guitar, a pulsating beat and sinister undertone. Talking To No One and House On The Hill are anguished ballads portraying alienation and insanity. Lonesome Valley is more of the same, but over an uptempo beat and complex vocal arrangement where his voice really soars. Other great songs include I Want My Crown, Nasty and Chairman's Ball. Fans will love the extra tracks, many of which are live versions of the familiar songs.

With his chosen subject matter, it's no surprise that Coyne never gained a wide audience during his lifetime. Still, I think that fans of Nico, Leonard Cohen, Marianne Faithfull, the aforementioned Nick Drake, World of Skin, Lydia Lunch, Michael Gira and especially Swans, will find much here to appreciate.
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on 19 March 2001
Kevin Coynes early work was incredibly creative, switching from R&B, ballads & folk type songs. He is one of a line of eccentric Enlish singer/song writers. His songs range from happy to sad and from simple to funny. Patience will be required if you try Kevin for the first time, however if get into this work there are a wealth of brilliant quirky albums covering his many years of recording. Have a go the bloke's a genius.
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on 3 September 2010
Born in Derby, England, Kevin Coyne was a unique songwriter who carved out mythological stories of pathos. His vocal style was a rough kind of grumbling reminiscent of Captain Beefheart and his arrangements were spartan and bizarre - his songs often being dilapidated chants accompanied by guitar. His masterpiece, 'Marjory Razorblade' (1973), told stories of alienation, insanity and alcholism that was directly inspired by his pyschiatrist background.

'Marjory Razorblade' is a collection of twenty songs dedicated to the common people sung in a caustic and archaic style that depicts a sequence of pictures of life that evoke a drunk saloon-style boogie interpreted in the register of a vibrant shouter (for example, 'Lovesick Fool' and 'Eastbourne Ladies'), melancholy ballads of life ('Marlene' and 'Old Soldier'), an atmosphere of desolation ('Nasty'), crackling blues ('I want My Crown') and an endless gallery of surreal vignettes ('Karate King', 'Dog Latin', 'Good Boy', 'Chicken Wing') that culminate in 'House On The Hill'.

In the heart of Coyne's music are the blues of the Delta allied to the 'ship of fools' theme common to English literature. 'Marjory Razorblade' is a conscientiously passionate and impetuous work that is one of of the all-time masterpieces to have emerged from the British Isles.
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on 5 October 2010
If Nick Drake's justifiably celebrated music was the soundtrack for a sylvan England where problems were never discussed for the sake of maintaining appearances, Kevin Coyne's came from a place where politeness served no function and appearance served only to hide what lay beneath. In other words, he wrote a body of songs as singular as anything out there.

Listening to "House On The Hill" seems to highlight what a drab place the England of the late 1960s and 1970s was outside of the bright Metropolitan lights despite the lyrical reference to a Brixton square, but for all that Coyne's level of social observation was always pretty acute, and on this one he effortlessly conveys a lot in few words - a rare gift.

"Jackie And Edna" is a song about loss but as is so often the case with Coyne that observation doesn't disclose much. Coyne also had a gift for free association, although in this case there's a lyrical clarity which belies the fact.

His idiosyncratic rhythm guitar playing is to the fore on "Karate King" So too is his eye for a subject as he implores us to help the individual of the title by offering to tie his shoe laces or commenting on his pomaded hair. You might not be able to resist thinking that the Karate King's descendents are out there right now, skulking behind closed doors............

On a technical note the entire original double album is now accommodated on the first disc of this set. The second contains a host of near-contemporary material including an entire session for the John Peel programme -it's the one from January 31st 1974, fact fans- which in turn has a version of "Need Somebody" from Coyne's first solo album 'Case History', a title that's overripe for reissue.

How long have we got to wait?
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on 27 August 2015
A good showcase for a relatively unknown artist when this album first appeared in a double LPformat.There are some excellent tracks though and a lot of humour and some very poignant tracks one of my favourites is the house on the hill about a lunatic asylum very sad but true and there are several tracks in this vein and this is one of these albums that improve on several listenings.
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on 6 March 2010
What a record. I was excited the last time this record came to CD when they added the single. It just got even better by adding all the appropriate live material from the same period of time. If you know the man's music don't miss this one. Following the album on disc one is an American edit of "Eastbourne Ladies". Disc Two consists of 3 unreleased songs recorded at the Manor, "I Want My Crown" recorded for BBC's Old Grey Whistle Test, 3 songs recorded for Bob Harris' BBC Radio One Show, 4 songs recorded for John Peel's BBC Radio One Show, the "Marjory Razorblade Suite" Live at Hyde Park June 30, 1974 and finally 2 songs recorded Live at the 100 Club 1974. The band is smokin', what more could anyone ask for! And three cheers to Kevin's family for expanding on this beautiful remaster. Buy it now!
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on 14 July 2006
Kevin Coyne what can you say about him?
Buy the record to hear a true genius at work.
One can hear the influence he has made to British Rytham & Blues in the first few second of any song he sings.
God bless you Kevin.
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This obscure musician made some unforgettable albums, like Case History and this sprawling masterpiece. His themes are often very dark (fellow Brit Nick Drake's "Black Eyed Dog" comes to mind when I listen to Coyne) and deals with stuff like insanity, despair, abuse and all manner of deviancies.

He was also a sharp satirist, as demonstrated by Dog Latin, This Is Spain and Good Boy, in which he respectively sends up organised religion, holidays in Spain and the public school system. Eastbourne Ladies also falls into this category.

Everybody Says is a beautiul acoustic ballad and Mummy is a sweeping wall-of-sound rocker. His voice is not unlike Van Morrison's in its scope and expressive range, but while Van's is likely to be affected by spiritual ecstacy, Coyne's can be twisted with rage or anguish, as on the title track.

Marlene is a melodious number with gorgeous organ and guitar, a galoping beat and a sinister undertone. Talking To No One and House On The Hill are anguished but moving ballads about alienation and insanity. Lonesome Valley is more of the same, but over an uptempo beat and complex vocal arrangement where his voice really shines.

Other great tracks include I Want My Crown, Nasty and Chairman's Ball. With his chosen subject matter, it's no surprise that Coyne has remained obscure. Still, I think that fans of Leonard Cohen, Richard Thompson, Marianne Faithfull, Nick Drake, Nico, Lydia Lunch and especially Swans, will find much here to appreciate.
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on 1 May 2009
Marjory Razorblade

I first heard this album when I was a student at Sheffield Poly in the late 70's. From the very first track I was gripped, I'm not so sure that I would have liked to meet Marjory, she sounds a bit scary to me, which I suppose is Kevins point, but the track sets the tone for the whole album.
From the joyous Marlene to the sheer despair of House on the hill, the tenderness of Jackie and Edna to the comic vision of Karate king.

Some whom I have known have found Kevin Coyne's flavours a little too strong for their musical taste buds,but those that have the palate for Kevin's unique style and tone have played this album for the last 30 years without ever sensing that it is any less fresh or any less relevant than the day it was first pressed.
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