This Original Album Series release contains ex-Soft Machine bassist Kevin Ayers' first five solo albums, which are (including my rating, out of 10):
Joy Of A Toy (1969) - 8/10 Shooting At The Moon (1970) - 6/10 Whatevershebringswesing (1971) - 8/10 Bananamour (1973) - 8/10 The Confessions Of Dr Dream & Other Stories (1974) - 6/10
You'll notice that I've awarded this five stars, yet the highest score I've given an individual album is 8/10. Well, the reason for that is that a collection of five albums from an extraordinarily talented musician and composer which offer quality psychedelic rock, folk, jazz, experimental avant garde and plenty of fun, whimsical nonsense for a low price? It's an incredible package of mind-opening music and, whilst I think some of it is hit and miss, as a whole it's really rather wonderful. If you go to each individual album on Amazon, you'll find my review for each recording. However, my advice to you if you're thinking about buying this five album collection then just do it and make up your own mind about the music when you experience it for yourself.
If you like Kevin Ayers then this box set is very good value. I already had the albums on vinyl but wanted the convenience of the tracks on CD. When you've cats around its not always safe to play vinyl! It's great to have them all in this convenient form. Each is in a replica (much reduced) sleeve although not gatefold as some of the originals were. It's difficult to read the details and no booklet is supplied which doesn't help newcomers to Kevin's work. That said, if you want the convenience of these, dare I say, classic albums then the value is brilliant and they do not take up much space on the shelf. Looking forward to more artists in the Original Album Series.
A 'must have' collection of early albums which perfectly epitomise what Kevin Ayers is all about. Quirky, languid ballads, rock tempo rifts and solos ... it's all here. Brilliantly encapsulates a time gone by but instantly returns at the flick of a switch. Great testimony to a largely misunderstood talent.
You really cannot go wrong with this 5 Cd set for the Price of 1 Cd set by Kevin Ayers. For the price is stunning and all of the 5 have had their sound remastered.
True there are no extra tracks which is a shame because there are a few kicking around like the Old Grey Whistle Test ones for example which would have been a wonderful bonus and added to the buyer's interest I believe.
However the remastered sound may be enough to entice anyone who alread may have a couple of Kevin Ayers Cds already.
On the other hand if you have then on vinyl and they are worn out or scratched then you really are on to a winner.
5CD set comes in a simple and easy to store Card case and all the CDS have the LP replica sleeves. The Cds are"Joy Of A Toy" (1969), "Shooting At The Moon" (1970), "Whatevershebringswesing" (1971), "Bananamour" (1973) and "The Confessions Of Dr Dream & Other Stories" (1974)
A steal at this price and they will become collectors items in a few years time?
PS Mr Chris Geezer Butler has been kind enough to tell me that "if you want extra tracks from this era from KA, the single cd issues have them."
He quite rightly says that 'the point is, these original album sets are just that, original albums." He also adds that
" if you can afford to be ten quid lighter in the pocket each month, sign up to Spotify, his extended albums are all there. Just stream from your device to your hi-fi, with one of the fine dacs that are on offer from here. The quality can be somewhat surprising."
Now whilst agree with his point that these are the original albums that is what we are buying. BUT. I have noticed in examining over 50 of similar sets that some have a couple of the albums remastered. Some have all the albums released in the remastered form and some have the remastered albums along with extra bonus tracks. For example look at the Jefferson Airplane reissues. Volunteers, one of the classic albums, for example has 3 extra tracks. The others in the 5 set the same. Now my point is this. If I had the older version of Volunteers and another one from the set is it worth seeking out the 3 I do not have or buy the whole 5 set, duplicating the 2 BUT getting the extra tracks and enhanced sound? I needed that information to make my choice. Amazon had not listed the tracks so I investigated and found them. I bought the 5 CD set and thought I'd pass on my knowledge and findings to others so that they could make an informed judgement without having to go through all my research.
So when I wrote the review I added the comment about no extra tracks and no remastering to inform the potential buyer. Of course I now see that some people read this as my being churlish. I suspect that that is why 3 people (at the time of writing) have said that my review was not helpful.
I'm not being churlish. The sets are amazing value and a great way to get 5 classic albums.
While Kevin Ayres may be an acquired taste, once connected the qualities of his music become clear. This collection contains some of his best albums and is a great way of getting your hands on an excellent collection.
I first got to grips with Kevin Ayers in the early 70s, I saw him live with `The Whole World', I was captivated by his bass playing, and the musicians he had gathered around him were, I thought brilliant. I was aware of his roots, `Wild Flowers' and `Soft Machine'. I was never a great Soft Machine fan but Kevin Ayers pressed my buttons. I have all these albums on Vinyl and for those who are lucky enough to be in that boat will know how great those album sleeves were, for me that is the only let down, you get a very basic package, but the music makes up for that and more, the sound quality is superb and for value this is second to non. For me this is a truly great package.