Wednesday, June 03, 2009

not new music wednesdays

Kevin Ayers - Whatevershebringswesing (1971, Harvest)

Yesterday was the 35th anniversary of the big June 1, 1974 extravaganza at London's Rainbow Theatre featuring Kevin Ayers, Nico, Eno and John Cale, and I had originally planned to feature the live album that was recorded that night. Several years had passed since I had last heard the album, so I gave it a few spins. Unfortunately, I found the record to be pretty damn boring. The song selection isn't bad, and the musicians are certainly in fine form, but the versions presented seem a little lackluster to me. Fans of Eno may want to check it out based solely on the fact that so few documents of his live performances exist.

Half of the songs on the June 1, 1974 record are from Kevin Ayers' solo records, so I'll (partially) stick with my original intention and present his second solo album. Whatevershebringswesing is one of the more focused efforts in the Ayers catalog and arguably his best solo record; not only was he just hitting his peak as a songwriter, he managed to surround himself with a supporting cast that included a teenage Mike 'Tubular Bells' Oldfield and old Soft Machine bandmate Robert Wyatt.

Kevin Ayers released one more truly great album, 1973's Bananamour, before becoming more concerned with wine, bananas(?), and lounging on the beach. It's almost like he turned into the Canterbury scene's Jimmy Buffet.


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