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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Kevin Ayers - Joy of a Toy

Soft Machine's Kevin Ayers wanted to do a solo career after he left the band in 1969. He wanted to take the concept of the solo material a little further with weird lyrics, folk music, and add a bit of Mike Rateledge's fuzztone leslie hammond organ and out comes Kevin's 1st solo album, Joy of a Toy. This is a true extraordinary album to come out during that time period because he decided after his departure from the group, he wanted to take his first solo album a bit of like a Canterbury version of The Wind in the Willows meet Alice in Wonderland. And Kevin did! Joy is one of those albums that you will play forever. Songs like the mellotron-ragtime number 'The Clairetta Rag', is a perfect song that has Kevin singing about the girl next door to his house, The Syd Barrett and bizarre track in 3/4 'Oleh Oleh Bandu Bandong' has everybody chanting the words like a cult surrounding the temple, including the drums keeping the tempo going, and Avant-Garde noises from the piano, the loco-motive chugging sing-along on 'Stop This Train (Again Doing It)' and the dreams of a young girl into the darkness for 'The Lady Rachel (Lullabye for Children)'. The Bonus tracks on this album, are the ultimate catch for this album for the Canterbury singer-songwriter. You have the lost session with Kev's friend Syd Barrett of Pink Floyd fame doing a guest appearance on guitar on the catchy 'Religious Experience (Singing a Song in the Morning)'which is brilliantly good and of course the lyrics which goes 'Singing A Song in the Morning/Singing it again at night/Don't even know what I'm singing about/ But it makes now feel I feel alright.' The next is the fuzztone altercation of the Soft Machine's earlier take of Ayers 'We Know What you Mean' and turning into 'Soon Soon Soon', and the darker versions with Organs and candles with 'The Lady Rachel' in two different version in a Mono sound and a Single Version also. I have listened to Joy of a Toy for the second time now and it's one of the best and superb albums that Kevin released and he brought the kicks to a higher level. And we know what you mean, We Know What you See, and we completely understand Kev!

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