KEVIN AYERS – 3 albums (1969-1974)
Years ago, order when I was in my heavy phase of being a nonstop Eno and Nico fan, information pills I came across a live album called “June 1, 1974″, which documented a show featuring them alongside John Cale — and some dude named Kevin Ayers I’d never heard of before. Ayers easily steals the show with his track “Shouting In A Bucket Blues”, which I loved, but for some reason, I’d filed his name away in my mental Rolodex, and bothered to explore his work only recently, which, I’m glad to say, is superb.
Think heavy doses of John Cale and the avant-garde leanings of the Canterbury Scene era (with bands such as Genesis, Gong, and the band that Ayers himself helped form, The Soft Machine), occasionally mixed with the more introspective moments of the Stones. Allmusic sez:
Kevin Ayers is one of rock’s oddest and more likable enigmas, even if often he’s seemed not to operate at his highest potential. Perhaps that’s because he’s never seemed to have taken his music too seriously — one of his essential charms and most aggravating limitations. Since the late ’60s, he’s released many albums with a distinctly British sensibility, making ordinary lyrical subjects seem extraordinary with his rich low vocals, inventive wordplay, and bemused, relaxed attitude. Apt to flavor his songs with female backup choruses and exotic island rhythms, the singer/songwriter inspires the image of a sort of progressive rock beach bum, writing about life’s absurdities with a celebratory, relaxed detachment. Yet he is also one of progressive rock’s more important (and more humane) innovators, helping to launch the Soft Machine as their original bassist, and working with noted European progressive musicians like Mike Oldfield, Lol Coxhill, and Steve Hillage.
The three albums below are all packed with moments of true greatness. The one downside to these downloads, however, is that each album is a single MP3, with no song breaks. That should, however, be no deterrent.
The first two are his first album releases, “Joy Of A Toy” and “Shooting At The Moon”, which find Ayers delighting in whimsy and occasional awesome lapses into challenging prog territory. The last download, “The Confessions of Dr. Dream”, is from four years past the others, and has a slicker, slightly more commercial appeal.
Kevin Ayres – “Joy Of A Toy”, 1969 (MP3, whole album)
Kevin Ayres – “Shooting At The Moon”, 1970 (MP3, whole album)
Kevin Ayres – “The Confessions of Dr. Dream and Other Stories”, 1974 (MP3, whole album)