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)

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726 Responses to KEVIN AYERS

  1. Rob says:

    Thanks again. I came across Kevin Ayres like you through the 1974 Nico+Eno album… I managed to find a copy of Shooting At The Moon at the music exchange and it’s become a favourite. I will grab the Joy Of A Toy album asap. Cheers.

  2. sean says:

    “Lady Rachael ” is one of my favorite songs of all-time. Good post.

  3. bcr says:

    wowza! thanx for sharing these.. i’ve always been interested in hearing more kevin ayers ever since i’d heard the soft machine.. and also the aformentioned nico, eno, et al jam. i ended up delving into robert wyatt’s wonderful world first though… looking forward to these!

  4. goma soma III says:

    Hey, heavy security to leave a comment…
    Anyway just want to say muchos gracias for the 3 Kevin Ayres albums you posted. I recently bought the remastered cd of Joy of a Toy and found your vinyl burns a much warmer deeper sound( ok a few crackles, but who cares..) Keep up the good work.
    Any more Harvest/Island stuff?

  5. huhu says:

    ok, here’s joy of a toy in split tracks

  6. J Thyme says:

    I was pleasantly surprised to discover “Joy Of A Toy” some 20 years after being an Eno fan. It’s amazing how much of an influence he was on early Eno. ” Joy Of A Toy” being released some 4 years before “Here Come The Warm Jets”.

  7. J Thyme says:

    I really like your page. I super enjoy the film meets music aspect of your site. I have a curio that I think you & your listeners might enjoy. About 5 years ago I was listening to Charlie Lewis over @ WFMU & rummaging through his archives & I put together a nice 50 song comp devoted to the kind of scatter-shot DJ-ing going on over @ WFMU. May I share the first volume of 25 tracks with your page? I think you might enjoy it.