CD White Bicycles: Making Music In The 1960s-The Joe Boyd Sotry (CD 1267670),
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White Bicycles: Making Music In The 1960s-The Joe Boyd Sotry

  • 1. Crossroads - Eric Clapton & The Powerhouse
    2. Way Back in the 1960s - The Incredible String Band
    3. Because It Wouldn't Pay - Johnny Handle
    4. Spanish Ladies Medley - Dave Swarbrick/Martin Carthy/Diz Disley
    5. Arnold Layne - Pink Floyd
    6. Granny Takes a Trip - Purple Gang
    7. She's Gone - Soft Machine
    8. If I Had a Ribbon Bow - Fairport Convention
    9. Seven Yellow Gypsies - Shirley Collins
    10. Chinese White - The Incredible String Band
    11. Autopsy - Fairport Convention
    12. Deserter, The - Fairport Convention
    13. Poor Boy - Nick Drake
    14. Sea, The - Fortheringay
    15. Flowers of the Forest - Mike Heron
    16. Come Wind Come Rain - Vashti Bunyan
    17. Primrose Hill - John & Beverley Martyn
    18. I Don't Mind - The New Nadir
    19. Church Mouse - Dudu Pukwana & Spear
    20. Andromeda - Chris McGregor & the Brotherhood of Breath
    21. Afraid - Nico
    22. Way to Blue - Nick Drake
    23. Brazil - Geoff & Maria Muldaur
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): FLED-3061

  • Credits

    This 23-song compilation, issued as a tie-in to producer Joe Boyd's autobiography of the same name, is sure to attract the attention of Richard Thompson fanatics, who will be drawn to the presence of the previously unissued "Church Mouse" by Dudu Pukwana & Spear; Thompson and Simon Nicol played with the African alto saxman on what was to be a major single release, but one that only made it out in South Africa, and only in partly finished form, as far as Boyd and the artist were concerned. Of course, those who love great guitar playing may also want to give a close listen to "Spanish Ladies Medley" by Dave Swarbrick, Martin Carthy, and Diz Disley, where the plucked instruments run thick and rich and reach into Django Reinhardt territory (and why does one get the feeling, listening to this, that if Reinhardt had lived Boyd would have gotten him in on this?). This is also the second major anthology release of 2006 to feature Vashti Bunyan, which must say something about her prominence in the pantheon of British folk artists of the 1960s, putting her alongside the Incredible String Band, Fotheringay, Fairport Convention, Shirley Collins, Nick Drake et al. -- not bad for a singer whose most visible and easily accessible piece of music 15 years ago was a fragment of an unreleased Immediate track on the soundtrack of the documentary Tonight Let's All Make Love in London. Not that this is remotely an all-folk collection -- it opens with the 1966-vintage recording of "Crossroads" by Eric Clapton & the Powerhouse, and also includes tracks by Pink Floyd ("Arnold Layne"), Soft Machine ("She's Gone"), and Nico ("Afraid").
    Boyd co-produced this collection, which touches on some of the key points of his career from several angles -- Pink Floyd's debut single, the recording of which got Boyd squeezed out of the business end of their success and off of their subsequent records, even though it was a hit; his venture into jug band music with the Purple Gang's "Granny Takes a Trip"; and the debut single by Fairport Convention, "If I Had a Ribbon Bow," to demonstrate how he and the band accommodated each other's differing approaches to music. From Fairport Convention's Unhalfbricking album -- they had truly started working on all cylinders at this point but the album's material was obliterated from their stage work by the road accident that killed their drummer soon after its completion -- comes the trauma of "Autopsy," followed by "The Deserter," representing the band's new peak achieved on Liege & Lief. The blind alleys and not fully realized pieces are also worth hearing, and not just because they're previously unissued. "I Don't Mind" by Ed Carter and Mike Kowalski -- two members of the Beach Boys' touring band who chose to stay behind in England after a tour there -- is a good example of bluesy, folky progressive guitar-dominated rock with some powerful jazz elements; one wonders, if they'd been able to muster a full album, what these guys might have done both in and to music in 1969-1970. "Church Mouse" by Dudu Pukwana & Spear is worth it, whatever the producer's reservations, Thompson and Nicol's guitars adding some charming embellishment to the sax and trumpet. It all ends on a nicely, zanily bizarre note with the Geoff & Maria Muldaur recording of "Brazil," the old musical chestnut best known for its use in a pair of movies, 1943's The Gang's All Here (in which it first appeared) and Terry Gilliam's Brazil in 1985. The sound is superb throughout, and the annotation by Boyd is nicely personal and enlightening. Indeed, after hearing the CD, you will likely want a copy of the book as well. ~ Bruce Eder

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