Overblog Suivre ce blog
Editer l'article Administration Créer mon blog

Publié par Moicani - L'Odéonie

 

Bill Fay is a UK based singer, songwriter and pianist. He began writing songs in the early 1960s while studying at university and in 1966 cut a demo using the mobile studio of a chap named John Boden. Impressed by the demo, ex-Them drummer Terry Noon helped Bill Fay to sign a recording contract with Decca. 

Between 1967 and 1971 the label released a beautifully odd single (“Some Good Advice”/”Screams In The Ears”) and two excellent albums (the lush, orchestrated Bill Fay and the rawer Time Of The Last Persecution). Unfortunately these recordings did not sell well and Decca decided to end Bill’s contract shortly after the release of Time Of The Last Persecution. 

Bill Fay returned to the studio in the late 1970s to cut a third album, which finally emerged in January 2005 on Durtro/Jnana records (entitled Tomorrow Tomorrow & Tomorrow). In 2004 Wooden Hill records released From The Bottom Of An Old Grandfather Clock- a beautiful collection of demos recorded between 1966 and 1970 (plus one recorded in 2000)

 

BILL FAY AUJOURD'HUI

 

JEFF TWEEDY & BILL FAY

 

 

NOUVEL ALBUM MAGNIFIQUE  ENREGISTRE A DOMICILE  APRES 34 ANS D'ABSENCE

Bill Fay Still Some LightFolk-Rock américain / 2010. Bill Fay est une anomalie temporelle, un type qui sort deux albums sur la fin des années 60 puis qui disparaît de la circulation. Les avis de recherche se multiplient mais l’homme reste introuvable. Son deuxième album « Time of the Last Persecution » devient une sorte de manifeste annonciateur d’un futur assombri et les suppositions les plus folles commencent à circuler. A-t-il été assassiné par un fan enragé de Bob Dylan ? A-t-on retrouvé sa dépouille derrière un bar malfamé ? A-t-il fuit vers des territoires plus cléments où sa musique serait considérée à sa juste valeur ? Les plus fous prétendaient alors que Bill Fay avait découvert un trou noir et avait fait un bon dans le temps. Oui les plus fous pensaient que Bill Fay reviendrait dans le futur à une époque où le folk-rock intransigeant serait redevenu une denrée rare. Oui Bill Fay reviendrait et il régnerait en maître.

Gloire à ce monde où la parole des illuminés est parole divine. Après 34 ans d’absence,Bill Fay réapparut effectivement en 2004 avec le touchant « From the Bottom of an Old Grandfather Clock ». Sollicité et acclamé par Jim O'Rourke, Wilco et surtout David Tibet (dont le label the Coptic Cat publie aujourd’hui ce « Still Some Light »), l’homme est revenu d’une utopie sixties dont la non résolution avait bien failli le tuer. « Time of the Last Persecution » est d’ailleurs devenue une reprise récurrente au sein des lives deCurrent 93, une belle prévision du retour de l’apocalypse.

« Still Some Light » se découpe en deux partie : le deuxième CD comporte l’intégralité de la nouvelle œuvre de Bill Fay, une œuvre de 26 titres à fleur de peau qui recèlent de pépites intemporelles, alors que le premier CD « Piano, Guitar, Bass & Drums » compile des enregistrements de 1970 et 1971.

Sur « Piano, Guitar, Bass & Drums », on retrouve des torrents d’électricité où le guitariste Ray Russell torture sa six cordes et trouve sa propre voie (« I will find my own way back ») et des démos qui n’ont pas besoin de production pour faire revivre mille souvenirs (« Laughing man »). Que de grandes chansons qui dormaient injustement au fond de placards en forme de coffres à trésors (« Inside the keeper’s pantry »).

A ce stade là on ne sait déjà même plus qui des deux disques est le plus important. «Still Some Light », le nouvel album à proprement dit, a été enregistré en home studio selon un processus d’écriture mysantropique qui semble aujourd’hui indissociable de la nature de son auteur.

Bill Fay revient littéralement d’un monde où les écorchés vifs se battent tous les jours avec eux même, et le retour à la réalité n’en est que plus poignant (« My eyes open »). Les larmes coulent (« Long way from Tipperary »), et les ballades douces-amères laissent réveur (« Time to wake up now »). On imagine l’air pensif l’homme entrain de composer seul dans une petite chambre des hymnes nationaux internes faisant de lui un incroyable pont entre Bob Dylan, Tim Bucley, Nick Drake et David Ackless.

Après une si longue absence, l’homme a trop de sentiments à évacuer, trop de tension en lui. Les émotions sortent comme elles sortent, parfois sans calcul, parfois sans retenue. Il arrive ainsi inévitablement à Bill Fay de ne plus savoir faire la part entre l’essentiel et le superflu, et ce serait vraiment vous mentir que chacun des 26 titres amène son lot de remise en question sensorielle. Effectivement « War machine » tire sur la corde, « Road of hope » a l’utopie facile, « Jericho Road » se perd dans des labyrinthes elfiques et « City Of Dreams » manque de songwriting.

« Still Some Light » est album complètement corrélé à la réalité humaine de son créateur. A chaque instant, on sent combien Bill Fay a accumulé de choses à dire et combien il a envie de dire tout et tout de suite. Peu importe que certains titres soient à peine finis (« God give them rest »), l’homme préfère brûler toutes ses cartouches dès maintenant, plutôt que de laisser mûrir ses idées. On ne vit que dans l’instantanéité du moment. Tout risque de disparaître demain, et c’est maintenant ou jamais (« I wonder »). Bill Fay y écrit souvent des chansons qui n’ont pas d’autres intentions que de le sauver lui-même (« Solace flies in »).

Au final, et bien qu’il s’agisse indubitablement d’un must-have, « Still Some Light » souffre d’une incompréhension permanente, tant on ne sait pas qui est censé avoir le lead entre le CD1 et le CD2, d’un côté l’éternité de l’autre une nouvelle profession de foi. Qui est le soutien de l’autre ? Qui est le supplément ? Qui est le coeur ? Pour ma part je ne peux m’empêcher de trouver une intensité bien supérieure dans les enregistrements du début des seventies. Oui en comparant des chansons à iso-périmètre comme « Sing us one of your songs May » et « Hello Old Tree » je me sens irrémédiablement plus attiré par le passé.

Benjamin F

www.playlistsociety.fr

 

Uncut.co.uk - Music and Movies with something to say

 

Bill Fay: "Still Some Light"

Early days with this Bill Fay CD as yet, and I can’t help thinking that two or three listens is in no way enough to get an angle on, what, 43 songs spread across two CDs. “Still Some Light” consists of a bunch of full band demos from 1970-71, plus a home album (“Still Some Light” itself) recorded last year.

Continued...

Time moves slowly in these parts: Fay’s first single came out in 1967, eventually followed by two remarkable albums, “Bill Fay” and “Time Of The Last Persecution”, in 1970 and ’71. A collection of songs from the late ‘70s, “Tomorrow, Tomorrow & Tomorrow”, surfaced in 2005, and that’s more or less it. Fay was last spotted onstage with Wilco, helping out on a cover of his own “Be Not So Fearful” in London in 2007. For a supposed rock recluse, however, he can be pretty forthcoming, not least in ringing up every now and again for a chat and to offer heartfelt thanks for some passing mention.

That humility is writ large on “Still Some Light”, with a CD booklet that includes a lengthy piece by Fay that starts as a handwritten autobiography and ends up as an epic thankyou note, embracing everyone from his family down to a bunch of admiring music critics. The modesty is undoubtedly genuine, but a tad unnecessary: it wouldn’t be much of a stretch to call Bill Fay one of the most undervalued British singer-songwriters of the past 40-odd years – as many of those lucky enough to have heard his music will probably testify.

All that said, for an artist that often seems self-contained, hermetic even, in the way he appears in his music, much of Fay’s work has been illuminated by a vivid series of collaboration, notably with two mighty guitarists, Ray Russell and Gary Smith. The first CD here is subtitled “Piano, Guitar, Bass & Drums 1970-71”, and the demos include a good few songs that turned up on Fay’s first two albums – great songs, like “Time Of The Last Persecution”, “Tell It Like It Is” and “Pictures Of Adolf Again”, as well as the amazing “Love Is The Tune”, which fetched up on “Tomorrow, Tomorrow & Tomorrow”.

What’s often most striking on these sessions, though, isn’t so much the fine songs, but the playing – chiefly Ray Russell’s rearing, snarling guitar, even more untethered than on “Time Of The Last Persecution”, which gives even the most introverted pastorals an unlikely visceral heft. On Fay’s debut album, “The Sun Is Bored” is an orchestral melodrama, but in this version, it’s reconfigured in a gnarled, raw way which might be even more arresting.

That kind of dynamic is generally missing from the wealth of new songs that constitute CD2 of the “Still Some Light” package. Recorded at home on an electronic keyboard, it’s a purposefully small-scale affair; a collection of very short, often prayer-like songs that continues Fay’s preoccupations with faith, the barbarism and futility of war and so on, but which seem infused with a greater peacefulness. There’s a strong feeling here of beatific contemplation, of Fay being reconciled to the iniquities of existence and being able to see through the clouds more clearly – hence the title, “Still Some Light”.

Initially, I do miss the tensions and power of Fay’s previous bands. For a good while there was some discussion of a studio hook-up with Wilco: both Fay and Jeff Tweedyadmitted as much to me, separately, with Fay seeing Nels Cline as very much a fitting heir to Russell and Smith at his side. These songs have a cumulative impact, a rolling prayer cycle of minuscule melodic shifts, with Fay’s cracked, hushed and humane voice still ripe with character over some occasionally bland musical settings, which at best recall a home-baked equivalent to the last two Leonard Cohen albums.

The opening “My Eyes Open”, where Fay essentially places a vocal track over an existing piece by Michael Cashmoreof Current 93, gives a good indication of what could be done; a calm chamber setting which it’s hard to believe could’ve existed in isolation, so discreetly and effectively does it complement the vocal. But slowly, the individual qualities of these songs – “Here Beneath The Veil”, “City Of Dreams”, “Solace Flies In”, for a start – start to emerge. Hopefully, Fay will find a chance to do them full justice with an expanded lineup; it’s hard to imagine, given his past record, that they’ll lose any of their intimacy and potency in the process.

John Mulvey

 

 

 

 

 

Ce n'était pas faire justice à Bill Fay que de le comparer à Bob Dylan, pour son premier disque paru en 1970. D’ailleurs, "Bill Fay" ne s'est pas bien vendu, très sombre malgré un enrobage symphonique qui masque mal la tempête faisant rage sous son crâne.

"Bill Fay" déploie une étonnante variété d’arrangements, surtout après un premier et fier single "Scream in the ears" tout en piano conquérant et énergie ramassée (ici en titre bonus). On serait presque tenté de voir un hors-sujet dans les trompettes et le tapis de guitares acoustiques sur "We want you to stay", qui évoque les sucreries de Burt Bacharach - comme si on n’avait pas su par quel bout prendre les chansons de Bill. Plus loin, du clavecin et des flûtes pop baroque sur "Narrow way". Mais partout, la voix de Fay porte une fêlure qui contamine les cordes et les orchestrations : la guitare déréglée qui surplombe les crescendos à la Scott Walker de "The sun is bored" ouvre la brèche à un poison qui se répandra de manière encore plus évidente sur "Time of the last persecution" (second Lp, 1971). L’époque a aussi une part de responsabilité : la fin du bucolique rêve sixties ("Methane river") et le Viêt-Nam peut-être (bien que Bill Fay soit anglais), avec trois titres successifs sur lesquels s'invite le thème de la guerre ("We have laid here", "Sing us one of your songs May" avec des roulements de tambour-major en  intro, puis "Gentle Willie").

Même si "Be not so fearful" (reprise récemment par Wilco) se veut rassurante, "Bill Fay" est un champ de bataille, à l'issue toujours indécise aujourd'hui.Jérôme Fiori

 

Logo telerama.fr

 

Les tiroirs de l'histoire pop sont pleins de ratés. Parfois certains réussissent à sortir et ils sont magnifiques. C'est trop tard pour la carrière, pas forcément pour le culte. Il y a tous les jours des coups de pied au culte qui se perdent mais le cas Bill Fay mérite quelque chose. Pas une chapelle ardente (il n'est pas mort), plutôt une cabane au fond du jardin. Avec un harmonium fêlé, un râteau pour les feuilles mortes. Il a été jardinier, Bill Fay, à ses heures. Son papa dessinait des portes de jardin, et des monumentales. On en voit un exemple au dos du livret du CD From the bottom of an old grandfather clock. Son meilleur disque. 

Mieux que Bill Fay (1970), trop arrangé. Beaucoup mieux que Time of the last persecution (1971), suicidaire. Le garçon qui pianotait des jolis trucs bizarres en 1967 (et semblait marcher sur l'eau en couverture du premier album) se retrouvait trois ans après, barbu comme Bakounine, à ruminer sur Jésus et Hitler. Bill Fay n'a pas appliqué le principe de Beckett. Il a raté pire. Malchance, mauvais timing, karma déficient… Ce qui est sorti n'a pas marché, fut à peine entendu, et le meilleur n'était pas sorti : le chapelet de démos cristallines que contient l'album sus-cité, où il pose en noir et blanc, avec papa. Bon fils sapé classique, un peu voûté. 

Est-ce qu'on voit le grain sur son visage anglais encore rond ? Doris comes todayest une de ces perles pêchées sans y penser. Une chanson sur sa prof de piano (la Promenade de Chopin, Satie…). Doris va venir, comme Joey chez Nick Drake. Bizarre et joli, qui les a mieux dosés ? Kevin Ayers extrait de sa théière, ou Syd Barrett embrumé de mauve avec un Pink Floyd balbutiant ? Doris a une sœur jumelle, Camille. Même tremblé rêveur, même air de maison hantée. Au son du clavecin on dirait les Two Sisters de Ray Davies. Tout ça bricolé en attendant l'album qui viendrait trop tard. Qui n'a pas cru en Bill Fay ? Qu'est-ce qu'ils foutaient, chez Deram ?

A suivre

François Gorin

 

 

 

Logo telerama.fr

 

Me suis-je bien fait comprendre ? From the bottom of an old grandfather clock est l'album fantôme de Bill Fay, celui qui ramasse les restes et en fait un festin. Le petit label Wooden Hill l'a sorti après l'exhumation des deux autres, mais comme ceux-ci avaient à peine existé, ils ont le même teint spectral que l'autre. Pas mal de chansons de Bill Fay sont en petite tenue sur Grandfather clock et ça leur va très bien.

Je ferais une exception pour Sing us one of your songs, May. Petite marche funèbre, ode réconfortante pour femme éplorée. A-t-elle perdu son homme, son fils ? Il n'avait que 23 ans. Il est mort pour son pays. Il est allé au paradis. C'était la guerre ? On dit qu'il a été courageux. Ça dure deux minutes avec trois accords de piano. Bill a sa voix calme et légèrement détachée. Pas la tristesse de The Room, une histoire de pauv' junkie sur une trame à la Zombies (Odessey and Oracle).Inconnu de tous temps, celui de ses chansons échouées comme celui de leur fragile retour, Bill Fay supporte une fatalité accessoire : pour parler de lui, on en appelle d'autres. Autant y aller fort : quand il n'est pas occupé à imiter Dylan, notre ami tombe toujours quelque part entre Lennon et McCartney. Les mélodies siffloteuses de Maudy la lune ou Strangers in the fields, c'est du « mccartnysme » éclairé, où l'auteur siphonne sourire en coin les nectars du modèle. Sing us one of your songs, May est du côté pas trop obscur de Lennon.

On ne peut pas en dire autant des digressions paranoïaques qui plombent Last Persecution. Lennon savait ainsi trousser une vraie chanson à partir de trois fois rien, une phrase chantonnée, trois mots répétés, un gimmick. De l'art minimal. Mais pourquoi personne ne s'est donc aperçu du talent de ton fichu Bill Fay ?, s'exaspère l'incrédule. Allons, si le talent seul décidait, ça se saurait. Il en faut d'autres et plus encore. Sinon les tiroirs seraient vides (ou pleins de croûtes) et leurs fouineurs déçus.

François Gorin

 

 

 

 

 

Uncut.co.uk - Music and Movies with something to say

 

Some Bill Fay News. . .

Just a quick bit of news to pass on. Bill Fay phoned up an hour or so ago, as he does from time to time, to let us know that he's preparing a new reissue of his two classic albums - this time with a bonus disc of unreleased material.

Continued...

"Bill Fay" and "Time Of The Last Persecution" look like they're going to be released together by David Tibet's estimable Durtro label in the spring, with all profits - at Bill's behest - going to Medecins Sans Frontieres.

For those of us who already have those incredible records - and I've alluded to my love for Fay here before, when he played with Wilco in London last year - the bonus disc looks intriguing. According to Bill, his old bandmates have unearthed a bunch of sessions from the same 1971-ish period as "Time Of The Last Persecution", with alternate versions (including a take on one of the stand-outs from Fay's debut album, "The Sun Is Bored") and some previously unreleased songs.

The last music we've heard from Bill, "Tomorrow, Tomorrow & Tomorrow", came out in 2005, though it was recorded about 25 years earlier. Now, it seems there'll finally be the opportunity to hear what he's been up to in the interim, since he reckons the bonus disc will also include some home recordings from the past few years.

When he sends me some music, I'll let you know. Can't wait, to be honest.

John Mulvey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be Not So Fearful” 

Be not so nervous, be not so frail
Someone watches you, you will not fail
Be not so nervous, be not so frail
Be not so nervous, be not so frail

Be not so sorry for what you’ve done
You must forget them now, it’s done
And when you wake up you will find you can run
Be not so sorry for what you’ve done

Be not so fearful, be not so pale
Someone watches you, you will not leave the rails
Be not so fearful, be not so pale
Be not so fearful, be not so pale

Be not so sorry for what you’ve done
You must forget them now, it’s done
And when you wake up you will find you can run
Be not so sorry for what you’ve done

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sing Us One Of Your Songs, May” 

Sing us one of your songs, May
The ones you know so well
Sing us one of your songs, May
You know we love you well
Dry the tears from your eyes, May
What’s it gonna be?
For you know he’s gone to heaven, May
Though he was only 23

They say he was a brave one, May
And we all here agree
There never was a finer one, May
That died for his country

Sing us one of your songs, May
The ones you know so well
Sing us one of your songs, May
You know we love you well
Dry the tears from your eyes, May
What’s it gonna be?
For you know he’s gone to heaven, May
Though he was only 23

They say he was a brave one, May
And we all here agree
There never was a finer one, May
That died for his country

Sing us one of your songs, May

 

 

 

 

DISCOGRAPHIE

 

 

 

Albums:

1) Bill Fay (Deram Nova SDN 12) 1970
2) Time Of The Last Persecution (Deram SML 1079) 1971
3) Tomorrow Tomorrow And Tomorrow (Durtro Jnana 1976CD) 2005

Bill FayTime Of The Last PersecutionTomorrow Tomorrow And Tomorrow


Single:

1) “Some Good Advice”/“Screams In The Ears” (Deram DM 143) 1967

Some Good AdviceScreams In The Ears

 


Compilations:

1) Bill Fay/Time Of The Last Persecution…Plus (See For Miles SEECD499) 1998
2) From The Bottom Of An Old Grandfather Clock (Wooden Hill WHCD012) 2004

Bill Fay/Time Of The Last Persecution...PlusFrom The Bottom Of An Old Grandfather Clock


Reissues:

1) Bill Fay (Eclectic ECLCD1022) 2005
2) Time Of The Last Persecution (Eclectic ECLCD1023) 2005


Additional compilation appearances:

1) “Be Not So Fearful” on Nova Sampler (Deram SPA 72) 1970
2) “Some Good Advice” on Deram Dayze (Decal LIK 9) 1987
3) “Screams In The Ears” on Fading Yellow (Flower Machine FMLP 1001) 1995
4) “Screams In The Ears and “Some Good Advice” on Psychedalia- Rare Blooms From The English Summer Of Love (See For Miles SEECD 463) 1996
5) “Garden Song”, “The Sun Is Bored” and “The Room” on Nice- An Anthology Of Peter Eden Productions (Tenth Planet TP045) 1999
6) “Screams In The Ears” on Mojo- Acid Drops, Spacedust and Flying Saucers (EMI 5350782) 2001
7) “Screams In The Ears” on Legend of a Mind: The Underground Anthology (Decca 5857832) 2003
8) “It’s The Small Things Now” on Not Alone (Durtro Jnana 1963CD) 2006

Psychedelia- Rare Blooms From The English Summer Of LoveNice- An Anthology Of Peter Eden ProductionsMojo- Acid Drops, Spacedust and Flying SaucersLegend of a Mind: The Underground Anthology

 

 

 

Songwriter Bill Fay's self-titled debut album was issued on Decca in the aftermath of his "Some Good Advice"/ "Screams in the Ears" single in 1970. It is a startling but uneven collection of unusual folk-pop songs that stand the test of time for their idiosyncratic vision and unique, if at times overblown, nearly Baroque arrangements by Mike Gibbs. The album sold poorly, but well enough for the label to invest in a further offering, the stripped-down Time of the Last Persecution issued in 1971, before releasing him from his contract. Bill Fay is very much a product of its time; more lushly orchestrated than Nick Drake's Bryter Layter, it was recorded in one day. Gibbs had taken a cassette of Fay's demos of the songs and worked on them for a few weeks beforehand, showing up to meet the songwriter in the studio on the day of recording with a 27-piece orchestra. The small band that backed FayRay Russell and drummer John Marshall. This was Gibbs' first set of arrangements for a full album, and it shows. Fay's songs are delicate, spiritually dense, and searching -- particularly the searing "Garden Song" and the sprawling "The Room." Gibbs' use of brass and strings can sometimes overshadow the stark, personal intimacy of these songs, with their arcane lyrics and elementary melodies. But it's a small complaint because of the striking originality of Fay's vision. "Good Night Stan," with its jazzed-up horn charts, stands in marked contrast to Fay's minor-key minimalist melody, and the juxtaposition is a poignant one. "Cannons Plain" is a poetic exhortation to an unnamed other. The phrasing melds folk and Anglicized country as Gibbs winds up the horns in the center of the song, turning it into an arrangement that would be fitting on Richard Harris' A Tramp Shining had Townes Van Zandt been British; another case in point is "Be Not So Fearful." Fay's unusual lyric schemes and canny spiritual insights have been chided in the past for their pretension, but 35 years later they sound fresh, innocent, mysterious, and compelling. The Eclectic Discs reissue is fully remastered from the original tapes and includes the aforementioned first single as a bonus. The package contains complete notes written by Fay as well as photos and lyrics. While Time of the Last Persecution is Fay's mythic "classic" album, this outing is essential for anyone interested in the British folk-pop songwriting scene of the time. ~ Thom Jurek, All Music Guide

 

 

click to zoom

 

Time of the Last Persecution is Bill Fay's second and last album for Decca. Released in 1971, it has attained nearly mythic status due to its unavailability for the better part of 30 years. Internet legends have touted that Fay went off the ledge of paranoia because of substance and psychic breakdown -- all of it's nonsense. This new edition on the U.K.'s Eclectic label has been wonderfully remastered and contains copious notes by Fay, who dispels falsities and offers a clear view of the LP's origins and processes. He wrote much of Time of the Last Persecution as a visceral and spiritual response to the slaying of four students at the hands of National Guardsmen at Kent State University in Ohio on May 4, 1970. Other inspirations include his conversations with producer/guitarist Ray RussellFay, the record was a reflection on the end of the 1960s and an emerging darker era. It was a clarion call about transition, yet it was also intended to impart some hope. Sonically, Time of the Last Persecution stands in stark contrast to its self-titled predecessor. Gone are Mike Gibbs' Baroque arrangements and the 27-piece orchestra, but similarly, it was recorded in a single day. The band featured Fay on piano and a small group Russell worked with, including drummer Alan Rushton and bassist Darryl Runswick. Trombonist Nick Evans was part of the three-piece horn section. The intensity of mood on the album remains some 34 years later. Electric guitars and piano usher in the opener, "Omega Day." Ghostly characters from the past and present emerge; they slip in and out of the mix prophesying, philosophizing, and reflecting. On "Inside the Keeper's Pantry," Russell's razored guitar forces the otherwise droning, lilting ballad over the edge into something brooding and foreboding. The horns that frame "Release Is in the Eye" ground Fay's piano and vocal with distorted fills by Russell: "...Moon is over the water/Business in the boom/The clouds are in the thousand mountains/A silence tree grows/The vacancy chair/'Cause I've had my share...." Russell goes outside in the instrumental break, building tension without ever releasing it as the song ends. But there are gorgeous melancholy ballads here as well, including "Laughing Man," "Don't Let My Marigolds Die," and "Tell It Like It Is." The easy singer/songwriter rock of "Plan D" and "I Hear You Calling" is offset by Fay's words. The title track, with its sorrowful cello, foreshadows the tautness of the broken emotions in the narrative. It feels like a warning offered by a half-mad street urchin in a Dickens novel. The closer, "Let All the Other Teddies Know," is sweetened by Tony Roberts' flute and Rushton's canny tom-tom work. It's a bittersweet ode to the world becoming unhinged: "Be ready Teddy/Don't let the shadows get me/And be ready, Teddy/For when the cupboard explodes/And don't cry Teddy/For there's someone to turn to/And Teddy, let all the other Teddies know...." Russell's guitar opens the cage door and wails his way manically through to the end. It's a chilling sendoff, one that allows new listeners some cautious empathy with those who saddled Time of the Last Persecution with the weight of a myth. True, it's a dark tome, but it's not without its glimmers. Most importantly, the music here has stood the test of time; it bears repeated listening and proves instructive and inspiring; it also offers a view of Fay as an overlooked yet gifted visionary and songwriter. ~ Thom Jurek, All Music Guide 

 

 

 

K. H. Orton (New York, NY USA):
I bought this on a whim. Being a huge Nick Drake fan, I was hoping for another shadowy genius in a garret. And I suppose he is. Though, what I heard was more like SGT PEPPERS on downers.

Though these are demos & outtakes, the sound quality is alot better than expected. This is amazing stuff. Imagine The Beatles & a sort of British answer to Leonard Cohen all rolled into one. Yet, his songs have their own unique style that truely sets them apart. While he displays the ability to write a catchy commercial hook, his lyrics often touch on the maudlin & at times the surreal. A name like Syd Barrett comes close if you need comparison.

"Brighton Beach" is a bleak tale of suicide. "We Want You To Stay" & "Just Another Song" borrow from the English Musical Hall tradition. Only darker than Sgt. Pepper's & far less didactic than The Kinks at the time. "Camille" brings Blanche Dubois to mind, being carted off at the end of Tennessee Williams' Streetcar Named Desire.

The melancholy anthem, "Be Not So Fearful" could be his signature tune. Apparently Wilco has even done a cover. Based on what I hear on this, I'm loathe to seek it out. Easily one of the most moving tracks on the album. "The Sun Is Bored" preceeds Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon by 10 years or so & Fay's infectious sense of melody comes to a fore on "Morning Train".

In general, the songs live up to haunting titles like, "Strangers In The Feilds". From 1st to last, this a stunning find. Well worth any import price. Indispensible for any Psyche/Folk fans out there. Personally, I am blown away by this. If hard pressed to name a favorite tune, I suppose, its "Maudie La Lune".

Suffice it to say, Fay's relative obscurity has awarded him fabled cult status. Being dubbed British Pop's answer to J.D. Salinger by MOJO magazine doesn't hurt either. But epitaphs like "doomed romantic", "tragic fate" & "disappeared" simply don't apply. Take one listen & words like "genius" just might.

Eventhough Fay's 1971 debut masterpiece & the bleak follow up, TIME OF THE PERSECUTION are now back in print, I still heartily recommend this. Though there's some song overlap, don't pass this up. There's too much amazing stuff on here you won't hear any where else. At this point, I rank this up there as one of my favorite albums.

 

BILL FAY AUJOURD'HUI

 

 

 

http://www.billfay.co.uk/

Commenter cet article