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Various Artists (Label Samplers) - V - Virgin Sampler CD (album) cover


Various Artists (Label Samplers)


Various Genres

3.69 | 7 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars I don't believe this double album has ever been released on CD, but I have fond memories of the time when it appeared (1975), since this must have been just about the last time Virgin Records could pass themselves off as one of Britain's prime prog labels.

Just look at all the stuff that's included here! Henry Cow, Slapp Happy, Hatfield and the North, Jabula, Clearlight Symphony and Tangerine Dream are all represented. The late great Kevin Coyne is awarded two songs, as is Captain Beefheart. Steve Hillage provides the exhilerating "Pentagramaspinn", which must have remained unavailable to ordinary listeners until the recent (2007) re-release of FISH RISING.

Most glorious of all are the album's first three tracks. Robert Wyatt opens the party with a cover version of "Yesterday Man", one of his most delightful performances. I love the way Kevin Ayers accompanies him on spoons, but I'm afraid I don't know the original version of this song - anyhow, it sounds even more inspired than Robert's cover of "I'm a Believer". David Bedford (on vocals) and Mike Oldfield (guitar) then follow, with an unforgettable performance of the nursery rhyme-like "Don Alfonso", featuring the immortal verse: 'She told me she was single / it made me tingle / my heart went jingle-jingle / I said: let's mingle!' To top it all, Ivor Cutler sings his magisterial "Go and sit upon the grass", which is almost as good as his contribution to Wyatt's ROCK BOTTOM. (Apparently, Robert Wyatt himself later covered Cutler's song under the title "Grass".) By now, old memories have taken hold of me... I don't own a record player and I don't even know where I left this album, but Cutler's voice - he made a few CDs, I wonder if I'd find "Grass" anywhere, I'm going to have to rush off and check it out quickly...

fuxi | 3/5 |


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