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Kevin Ayers - Odd Ditties CD (album) cover

ODD DITTIES

Kevin Ayers

 

Canterbury Scene

2.28 | 6 ratings

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febus
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam
2 stars ODD DITTIES! THE PERFECT TITLE!

ODD DITTIES is not a regular KEVIN AYERS ALBUM as it is a compilation of singles, unreleased tracks, different outakes from original songs and.....odd ditties issued by his former recording company (soon to be again his music company) HARVEST back then in 1976. That was a treat for all KEVIN AYERS fans to discover all these rarities and hopefully hidden treasures.

Now this release is less relevant as it was because a lot of these tracks have been added as bonus tracks to the first 4 HARVEST remastered 2003 solo albums of Kevin, but sadly should not have been as a few of them don't mix AT ALL with the goodies of JOY OF A TOY or WHATEVERSHEBRINGSWESING.Anyway i just noticed that the last edition 2006 of those remastered CDs don't include those bonus tracks and that's a good thing!!

Why? because as usual, you have the great gems and the rather forgettable''tropical songs'' AYERS likes so much, with at least half of the album feeling like you are in Mexico or Barbados.That's too many for me to enjoy this album, as the adventures of JUANITA BANANA are fun to listen to once, but that might be it. KEVIN AYERS never has been a guy to take himself too seriously, that's good but that's what ultimately will prevent him to have a successful career. He could come up one day with the exquisite LADY RACHEL, then the next day felt like recording a calypso song or a mariachi dance and release everything. AYERS never followed any rules,only doing what he wanted and have fun ultimately damaging his career.

There are anyway great moments to be found on ODD DITTIES. GEMINI CHILD is one of those typical AYERS gem which could have been included on JOY OF A TOY: beautiful sweet melody with beautiful orchestral arrangement from DAVID BEDFORD. The classic MAY I from SHOOTING AT THE MOON comes in a different version, this time all sung in French. We know the love forallwhat is French for KEVIN AYERS, but the way he sings in the language of Moliere is very exquisite and a pleasure to listen to.

JOLIE MADAME is another french-sung pearl, only Kevin can come up with, one of those sweet ballad sure to warm you up! This is not ''THE FINAL CUT'', remember? Another big pleasure is a re-worked version of the famous LADY RACHEL, as good as the original. The beginning of BUTTERFLY DANCE is a different version of the great THERE IS A LOVING from WHATEVERSHEBRINGSWESING, but sadly that lasts only a minute before we start flying to the tropical islands.

The rest of the tracks are mostly all those carribean songs, as i told you fun to listen to once, but it doesn't go further than that. You can have an idea with those titles: CARRIBEAN MOON, the ridiculous (or hilarious depending your mood) FAKE MEXICAN TOURIST BLUES or TAKE ME TO TAHITI. This is careless AYERS, the one who is here on earth just to have a good time. Nothing wrong with this philosophy, but sometimes the fan is left scratching his head.

This is definitely NOT the album to start to get into the world of KEVIN AYERS, even if it gives you the right idea about the man. This is for collectors,for the ones who want to own everything from Kevin.Definitely not indispensable, just a sonic document of the diverse faces of AYERS.

2 STARS.

febus | 2/5 |

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