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2005 Prog Folk: Vashti Bunyan or Mostly Autumn

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Category: Progressive Music Lounges
Forum Name: Prog Polls
Forum Description: Create polls on topics related to progressive music
Printed Date: December 03 2023 at 14:03
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 11.01 -

Topic: 2005 Prog Folk: Vashti Bunyan or Mostly Autumn
Posted By: Logan
Subject: 2005 Prog Folk: Vashti Bunyan or Mostly Autumn
Date Posted: August 04 2017 at 13:42
This really is a tale of two very different stories. Once again, a modern album by a classic act vs. a modern album by a modern act included in the Prog Folk category -- one who released her first studio album in 1970, and the other in 1999.   

Vashti Bunyan only released one album in 1970, but has gained a cult following this century and released a follow-up in 2005, then another in 2014. The much more prolific Mostly Autumn, on the other hand, has released twelve studio albums since 1999 and twenty-three live albums since 2001 (that's a lot of live albums for the period). While Vashti Bunyan's debut sold so badly that she gave up a music career until being re-discovered in 2000 and gaining a cult following, which led to her recording again. I love those stories, so many obscurities have been dig up and got buzz on the internet. That's a great joy of collecting albums, finding something obscure and bringing attention to it. Vashti Bunyan did do some recording between 1965 and 1967, and recorded one of my favourite songs Called Winter is Blue. She appeared in the 1967 documentary Tonite Let's All Make Love in London, and that featured Winter is Blue (beautiful song). Such a shame that her first studio album did not fare better, she has been helped to get it recorded by a member of the Incredible String Band and Fairport Convention, so she made connections early on.....

Mostly Autumn, on the other hand, gained a following quickly and really cemented their names by doing lots of live concerts. Live music is where it's at commonly if you want to make career out of music.   

This is a similar idea to the Comus vs. Mostly Autumn poll, but I felt that this might be less polarized. Although, in discussion with people with disparate tastes, I'm very often impressed with people here how we can come together in discussion and be friendly while having different opinions. Of course we all something in common, all of our tastes intersect somewhere, which is why come together in camaraderie at this site. As brothers and sisters of Progdom, we come together for Prog World domination, where the Crimson flag will fly over every state building, every sacred place, every school, every hospital, every Starbucks, and every adventure playground, and the rivers shall flow crimson with the blood of.... Oh wait, we can't even agree on if King Crimson is "good". Vive la difference. Moving on....

If you don't know both albums, please listen to some samples:

Vashti Bunyan from Lookaftering.

And Mostly Autumn from Storms Over Still Water.

If you have what you think are better tracks, please embed them, because I don't want people just voting based on my biased or bad choices. If the vids don't work, please let me know. I don't expect voters to know both albums in whole, but to make a fair decision I would like it if people at least try to listen to some music off both albums (you're not voting for the act, it's for the album that you think, based on what you'e heard, most appeals to you). That said, I don't treat these polls as contests and am far more interested in what people have to say.

I'm really biased here, since I recommended Bunyan for inclusion as I recall (it's more of a folk album than a prog album, and I do prefer the debut, but it's a nice album). I would guess that Mostly Autumn will take this because it is more Prog, and I find this album considerably more appealing than the one I did against Comus. Carpe Diem has a bit of a Tubular Bells feel to it, but it takes too much of an arena rock turn for my delicate folk ears..

Posted By: Logan
Date Posted: August 04 2017 at 14:35
Well, I voted for Vashti Bunyan. I'm not so big on that album, I much prefer her 1970 studio album, and I love her singles and demos that she made in the 60s. Winter is Blue, just her and a guitar, is so achingly beautiful, and I like the bigger production version of it too.

I have a similar problem with this Mostly Autumn album to the other, it's too slick, overdone, I think, and has more in common with arena rock/ melodic rock than folk music to me. It would be more out of place in a Donovan or Joan Baez collection than a Neo-Prog collection.   

Other than the fragile beauty of so many folk songs That I am into, what I love about folk music commonly is the intimacy of the music. It's often simple, you just need a guitar and a voice for instance, and quite a lot of
folk ballads take you to simpler, more carefree days in ye olden times when you roamed with your lassie, got caught, and prepared to feel the burn of the executioner's rope. And of courses songs about witches. I also like more complex folk music.

"In the wrong hands ballads can kill."

What's the best Mostly Autumn album to recommend to more traditional folk fans?

Posted By: octopus-4
Date Posted: August 04 2017 at 15:37
I've had problems embedding the folky tracks in the other MA poll that you have started.
In my opinion there are just two fundamental albums in their discography: "The Spirit Of Autumn Past" and "The Last Bright Light". The level of their albums fell down after Angela Gordon left the band and declined drastically with the departure of Heather Finlay. I have bought their last album and I've been unable to listen to it entriely.

Curiosity killed a cat, Schroedinger only half.
My poor home recorded stuff at

Posted By: Logan
Date Posted: August 04 2017 at 16:35
Thanks, Luca, I checked those out. Don't worry about the embedding, by quoting your post to see the code I found the tracks on youtube, and the music I like. I love Which Wood amongst others. In fact, I've been listening to all of The Last Bright Light, and I really like this album. Will try the other one later. Thanks.

Posted By: Manuel
Date Posted: August 04 2017 at 21:29
Vashti Bunyan gets my vote.

Posted By: Finnforest
Date Posted: August 04 2017 at 22:25
Vashti, but I prefer Diamond Day.

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