Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Yes We Have No Mananas
Genres: Pop, Rock
Digitally remastered and expanded edition of this 1976 solo album from the former Soft Machine member. Ayers' solo material reflected a folksier, lazier, and gentler turn than Soft Machine. He was often compared to Syd Bar... more »
Digitally remastered and expanded edition of this 1976 solo album from the former Soft Machine member. Ayers' solo material reflected a folksier, lazier, and gentler turn than Soft Machine. He was often compared to Syd Barrett and is never less than enjoyable and original, veering from singalong ditties and pleasant, frothy Folk ballads to dissonant improvisation. This reissue features nine bonus tracks: a full Peel session from July 1976 and a further In Concert set from the Paris Theatre recorded in September of that year which includes Ayer's extraordinary 'Shouting In A Bucket Blues'. EMI. 2009.
"In Case You're Wondering About The Trousers I'm Wearing...T
Mark Barry at Reckless Records, Lon | UK | 04/12/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
KEVIN AYERS - Vocals, Rhythm & Lead Guitars
OLLIE HALSALL [of Patto] - Lead Guitar
ROGER SAUNDERS - Rhythm Guitar
BILL LIVESEY - Keyboards
CHARLIE McCRACKEN - Bass
ROB TOWNSHEND - Drums
B.J. COLE - Steel Guitar on "The Owl" and "Falling In Love Again"
PIP WILLIAMS - String Arrangements on "Falling In Love Again"
TONY NEWMAN - Drums on "Help Me"
RICK WILLS - Bass on "Help Me"
GEORGE 'ZOOT' MONEY - Keyboards on "Help Me"
ROGER POPE [of Elton John's Band] - Drums on "Everyone Knows This Song"
MICK FEAT - Bass on "Everyone..."
ANDY ROBERTS - Guitar on "Everyone..."
NICK ROWLEY - Keyboards on "Everyone..." and Solo Piano on "Yes I Can"
DAVID BEDFORD - Choral Arrangement on "Blue"
Here's the breakdown (73:14 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 10 make up the album "Yes We Have No Mananas" issued on Harvest SHSP 4057 in the UK and ABC Records AB-1021 in the USA in August 1976. MUFF WINWOOD produced the original LP with all songs (excepting the 1930's cover of "Falling in Love Again") written by KEVIN AYERS.
There are nine bonus tracks on this expanded 2009 remaster. Tracks 11 to 14 are Studio Recordings made for the BBC's JOHN PEEL SHOW in Maida Vale Studios, London on 13 July 1976 (transmitted 27 July 1976). The band consisted of Ayers on Vocals and Guitar, ANDY SUMMERS of THE POLICE on Guitar, ZOOT MONEY on Keyboards with Charley McCracken and Rod Townshend from the album sessions on Bass and Drums.
Tracks 16 to 19 are 5 live recordings taped at The BBC's Paris Theatre in London on 30 September 1976 (transmitted on the "In Concert" program 23 October 1976). The live set added BILL EVANS on Flute to the same band line up (the witty title to this review is spoken by Ayers before "Ballad..."), while ace BBC engineer JEFF GRIFFIN produced both Peel Sessions.
The superlative 8-page liner notes are written by noted expert MARK POWELL and the original master tapes remastered by PETER MEW at Abbey Road. Mew has done a typically stunning job - BEAUTIFUL SOUND QUALITY (see my review for "Confessions Of Dr. Dream" for further info on his remastering work).
After his 'difficult', but brilliant 1st album on Island Records ("The Confessions Of Dr. Dream..." from 1974) and a slightly disappointing follow-up ("Sweet Deceiver" from 1975), his return to EMI's Harvest label with "Mananas" was supposed to be a better and more mature work - but it only partially worked. It's like a John Martyn album, half of it is good - but my God that good half is stunning. The whimsy of several tracks threatens to drown the record in quirkiness that's amusing at first, but doesn't bear repeated listening. But better tracks like "Help Me" and the Roxy sounding "Love's Gonna Turn You Round" have stood the test of time. But all is saved by the album's fantastic finishing double-whammy - "Yes I Do" and "Blue". With only Ayers on Lead Vocal and Kevin Rowley on Solo Piano, "Yes I Do" is an achingly stark love song and regarded by many as one of his best works - honest and lovely. Special mention should also go to Rowley's keyboard work - it's beautifully done - and in keeping other instrumentation out of the mix, Muff Winwood added extraordinary power to the song. Now with its 2009 remaster it's just gorgeous. It's followed by the six and half minute epic "Blue" with the band in full 'Ayers' mode - it contains truly stunning Ollie Halsall guitar work pumped up by David Bedford's arrangement of the choral accompaniment. Really brilliant stuff.
The nine Peel Sessions tracks are 4 in a studio and 5 live. Produced by long-standing BBC engineer JEFF GRIFFIN, the studio cuts are amazingly accomplished and sound like really good alternate album versions. The live tracks are less convincing - a slightly weedy audience - but welcome additions nonetheless.
So there you have it - weak in some parts, but masterful in others - this is still an essential purchase for me.
Another top job done by EMI - and a sound tribute to an artist who deserved better than never charting a single album."