White Bicycles: Making Music in the 1960s

White Bicycles: Making Music in the 1960s


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White Bicycles: Making Music in the 1960s

This 23-song compilation, issued as a tie-in to producer Joe Boyd's autobiography of the same name, is sure to attract the attention of Richard Thompson fanatics, who will be drawn to the presence of the previously unissued "Church Mouse" by Dudu Pukwana & Spear; Thompson and Simon Nicol played with the African alto saxman on what was to be a major single release, but one that only made it out in South Africa, and only in partly finished form, as far as Boyd and the artist were concerned. Of course, those who love great guitar playing may also want to give a close listen to "Spanish Ladies Medley" by Dave Swarbrick, Martin Carthy, and Diz Disley, where the plucked instruments run thick and rich and reach into Django Reinhardt territory (and why does one get the feeling, listening to this, that if Reinhardt had lived Boyd would have gotten him in on this?). This is also the second major anthology release of 2006 to feature Vashti Bunyan, which must say something about her prominence in the pantheon of British folk artists of the 1960s, putting her alongside the Incredible String Band, Fotheringay, Fairport Convention, Shirley Collins, Nick Drake et al. -- not bad for a singer whose most visible and easily accessible piece of music 15 years ago was a fragment of an unreleased Immediate track on the soundtrack of the documentary Tonight Let's All Make Love in London. Not that this is remotely an all-folk collection -- it opens with the 1966-vintage recording of "Crossroads" by Eric Clapton & the Powerhouse, and also includes tracks by Pink Floyd ("Arnold Layne"), Soft Machine ("She's Gone"), and Nico ("Afraid"). Boyd co-produced this collection, which touches on some of the key points of his career from several angles -- Pink Floyd's debut single, the recording of which got Boyd squeezed out of the business end of their success and off of their subsequent records, even though it was a hit; his venture into jug band music with the Purple Gang's "Granny Takes a Trip"; and the debut single by Fairport Convention, "If I Had a Ribbon Bow," to demonstrate how he and the band accommodated each other's differing approaches to music. From Fairport Convention's Unhalfbricking album -- they had truly started working on all cylinders at this point but the album's material was obliterated from their stage work by the road accident that killed their drummer soon after its completion -- comes the trauma of "Autopsy," followed by "The Deserter," representing the band's new peak achieved on Liege & Lief. The blind alleys and not fully realized pieces are also worth hearing, and not just because they're previously unissued. "I Don't Mind" by Ed Carter and Mike Kowalski -- two members of the Beach Boys' touring band who chose to stay behind in England after a tour there -- is a good example of bluesy, folky progressive guitar-dominated rock with some powerful jazz elements; one wonders, if they'd been able to muster a full album, what these guys might have done both in and to music in 1969-1970. "Church Mouse" by Dudu Pukwana & Spear is worth it, whatever the producer's reservations, Thompson and Nicol's guitars adding some charming embellishment to the sax and trumpet. It all ends on a nicely, zanily bizarre note with the Geoff & Maria Muldaur recording of "Brazil," the old musical chestnut best known for its use in a pair of movies, 1943's The Gang's All Here (in which it first appeared) and Terry Gilliam's Brazil in 1985. The sound is superb throughout, and the annotation by Boyd is nicely personal and enlightening. Indeed, after hearing the CD, you will likely want a copy of the book as well.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/25/2006
Label: Fledg'ling Uk
UPC: 5020393306126
catalogNumber: 3061
Rank: 136555

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Martin Carthy   Guitar
Shirley Collins   Vocals
Dave Swarbrick   Fiddle,Mandolin
Bill Keith   Pedal Steel Guitar
Sandy Denny   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
Nick Drake   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
John Martyn   Guitar
Geoff Muldaur   Guitar,Vocals
Robin Williamson   Guitar,Vocals,Hand Clapping,Track Performer,Gimbri
Dudu Pukwana   Alto Saxophone
Syd Barrett   Guitar,Vocals
Jack Bruce   Bass
Fairport Convention   Track Performer
Roger Waters   Bass,Vocals
Steve Winwood   Organ,Vocals
Robert Wyatt   Drums,Vocals
Chris McGregor   Piano
Harry Miller   Bass
Louis Moholo   Drums
John Surman   Saxophone
Harry Beckett   Trumpet
Marc Charig   Cornet
Alan Skidmore   Saxophone
Maria Muldaur   Vocals
Daevid Allen   Guitar
Amos Garrett   Guitar
Kevin Ayers   Bass Guitar,Vocals
Jerry Donahue   Guitar
Mike Heron   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals,Hand Clapping,Track Performer
Ashley Hutchings   Bass
Trevor Lucas   Guitar
Nick Mason   Drums
Simon Nicol   Banjo,Guitar
Dave Pegg   Bass
Doris Troy   Background Vocals
Joe Beard   Guitar,Vocals
Mongezi Feza   Pocket Trumpet
P.P. Arnold   Background Vocals
Eric Clapton   Guitar
Gerry Conway   Drums
Diz Disley   Guitar
Pat Donaldson   Bass
Judy Dyble   Autoharp,Vocals
Peter Ecklund   Trumpet,Human Whistle
Nick Evans   Trombone
Pink Floyd   Track Performer
Tristan Fry   Vibes
Malcolm Griffiths   Trombone
Hal Grossman   Tuba
Tyger Hutchings   Bass
Wells Kelly   Drums
Mike Kowalski   Percussion,Drums
Martin Lamble   Percussion,Drums
Hank Langley   Jug
Beverley Martyn   Vocals
Dave Mattacks   Drums
Billy Mundi   Percussion
Ben Palmer   Piano
Mike Ratledge   Organ,Piano
Alan Spenner   Bass
Ray Warleigh   Saxophone,Alto Saxophone
Pete York   Drums
Geoffrey Bowyer   Piano,Washboard
Gerry Robinson   Harmonica
Danny Thompson   Bass
Billy Wolf   Bass
Johnny Handle   Vocals,Melodion
Vashti   Guitar,Vocals,Track Performer
Ian MacDonald   Vocals
Paul "Blind Man" Harris   Piano
Ed Carter   Bass,Guitar,Vocals

Technical Credits

Shirley Collins   Arranger
Dave Swarbrick   Arranger
Nick Drake   Composer
Dudu Pukwana   Composer
Syd Barrett   Composer
John Cale   Producer,Instrumentation
Fairport Convention   Arranger
Chris McGregor   Composer
John Wood   Engineer
Mike Heron   Composer
Joe Boyd   Producer,Sleeve Notes
Jerry Boys   Engineer
Jacques Demy   Composer
Keith Grant   Engineer
Robert "P-Nut" Johnson   Composer
Robert Kirby   String Arrangements,Brass Arrangment
Roger Mayer   Engineer
Nigel Waymouth   Cover Design
Johnny Handle   Composer
Traditional   Composer
Vashti   Composer

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