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Monday, January 23, 2017

Kevin Ayers and the Whole World - "Shooting at the Moon" (Music on Vinyl) 180 gram vinyl

My friend Gary introduced me to this album sometime in the late 1970s.  He had the entire Kevin Ayers catalog on vinyl (of course), and as I listen to it now, I think of him.  Beyond that, the album is one that stays with me but often disappears into my life.  It was till very recently that I purchased a vinyl re-issue of the album.   Kevin Ayers was once part of The Soft Machine. Left them for reasons that I know nothing of, and made a classic solo album "Joy of a Toy.   He then formed a band behind him to tour and record.  The Whole World is a super band of its time. Featuring the teenage Mike Oldfield on bass, David Bedford on keyboards, and the great Lol Coxhill on saxophone. And the mysterious Mick Fincher, who seemed only to make recordings with Ayers.  

"Shooting at the Moon" is a combination of pop, musique concrete, french pop, and psychedelic freak-outs.  In a nutshell, the perfect album to come out of the 1970s.  The beauty of the album is that one can't predict where it's going.   "May I" is a classic.  It reminds me of a beautiful Lou Reed song.  "Lunatics Lament" wouldn't sound strange on an early Eno album.   The perfect leased breaker is "Pisser Dans Un Violon" which to call it an experimental track would be accurate.  It's what sounds like a violin with an electronic squeak and the humming of an electric guitar.  Personally, it's one of my favorite songs on the album.   The charming aspect of "Shooting at the Moon" is its playfulness and mixture of pure experimentation and gorgeous pop songs.  Ayers is a musician/songwriter who played with tension in its many forms.  Here on this album, with an incredible band, totally succeeds in making aural magic.