Bunyan, Vashti - Just Another Diamond Day

Year of Release: 2003
Label: M2U Records Korea
Catalog Number: M2U-0007
Format: CD
Total Time: 40:00:00

At one time regarded as being the new Marianne Faithfull or even a female Bob Dylan, Vashti Bunyan has never really made it. Looking into her history, she was at the right place at the right time, yet found the love for her animals and her very own freedom far more important than becoming pop's next big thing. The fragile acoustic songs she wrote and sang are the perfect example of the hippy atmosphere of the sixties. If you listen to the lyrics on this Just Another Diamond Day album, most of them sound very childish, but then again that was the way young people felt during their hippy period, without a single worry in the world. In the mid-sixties she was spotted by Rolling Stones producer Andrew Loog Oldham. He gave her a contract with Immediate Records and the Jagger/Richards penned "Some Things Just Stick In Your Mind." This single gave her the opportunity to include one of her own compositions, as "I Want To Be Alone" was used as the single's B-side. One of her sessions was filmed by Peter Whitehead for his legendary Tonight Let's All Make Love In London film. In 1965 she was even photographed by the great Gered Mankowitz who worked for the Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Small Faces, Yardbirds, Free, Nice, Wings, even Wham! Looking at her career, a lot of songs were written, some recorded, but hardly any got released. Luckily she found a friend in British troubadour Donovan who helped her financially in order to survive. With the help of Joe Boyd, a full album was finally recorded, an album called Just Another Diamond Day, and today a ?200 album in it's original vinyl form. Vashti doesn't even have a copy of this, as she gave all of them away. Another hippy trademark!

Producer Joe Boyd tried to get his label Elektra to sign Pink Floyd and Eric Clapton but they wouldn't listen. Instead, although American, Boyd ended up becoming one of the most important producers in the domain of British folkrock, having Nick Drake as one of his most important clients. Due to his contacts, Boyd managed to get Robin Williamson from the Incredible String Band to work on Vashti Bunyan's album. Also Dave Swarbrick and Simon Nicol, both from Fairport Convention, were drafted in as guests. Nevertheless Just Another Diamond Day remained a long forgotten gem, demanding huge prices in its original vinyl format. When a CD bootleg, taken from a battered vinyl copy, was issued, Vashti Bunyan was devastated and angry, and through Rhino's Paul Lambden the label Spinney was set up, which finally re-issued the album in legal form. Originally released in 1970, this CD-version contained four bonus tracks. Released as the ultimate tribute to the fragile voice of Vashti, now comes the most remarkable re-issue from the specialized Korean label M2U records. Stuck in a thick cardboard miniature sleeve, such as the Akarma releases, this surely has to be the ultimate form of respect for her talent. The release comes with a detailed booklet containing all of the lyrics, a poster and the inevitable obi strip. Strange, however, how the inner sleeve is one that promotes Volando by I Dik Dik, unless of course this is a way to promote other releases by the same label?

All of the eighteen tracks on display here are short sketches out of Vashti's diary of the sixties, of the simplicity of every day life without a single sorrow. Of all these tracks, the simple yet effective "Diamond Day" has to be one of my favourites due to the uplifting melody and the fragile flute. Once again proof that you don't need elaborate arrangements to make it work! "Lily Pond" sounds almost exactly like the nursery rhyme "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" to such an extent that I ask myself whether at all she never got sued about it. "Rainbow River" sounds as fluent as the river itself, not in the least because of the na?ve recorder. Each single song is the music of a world without problems, a thing unheard of today and therefore a perfect statement of the golden sixties. The four bonus tracks that finish the album sadly are not of the same audio quality, but I'm convinced completists will be pleased to find these songs here. For me however it all ended with "Iris's Song For You," heavily featuring both Swarbrick and Nicol who, compared with the second version of the same song, made sure the authentic folk feel remained throughout. Personally though I would have loved to hear some authentic bodhran in order to spice things up.

Due to the sudden interest in this release, Vashti Bunyan is currently working on a new album. No doubt it will most certainly no longer contain the innocence that is captured here. Maybe, as is the case with Marianne Faithfull, her voice will have changed drastically over the years. However, as with Marianne, maybe the media will finally give her the attention she has been waiting for for the last thirty years. Well deserved I should say after listening to this album for the last week or so! Vashti Bunyan on CD is yet another example of the magic of the Internet. With her site being produced by Blueshed and with a certain Peter Bunyan working there (her son?) proof is yet again delivered how small our world really is!

Diamond Day / Glow Worms / Lily Pond / Timothy Grub / Where I Like To Stand / Swallow Song / Window Over The Bay / Rose Hip November / Come Wind Come Rain / Hebridean Sun / Rainbow River?/ Trawlerman's Song / Jog Along Bess / Iris's Song For Us / ?Bonus Tracks: Love Song / I'd Like To Walk Around In Your Mind / Winter Is Blue / Iris' Song For Us (Version Two)

Vashti Bunyan - vocals, guitar
Christopher Sykes - piano, organ
John James ? dulcichord
Robin Williamson - fiddle, mandolin, Irish harp
Dave Swarbrick - fiddle, mandolin
Simon Nicol ? banjo

Just Another Diamond Day (1970/2003)

Genre: Rock

Origin UK

Added: January 11th 2004
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website: www.anotherday.co.uk
Hits: 1127
Language: english


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