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Vashti Bunyan - Some Things Just Stick in Your Mind

  by Malcolm Carter

published: 25 / 10 / 2007

Vashti Bunyan - Some Things Just Stick in Your Mind
Label: Fat Cat Records
Format: CD


Fascinating sprawling double CD collection of early singles, lost recordings and demos from 60's singer Vashti Bunyan, whose career has been after a gap of 35 years going through a massive resurgence since the rediscovery of 'Just Another Diamond Day', her 1970 debut album

So we all know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover or, indeed an album by its sleeve, but Fat Cat Records must be commended for the packaging of this double CD and vinyl album. Looking every bit like it has just been taken down from the attic where it has been stored untouched for the last forty odd years it evokes perfectly the period the songs originate from and with notes from Vashti herself it really is the perfect way to introduce these songs to the world. Retiring from music for nearly 35 years it seemed that all we were ever going to hear of Vashti’s music was 1970’s debut ‘Just Another Diamond Day’. Thankfully after realising that there was interest in that album Vashti was approached by Fat Cat Records to make a belated follow up which resulted in 2005’s ‘Lookaftering’. And what a beautiful set of songs that was, it showed that the music world was robbed of an exceptional talent for too many decades. While waiting for the new batch of songs Vashti is currently working on Fat Cat have done the near impossible and collected all her singles and demos from 1964 to 1967 and issued them on this excellent double album. This collection takes in the singles Vashti recorded for Decca and Columbia in 1965 and 1966, unreleased singles from ’66 and ’67 and a bunch of demos all on the first disc. Those long forgotten singles with Andrew Oldham’s trademark production are a joy to listen to some 42 years after they were initially released. There can’t be many who can claim to have purchased these snapshots of the 60's way back then. If they had sold then Vashti’s life would have been different and maybe we would have heard more along the same lines. Those first two singles, the Jagger/Richards penned ‘Some Things Just Stick In Your Mind’ and the follow up ‘Train Song’, show a different side to Vashti than that shown on ‘Just Another Diamond Day’. While the roots of that album can be heard in ‘Train Song’ the Jagger/Richard song along with the, unreleased at the time, ‘Coldest Night Of The Year’, reveal just how Vashti’s music has been misunderstood over the years. The pop arrangements that the young Vashti heard in her head all those years ago are to the fore in these heavily orchestrated songs. That we could turn the clock back and hear more of the same! The second disc is an added bonus. While searching for the master tapes of the songs on the first disc a tape was discovered of Vashti alone with just her guitar singing songs she put to tape in a studio in London in 1964. These tapes are a revelation. Rarely have songs been heard in such a raw setting. With Vashti’s young voice introducing each song it’s like we are intruding into her private world for a while. While going some way to supporting Vashti’s claim that these demos were her pop songs awaiting the arrangements she could hear in her head to make them just that we can also hear the beginnings of what would become ‘Just Another Diamond Day’ in these twelve songs. And for all Vashti’s claims that she isn’t and never will be a folk singer there is no denying that certain Englishness to her vocals that will forever, especially to those not fortunate enough to hear those early singles, class her as a folk singer. Vashti proved with ‘Lookaftering’ that she can still compose music even after a thirty year hiatus and music that can be as affecting as that she wrote all those years ago. What this double package does is show that there was another side to her talents, that even if we were as open as we liked to think we were back in the 60's that we missed out on what could have been a lot of good music. If you’re a fan of either of Vashti’s two albums then don’t pass by on this collection of her early works now it is finally available. It really is fascinating.

Track Listing:-
1 Some Things Just Stick In Your Mind
2 I Want To Be Alone
3 Train Song
4 Love Song
5 Winter Is Blue (Immediate Version)
6 Coldest Night Of The Year
7 I'd Like To Walk Around In Your Mind
8 Winter Is Blue
9 Girl's Song In Winter
10 If In Winter (100 Lovers)
11 Wishwanderer
12 Don't Believe
13 17 Pink Sugar Elephants
14 Autumn Leaves
15 Leave Me
16 If In Winter (100 Lovers) (1964 Tape)
17 How Do I Know
18 Find My Heart Again
19 Go Before Dawn
20 Girl's Song In Winter (1964 Tape)
21 I Don't Know What Love Is
22 Don't Believe What They Say
23 Love You Now
24 I Know
25 Someday

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