Electric Eden: Unearthing Britain's Visionary Music

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Electric Eden: Unearthing Britain's Visionary Music

Electric Eden: Unearthing Britain's Visionary Music

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After a tour of the folk-influenced classical composers of the early 20th C – Vaughan Williams, Holst, Bax, Ireland, Warlock (unfamiliar territory to me) we then get the MacColl/Lloyd/Lomax years when folk becomes a hot political potato (a very familiar tale). The opening chapter on Vashti Bunyan gives little hint of the riches to follow; the tracing of folk-rock's trajectory through Thatcher's Britain feels a little dogged.

This musical survey examines the influence of traditional songs and a shared sense of British folklore on popular music. There is sufficient space given to the major artists of this genre, particularly The Watersons, Pentangle, Ashley Hutchings many projects, The Incredible String Band Etc.Marcus examined, through Dylan and the Band, as if in Imax wide-angle, “how old stories turn into new stories.

Britta Sweers's 2005 overview, Electric Folk: The Changing Face of Traditional Music, features valuable interviews and is pitched at a reader with no prior knowledge (dutifully explaining who Bob Dylan is), but it shows its origins as a young German's university dissertation. American readers of Young’s book will perhaps have heard of the Beatles, and the “new waves” of recorded British performance that transformed American popular music more than once. P. Thompson, or any of the cultural theorists of the pastoral, and popular culture, to whom Young might have looked to clarify his argument about why the one musician (Thompson) flourished while the other musician (Martyn) struggled – are not, finally, entertained. The British rock critic Rob Young’s excellent new book, “Electric Eden: Unearthing Britain’s Visionary Music,” is a response of sorts to Mr.Then the book delves into folk's crossover into psychedelia and then ending with the torchbearers such as Kate Bush , Julian Cope and Talk Talk. He does not emerge in his musical maturity much away from the folk duo he and his wife formed; alcohol and drugs, as well as his own crusty recalcitrance, seem to have kept him from the career Thompson has enjoyed on both sides of the Atlantic (Martyn died in 2009), and which Thompson continues to enjoy without major label support. Donovan's "Gift from a Flower" LP has this song "And Clett Makes Three" when it doesn’t, and so forth.

The children’s novel “Black Beauty” was written by Anna Sewell in her fifties and she sold it outright for GBP20. Big themes were constantly alluded to like the politics of 'folk' (innately anti-elite or incipiently fascist? It is an idyllic creation, and makes a fascinating counterpoint to the more Edenic aspects of his music – you could almost see it as an organic song inscribed in the landscape.

This led to an exploration of past folk artists so Nick Drake, John Martyn and Vashti Bunyan came into my radar . And the BFI have excelled themselves with the extras disc, too – behind the scenes footage, film of Peter Maxwell Davies conducting his harrowing score, some rarely seen Ken shorts, etc etc. It’s a very detailed account of the interlinked fortunes of these artists and groups at a transitional point in rock history (see Jon Savage’s compilation of a few years back, Meridian 70 ), and the author has already tackled the twin biography of Tim and Jeff Buckley and the story of Sonic Youth. Rob Young gave fairly thorough information on artists like Vashti Bunyan, Anne Briggs, The Trees, Mr.

And prepare to consider Britain's satisfyingly strange and surprisingly hardy indigenous musical heritage afresh. His book throws plenty of lightning, and it will have you scrambling to download some of the music that’s filling his head. Well I guess this builder’s hodsworth of paper will do for the definitive history of visionary folk and folk-inspired English and a little bit Scottish music until the real one comes along. If so, various realms to which this book gives little or no attention (the misty peaks of prog rock, the fantasised Zion of Rastafarianism, the ecstasy-enhanced Eden of 90s rave) are glaring omissions. You may begin to hear the clotted chords of the Spinal Tap song “Break Like the Wind” welling up in the background.Over the song's duration it splits into seven distinct segments and even ingests two other songs whole.



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