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In 1969, singer/ guitarist Ian A. Anderson took a sudden left swerve from country blues into what now gets called psych folk or acid folk – heavy, often science-fiction and fantasy influenced songs and acoustic guitar instrumentals – releasing three albums on the cult ‘alternative folk’ label Village Thing. Four years later he returned to roots music, locking away the masters and refusing all pleas to let them out again until this compilation. With the 40th anniversary of Village Thing passed, a spate of books on the music and the era, and old vinyl copies being much sought by collectors, here’s the pick of those VT years, remastered from the original tapes, plus three previously unreleased tracks.
released April 7, 2014
All songs & tunes by Ian A. Anderson except for Paint It, Black (Jagger, Richard) and Baby Let Me Dance With You (Trad. Arr. Ian. A. Anderson).
Ian A. Anderson, 6, 12-string & slide guitars, vocals.
a) From Royal York Crescent (Village Thing VTS3). Recorded at Village Thing studios, July/Aug 1970. Produced by Ian Anderson, engineered by Gef Lucena. With Ian Hunt (guitar, vocal), John Turner (double bass), Ian Turner (bongos), Andy Leggett (recorder).
b) From A Vulture Is Not A Bird You Can Trust (Village Thing VTS9). Recorded at Rockfield, Sept 1971. Produced by Ian Anderson, engineered by Kingsley Ward & Ralph Down. With Ian Hunt (guitar, vocal), Pique Withers (drums), Peter Descindis (bass guitar), Kipps Brown (organ).
c) From Singer Sleeps On As Blaze Rages (Village Thing VTS18). Recorded at Village Thing, August 1972, produced by Ian Anderson, engineered by Maggie Holland (tracks 3, 14). and Rockfield, Sept 1972, produced by Mike Cooper and Ian Anderson, engineered by Ralph Down, Kingsley Ward and Pat Moran, (tracks 4, 8, 18). With Mike Cooper (National guitar), Les Calvert (bass guitar), Ian Foster (drums), Pete Siddons (bouzouki).
d) Recorded 1970, previously unreleased. With Ian Hunt (guitar).
e) Recorded 1973, previously unreleased. With Maggie Holland (bass guitar).
Digitally remastered from the original analogue tapes by Duncan Cowell at Sound Mastering, supervised by Ian Anderson, November 2009.