Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Vashti Bunyan...really has been "Here Before"

As you'll recall, Vashti Bunyan was being groomed for pop stardom when she took off for Donovan's commune in the late 1960s. She had, in fact, recorded a single with Andrew Loog Oldham before becoming disenchanted with the whole process and returning to the land. The pristine, lovely result of her turning away was, of course, Just Another Diamond Day...lately rescued from obscurity by the tireless talking-up of Devendra Banhart and a reissue on DiCristina/Stairbuilders.

But what about the early, pop star recordings? What ever happened to them? Funny you should ask. Because DiCristina/Stairbuilders is now pulling together another reissue called Some Things Just Stick in Your Mind which includes all the Oldham sessions plus 11 demos and unreleased tracks. The Oldham tracks are really sort of astonishing...encased in huge, orchestral arrangements that nearly dwarf Bunyan's fragile voice. Here's a video of that song performed live. It's sadly bereft of its Phil Spector-esque bombast, but still, it's Vashti Bunyan, one of the nicest, most appealing and deserving late-life successes of the 21st century.

I interviewed Ms. Bunyan for Neumu a couple of years ago, and she was totally charming. You can read it here if you want: http://www.neumu.net/datastream/2005/2005-00026/2005-00026_datastream.shtml


michaeldustdevil said...

you ok?

jenniferpkelly said...

Yeah, I'm all right. I'm not getting much done.