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Just Another Diamond Day

Vashti Bunyan

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Album Review

About five years after briefly surfacing as part of Andrew Loog Oldham's stable, Vashti — now billing herself with her full name, Vashti Bunyan — made her only album. A folkier and more serious-minded effort than her initial mid-'60s recordings, it is a pleasing yet overly dainty slice of British rock-tinged folk, produced by Joe Boyd. A certain similarity to some other acts under Boyd's supervision, such as the Incredible String Band and Fairport Convention, was assured by contributions from the ISB's Robin Williamson and Fairport's Dave Swarbrick and Simon Nicol. For good measure, there were string and recorder arrangements by Robert Kirby, who had done some string arrangements for Nick Drake, another Boyd-produced artist. Comprised solely of original material, Just Another Diamond Day contained dignified yet slightly sad ruminations with a pastoral, indeed rural feel, imbued with images of solitary meditations upon rain, wind, sunsets, and open fields. The drum-less, acoustic arrangements yielded an intimate ambience well-suited for Vashti's fragile, measured, almost despondently wispy vocals. These were rather in the manner of Marianne Faithfull's highest and most whispery early efforts, albeit with far folkier setting and more vivid lyrics. The CD reissue of this rarity (on Spinney) is enhanced by four bonus tracks that, with an oh-so-slight poppier bent, actually rate as the best material on the disc: the 1966 B-side "Love Song," a pair of unreleased 1966-1967 acetates, and a 1969 version of "Iris' Song" (to be redone as "Iris's Song for Us" on the LP). It's too bad, though, that the other three songs from her official 1965-1966 singles weren't added, as well, to make this a more complete retrospective.

Biography

Born: 1945 in England

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '00s

Vashti Bunyan is a folk chanteuse and singer/songwriter, best known for her 1970 album Just Another Diamond Day, which was rediscovered in the 21st century and dusted off with a new CD issue as one of the great musical finds of its era. Born in London in 1945 — and counting herself a direct descendant of writer/preacher John Bunyan (1629-1688) — she first took up the guitar while a student at the Ruskin School of Fine Art and Drawing, from which she was ultimately expelled at age 18 for...
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Just Another Diamond Day, Vashti Bunyan
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