Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Vashti Bunyan - Just Another Diamond Day

In the mid sixties, Vashti Bunyan was 'discovered' by the then Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham, who signed her to a recording contract at Decca records and gave her an original Jagger/Richards composition to record, this led to her recording for both Columbia and Intermediate records, however after little success Bunyan decided to leave the music business and city life behind and head for a remote Scottish island in a horse-drawn wagon in search of an artistic commune established by Donovan.

It was during this journey north that she wrote the beautiful folk lullabies which would later make up Just Another Diamond Day. By the time she'd made it to her destination, she found that the commune had never gotten off the ground, and no one was left. Upon her returned to London, Bunyan was urged by the legendary producer Joe Boyd (who had already produced Nick Drake, Fairport Convention, Sandy Denny, and The Incredible String Band) to record the songs she had amassed on her journeys and make an album for his Witchseason Productions company.

The recording sessions for Just Another Diamond Day took place in December 1969 in London with the help of string arranger Robert Kirby (who also worked with Nick Drake on his first two albums), Simon Nicol & Dave Swarbrick (Fairport Convention) and Robin Williamson (The Incredible String Band). The album was released in late 1970 to little attention and feeling like a failure for the second time Bunyan once again abandoned music in favor of other journeys and a life of obscurity.

Over the subsequent decades Just Another Diamond Day started to receive attention from record collectors and music fans, but things really started to change in 2000 when the album was first released on CD and Vashti started to receive the attention that she deserved, most notably from a new generation of musicians including Devendra Banhart, Joanna Newsom and Animal Collective with whom she recorded an EP entitled Prospect Hummer.

In in 2005, Vashti Bunyan recorded and released her second album, Lookaftering, 35 years after Just Another Diamond Day was released. The album was well received by both critics and fans and featured many of her growing army of followers including Banhart, Newsom, Kevin Barker of Currituck Co and Otto Hauser of Espers.

MP3: Vashti Bunyan - Diamond Day
MP3: Vashti Bunyan - Swallow Song

Vashti Bunyan on Myspace
Support The Artist. Buy.Buy.Buy.

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