Bill Fay

Bill Fay is a criminally forgotten singer-songwriter musician with a handful of releases under his own name, all orbiting within the few years before and after 1970, when his eponymous debut LP was released.  Obscured by the curtains of history, I’m drawing them back to reveal a vital force in pop songcraft.

Bill Fay - Bill Fay (1971)

Wondrously baroque orchestral arrangements embrace his Dylan-echoing lyrics, conveyed via endearingly imperfect vocals.  The instrumentation dances a fine line between the majestic pop of early Scott Walker and the near-cheese overblown nature of Burt Bacharach, yet feels all the more appealing for this uneasy blend.  The near-awkward earnesty of his approach grows by leaps and bounds upon repeated plays, buffeting apprehension, giving way to an elated comfort with the style.  There’s an nigh-indefinable attraction built in to this album which manages to defy any and all possibly-unfavorable comparisons to the exalted greats like Bob Dylan, Nick Drake, or Donovan.  (I’d toss in Harry Nilsson‘s tenuous sound connection to this album because of my personal affinity and the fact that his Nilsson Schmilsson album entered my mind upon first listen).  Fay simply exists in his own musical ecosystem, relating to but standing outside the historical idioms and standardized notions of his more famous peers.  This certainly isn’t a perfect cup of tea for everyone, but those of us struck by the sounds of any artist I’ve mentioned here should spare the necessary time to take the whole record in.

Note: The final track, one of two bonus cuts, has an added poignancy and heft for fans of the film OLDBOY.  I won’t give anything away, other than to urge a close listen, and possibly a cracked grin upon the first few seconds.

[although reissued this decade, it's semi-difficult to obtain.  thankfully amazon has a selection of new and used copies, and it's available digitally as well]

About David James

I try to do good in life. I strive to help others. My drive is to open minds, and share art which aids in achieving that goal. Writing is what I do. Music is my passion.

Posted on June 15, 2009, in Music and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 80 other followers

%d bloggers like this: