Thursday, 30 September 2010

Guy Angier - Guitar & Bananas!

Of the hundreds if not thousands of records I've discovered since I started downloading, this has got to be one of my absolute favourites. In one sentence? A fantastic "hideously rare" psych-pop album recorded in England, January 1970.

If you'd prefer more details, Paul Cross tells the entertaining tale -

'Guitar And Bananas' is NOT psychedelic, but it is a delicious album, and a brilliant debut, crammed with whimsical material and shot thru with pop-syke affectations. It is a near-perfect collection of pop songs. Even my 90-year old tone-deaf maiden aunt could clearly tell this Guy Angier feller was an important new pop talent. So, why Guy's career did not take off into the outer stratosphere as a result is one of pop's most puzzling riddles. Although lack of exposure certainly had a lot to do with it.

And what of this Guy Angier...? At the tender age of 17, Guy came to the UK from his native South Africa. So confident of success was he that he arrived at EMI with his demo tape of material and asked if they would like to press copies for him! A bemused EMI official replied that "We don't do that sort of thing. What you want is a private pressing. We can do it, but it will cost you."

Guy said OK and a private pressing of 99 copies was made. He was pretty "green" as he himself admits, and was unsure how he was going to distribute copies. No-one in the music business showed any interest, so he simply went from shop to shop and asked the people there to stock it on a sale/return basis. A handful of shops took 1 or 2 copies to see how it would go, and of course it didn't go at all.

So, having around 90 copies left, the next thing Guy did was to give them to friends and relatives. He can't remember what happened to the rest, although it is possible that they were eventually dumped in the garbage. However, it should be borne in mind that a not inconsiderable number of copies have turned up recently...

All original compositions, written by Guy Angier. Angier also sung, played bass, lead guitar, 12-string guitar, piano and organ. He also composed, arranged and produced the album!!! The only things he didn't do were the drums and "strings". These came courtesy of Jackson Recording Co. This meant a session drummer and an analog synthesizer for the "strings". The album was recorded at Jackson Studios, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, in January 1970.

- Paul Cross, Sweet Floral Albion No. 34

1. Barefooted Troubadour In Spain
2. A Leaf In The Wind
3. Love Grows And Grows
4. Stanley Chapter
5. Sunshine And Roses
6. The Days Are Long

7. The Night Of Marianne
8. I'm Going Down To Bristol
9. Baker Man
10. Dr. Johnson
11. San Pedro Send Me Back
12. I Can't Help Myself Dreaming

Originally posted at the sorely-missed Mystery Poster, I hope you'll agree this is nothing less than a slept-on should've-been classic!

Guy Angier - Guitar & Bananas
[I tried to correct the song titles before uploading this, but they still seem to be out of order]

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