Bill Fay – From The Bottom Of An Old Grandfather Clock

Demos for Fay's eponymous 1970 Decca LP and rarely-heard late-'60s outtakes

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Shackled as he is by the leg-irons of ‘eccentricity’, it’s easy to forget why you should actually pay attention to the 30-year-old home recordings of a man whose record sales were zilch at the time of release. Because they’re as accomplished and melodically gifted as McCartney’s and Townshend’s, that’s why! Fay’s delicately layered lamentations weave a web between McCartney’s “Martha My Dear” and Townshend’s “Classified” with the surface jauntiness constantly being undercut by a very English melancholia. These are songs that could only have been penned while contemplating the drizzly view through the steamed-up windows of a smalltown park cafe. A singularly neglected talent.

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