One of the most unique artists in rock, Kevin Coyne’s music and lyrics were initially informed by his passion for blues and R&B and by his experiences as a social worker and therapist in a psychiatric hospital. These joint influences first came to the fore when he formed Siren in 1968 with guitarist Dave Clague. Siren released two albums for John Peel’s Dandelion label at the end of the 60s, along with his debut solo album, the appropriately named Case History, in 1972. He came to the attention of Richard Branson who signed Coyne to his recently formed Virgin Records. It began an association with Virgin which lasted till the end of the decade, commencing with the remarkable double LP, Marjory Razor Blade in 1973. This set out his stall for uncompromising music, aching but often humorous lyrics, compelling, raw vocals and a musicality that incorporated R&B, more avant garde rock elements and more tender acoustic styles. Kevin Coyne was both a popular and critically revered performer throughout the 70’s (and beyond the Virgin era), always operating against prevailing trends and outside the mainstream.
Both I Want My Crown and the deluxe, two-disc version of Marjory Razor Blade, are littered with rarities and hitherto unreleased material: b-sides, outtakes, live performances and BBC session tracks, combining to make them the definitive examination of Kevin Coyne’s career on Virgin during the 70s. Compiled by Coyne’s sons, Eugene and Robert Coyne and featuring quotes from their father, friends and fellow musicians, these releases chronicle a vital period in Kevin Coyne’s career, one of the most fascinating and forthright artists of his time. They provide both the perfect introduction to Kevin Coyne’s work and an, intriguing, essential overview for existing fans.
Marjory Razorblade: Hyde Park Free Concert 1974 (those were the days!):
A taster of some tracks:
Marjory Razorblade Suite
[audio:http://www.box.net/shared/static/ns099pb389.mp3|titles=Marjory Razorblade|artists=Kevin Coyne]
I want my crown
[audio:http://www.box.net/shared/static/i8jki8ou0s.mp3|titles=I want my crown|artists=Kevin Coyne]
Keep your lamp trimmed and burning
[audio:http://www.box.net/shared/static/jx30gphgxg.mp3|titles=Keep your lamp trimmed and burning|artists=Kevin Coyne]
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