I n a musical aeon strewn with reformed bands, with artists from the – and in their – 60s and 70s taking to stages and cashing pay cheques as frequently as they did thirty or forty years ago, the idea of an enigmatic artist coming back from an age-old,
black-hole of mythical obscurity is no longer so much of a unique tale. However, in the case of Vashti Bunyan there are components to her backstory still too irresistible to gloss over.
Perhaps because so much of her tale is rooted in an intangible part of musical history,
A Diamond In The Rough some of which has died, with other parts capturing a phase in music so infinitely different to the one we inhabit today.
Bunyan was an active songwriter in the mid-sixties, who was picked up by Andrew Loog Oldham (The Rolling Stones’ manager-come-impresario).
He signed her to Decca Records for whom she would then record a Jagger/ Richards penned single, ‘Some Things Just Stick in Your Mind’.
A few more songs followed but then, frustrated, she decided to leave London and head for the Hebridean Islands,
A Diamond In The Rough where a commune had been planned by fellow 1960s songwriter Donovan.
She would take this journey with her partner, travelling via horse and cart, a surely antiquated method of transport even back then.
It took them so long that Donovan had left when they arrived.
On the road she continued to write songs, which would form her debut album, ‘Just Another Diamond Day’, released in 1970.
Back in London, the album was produced by the now legendary Joe Boyd; Robert Kirby would perform string arrangements fresh from doing the same on his previous two projects,
Nick Drake’s exquisite ‘Five Leaves Left’ and ‘Bryter Layter’.
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