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Ivor Cutler - An Elpee And Two Epees 1959-1961 2005 (Scotland)

On: Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Ivor Cutler
Birth name
Glasgow, Scotland
  Jan 15 1923 - Mar 03 2006 age 83

Ivor Cutler's very earliest work was very hard to find in the decades after it was first issued. This compilation does an exemplary job of restoring it to wide availability, its 28 tracks combining everything from the 1961 LP Who Tore Your Trousers?, the 1959 EP Ivor Cutler of Y'Hup, and the 1961 EP Get Away from the Wall. Cutler's material would become more outrageously surreal on later recordings, perhaps, but these efforts are very much in step with the style for which he's beloved. With almost equal doses of spoken word and warbly singing with harmonium, these pieces take gentle pokes that subtly transform everyday experiences into something nearly surreal. It might be too gentle and subtle for those who like their comedy brash, or for Americans not attuned to his very British brand of humor. Still, it's easy to hear elements that the likes of the Bonzo Dog Band and Monty Python would take to more vivid (and more internationally accessible) extremes. And if it's not often laugh-out-loud funny, or too musically diverse, there's plenty of weird wordplay to generate amusement, such as his ode to a "Muscular Tree" and "Stick Out Your Chest," whose exhortative lyrics are totally undercut by Cutler's knowingly silly tone. - AMG
Ivor Cutler plays "11 musical instruments including the harmonium, guitar, recorder, bamboo flute and 6 pianos". He has written 38 songs that might be described as a combination of Franz Kafka and the Goons.

   Ivor Cutler Of Y'Hup (1959)
01 Here's A Health To Simon 1:30
02 Size 9½ 2:57
03 Pickle Your Knees 2:02
04 Mary Is A Cow 1:30
05 Gravity Begins At Home 2:22
06 A Cowpuncher And A Bird 1:21
07 The Boo-Boo Bird 3:54

   Who Tore Your Trousers? (1961)
08 Steady Job 3:15
09 The Obliging Fairy 0:53
10 First Love 4:48
11 Who Tore Your Trousers James 2:23
12 Are You Alright Jack 3:55
13 A Red Flower 2:28
14 Do You Ever Feel Lonely 1:14
15 A Warning To The Flies 1:28
16 Grass Seed 2:24
17 The Market Place 2:52
18 A Tooth Song 1:29
19 Egg Meat 3:24
20 Muscular Tree 2:28
21 The Handymen 4:01
22 Sh Chi 2:51

   Get Away From The Wall (1961)
23 Stick Out Your Chest 0:45
24 Turkish Bath Play 3:49
25 There's A Turtle In My Soup 3:11
26 Gruts For Tea 2:34
27 Get Away From The Wall 2:00
28 The Tureen 2:33

Decca – 982 660-6

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