VERY RARE find. This
is a 1963 album by Cat Stevens guitarist
Alun Davies. This is years before Cat
Stevens and Alun met and a good 5 or
so years before Aluns 'Sweet Thursday
' Days. The 'Relax
Your Mind' Album
information and review come courtesy
of Murphy Anderson.
Look at that short hair on Alun !
YOUR MIND WITH JON
& ALUN Decca LK 4547 -
1963 release by Jon Michael Burchell
and Alun Davies reviewed by Murphy
not widely known that the former musical
partner of Cat Stevens started out as
one half of a folk/skiffle duo called
Jon & Alun. Alun shared guitar and
vocals with Jon Mark (as Jon Michael
Burchell) many years before their work
together in Sweet Thursday and in the
debut album contained support from -
Arthur Watts (bass) ; Judd Proctor (banjo,
rhythm guitar); Big Jim Sullivan (electric
guitar, 12 string guitar).
album was directed and co-produced by
Shel Talmy, the innovative American
producer. Hed turned out all the
early hits for The Who, Kinks and done
sterling production jobs for Manfred
Mann, Chad & Jeremy, Creation, Easybeats,
Amen Corner, Nicky Hopkins, Ralph McTell,
Pentangle, to name but a few.
Your Mind features a somewhat cheesy
cover photo of the barely out of teenage
years twosome. The photogenic couple
are posed with guitars and serenading
an attractive young woman recumbent
on a couch. The woman could be Aluns
wife Val? Musically the album is folk
with a bit of skiffle thrown in with
some Celtic overtones!
a brief track by track summary:
title track opener proves they can play
and harmonise well, two very hip cats
- a Burchell/Davies composition.
TO THE GALLOWS
original, shades of early Simon &
Garfunkel, or was it Tom & Jerry
MY OWN GRANPA
comic song that wouldnt sound
out of place in Lonnie Donegans
repertoire, written by Lantham/Jaffe.
POOR FOOLS BLUES
with some blues thrown in, the poor
boys harmonise sweetly. Written by Jon
IS THE COLOUR
old traditional number arranged by the
production team of Talmy/Stone. Alun
takes the vocal over some pleasant banjo
Burchell/Davies original. Again, the
banjo is to the fore. A sort of freight
train excursion with liberal use of
the word "hey"!
NEVER WILL MARRY
spinsters lament arranged by Talmy/Stone.
traditional song honed by the producers.
The best track on the album in my opinion.
sung very competently by Jon and is
not unlike Sweet Thursday material.
It reminds me of early John Martyn,
Nick Drake even.
old traditional song as some of us might
remember singing at school with the
line, "I feel so break up".
This predates the familiar Beach Boys
version by three years and is rendered
in a calypso style. You can imagine
it sung in cabaret at an exotic resort
- more rum please waiter!
SONG OF THE SALVATION ARMY
of rum - some more traditional comic
verses on the perils of alcohol, fruitcake
(with rum), surgical spirit and caffeine.
Sung in mock plummy British - you can
tell the duo are sincere in their campaign
to stamp out all liquid stimulants and
favour pure and wholesome H20!
traditional song arranged by Shel Talmy
and sung with conviction! A jealous
pleaded for her life but deep into her
bosom he plunged that fatal knife".
Nick Cave probably hadnt even
been born at the time this was recorded!
Alun sings the wifes verses in
rather husky tones!
WAY OF LIFE
original composition - musings on the
course of life as the years roll by,
a nice tune.
OF THE REUBEN JAMES
by someone by the name of Singers. The
story of the American equivalent of
The Titanic with a great Big Jim solo.
Much better than Celine Dion any day!
Sinking without trace, just like this
extremely rare album!